2462 Tasting Notes
I got special mail! A beautiful “Morticia Adamsesque” card and tea from Gmathis!
I have almost no knowledge at all of Japanese teas. I have tried a few Senchas, I have had genmaicha and probably houjicha. I do like matcha, and I have had an unusual Japanese black tea from Postcard Teas. But compared to Chinese and Indian black tea, my experience is almost nil.
We had a chilly morning with heavy fog which is heading into a very warm day with a warm week ahead. Youngest is an incredible artist and sent me some photos she took this morning in the fog. Maybe I can upload and share them!
This is my little tea break in the big leather chair in front of the fireplace with the candle lanterns lit before I make lunch for me and Sam the King of Dogs. We will be splitting a bag of broccoli. We are simple folk. But not too simple. Mine will have hollandaise. His will not.
The recommendation was ten minutes of simmering, but I got preoccupied in the garden and let it boil briefly before turning it down. It doesn’t seem to have hurt it.
This reminds me a little of a roasted barley tea with a bare hint of…chicory? It is VERY woody but in a sawmill sort of way rather than a puerh, petrichor, and damp wood way. The depth of woody flavor makes me want to say smokey but it isn’t actually smokey when you get down to it. There is a hint of bitterness that is not at all astringent to me, but the aftertaste lingers and even tingles a little. That might be the Juicy Fruit gmathis mentioned. And if you swish air around in your mouth after you swallow, there is a hint of vanilla.
I like it! I am not a coffee drinker but I would almost call this “ coffee lite.” It lacks the bitterness of coffee but has such a solid feel. It feels like something I would drink when I am preparing to roll up my sleeves and get down to a task.
Thank you, gmathis for the tea and card, and by the way, the card goes beautifully with my anniversary card which is beside it on the mantel!
I just added this to my cupboard but to be honest it was a tiny amount of tea to begin with and I have had it before so now there is only about a serving left. I made lattes with whipped cream and sprinkles for my husband and myself tonight and this was super good for that.
My lattes for two are generally made thus: twenty ounces milk and three tablespoons sugar heated and three teaspoons tea added. If the tea blend is full of pieces of dried fruit or chips or something, I will add a little extra or make sure the spoon is heaping. Heat (but not to boiling) and leave it at least six minutes but preferably ten. As long as the milk is good and hot you can turn off the burner for the last bit of steeping.
Strain into two mugs and top with whipped cream. My husband really loves sprinkles so I add those cuz he is a nice guy.
This tea has been here for a while. It was a gift to my daughter and she never got around to trying it, but in spite of its age it had great flavor still and nothing had gone “off.” This is something I would definitely consider repurchasing just for cold weather treats. The tea and the spices both come through nice and strong and really since it has so much flavor I could cut back on the sugar. If the blend is heavy on “pieces” rather than tea leaves and flavoring, it sometimes needs that bit of extra sugar to make it flavorful.
Cuppa Geek sent me this tea from the St. Jude’s benefit line! I could hardly wait to test it out!
This afternoon was very warm but cloudy. My husband is more or less on staycation as he has a lot of “use or lose” hours so we are living decadently at home, doing things like drinking soda (Mexican Coke) and eating french fries on a weekday! It’s really wild.
The soda has been getting to me reflux wise so I had no beverage with lunch and saved this for after. It was a treat! I made it just as normal tea – one teaspoon making two steeps in a kamjove combined. The smell pre-steeping was largely caramel. After steeping, all those other flavors come out. The apple is nice and not too tart, black tea is present and not buried under flavorings, and after sipping for a while it builds up a little zing, almost like briskness, from the clove. It was exactly what I was looking for to clear the palate after having vinegar-based North Carolina BBQ for lunch.
Tonight I made it as a dessert drink for the two of us! I heated about twenty ounces of two percent milk on the stove and threw in three teaspoons of leaf. I didn’t let it boil, just let the milk get hot and steeped it for about eight minutes.
I stirred in some sugar (this is dessert, remember?) and strained it into mugs, and topped it with whipped cream. Oh my goodness. This is super tasty and my husband loved it!
Last year I found that the high sugar and caffeine content of the cocoa was just too much for me to sleep well, and this is a brilliant alternative. I am excited about trying the other blends in the line up this way, especially when cooler weather gets here. For now, we are back up in the 80’s.
Thank you, Cuppa Geek! It was DELISH!
