Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tea: Part Two

My tea cups car large, 2 cup capacity.  The sample of Earl Grey I bought only has one cup's worth left, so today we move on to a new sample.  Peach Oolong.

This isn't my first lighter tea, but I am glad the samples have directions on how long to steep.  With Lipton I often just relied on color.

The peachy aroma is very strong.  There is not as strong a tea smell as I had with the Earl Grey.   Iam not sure if that is a trait of the oolong being subtler or the peach being so powerful.  I'd need to order some non-peachy oolong to know for sure.

I am not adding sugar, lesson learned from the Earl Grey.

Mississippi Cotton Blossom taken a couple of years ago.  It is too early in the season for it to look like this just now.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tea: Earl Grey, Hot

There is currently a treat swap going on Ravelry.  They are not uncommon among pleasant social sites, but this is my first in a very long while.  I was to knit a Christmas Decoration, supply a treat recipe, and spend $10 on a small gift.
The ornament is 90% finished.  The recipe will be Magic Cookie Bars.  And I reviewed my randomly chosen recipient's profile for ideas for a gift.
She likes tea.  Real tea.  "Oo, interesting," I thought to myself.  (because no one else would actually be interested.)

I dallied around online, ebay mostly, to find an interesting cup or kettle, but nothing fell under the $10 mark.  Finally, I googled "tea" or something along those lines and found a few online sites that sell actual tea.

I suppose I could have checked the local grocery, but I had (have) very little faith that what counts as "good" tea would be found near the Lipton and Celestial Seasonings bags.

The longer I looked over what the site (Adagio Teas) the more interested in "real" tea I became.  So, I bought a small bit of Moroccan mint tea (because her profile suggested a liking for mint) for the random recipient, plus a steeper and selection of various "real" teas for myself.

The package arrived yesterday.  I had my first cup of hot tea (that did not steep through a bag) yesterday afternoon.  If you know me even a little, you know there is more than a passing acquaintance with Star Trek in my life.  And, really, can any Star Trek fan go to a tea site and NOT buy at least a little Earl Grey?  No, the answer is no.

I have a dedicated sweet tooth where my beverages are concerned.  Anything that is not water or milk has sugar.  And if I am doing the has quite a bit.  I tend to make my coffee in the "melted candy bar" range of sugar content.  But, I did not want to bury the real flavor of my (more expensive than Lipton) real Earl Grey tea under a mountain of sugar.  So, I drank it straight.

The smell was unbelievable!  I could have sat there all afternoon just inhaling the vapor from the cup.  I have spent many a moment breathing in the glorious smell of a cup of coffee, but this was 1000x better.  Sweeter, fresher, more exotic.  It smelled like the tea I knew, but was different in a way I cannot put my finger on.  And, when it had cooled enough to sip (Captain Picard might drink his hot, but I have no desire for burned lips nor tongue.) the taste was certainly knew and different, while familiar just a bit.  I do think I will sweeten it a bit next time, but I will not overdo the sugar.

And once I am thoroughly familiar with the Earl Grey I will move on to the Oolong I bought and compare the two.  Then the Darjeeling...

Your picture for today isn't totally random.  I posted about a gift, both for a stranger and myself, and give you a picture of my 15 and 14 year old daughters.
Not a RECENT picture, of course, but well, a cute one.