Let me just preface today’s experience by venting a little frustration first: Air travel is such a pain these days. I just got off a plane yesterday, after being subjected to germs from another state to which I probably have zero immunity. My husband has a titanium rod inside his left leg, so we always get stopped so the TSA can search him thoroughly, and this was no exception. They also left a zipper on my suitcase open when they searched my luggage, and we lost a USB drive that contained some important documents.
We went from 80 degrees in sunny Arizona to cold, stormy weather, and I waited for a late bus with wet hair and no hat this morning, and got splashed by a bus driving through puddles by the sidewalk. On top of that, I’ve been unable to try out the rest of the new tea I bought because it’s all caffeinated, and my migraines are back with a vengeance. I feel like I need another vacation already.
Luckily for me, several friends of mine have visited Turkey in the last year, and each one of them has contributed to my tea habit with strange and exotic brews from the banks of the Bosphorus. The latest sampling came to my desk this morning, right when I needed it most.
The one I chose for this afternoon was the popular apple tea. I’d had an instant powdered version of this sweet, fruity brew before, and it is highly recommended if sugar isn’t a deterrant.
Today’s loose “tea” looked more like diced and dehydrated apples, and I wondered if they were edible like that, but I can’t bring myself to eat a piece. I can’t really tell if there is anything else mixed in. I dumped them straight into the pot instead of using my mesh basket, though I instantly regretted that, as the apple pieces clogged up the spout of my teapot, and cleaning it at work is going to be an adventure.
I let it steep for a couple minutes and filtered it into my cup, and was actually surprised. It has a wonderful apple aroma and taste, and needs absolutely no added sugar to make it palatable, or to make it resemble the instant kind I’d had before. It isn’t too reminiscent of apple juice or cider, either. Definitely pleasing to the part of me that wants to drink tea, while catering to the part of me that can’t handle caffeine right now. I don’t even have to mention how comforting it is in this weather, either.
The flavor is robust, and it gets a big thumbs up as-is, but I can imagine adding a cinnamon stick to the pot for a post-holiday-dinner treat.
Through a Turkish-English translation problem, my friend also brought me a bag of dried cherry tea instead of rose, but she compensated me with a bag of rose tea from her last trip to China. This improved my day by leaps and bounds, especially since I can enjoy new teas all week without any concerns about caffeine.
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As someone that has done a fair amount of content on tea, I have a lot of mixed thoughts on the way information is passed. With tea reviews or discussing a specific tea I have struggled with the question: how to talk about an individual tea or tea in general in an interesting or useful way.. Whether you like or dislike TeaDB episodes largely depends on whether you enjoy watching two particular people drink and binter. This is fine enough and it is certainly fun for Denny & I to create, but I’ll also agree with the sentiment that it’s not necessarily the most substantive way to review a tea in depth. There’s some signal but there’s also a lot of noise. Writing about a specific tea also isn’t easy and I think is actually very difficult to execute in a way that is actually consistently interesting or useful for people. Most people just want to know if you liked or didn’t like a specific tea. Making something that piques interest beyond that is a challenge and even if you don’t like them a place like Mei Leaf has succeeded in creating content that really does engage their viewers. You also have to consider that the majority of people have not had the tea or are even unfamiliar with the basic taste profile (i.e. Denny & I describing a traditionally stored pu’erh, when the audience has never had one).. Here are some phrases I dislike and hear frequently enough that I find them unhelpful and sometimes even counter-productive.
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