On Saturday my husband finished our backyard patio of pavers beside the carport where I have my rockers, and it looks awesome! So today, for the first time since March, I was able to invite someone over for tea! I texted my next door neighbor and asked if she would like some socially distanced tea and cake and she said she would take me up on the tea!
I told her to go through the side garden, through the gates, and meet me out back. We have a big glass table and I set our chairs sufficiently far apart and brought out the tea stuff. When she heard it was a French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake, she changed her mind about not having cake.
This neighbor has only had tea with me once or twice so I felt a lot of pressure for the tea to perform. I offered milk and sugar but she said that the tea we had before didn’t need any sugar even though she usually adds it, so she just wanted milk.
I had steeped three teaspoons in a stump pot and resteeped, adding both steeps to my big tetsubin to carry outside. The first steep went a little over so I was nervous that it would be bitter, but it wasn’t. It was awesome, and went wonderfully with the cake.
The black tea base was nice and strong to pair with the sweet cake, the orange warmed and softened by vanilla was beautifully sunny and the fresh citrus flavor was nice with the sharper lemon of the cake. (There is lemon zest in the cake and a lemon and sugar glaze brushed on the cake that soaks in.)
I was very happy that she loved both the cake and the tea and drank many cups of tea. She told me that she usually isn’t a big fan of lemon but was intrigued by the yogurt in the cake and that was why she wanted to try it.
Another neighbor came later to borrow a yard tool and rocked in my socially distanced rockers for a while, and was given a bowl of mushroom and rice soup to take home, so all in all, it was a really good day with nearby humans that I have not been able to see much since March! I am somewhat of a homebody and a loner at times, but I am missing warm people and good conversation.
I got three steeps from this blend tonight and man, was it good!
My husband and I decided to play Rack-O and have tea and snacks. Our Rack-O game was made in 1966 and belonged to a dear neighbor three houses down who was like a grandmother to me when I was a child. Her daughter gave us this game when my neighbor died, and Scrabble and the cookie tin that always held Opera Creams for MY children when they went to visit!
The first two steeps were mixed together, but the third steep stood alone and was still strong enough to enjoy. The chamomile is really perfectly framed by the spices and I enjoy the honeybush.
I actually finished one pouch which had a teaspoon of spices and honeybush left in it and opened the new pouch which was all chamomile at the top. Every pot I have made has been good, but having seen first hand how the ingredients settle in blends when the weights are very different, I think I will start pouring my blends into a tin or container to keep them well mixed for consistent flavor.
I think this may be my favorite so far of the Cuppageek blends I have tried, but I do have some fall chai blends waiting for a taste test that may take that title!
I had whiskey flavored tea for breakfast. How is your day going?
Felt weirdly tired last night but didn’t go to bed early. Dog woke me up at 3:45 to go out. His walkies schedule has been off due to patio work. Laid in bed until 5 when I heard our gate rattle and saw the motion sensor light go off. Took dog back out to seek intruders. Usually it is a raccoon, possum, or cat, but this may have been one of the many domestic rabbits that escaped from a neighbor who was trying to start a rabbit breeding operation. No culprit found, but apparently there were fascinating scents left behind because doggie didn’t want to come back in so I let him enjoy the excitement of running back and forth, nose to ground experiencing all the rich aromas of whatever had made the early morning visit.
I had a cherry vanilla bagel in the freezer and decided to do a crossword and have early brekkie while everyone was still asleep. (Wow, I’m old.) This seemed the oerfect tea for today.
I don’t really know anything about whiskey, or whisky, but I did taste a sip of Bailey’s Irish Cream once at my son-in-law’s behest. It was tasty but the fire of the alcohol didn’t super appeal.
This tastes similar, with cream and cocoa and boozy taste sans fire. I feel like there is vanilla with the cocoa as well.
Now the dog owes me a cuddle and the world owes me a nap. And since I have seen three black and white bunnies from where I sit, I am betting it was rabbits that set off the lights.
This was a most welcome gift from White Antlers, as I had been looking at whiskey flavored tea for some time and hadn’t ordered yet. This one is a winner.
Rain, rain…all day long. I had this one for breakfast. I lit some candles to make it cozy in the house, made waffles and bacon, and settled in for a cup of Parker’s.
I used my Kamjove this time and I think I overleafed just a tad. It was a teaspoon – I did measure – but it was a slightly heaping one. I steeped, pushed the button, steeped again and blended the two.
