2408 Tasting Notes
With a name like this, I expected to be able to pour this stuff straight on the counter and it would pile up in its very own mug shape. Nope.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a fine morning tea. A good Assam with a little bready sweetness; still drinkable after letting the last bit cool for a while (some Assams get so strong you could remove battery corrosion with them). I didn’t see any need to lighten it up with milk—just fine straight up.
Just opened the tin this morning, so there’s plenty left for tinkering.
Another one I wouldn’t normally have picked for myself; it just fell into my husband’s shopping basket. I was a little wary—the strawberry/orange/lemon version of this line of Bigelow cold infusions is so licorice and and hibi heavy, I have to cut it with a bag of plain tea to make it drinkable.
However, there’s no licorice in this one, and the hibiscus/rosehips accentuate the lime rather than overwhelm it. Honeysuckle? Not so much. But this was a pleasant iced feet-up cooler after a busy Sunday.
Earlier in the year, I snagged a box of Teeccino’s Dark Chocolate on an insane clearance sale and immediately fell in love with the just-like-eating-a-candy-bar thick chocolate goodness.
So, with a lucky-day $2 coupon from Natural Grocers, I decided to give a (cheap) trial run to their French Roast blend.
I am amazed—its color and texture remind me of the dark, stewed coffee my dad drank when he worked at the local post office when I was little. (He’d give me little sips just to watch me scrunch up my face.) I’ve never tasted a coffee-ier tea, and it’s decaf at that. This will be just lovely in a few weeks when there’s an honest-to-pete nip in the air.
I looked back at previous notes about this oolong and chuckled a little bit, because in my head, I was composing a review that was almost 100% identical to the older one (pasted below). As my former boss once said, “You don’t need two tractors plowing the same field.”
This one is going to take some tinkering. Generally, I am not patient with tinker-needful teas. At four minutes with roughly the appropriate temperature (remember, I am a barbarian who does “kinda” and “sorta”) and a smidge less leaf than the tin recommends, this tastes much more like a Darjeeling than an oolong—and a rather bitter one at that.
I skimmed through other reviews, and another Steepster described it as an oolong evidently grown less than 20 miles from the Darjeeling region. That pretty much sums it up!
All the same, it was good to shake up my morning synapses with something different.
My first review of my little sample packet earlier in the year mentioned that the flavors in this rooibos-pear blend were pleasant, but never really nestled together—two separate profiles competing for attention.
I accidentally found the glue that brought it all together—fresh comb honey! There was barely a teaspoon left in my sample, and I was afraid it would barely flavor the water. I gave the rooibos a five minute plus steep, then sliced off a thumb sized bit of honeycomb, and then (the comb residue was a little off-putting) strained it a second time. Bippity boppity boo; almost like a caramelized pear dessert now. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d go find a nice slice of cheese to accompany the last half cup.
Things end (sigh). And since summer is—at least by the calendar, not by the thermometer—coming to a close, it was time to use the last three bags of my beloved Traditions strawberry tea. Last bags ever, as far as I can tell—the brand still exists, but not this pleasantly flavored, viably authentic strawberry variety. I cold-steeped my last Mason jarful and am giving it a proper and respectful sendoff from my rocking chair.
I’m down to the “I really don’t know how I’m gonna feel about this” pyramids from my Tea Forte sampler, and I hesitated to give African Solstice a go, particularly when I saw that rosehips were a key player. I was braced for a mugful of tartness, but this is surprisingly sweet. My taste buds can’t detect anything but a general “unspecified fruit” flavor, kind of like that one single good chew of Fruit Stripe gum before it goes tasteless. Same with the roses—a nice team player in this rooibos-based blend, but they don’t stand out.
None of that sounded very complimentary, did it? It’s a really nice evening cup, especially out of my new favorite hissing mug (just the favorite one that hisses, not my very favorite). Go ahead. Say I’m nuts. I think this little ceramic mug, which had been stashed in storage for ages, was from a donation center when we were trying to cobble together a kitchen after our tornado. Brown with little curlicue hearts on it. I don’t know if it’s the porous texture of the ceramic, or the shape (it tapers inward the tiniest bit at the lip) or the slight flaw in the inner glazing … but whatever it is, it hisses when it’s full of a warm cuppa. Shhh. There. Hear it?
A lovely Sunday afternoon: much-needed rain, a basket of ironing to soothe and unwrinkle me, and Victoria and Abdul to make me smile (Judi Dench is priceless). It could only be capped off by a British/Indian alliance like good old Typhoo. I have absolutely nothing novel or original to say about it, it’s just become a good friend. For this version, Typhoo uses Assam teas that are muscular enough to survive the decaffeination process and leave a little bit of dark-toast-crust flavor behind. Lovely.
One of you mentioned trying this with bourbon sugar, which I don’t have, but it still sounded so good, I snagged a box for the house. It is balanced in favor of the cinnamon rather than the apple (which I was really craving) but it is a lovely herbal departure from minty stuff and overly spiced chai.
I am a walking mass of itches and abrasions: nasty gash on my knee (bashed into the corner of my desk at work), sore vaccine shoulder, bug bites that make shoes and other apparel confounded uncomfortable, and I must’ve dropped my favorite blue wear-over-anything summer duster on the parking lot because it didn’t make it home with me. Oh, and did I mention my overwhelming case of self pity? ;)
It’s all light and momentary, but for the moment, I’m pampering myself a little, and this nice 52teas tisane is helping. What differentiates it from the usual crop of chamomile/rooibos/lemony nighty-night concoctions is a pleasant dose of marshmallow root that takes the edge off the tartness, while the rest of the ingredients (hopefully) take the edge off everything else.
I cheated—far too impatient this evening to wait the prescribed 8—10 minutes and pulled it at 5. Properly steeped, the blend may change personalities entirely. I’ll try that another night when I’m not distracted by a vampirous mosquito that is trying to raise yet another bump on me!