2650 Tasting Notes

drank White Lemon Cream by TeaMaze
2650 tasting notes

I’m blatantly disregarding my “don’t open unopened tea packets in July and August” rule…it’s been a long, weary week and I need a little treat. When I picked this up some months ago, I hoped it would be a doppelganger for CuppaGeek Lemon Swirl (liquid lemon meringue pie).

It isn’t. But that’s not a bad “it isn’t,” just a different one. Both dry and steeped, the cream and yogurt leads the lineup, but it’s more of a Carnation Condensed Milk cream instead of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk cream. The green tea shows up next; pleasantly vegetal but not bitter, and then you get the lemon. Really just a hint in the background.

For truth in advertising purposes, I would’ve had to call it Cream Green Lemon, but then that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?

I might try the next cup with a little milk to see if that changes the balance a bit.

ashmanra

Cuppageek Lemon Swirl is da bomb.

gmathis

(sigh) Yeah.

Lexie Aleah

Sometimes you just need to open a new tea and try something new. (:

gmathis

Amen. My synapses were in need of a diversion!

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84
drank Awake English Breakfast by Tazo
2650 tasting notes

Our ears are roasting, and I’m not talking about the corn crop! Any tea I’ve made this week needs to fit the “two hot sips and then ice it down” category. Good old solid, dependable Tazo to the rescue. It’s strong enough to open the eyes and get me out the door without any sharp edges to cut myself on—not tannic or acidic, and doesn’t get too watery on ice.

My current supply will not outlast this heat wave. It’s on the grocery list.

derk

I’ve been sipping on a pitcher all week long. Might be my favorite black tea for iced tea!

gmathis

Side note to celebrate on … the new fridge finally arrived, so I can actually have ice in the iced tea! It’s the little things :)

derk

Glad to hear.

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After two months of being put off, we got the call that our new refrigerator is due to arrive tomorrow! In preparation, we’ve been eating bizarre combinations of fridge food (anybody want the last of the baby gherkins with some edible cookie dough?) and have dismantled my corner-counter tea station to avoid a delivery guy calamity.

So quick and easy bagged tea is the order of the day, and in keeping with the eat-up-the-leftovers theme, I brought out one of my last couple bags of this Mighty Leaf variety, which looks like it’s being eased out of the Mighty Leaf lineup.

It’s a pleasant green tea base; it’s sending me sencha vibes even though I can’t confirm that from ingredient lists. Lemon is accounted for; cherry, not as much—more of an acceptable but artificial unspecified fruity background. Not bad, but probably not one to hunt down again.

I have a precious new picture for my new fridge, too—one of my Sunday girls, a sixth grade emerging artist, did a sketch of Uncle Iroh from Avatar surrounded by some his wisest words, including this pearl: “I know you’re not supposed to cry over spilled tea, but it’s just so sad!”

ashmanra

Oh, don’t you love refrigerator art! I caught someone staring at mine a few weeks ago – gifts from little students and their even younger siblings. They all get displayed! An Uncle Iroh tea themed one is the greatest.

Lexie Aleah

What a cute gift!

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drank English Breakfast by Basilur
2650 tasting notes

As much as I like Basilur’s flavored teas, I originally had high hopes for their English Breakfast as well. Eh, not so much. It’s a fair “just tea” without the dryness or astringency I dislike, but no standout characteristics, either. It would do well as the background for something else, but solo, it’s not stellar.

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62
drank Decaf Darjeeling by Harney & Sons
2650 tasting notes

I still have an embarrassment of this tea, which is far too old to take very seriously. (Novice Steepsters, never order a whole pound of tea!) New, it was mild and a little watery due to the decaffeination but you could identify it as a Darjeeling without looking at the label. Now there’s almost nothing left of the grape-iness, just a little bitter nip at the end of each sip.

However, after my week of full-throttle kid wrangling that ended with a Family Night event akin to Nickelodeon Double Dare on steroids, I slept hard for eleven hours and have been starving for carbs all day. The bitterness is a fair balance to the little Pillsbury blueberry biscuits I’m noshing on.

I’m not quite ready to compost the remaining stock—there are still lots of hot weather days ahead and it will ice down OK—but once it’s gone, I’ll just let it stay gone.

ashmanra

This was my least favorite decaf Harney tea I ever tried.

gmathis

Now that I’ve landed on good old Ty-Phoo decaf, I haven’t been actively hunting down any new varieties.

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89
drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
2650 tasting notes

We made mud and petted a camel today. And as my ears were full of squeals and giggles for three solid loud and energetic hours, a little semi-silence is delicious this evening. Cicadas, a little air conditioning hum, and that’s all.

Joining me for this little interlude is a cup of the same jasmine tea I raved about a couple months ago. Research (that is, shaking down the work friend who brought it to me) confirms that these little pearls were procured at the Waikiki Tea Room, and that Lady M, an upscale pastry and confection vendor, doesn’t have any tea at all on its website, even though there’s a silver Lady M sticker on the packet.