I am not sad I overleafed a tad because it really made it great as a breakfast tea. If I make this for afternoon I think I will use a scant teaspoon. As it turned out today, it was super fruity and a little brisk, just what you want in the morning, especially with maple syrup on the plate!
Parker’s is more complex than a plain Earl Grey, and is more akin to a good Lady Grey with the fruit flavors in play.
Meanwhile, I am trying to learn qi gong. Anyone else have experience with it here?
At last we have another truly cool evening with low humidity! After broiling through days with a heat index of 104F as recently as a week ago, we are going to dip into the 50’s tonight! I have been waiting for this all day.
As soon as we dipped below 65F, I suggested to my husband a bit of rocking chair time on the back porch with a cuppa.
I made this latte style, heating the milk first and continuing to heat it for about one minute with the leaves added, then off the heat and steeping for another three to four minutes. I usually sweeten my lattes and I did add sugar to this one.
I get a lot of chamomile in the aroma but mostly taste the spice – pumpkin spice and cardamom. Oh, I love cardamom in blends like this!
Drinking it, I noticed a tingling warm sensation in my mouth from the ginger. I can imagine how delightful that will be when the temperatures are truly cold!
I am so glad this has honeybush as the base instead of the ubiquitous red rooibos which is not a favorite of mine. I greatly prefer honeybush or green rooibos in its place. This carries the spices so much better and lets them shine more, in my opinion.
It passed the husband test and was deemed as a worthy bedtime treat. And now the warm milk and chamomile combo have made me sleepy, so off to bed!
A couple of weeks ago I received a book in the mail from GMathis. There was a note that said that the setting was as important a character as the characters themselves.
Ummmmm…I may have to add that the food in the book is a character unto itself. Oh, the description of Paola’s garden, the cooking! Swoon!
On my first day, I made it to page 135 and found myself in a food frenzy. I made a loaf of fresh bread, sliced some of our garden tomatoes, made an herb butter, and sliced all the remaining Gruyere in the house and placed it on a slate. To go with it, a pot of this fresh pear tea.
This is a white tea base with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pear flavor. It tastes warm and cozy while staying on the light side. The later cups in the pot of tea are speckled with bits of cinnamon, so I told my husband who has a thing about dregs to keep his shirty on because they were delicious bits and not bitter bits. He was glad to hear it.
It is still blasted hot here, though we enjoyed two evenings that were a little cooler. This is my third tin of this tea and I am once again looking forward to having when real sweater weather hits.
As for the book, I desperately want a Paola in my life to love and mentor me but I am too old I suppose since the protagonist is in her twenties. I shall have to endeavor to BE a Paola for someone instead.
I am 99.9% sure that this is one of the teas from White Antlers, so many thanks!
We went to Lidl last week, which is a huge deal for us. We buy very little and we seldom go but for some reason it is almost a date night. Lidl is new here, and we really love picking up some unusual little something to try. That something this time was frozen baklava.
Before you judge, let me just put it out there that years ago we could only get baklava once a year as far as I knew, when the Greek Orthodox Church in town holds their World’s Largest Spaghetti Dinner in November.
Then I found out that a restaurant nearby owned by one of the church members sells it – but they sell out fast. Every time I have had a baklava craving, I have heard the sad words, “We are sorry! Someone came in and bought the whole tray!”
So when I saw frozen baklava at Lidl I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.
But what tea to pair with it?
I have been eyeing this one, but was afraid I wouldn’t like it and it would ruin my baklava experience and almost had Da Hong Pao, but the more I thought about it, the more I was sure that the toasted sesame flavor would be great with the walnut baklava.
Because once again, the craving hit fast, there was no following those sissy instructions and letting the pastry thaw for two hours on the counter. Time’s a-wastin’, people! I popped it in the microwave on the very lowest setting for a few minutes, turned it around, and gave it another minute. It went really well.
As for the oolong, I gave it a quick rinse and then followed the instructions. (Unlike the baklava…) The first steep is brilliant gold and gleaming in my silver lined cup and smelled almost toasty smokey with a hint of burned crust, but tasted nutty and definitely sesame. It really did taste great with the baklava. Neither detracted from the other and the tea cut the sweetness of the pastry nicely. The second steep was creamy and nutty, smooth, and flavorful but not overpowering. The strong roasted aroma is turned down a bit and sesame rules now.
Third and fourth steeps are paler gold and still going great with the baklava. I am so glad I chose this instead of Da Hong Pao, which would have been good but I got to have a little tea adventure tonight!