We stopped at the Boise Co-op over the weekend. This is one of the best places in town for new beers, and tea. It's about the only place I can buy my Russian Caravan tea, and I picked up a box. I also bought a cool beer I want to try, but haven't opened it yet. I spotted something interesting, and grabbed a new tea, and it's the subject of this post.
It comes in these strange, pressed, half-balls. Each is individually wrapped in paper. They look like this.
The instructions say each pellet will steep three times, so that was my test. It also has to pass the “grandfather” test. This is where I make it directly in the cup. They said one pellet per eight ounces of water.
I grabbed my 11 ounce Lisa Burton Mug and tried it out.
This one is a little bit strange. It passes the grandfather test, and does not go acrid if it's left in the water. It's that first cup I'm having a hard time getting over. It has a funky after-taste that I can only describe as fishy. It's very slight, but it isn't what I expect from tea.
The surprise is in the second steeping. It qualifies as one of the best teas I've ever had. It has a natural sweetness, and the odd taste is completely gone. The third steeping is equally good. Every cup is very black, and no light passes through it. It's more like coffee in that regard.
I have a theory that it might come across better in a tea pot using more water on the first round. I'll drink all of it, but don't know if I'll buy it again. The strange taste could even be an additive of some kind. Just because it says organic on the tin, doesn't mean they didn't add a preservative to the wrapper.
I'm going to open one before bed and let it air out. That might make a difference too. It's very good – on the second and third steeping. Maybe after I go through half of it, I'll feel differently.
In other news, tomorrow is my flex day. I want to do a bunch of reading, and cleared some projects tonight to make it easier. I got one Lisa Burton Radio post exchanged with the guest author, and worked through critiques of The Yak Guy Project. I also added a half dozen index cards to an outline I'm dabbling with.
I may wake up Tituba, the sourdough starter tomorrow. I haven't felt much like baking, but it's good to freshen her up and not leave her refrigerated for too long.
Aside from that, I may work on one of my short stories. That project is winding down too, and after I've accomplished my reading I may have an hour.