2690 Tasting Notes
I’m feeling cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel. Just call me Mrs. Grinch when you walk into the office today. So in hopes of inflating my heart two or three sizes, we’ve got Pentatonix singing their lungs out in my direction, and I steeped a cup of Christmas tea in my favorite wintery mug—it has embossed holly leaves and berries. The bumps feel good in your hands.
The orange and clove profile, as many people have mentioned before, is a lot like good ol’ Bigelow Constant Comment, only not quite as finicky—steep time of 4 minutes, and it’s still not bitter or biting. (Maybe I should take the hint, eh?) A little milk and honey would flip this into a nice orangey chai, I think.
I am now the proud owner of a Commemorative Queen Elizabeth Tin of New English Teas—a gift from someone who got a kick out of all my Jubilee fan-girling this summer. Inside, three foil pouches with tagless bags.
This English Afternoon has no standout flavors; it’s just tea, but it does lean to the sharpish side—some other reviewers emphasize its acidity, which isn’t bothering me, but does indicate that I might now have a use for several flavored honey sticks that have been gathering dust in my office tea corner.
It’s fun; it’ll do; I can share with office mates.
(Oh…I have had this before. Will y’all come see me in the memory care ward?)
Well, the first time out, references were made to Big Red chewing gum. This time around, it reminded me of Brach’s Cinnamon Discs hard candy.
Do they still have the do-it-yourself Brach’s Pick-A-Mix bins anywhere? When I was little, that was big stuff, getting to fill my own bag. Mostly gumdrops and those white taffy squares with fruity blobs in them, but Mom or Dad would reach over my shoulder and make sure some butterscotch drops and cinnamon discs made it home, too.
Never mind the cinnamon. This cup tasted like nostalgia.
I guess we can call this one a sipdown—I’ve been working my way through the last of a Tea Forte sampler—I’m down to lots of chais and wintery flavors that didn’t appeal during the summer, and this was the last of that particular flavor. Looks like it’s no longer a Tea Forte purchase option, perhaps because it was just “eh, OK” in personality. Good quality black tea with orange and ginger. It did taste more like a ginger snap than Bigelow’s Ginger Snappish, and was just fine for an afternooner in between dishes and laundry. (Must there be housework in December?)
A dear friend swung our mutual “a month either way” occasion observation rule to the early side, so I came home after a really stressy workweek to a lovely little package of pre-Christmas. These tea sachets, part of the contents, made me squee and giggle, because of late I have been discovering what cool stuff HEB has … and moan and groan because I live two states away from the closest one.
If it weren’t for the grocery store box, I’d be convinced these were from an upscale proprietor—large sachets with lots of room for the leaves to play, big, intact lavender buds; not crunched or crushed, and the spearmint is a really nice, sharp counterpoint to the lavender perfume. Really lovely to relax with.
This was a treat from Michelle, and a fun one at that! Breakfast tea with oarweed, which, not being a marine life expert, is a completely new revelation to me.
Didn’t read any reviews before steeping, so based on the description alone and the hefty chunks of seaweed, I expected something somewhat fishy and very salty. Not so much. There is a hint of salinity, but otherwise it’s a good, thickish English breakfast tea with a little bit of sweetness and cereal at the end of each “ship.”
(First, that was a typo. Then I decided to leave it in, matey.)
Funny story…one of the younglings at work is also a fledgling teaist and was so excited when she ordered herself a Black Friday Vadham loose leaf sampler. Until she got to this one.
Today, she carried it into my office, almost at arm’s length, with a woebegone expression. “I hate not liking tea, but I can’t stand this one. Could you use it?” I laughed out loud because I think that was precisely my first gut reaction to lapsang souchong many years ago.
That said, though it’s not a deliberate go-to for me, I fired up the office kettle and steeped a trial cup. The leaves are long and luxurious, and the smoke strength is actually mild enough to suit me. Especially nice with a couple of snagged biscotti: the holiday office snacking season is upon us.
Look who mysteriously showed up at my house for breakfast! (Any Black Adder fans out there? The dog’s head reminds me of the episode where they are trying to rewrite the dictionary…)
Something bold and beefy came in handy this morning after a lousy night’s sleep. I snarfed it so quickly, there wasn’t much time for contemplation; however, I did note that you don’t often encounter a bagged tea that is instantly and easily identifed as, “Wow, that’s Assam!” Strong and acceptable without any additives. I’ll think about it harder tomorrow.