2574 Tasting Notes

drank Ceylon BOP by Starwest
2574 tasting notes

I’ve been giggling at the “pantry staple” sipdown prompt, because with my favorite staples, if I’m at 1/4 of a tin, I hyperventilate until I’ve filled it back up!

However, if there’s one that’s close to sipdown levels in the kitchen, this is it. I’ve had a jar of this Ceylon in progress with continual refills for years. It’s not as beefy as I prefer for morning wake-ups; it has a thinner, sharper (but pleasant) tang to it with maybe a bit of apple peel in the flavor. Has always been good for blending and as a base for various mints in the summer. That’s likely how the rest will be used—my apple mint is growing like gangbusters on the back steps.

The jar is more empty than full, and while it’s still readily available for order, I’m not sure my local source carries it any more. So maybe it’s time to free up a teeny bit of pantry space. Ecclesiastes 3:6 and all that. (a time to keep, and a time to throw away…)

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drank Peach & Passion Fruit by Ahmad Tea
2574 tasting notes

From a sampler; long neglected in the office stash. I think I scorched the first round, which may have something to do with the age of the remaining couple of bags. However, a shorter steep time helped. Nice balance of both flavors and tasty on ice even without completely chilling it first.

teapartyfortwo

I’ve bought this brand before and it was hit or miss for me.

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drank Green Mango by TeaSource
2574 tasting notes

The pickiest, snarkiest green tea I ever attempted to get along with—an Assam green—came from Teasource. The temp had to be exactly adjusted to the one-one hundredth of a degree and the time within .001 millisecond to keep from being so bitter it’d take the skin off your tongue. I never did get it right.

So my expectations were kinda low with this sample.

Steeped it at the office, so I couldn’t be too exacting, but with steaming rather than boiling water and a 3 minute steep, the base came out tasting like green tea should taste. Ditto with the mango. The AC is still flaky, so I put it immediately on ice and it’s pretty pleasant!

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This one is growing on me. It tolerates hotter water than more fancy-pants white teas, and as a matter of fact, the apricot is more evident when I steep right after the kettle boils.

This afternoon, I’m in need of cold drinks instead of warm and I dumped half a mug of this with half a mug of this morning’s Tazo Awake, iced down the whole thing, and it’s just plumb tasty. Ice tea with a twist of apricot.

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drank Brandy by Life Plus Style Gourmet
2574 tasting notes

Happy Mama’s Day to you who claim the title! Hope it has been delicious.

My guys surprised me with treats, my Sunday kids surprised me by being relatively well-behaved, and a sweet little octogenarian who teaches the special needs adults surprised me with a little flower start with tiny blooms that grow in a starburst shape. No clue what the variety is…I can ID herbs, marigold, pansies, and geraniums and that’s about it.

So one of the funny treats in the basket was one of those gift-grade tea books (but it’s cool—looks like a book made out of metal) with several varieties of boozy teas. I’ve been told it came from Tuesday Morning. I’ve never heard of the Life Plus Style company and didn’t see much online. But just for fun, I pulled out a brandy one and cold steeped it in a pint jar.

I have absolutely no point of reference to know if it’s even close, but it was really tasty iced, on the first genuinely warm day we’ve had in weeks. Mid 80’s after a month of that bone-chilling wet spring glop. Nondescript black tea base with flavoring that reminded me just a touch of cherry wood and alcohol. This assortment will be fun to enjoy this summer.

ashmanra

The cold wet glop hit us yesterday. Looking forward ot warmth and sun again but honestly, I wasn’t thrilled that we were seeing hot and sticky weather in May last week.

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drank Paige Turner by Savoy Tea Company
2574 tasting notes

Old tea that has held up nicely: a calming, comfy end-of-day cuppa. A nice, unobtrusive green base with sweet vanilla and just enough lavender for you to notice, not enough to clean floors with.

Can’t decide if it better fits the “me” tea or the “geeky tea” prompt, as I am a lifelong book nerd…had one with me at all times…on the bus, in between assignments at school, snugged up in my secret closet reading spot, with a whole stack of ’em on a blanket in the back yard…

derk

Sounds like gg to me. Then again, so does a sturdy black tea.

Mastress Alita

I had a secret closet reading spot, too!

Martin Bednář

Oh dear, I have been hoping it is some French tea company, reading Savoy. A little dismal of… wonderful tea, apparently.
As of secret reading spots, I haven’t got any.

gmathis

Martin…it’s a little shop in a Northwest Arkansas shopping plaza that I haven’t visited in way-y-y too long. They are best at blends and flavors and have a wall full of sample jars that you can sniff before you buy.

