I’m a gaming geek. Every Friday night, I’m seated at a table along with my motley bunch of nerds rolling dice, playing an axe wielding barbarian, a creepy necromancer, or an exuberant bard. Dungeons and Dragons, (well, they call it Pathfinder now) is a fun but sedentary game with the unfortunate side effect of the gaming table attracting all sorts of junk food. So besides doing battle with imaginary monsters, each week I find myself at war with my own lack of willpower.
Fortunately, there are other tea enthusiasts among my gaming companions. Upon learning this, I purchased a new tea cup, loaded a small tin with my best assortment, and tucked them into my gaming bag alongside my notebooks, gaming guides, and accumulated dice.I have declared 9pm on game nights as “Tea time.” A nice hot cup of tea is a fine thing. Once I have that before me, all those chips and cheese doodles seem ridiculously unrefined by comparison. They seem beneath my sophisticated palate and I don‘t want them so much anymore. It’s a welcome respite and distraction.
This week, I tried a new flavor—Breakfast in Paris by Stash. I had been craving Savoy’s Paris Morning, the tea I waxed poetic about last winter and while I had a delightful experience with Parisian Breakfast Black from The London Tea Room, it was different enough from my old favorite to leave me reminiscing. So when I saw that Stash had a version of the same concept, I grabbed it. After all, I consider Stash to be pretty good at their art. Many of their blends have a permanent place in my cupboard, so I was eager to try their take on Paris.
This blend clearly represents morning in a different part of Paris than I am used to. Savoy’s version depicts Paris right next to the vanilla bean vender’s market stall. It would appear Stash represents Paris downwind of the lavender and bergamot fields or else in the professional laundry district.
I like lavender. I like it a lot. I’ve been known to make lavender bread, lavender lemonade, lavender apple crisp, lavender fruit salad, and lavender-vanilla coffee drinks. But I’m also aware that too much of the stuff can make your food and drink taste like laundry detergent. This tea is definitely too much of a good thing.
Maybe it’s an unbalanced batch. I can’t detect any vanilla at all and the levels of lavender and bergamot are intense enough to be harsh and slightly irritating to my mouth. There’s nothing particularly attractive about the underlying tea either. To add insult to injury, the strings are not firmly attached to the tea bags and come off when I’m attempting to use them. I’m not enchanted at all by this. Hell, I could make a better version of it myself, and I’m no master blender by any stretch of the imagination.
It smells nice though. Maybe I’ll try a very dilute cold brew and dump in some vanilla extract. Or if that doesn’t work, use it to make a nice lavender scented rinse for my hair.