I’ve emailed their customer service folks to see if they’ll provide a lead. Unless it’s as pricey as real pearls, it’s well worth hunting down. It’s the sweetest, fruitiest jasmine I’ve ever sampled, it doesn’t balk at my ham-handed steeping, and tonight, it’s laced with a little honeysuckle. Far too elegant for my messy living quarters and bare bug-bit feet. (I believe I’m done with summer now.)

Lexie Aleah

Glad you found out where it’s from! Fingers crossed you can get your hands on some more.

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drank Baked Apple Pie by Cuppa Geek
2650 tasting notes

We’ve had a blissful, rainy break from the heat, so unwinding this evening with a warm cuppa is a treat. Strenuous day ahead tomorrow (day two of summer VBS with 10-year-olds: think “Marine boot camp”) so I am in need of a good night’s sleep, and a little chamomile certainly can’t hurt. Chamomile and apple nestle together well, especially in NIchole’s recipe, which adds a little twinkle of cinnamon to the mix. I’ve never quite picked up the (just a hint of rum) that’s the subtitle of this CuppaGeek herbal blend, but it’s still a lovely stand-in for the Sweet Apple Chamomile that Celestial Seasonings pulled from their line-up.

How are you all doing? Is July treating you kindly?

Martin Bednář

July, apparently month of new experiences. A week at my friend’s place, job interviews, new challenges and everything…

It’s not even too hot which is pleasant indeed.

gmathis

Hope those interviews lead to something great for you!

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I continue to stand by my conviction that chamomile is always going to taste like chamomile, so why buy designer jeans to dig in the garden? (My personal preference is bulk loose leaf to mix and match.)

But a bag of Teekanne’s chamomile (I have no idea from where or whence it came) came in handy last night when I was in a dog-tired stupor from a week’s worth of fireworks-induced sleep-terruptions. I paired it with a bag of my beloved Tazo Glazed Lemon Loaf and could feel my neck muscles un-knot as I sipped.

Leafhopper

We had fireworks here throughout the Canada Day weekend, with accompanying sleep-terruptions. (Who thinks it’s fun to set off fireworks at 2:30 A.M.?) I hope you sleep better this week!

gmathis

I think the neighborhood kids’ supply has finally fizzled out—that or I was so tired I slept through last night’s round. (Little village municipal ordinance that allows ’em is about to expire, so maybe…)

ashmanra

Apparently we are surrounded by people who can afford the really big stuff….there have been fireworks for days and it lasted until after midnight on the Fourth! Thankfully, Sam the King of Dogs does not even seem to notice fireworks. I am tired of being awakened by them, though.

Leafhopper

I guess people want to celebrate this year, which is understandable. (Just not in the middle of the night!)

Ashmanra, I’m glad your dog isn’t bothered by the fireworks. My friend’s dog gets really upset.

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52

Having already been put off six weeks for the refrigerator we ordered to arrive, I’m not holding out much hope that the next available delivery date is accurate, but we are in fridge cleaning mode just in case—big old side-by side that came with the house; we’re estimating it’s a 40-year-old bruiser, so there’s plenty of room for all the stuff that gets crammed in the door or in the back and you forget about.

So while I had the bottle in my hand, I combined a couple tablespoons with a mason jar of apple mint-infused cold water, and I think I have a new favorite summer cold drink! (I think there were a few tulsi leaves tossed in there, too—our container garden is thriving.)

At any rate, the sweetness of the sassafras balances really nicely with mild mint and it just felt good going down.

Mastress Alita

Ooo, this sounds good and like a winner with my Co2 infuser.

gmathis

Carbonation would be a nice touch!

ashmanra

Mastress Alita: I thought only plain water could be used with things like Soda Stream. Are you abke to do tea because there is no sugar in it?

Mastress Alita

I don’t have a Soda Stream, I have a DrinkMate and it can carbonate anything except juices that contain pulp. No problem with well-strained tea, and I’ve been drinking lots of coldbrews with an infusion of carbonation during the unending hot weather.

ashmanra

Mastress Alita: I have never heard of that one! I will look it up! I have just been making syrups and adding them to cold Perrier.

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drank Dong Ding by Unknown
2650 tasting notes

I’m going to grab this Dong Ding descriptor for a review, although we purchased it at TeaMaze in Branson MO…it’s not shown on their website and there’s a typo on its label (spelled Donding High Mountain Tea).

Despite the iffy provenance and labeling quirks, the contents of the packet are really good. It held up well to my sloppy steeping (4 minutes at … somewhat just under boiling water) and tasted woody and twiggy with a little brown sugar finish. It had a nice, substantial texture on the tongue as well.

Y’all have heard my hard luck stories about trying to find an unfruity, unfloral oolong (above and beyond the Bigelow bagged variety) to please the husband. I let him take a trial sip this morning—mind you, this is even with a weaker but perfectly acceptable second steep—and he responded “Now, that’s more like it.” Success. Kind of.

ashmanra

Did I ever send him a Dong Ding? I meant to…

gmathis

Hmm…not sure.

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Bio

Steepster “geezer;” 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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