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Teas, liquer and self-preservation

My English Tea Store purchase arrived this morning. 3.5 lbs of tea! Keenly tried the smallest packet, the test Vanilla Chai, and was then quite sad about it. My overwhelming impression of the leaves from the get go was this powerful smell of orange oil. It looks like there might be orange peel somewhere in the mix, but this was definitely an additive. The effect was somewhat like the way too much lemon oil is sometimes used in Earl Greys, resulting in an uncomfortable, cloying potpourri in the linen closet stench. I suspect the tea will be salvageable as an ingredient in my upcoming mochi pepperkakor experiment, but I'm honestly not sure how else to use this distinctly strong cookie-like tea.

The Mim Estate darjeeling, on the other hand, is a beautiful flavour. It smells surprisingly vegetal, and looks like a very fermented green tea, even though it is a black. This mellows into a refreshingly smoky-savoury taste after steeping, with milk. There's a hint of something floral in there too. I quite like this tea, and would happily get it again, as I can see myself eventually craving it. The Coffee and Tea Exchange stuff also showed up this afternoon, so more vanilla tea tasting is in order.

Had zero luck trying to get a mid-size 2 litre glass mason jar off Amazon. First jar came with the lid smashed. Its replacement arrived three days later, this time completely smashed. When the delivery guy handed me the box, it actually went, "Clink, clink, clink!" I submit to you that buying a glass product online is a bad idea to begin with. Amazon seems to have potty ideas on how to wrap glass. My jar came tightly wrapped in a thin 2-ply of bubble wrap, vaguely cushioned on one side with air pillows. This left ample room for the jar to roll around and shake during transport. That's two boxes I'll have to haul seven blocks to the nearest UPS customer centre. Since I'm now going to have to get a full refund, I'll probably save that for something nice and sturdy, like a hand mixer.

I'm also willing to concede I may need to be less ambitious about my cherry sake liquer plan. Rather than wait around until I miraculously run into a tall enough mason jar, I should probably go smaller, using a nice glass 1 litre juice bottle or two. It should still be relatively easy to fill and retrieve. Since this still has to macerate for a year, it will still snugly fit in the basement, which has enough shelving to accommodate food for the next major apocalypse. Now, all I need is to run to the corner store for some Sho Chiku Bai (hey, it wasn't meant to be a totally classy experiment!) and put things together.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
resonant
Dec. 8th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
The apparent orange or lemon oils might be Bergamot extract. It contains some compounds not found in either of the other two citruses, but is similar in appearance. Several English teas (like the Earl Grey you mentioned) use it as an additive.
vampyrichamster
Dec. 8th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
That's true, it could also be Bergamot. If it is, there really is way too much of it, and that makes me a bit cautious about buying their Earl Greys. I'm also suspecting the cardamom that should be in the chai is augmenting any orange smells further, making it a good deal worse.
feyandstrange
Dec. 8th, 2012 05:36 am (UTC)
We do very well with these:
http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/foodStorage/jarsTerrines?productId=10005560&N=74177&Ns=p_sort_default|0

in which Kai makes his own boozy cherries for cocktails. (Not macerated, just soaked.)
vampyrichamster
Dec. 8th, 2012 06:00 am (UTC)
That was actually the type of glass jar I tried to order from Amazon. I am wary of ordering more glass online, since my luck with glass objects from online stores has been consistently awful. Mostly, I thrive off recycling the jars we get from honey and stuff. But it is nice to add a store option to my list. Thanks!
feyandstrange
Dec. 8th, 2012 07:02 am (UTC)
I thought maybe one of you could stop there on the way from work or something - there's one on 4th between Market and Mission. (I suck at geography and forget where you live and work.)
vampyrichamster
Dec. 8th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
We live out in the 20s, so 4th would be a wee bit far. :) But it's good to know that there is at least one in the city.
yoshio
Dec. 8th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
The 9 goes down Potrero to Market or the 12 goes down Folsom and crosses Market at 2nd. The 9 can be kinda scary.
vampyrichamster
Dec. 13th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm still not terribly up and up on busses in this city, being shut in and fond of your BART. I shall need to remember this.
cr0wgrrl
Dec. 10th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
If you find yourself over on Powell/Union Square at all, it's very nearby.
vampyrichamster
Dec. 13th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I find myself there every week! Ah, my direction sense...
This is crucial to remember when I next need pickling-like objects.
cr0wgrrl
Dec. 10th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
If you tell me what you are seeking, I might be able to swing by there during lunch and pick up the jar you want, and deliver it at the next mage game.
vampyrichamster
Dec. 13th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It's okay though. Once you mentioned Powell/Union Square, I realized my own sense of direction is my worst enemy. I'm there every week!

I've also since used two 1L glass juice bottles for my sake liquer experiment, resulting in two! Two! Sake liquer flavors! Hopefully. I can show you what I'm up to at the next Mage game. :)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )