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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.


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.