Monday, April 26, 2010

Sauced Carries "Leaves Pure Teas" by China Mist

Good news! I was able to place an order to Upton Teas today! In addition to my usual Keemun, I have ordered a different Ceylon (FBOP), a Yunnan, and two Assams. So more reviews are soon to come, but of course it will be a few days before I receive my order. I was really itching for a cup today though, so decided to stop by the one place where I know there is a good tea to be found, Sauced! Yes, the pizza and beer bistro has a few very good teas, one of them is the Organic Classic Breakfast from Leaves Pure Teas by China Mist.

I have been fairly successful at keeping my tea containers well stocked, so I haven't bought a packet of this to take home in a long time. Usually I am not crazy about paying 'by the cup' prices for tea. But I was out of tea today so I caved in and tried this one again. This tea comes in nylon sachets, individually wrapped, with the proper measurement for one cup of tea. Upon opening the package, I thought it had the aroma of a nice assam. I did not yet know what kinds of teas were used in this blend. The boiling city water from my house did not release a lot of maltiness from the leaves, but did release a pleasant aroma. At first I could smell the floral scent that I was so missing in my last tea (see last blogs), and it also has a wonderful freshness that I expect from any quality tea.. Once I began recognizing the cocoa-ish aroma I knew there was some China tea inside that teabag. I also was drawn in by the caramel scent that became most noticable once I started sipping.

My mind always wonders while sipping a good tea, and my thoughts were of the joy as well as mourning over the music and life of Jay Reatard. I was lucky enough to talk myself into driving to Dallas last December for what I knew would be about a 45 minute set of my favorite fast catchy punk rock tunes. All together it would be 6 hours of driving for this chance to see Jay Reatard and his new backup band. I did not know that one month later, he would be gone forever. I guess I could sense that his life was very fast paced, which could mean an early departure, so out of all of the concerts that were around that time that I could have went to, I chose this one.

My timing was so perfect. I showed up at the Granada Theater about 15 minutes before Jay's set, and missed both local openers which was my intent for the night. It was the perfect amount of time needed to hit the bathroom, get a beer down and another in hand, and weave my way through the emotionless crowd surrounding the stage. In true Ramones fashion, Jay came out and blistered through each song with raw speed and power. The crowd was completely still, except for me undulating like a tree in a tornado, and maybe two other people moving a limb or two. It was as if the crowd had no idea who it was on stage, what his songs were, or how he had produced over 20 album releases in his short lifetime. As I had predicted, it was 45 minutes of straight to-the-point rock influenced punk-n-roll. A road trip that was so worth the drive.

Halfway through the cup, when I came back to my senses, I was beginning to separate all the different flavors of the tea and enjoying its complexity. The smoky-mocha hints of the China tea were fairly evident, but the caramel flavor that carried through the aroma reminded me more of some of the whole leaf assams I have had. Then there was that pleasant floral-ness I imagined springing from Sri Lanka. Tearing open the sachet to examine the wet leaf, I noticed some larger pieces of CTC-looking leaf. After visiting the website I found out that it is a blend of China and India teas, all organic and kosher! I will probably always fall back on Sauced for the times when I run out of my own favorite teas and need a cup of something enjoyable. This tea from China Mist is much more than just a satisfying replacement for those times, it is a perfect suppliment to my usually well kept tea cabinet. What a nice job the tea blenders did to create this convenient and satisfying tea as a one cup on-the-go solution.

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