2013 Tea(ish) Resolutions

New Year's Day, 2013

Hoorah! Hoorah! 2012, you were not my least favorite year of my existence thus far, but I’m glad to say goodbye to you. I rang in the New Year the same way I’ve rang it in for the past four years– lounging around in PJs and watching the Twilight Zone marathon. Thank goodness for Rod Serling.

Yesterday, I wrote about my bookish resolutions. But, I’m not done yet! I jotted down some tea(ish) resolutions as well:

  1. Drink more tea. I’ve reverted back to my old ways. I’ve received comments from my co-workers like, “I can tell when you make the coffee, Jackie. I drink one mug and my eyeballs start shaking” or “did you really just drink that entire travel mug of coffee in an hour?” And to the latter I sheepishly respond, “No…I drank two and a half…”. I can feel the effects of the amount of coffee I’m drinking, too. It makes me feel anxious all the time. And it’s really hard to look at things when my eyeballs are shaking (I’m only joking about that last bit. Kinda.)
  2. Be more adventurous. I have one bad experience with a type of tea, and I’m forever skeptical of that type of tea. For example, Oolong. I hated that tea for the longest time because I thought it tasted like mud and grass. Then I tried Six Summits Oolong from Teavana, and Ooooh Darjeeling from Adagio, and things changed a little bit. Still, I’m worrisome to purchase Oolong tea because of my first experience with it. Ultimately, I need to stop being a Nancy, and buy a bag of some dang Oolong! I think I tried to make this a resolution last year, but it didn’t work out too well.
    (Note: I don’t know any Nancy’s, so I don’t really know what their opinion on Oolong tea is. Perhaps they really like it. I don’t know).
  3. Invest in an electric kettle. This will directly help me with achieving #1, I’m sure of it.
  4. Try new brands. I pretty much stick to what’s available at the grocery store or what’s at Teavana. There is an entire world of tea out there that I haven’t had the pleasure of sipping. This needs to change for obvious reasons.
  5. Actually sit down and write a review of the tea I just drank. You guise, I’ve actually drank a lot of tea this year, and I tried out new flavors too. But, writing teaviews is difficult. Book reviews are easy-peasy because I’ve participated in book discussions for years (just through different mediums). But teaviews…my inexperience with tea affects my ability to adequately express my experience with it. Teaviews are more complicated than just describing the aroma/taste of the tea. It’s about the experience as a whole. How it makes me feel—warm and cozy, peppy and awake, nostalgic, creative, British?

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions. Oh! And Happy New Year’s to you all!

Teaview: What do you mean you’re not black tea?

Every so often I’ll dive into a cuppa tea without reading into what I’m drinking, and I’ll make some pretty rash assumptions. This happened recently when I was brewing myself a cup of Adagio’s Ooooh Darjeeling. (Did I type all the “O”s?) During my first few brews of Ooooh Darjeeling, I thought to myself “Wow, this is a really nice black tea”. It wasn’t until I read the back of the bag that I realized it was actually oolong tea and not black tea.

A foolish mistake, and yet an easy one to make since Darjeeling tea is usually sold/marketed as black tea. Sometimes I’m such a noob when it comes to tea.

The ingredients? Well…Oolong tea, of course.

The scent of the leaves is delicate to me– slightly sweet and earthy, but I didn’t really taste either of these once brewed. Ooooh Darjeeling is unlike any oolong tea I’ve had. It doesn’t have that earthy aroma like most oolong teas I have tried. Instead, it tasted more like a black tea but not as strong and without much of the astringency (hence why I jumped to the conclusion that this was a black tea). Ooooh Darjeeling had a subtle floral aroma that I found to be delightful. I think there was supposed to be some fruity aromas as well, but I did not pick up on those.

This tea tastes great both unsweetened and sweet. While I haven’t tried it, I think Ooooh Darjeeling would make a nice iced tea if rock sugar were added (or whatever your sweetener of choice is).

Bottom Line, I really enjoyed this tea! It’s not a breakfast brew for me since I prefer bolder tastes in the morning. But, it’s the perfect cup to enjoy while reading books on a sunny afternoon.

On a side note, Adagio notes that this tea is from China; however “Darjeeling” denotes a type of tea from the Darjeeling region in India. Quit playing mind games with me, Adagio!

Teaview: I Love Oolong Time.

I would like to take this time to apologize to Oolong tea.  I’m sorry I said you tasted like a mix of grass, moss, wet tree bark, and mud.  I was wrong.  Really wrong.  But, can you really blame me when the only Oolong tea I had the misfortune to taste was from a tea bag?  But you, Six Summits Oolong from Teavana, have opened my eyes.

If any of you, dear readers, have ever felt the same about Oolong tea– that it tasted like a mouth full of wet earth, then I suggest to you, try Teavana’s Six Summits Oolong tea.  It will change your mind about Oolong.  Six Summits Oolong is a combination of Oolong tea and dried raspberries (why are there strawberries in this picture?).

The scent of the dried tea is pleasant.  Actually, the way I’m about to describe it is kind of odd.  But, believe me, pleasant none-the-less.  It smells like a combination of dried catnip and red fruit roll-ups, folks.  It’s earthy, but the raspberries lend a certain sweetness to the scent.

The Oolong flavor was good.  I think my taste buds appreciated the quality of this Oolong tea more than the bagged tea that I had tried a few years prior.  Initially, I couldn’t taste the raspberries, they did create a pleasant aftertaste though–sweet and slightly tart, just like a raspberry should taste!

Bottom Line:  I received this as a Christmas present from my father.  Of all the teas he gave to me, this was the one I was most hesitant to try, so naturally I tried it first.  I’m glad I did!  Would I purchase this tea in the future?  Yea, probably.  But, more importantly, it opened my eyes that Oolong could actually taste good.  Better than good!  I’m more inclined to try out other Oolong teas in the future.

Another thing I feel is noteworthy is Teavana certainly does not cheat you out of red raspberries.  They were plentiful!  And I’m not talking raspberry crumbles either.  I’m talking whole. big. red raspberries.  And, I may or may not have popped one or two into my mouth before steeping…

 

 

Image from Teavana