This was one of those afternoons/evenings where I was an Awesome Freelancer. This is what we call those days where, if I was this productive and sharp and motivated and clever all the time, I'd actually be able to go freelance and not starve and it'd be fun and not just stressful. I get about four weeks' worth of those days in any given calendar year.
So I will just share with you that today I finished another mini-project for the Great OWW
Home Reno (a self-directed site-updating production by Yours Truly), shovelled non-insignificant amounts of workshop support mail, dispatched a whole bunch of Ideomancer
second reads to their various dooms, managed to get back in touch with two authors I'd lost touch with about their stories, wrote a book review for the December issue, tidied my apartment a bit, and blocked out my schedule for this week, since I appear to actually have a social calendar going this month.
There are five actionable e-mails left in my inbox, and two of them are easy. Mwaha.
The other thing I have to do tonight is this post.
A while back, a gentleman from Golden Moon Tea
dropped me an e-mail asking if he could have a link on the website
(yes, sadly neglected right now; I'll get to it, I promise). I don't make a habit of linking things on the personal website that I don't actually, well, like and use; longtime denizens of here will probably have picked up that I am not really hot on advertising in general and prefer to have it blocked from my life whenever possible, never mind not being huge on being a conduit for it. Also, having been a bookseller for four years and change, I'm...in some ways a touch sensitive about my credibility when it comes to taste and recommendations: when your taste in something is being used as a barometer, positively or negatively, for people to decide which books they're going to buy, you get really hardcore about giving honest, unbiased evaluations of things and not recommending something unless you mean
it, so as to not lose that customer's trust. I told the nice gentleman this, and he offered to mail me some samples.Okay,
thought I, mulling over whether this constituted selling out or not, and when they arrived, I brought them to work to share with ginny_t
, who is among other things my Dayjob Partner in Fancy Tea Snobbery. We drank the tea over the past few weeks and Had Opinions on the matter.
Therefore, this is my tea review.Sugar Caramel Oolong
This was okay -- not too sweet, not too tannic -- but really, really, really
noted she is not an oolong drinker habitually for just this reason; I have it sometimes, but also tend to prefer something stronger. I'm a Russian Caravan kind of girl. This is really
light. So, kind of struck out on grounds of personal taste.Honey Pear black tea
Okay, now this one was really awesome. Gutsy and sweet and sort of smooth, the way things involving honey are, and smelled and tasted distinctly like real pears. The balance was really good -- not too sweet -- and all elements were in there as advertised. I would have this one again. Nom.Coconut Pouchong
I was feeling a little sicky the day I had this one, which may have spoiled my objectivity on the matter. What I do recall here was that the predominant taste was young coconut: if you've ever had coconut water or juice, it had that same strong, sharp mid-tongue kind of flavour. This decidedly did not taste like fake coconut, but it tasted a lot like coconut and in some ways not enough like tea?
I do like nice long pouchong leaves though. Pretty!Nepalese Afternoon Tea
Advertised with "notes of honey, lotus, and fragrant sandalwood." While obviously a good-quality black tea, it didn't really strike me as fancy or awesome among black teas. It was there. It was there nicely enough, but mostly it was just there.Tippy Earl Grey
This, though, was nice. There is a certain degree to which earl grey is earl grey is earl grey, but you can tell the good stuff from the mediocre stuff very easily, and it's to do with the balance of bergamot flavour to black tea ballsiness to other. This one apparently has lavender in it, and you can spot it there both in the nose and when you taste it. It really added something, and it was subtly different enough to make the whole thing interesting without taking this out of the subgenre of earl grey. Bergamot was light and not cloying and tasted oddly fresh. I'd possibly go back for seconds on this if I had to get specifically earl grey (not my favourite, although I'll drink it).
I split this one with a different coworker; ginny_t
doesn't like earl grey and Other Coworker needed tea badly
that morning, and knows my desk is where it lives. He gave good report.
So, general verdict?
1) I'll probably buy some of that Honey Pear sometime.
2) I probably won't actually link this tea place on my website, since I can only vouch for one unqualified win here out of five; otherwise, while it was good-quality stuff, I wasn't head over heels. That's maybe not enough to place an ongoing recommendation on the wider internets.
3) I find myself not opposed to people sending me free tea. I suspect it's not hurting my popularity at the office either.
This has been your first and hopefully not only Tea Review. Good night and good luck.