Passion in a bag…hmmm.  If only it could be so easy.

Yes, of course I’m a bit of a skeptic.  Big name to live up to.  But here we are the week before St. Valentine’s Day, and folks have love on the brain.  Or at the very least the aforementioned Passion….

In Tazo’s words, “a magical blend of hibiscus, lemongrass, rose hips, and mango & passion fruit flavours.”

Magical might go a little far…

After steeping just three minutes, the predominant taste is sour.  (Sometimes love goes o so bad. Like a nice heavy cream.)  Sour doesn’t usually conjure magic by itself, but I do taste something else too:  a hint of sweetness offered by the licorice.  Still, all (undifferentiated) things lead to the TANG, and I must admit that is one passionate tang–like lots of citric acid right in the middle of one’s tongue.

I am sorry I didn’t get a photo of the color.  It is one beautiful liquid–the loveliest shade of rose pink.  Or maybe a little darker.  Pretty color achieved through fruit juice extract.  The effect is pleasing, and it smells like it tastes, too.

In short, if passion were truly a taste, I don’t imagine my ideal tasting like this–but I’m sure someone’s would.

Variety is the spice of life, as my mother used to say…

And on that note, may your Valentine’s Day (and every day) be filled with the spicy, tangy, passion that is right for you.  kt

Lei compliments of my dear Karen G.

Introducing:   Steep of the Week.

Here’s my concept…

I am committing to “review” one tea bag or loose leaf “tea” per week that is commercially available–taste, color, aroma, packaging, all being observed and considered.   The word tea is going to be loosely defined–I love love love green teas, but lately I have a tea dream to create delicious herbal infusions, so that is going to heavily influence the progression of teas tasted too.  The goal is to be diverse in my tasting–begin tasting what is at home and at hand, then move out from there….herbal, blacks, anything root or petal infused is fair game.

What qualifies me to do this, you might be asking? Are you a trained culinary professional?  Do you have a family member in the tea business?  Do you or have you ever worked in a tea house?  The answer to these questions is a resounding no.

But I do pay attention.  And I am always clutching my mug of tea, whether I’m playing a game of kickball or digging a hole in someone’s back yard.  Ok, ok not always possible, but it’s nearly always an arms length away.  I’ve also lived with a culinary professional for the last 7 years and that’s got to count for something.  He has taught me a thing or two.  (Thanks Nate.)

I also create custom teas for my herbal clients–I try to make them tasty, well-balanced, and infused with healing vibes.  Tasty is important so that folks will drink their medicine and enjoy the herbs that are helping to heal their health condition.

And so, without further ado, the Steep of the Week is Jasmine Downy Pearls compliments of Peet’s Coffee and Tea.

“What is that you are drinking?” is the inevitable question I get when folks smell this tea.”  I see their enchanted eyes…

The aroma of the jasmine flowers is lightly floral, a scent that drifts easily like the rain clouds I’m watching pass over twin peaks right at this moment.

This tea tastes round in my mouth, mellow, like flowers, not bitter, clean rainfall, green earth, minerals, barely sweet, barely astringent.

It tastes to me like life is just perfect right now, which I suppose is why I keep coming back again and again.  This is my daily tea.  I go out of my way to gather this tea.  I always take it “to go” so I can have my hands on the bag of orbs and steep it again at home, up to three times more…

I wonder how many sets of hands it took to get each individual cup of tea here, sitting in front of me?  This is in fact a hand rolled tea from the famed Fujian Province, China.

I keep thinking the responsible thing to do would be to find a local product for daily consumption, but there is something important to me about drinking and smelling this tea that has touched so many hands on its journey around the globe.  At this point in my life I need to feel the vastness and bigness of the world…this tea does just that–it is comforting and heavenly.  Sky and earth in one cup.

A deeply sincere thank you to all the hands that have made this cup possible. Heartily recommended.  kt

Check it out in more detail at Peets.