baniszew: (Default)
I ordered about a dozen samples from Upton Tea, on the theory that they are unlikely to go out of business and cause me to need to make yet another tea search anytime soon. I'm going to review them for personal reference.

Peach Melba: Pretty good, but too mellow. Smells juicy, floral, and delicious in the sample bag, but a lot of that doesn't translate to the brew. I like a lot of tart kick or other strong flavors in my herbal tea, and this is mild on most axes. It's warm and relaxing, but not really inspiring. I'll pass on ordering any more.
baniszew: (Default)
My new go-to place for tea, TeaVera, got bought out. Sigh. Back to the drawing board^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H sample bag.
baniszew: (Default)
Would anybody want to buy an only-worn-once petticoat that's just a bit too small for me? (I'm a size 10, so I imagine it fits size 8. The tag says Size 15, 30 inch waist, but I don't know if I believe it.)

Tea review

Jul. 5th, 2011 06:29 pm
baniszew: (Default)
Since Tea Zone closed, I've been trying to find a replacement source of herbal tea, mostly by looking online. Upton is good for a lot of things, and I'll keep getting honeybush and poire creme from them, and the occasional green or black, but they don't offer much in the way of fruit+spices+flower bits herbal teas. When these are good, they are my favorite kind of herbal tea. But they're often disappointing. Many places who offer such things are essentially just selling one apple+hibiscus+rosehip tea under six different names, with a tiny dash of some other fruit thrown in to make it seem like each variety is actually different.

I tried getting a few things from Adagio, hoping that their Mango Melange was the same as the Mango Melange I'd known and loved at Tea Zone. I also tried their Dewey Cherry, some flavored rooibos (hazelnut and apricot), and their chocolate chai. Good tea is all about complex flavors. If you're adding a fruit, nut, or other flavor to a tea, you should make it blend with the flavors of the tea itself. Adagio fails at this entirely. Their black tea and their rooibus are nearly flavorless, and even their rosehip/hibiscus mix has very little flavor. Each one of their teas basically tasted like a shot of syrup mixed into a glass of water. The chocolate chai tasted purely of cinnamon and not at all of chocolate (nor of the cardamom that was supposedly in there), and like cinnamon candy rather than real cinnamon. Adagio has taught me just how artificial something can taste even with all natural ingredients.

Today I opened my box from TeaVera. It has been an excellent day. Their Mango Melange is very similar to the one I used to get from Tea Zone, even though it has sunflower blossoms in place of rose hips. Both versions are reminiscent of biting into a tart fruit on a warm tropical beach. I also tried the Autumn Blend, which is primarily cinnamon, citrus, and clove. It tastes like mulled cider. It makes me very happy. I'm trying to figure out if I like the Cinnamon Plum (cinnamon, plum, hibiscus, currants, and licorice). I ordered it hoping that the licorice would not be a dominant flavor, and it isn't, but it may still be too much for me. On the other hand, it may grow on me. If the queen from Snow White had a tea, this would be it: blood red, dark, and rich. I haven't opened the White Chocolate Mousse black tea yet, but I am looking forward to it. I also got a sample of Kuding tea. We'll see if it grows on me or if I get better at steeping it, but right now it's too bitter. In summary, mmm, TeaVera.
baniszew: (Default)
Just heard from the other side of the wall of cubes, a child's uncertain voice saying,

"Mommy, are you gonna be a zombie and eat plants when you die? I don't think so."
baniszew: (Default)
Yesterday I got home from a wonderful trip to Washington State. More about that later. On the flight home, I finished drafting a short story that I want to submit to Machine of Death 2 ( ).

I should do some clean-up work on it myself, but I would love to have other people give me feedback on it. Let me know if you're interested, and I can send you a copy.
baniszew: (Default)
My fabulous fiance found some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic propaganda poster art online, and he retouched one of the images and made us this amazing poster for our stairwell:


Also, I have been wanting a cargo dress for years, but it never made it to the top of my project queue. [ profile] eredien asked if I'd like to commission her to make one, and I said yes. So here are some pictures! It has giant pockets that snap on and off.

Let's see if I can fit a cat in this pocket. )
baniszew: (Default)
I'm going to be in Washington state from 5/20 to 5/30, mostly to go hiking in Olympic National Park, but also to spend a day or two in and around Seattle. I'm going with [ profile] garnet420, and [ profile] davidglasser and [ profile] kilroi may join us for part of the trek. I don't know too much about the area, but I know some of you do. What should we do and see?
baniszew: (believe)
I just found out that my favorite tea store in the world, Tea Zone near Porter Square, closed two weeks ago. This is _so sad_. They were the best place ever. Amazing selection, comfortable atmosphere, helpful service.

I'd been meaning to drop by for more than a month to restock my herbal tea supply and to get some more of their white chocolate chai. But I kept putting the trip off and getting by drinking some Upton samples. And now their mango melange is gone forever! Will anyone else have genmaicha or monk's blend that I like as much? Where will I go to stroll quiet and cozy aisles and be able to smell samples of every tea before I decide if I want to by it? I never got to try any of their amazing smelling grapefruit tea.

I feel like I've lost a friend. Goodbye, Tea Zone. You are missed.
baniszew: (Default)
I have this awesome triceratops that [ profile] garnet420 carved for me out of bloodwood. However, twice now it has been jostled and had the tip of a horn break off. Does anyone know of someone who could make some sort of armored horn-caps for me? I essentially want some metal cones, about 1/4" or 1/2" long, preferably made of bronze, but I'd consider other metals.
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