As to the reading closet, it was the size of a skinny fourth grader. Not recommended for adults.

Martin Bednář

Yup, I found out. Thank you Google search for everything. And reading closet even for children is more than I had when I was a child. Certainly less years ago than in your case, but anyway… I want some now!

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Here’s my scavenger hunt “licking the peel on a black table grape” tea. It definitely has a Darjeeling temperament; however, it didn’t dry my mouth out like some DJ’s do, and it had a little bit of morning-level strength. A nice surprise on a very bleary-eyed, post-thunderstorm morning.

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drank African Solstice by Tea Forte
2574 tasting notes

The neighborhood lawn mowers have finally laid off; I’ve got the window open, and other than these soft keyboard clicks, the only other noticeable sound is a few robins and cardinals catching up on the day’s news. Delicious after a rowdy afternoon.

I can’t decide whether the tranquil setting is subliminally boosting my rating for this Tea Forte blend, or whether I just hadn’t paid attention to how nice it is. A base of soft rooibos, a little blueberry and elderberry, a whisper of vanilla (or so saith the tea description). Just berry, no tartness.

This is a pyramid from an aging sampler box I haven’t yet exhausted, but I’m thinking that a fresh tin of loose leaf would be just ducky.

On to the rowdies. (I’m sure you were just waiting to hear;) service project day with the most disparate, wacky, maturity-levels-all-over-the-map group I have taught in years. My work group was on trash and weed control patrol on the church campus when they weren’t doing high hurdles over the shrubbery. Then on to the roller skating rink. Skating rink technology has not changed much in 45 years. Black light, disco balls, limbo, and middle schoolers darting around on wheels like bugs. My job was Watching The Stuff. At one time, I was custodian of eight pairs of shoes, two watches, an asthma inhaler, two tubs of cotton candy, one tray of Don’t Let Anyone Touch Those Nachos, and my fellow sponsor’s phone and ID. All returned safely to their rightful owners.

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drank Meyer Lemon Herbal Tea by Stash Tea
2574 tasting notes

As my husband pulled in to our little podunk, closet-sized post office yesterday, I said, “I hope we get some fun mail today!” And we did! A lovely and thoughtful card from the lovely and thoughtful ashmanra and two little sunshiny teabags of Meyer Lemon.

After scanning the ingredient list (rosehips and hibiscus figure pretty prominently), I was expecting to tear up from the tartness, which would’ve been helpful—I had been mowing in a gale and all kinds of things blew into my eyes. But instead of eye-watering sourness, it was surprisingly and refreshingly lemony. Zingy, but not painful.

As to accuracy of flavor, I don’t know that I have ever consciously tried a Meyer lemon, although I think they have more of a bass note to them than regular brassy grocery store lemons. If that’s the case, Stash did a good job of replicating it.

ashmanra

I just had this sweet and iced for lunch outside! I always think of you when I see Meyer lemon anything because you are the first person I ever heard of them from! I thought it was decent and nice for summer.

gmathis

Do you have any local retail stores that carry any Stash flavors? We very occasionally see them at Natural Grocers or our Walmart Neighborhood Market, but the selection is pretty basic.

ashmanra

I found this one at Christmas Tree Shops, but they did not have a huge Stash selection. I never go to Walmart, it is a bit out of the way for us, so I don’t know if ours carries any Stash.

Mastress Alita

Stash is very common in my area, as I live in the Pacific Northwest and they are a Portland (OR) company. Quite a few varieties at my local grocery haunt, let me know if there are any in particular you are looking for.

gmathis

Thanks! Back in my early tea days, I mail-ordered from Stash a lot … this was in the decade or so before the online options exploded.

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The label has changed on this one since I drank it last (remove “organic,” insert “orange pekoe”) but I think we’re still talking about the same light and lovely leaves. Gentle and a little yeasty, but still enough strength to open your eyes in the morning.

My husband’s shopping watchword, particularly with food and drink, is “get what they’re known for.” So in the case of TeaMaze, I usually stick with their tasty blends and flavored teas. However, in this case, veering off the course to select an unflavored black tea was a good call.

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Bio

Steepster “geezer” (been reviewing here for more than a decade); tea barbarian who has no systematic method for storage, preparation, classification, or rating; lover of strong unleaded builders’ tea. Never quite grew up—I cut and glue, play with Legos, design kids’ curriculum, and play with fifth graders every Sunday.

Location

Southwest Missouri

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