In the Mod for Love describes precisely the opposite way I’m feeling this morning—maybe I gravitated toward this tea in a subconscious effort to boost my mood—mood regulation through suggestion, I suppose. I had some disappointing news yesterday, which has my brain weasels out in full force this morning. What was supposed to be celebratory champagne last night turned into “drowning my sorrows” champagne. So here I am this morning, facing my own looming lack of forward motion in my life with nothing more than tea, blueberries, and the love of a few good dogs.
Anyway, the tea, what we’re all really here for. I altered my typical preparation for this tea, and doubled the amount of leaf. Rather than the 1 teaspoon per 250 ml of water, I used 2, and left the steeping time alone, at 5 minutes. Increasing the amount of leaves improved the mouthfeel of the tea, not surprisingly (I’d found it thin before), and didn’t make it overly bitter or overwhelmingly strong like I was afraid it might. Maybe Fujian teas need more leaf—its been too long since I had a straight Fujian, I don’t remember. Anyway, increasing the amount of leaf really increased my enjoyment of the tea. I still don’t get any chocolate notes like their tasting description suggests I should. What I’ve noticed with a lot of these August Uncommon teas is that I get a whiff of leather, which may just be the aromatic notes of the black tea base itself.
Drinking all of these flavored teas reminds me of my fundamental tea self: while I like the aromatic notes of the teas, I don’t ever really taste much. Its the tea-as-potpourri philosophy of tea drinking. I’d gravitated more toward straight teas, with the exception of genmaichas, which I really can taste the toasted rice note. After drinking several cups of these August Uncommon blends (I got 5, and I’m probably halfway through them all already), I’ve decided that I’m going to move back toward straight teas—the quality tends to be better because there are no attempts at flavor to cover up an inferior base.