I didn’t make tea Monday. Monday was a blur; by the time I came home, I was falling asleep behind the wheel. I went to bed as soon as I’d eaten in the hopes of getting some much-needed sleep.
I decided to experiment on Tuesday to make up for Monday. I dug through my samples and grabbed a Masala Chai from
Destiny Rescue Storehouse Tea, with a donation to Destiny Rescue (I was originally confused by the packaging on the sample). This is a certified organic fair trade blakc tea, claiming 60mg of caffeine; I believe I bought this at the local Farmer’s Market, since their address puts them in my area. I brewed with 3 heaping teaspoons (I measured properly this time), which is a little more than they suggest, and brewed 4 minutes after washing the leaves, as always. It tastes…. like not a lot. I poured a little into a mug to experiment with how much milk and found that my usual vanilla soymilk easily overpowers the flavor I managed to figure out how to get it palatable using sugar and the tiniest bit of soymilk, but it mostly tastes like sugary soymilk anyway, I’m not getting any of the delicious chai spices I expected. The tea smelled wonderful, and there were whole spices in it, so I’m not sure what went wrong. Perhaps I should try doing the proper chai method: boiling milk on the stove with tea + spices in it rather than brewing like a black tea, despite the directions not insisting on that method anyway.
Today I decided to brew the last of my Firebird’s Child Chai from Dryad Tea. I did the same procedure as for the Rescue Chai yesterday, but I didn’t have time to taste-test as I was running late, so I just guessed about the same milk as yesterday. It’s given me what I wanted: a smooth, flavorful tea with a bit of bite to the end of the sip to wake me up. I definitely need to order more of this stuff. I bought it at the Steampunk Symposium, where Dryad Tea had a booth; I’m loving the spread of tea culture, as it gives me the chance to buy teas in person from someone knowledgeable about their blends rather than mail-ordering some unknown blend from an untried vendor. I told the woman at the booth I usually drink chai and she suggested this one, as well as informing me that Dryad makes a point of blending teas so they taste like they smell so the customer won’t be surprised. I’m definitely happy with the two teas I bought then 🙂
I was in pain and my roommate Kae was up, so he offered to make me some tea. I had him do an experiment for me: Tazo chai concentrate mixed with soymilk as per the directions. The tea is described as:
Black tea takes a Saturday drive in a milk-and-honey mobile through an exotic marketplace. The essences of sweet cinnamon, spicy ginger and fragrant cardamom float in through the open windows while black pepper flirtatiously grabs the steering wheel – just to heat things up a bit.
What I taste in my mug, however, is more like
Honey floats lazily down a river, teasing the tongue with thoughts of corn syrup before reasserting itself as honey after all. Then, suddenly, tragedy strikes: Black Pepper, having stowed away on the riverboat, detonates into an explosion of spice boosted by detonator cinnamon and accelerant ginger, obliterating the peaceful afternoon. Tea is listed in the closing credits but was cut from the film.
I told Kae he can have the rest of it, and I’ll brew loose-leaf again tomorrow.
Woke up super sore. I brewed Dryad Tea‘s Spring Court, but I wasn’t sure if I should treat it more like a black or an herbal (it smells so strongly of flowers when I scooped it) and ended up making a mess of it. My cup ended up cloying and bitter at the same time, and I wish I’d taken the time to taste-test a cup and figure out how to fix it before I took it with me. I’ll definitely need to have afternoon tea this weekend and experiment. It seems like a good tea if I was awake and mobile enough to make it work.