Recommendations, tea and galimaufry

HEY all!

I’ve missed you!

So, I know it’s been a billion years since I posted, but that’s because I have been insanely busy (in a good way). This is gonna be a quick run down of what’s been on my plate followed by some recommendations for a couple things. I’ve been thinking about some other things I’d like to post about, but that hasn’t gelled yet, so please be patient with me.

First, I have been super blessed and favored at my job. I got promoted to full time after only a month, essentially became the (figure) head of a department (the part time woman there is kicking my butt so far cause she’s been there longer, but I’m learning!!), and am generally really enjoying working there.

Secondly, cross-stitch is advancing slowly but surely. I am down to finishing Rick’s shirt, his head and neck, the lettering and then a little bit more on Cog. I think I can finish it in maybe three weeks if I try real hard, but we’ll see.

Third, I performed my first ballroom dance routine at a spotlight party at the studio. I no longer have anxiety issues regarding dance (or pretty much anything else, w00t!) and we totally nailed it. I felt like we were both “on” from the very start all the way through to the end, people loved it and I was pleased that all of our hard work (especially my instructor’s) paid off. Also, I looked super pretty thanks to hair and makeup help from my mom and a friend, so that’s always nice. 😉

Fourth, I underwent my first (and hopefully only) surgery. I had a little bitty chunk of me removed for testing and not only were the results good, I also am going to have a pretty gnarly scar to show for it. To be honest, I was super chill for the whole thing, from the moment I found said bitty chunk a couple months ago all the way up through getting released. I think I woke up mid sleep cycle the day of, so mostly I was just super exhausted from when I got up to when I woke up from the three hour nap I took almost immediately after getting home. They also had heated blankets as well as a heater that plugged directly into air pockets in my gown, so I was kind of nest mode the whole time.

Fifthly and perhaps most importantly, an agent has requested a partial of Machine!! I’ve sent her the first three chapters and a synopsis, and since all I sent her originally was a query letter, I’m pretty stoked/optimistic. I also heard back from a representative of a local theatre group regarding my stage play, who said there’s a possibility that I could get them to put it on, so fingers crossed on that as well!

All that being said, my life has been busy in a wonderful, blessed way. Besides those things, the musical I was helping with (sorta, scheduling made it hard for me to do much this year…) went up this weekend (it was PHENOMENAL by the way), dance lessons are going strong performances aside, and I’ve been doing some more writing. The writing group my friend and I want to start had it’s second meeting with 50% growth from last time, as in three people instead of just us two, haha. It’s small, but it’s progress! I’ve also been working on my next book, slowly but surely, and reading more. I forgot how much I love some of my characters, so it’s been really great to reconnect with them and spend some time there. A few days ago I got into this missing fit where I just wanted to read everything I’ve written and remember the times we’ve had and their stories and everything which is kind of weird I guess, but the feelings are there and strong nonetheless. I’ve been watching a lot of Merlin and anime recently as well,  and, to get to my next point, getting into tea.

I’ve always liked tea, but though I knew enough to know the differences in taste between the different teas I was drinking, I couldn’t explain the what or why of it. I also had a fairly limited selection. I liked black teas a lot, so that’s mostly what I drank. Turns out–not surprisingly–there’s a lot more that goes into it than that. I want to learn all about it (spurred by the gift of loose leaf tea my sister gave me. Peppermint + Fennel = DELICIOUS) as my next hobby, and I could not have had a better start. I’ve been building up my collection of teas as a first step, and the results have all been delicious.

First, my bagged teas, most from Bigelow:

  1. Earl Grey
  2. English Breakfast (okay, I’m out of that right now, but I’ve no doubt it’ll be a standard)
  3. Constant Comment
  4. Mango Chamomile
  5. Pomegranate Green
  6. Throat Coat (an herbal tea used for sore throats. It’s super effective)
  7. Peppermint
  8. Oolong

Next, the loose leaf teas from my sister. I haven’t tried most of them because a lot of them have rooibos, which I am totally not a fan of, but the peppermint and fennel one came from her, so I’m not discounting them all. I won’t bother listing them, but I think I still have three or four of them left. One of them was a green tea a friend of mine really enjoyed, so that was good too.

Finally, my favorites, the ones I got from Adagio teas. This site came up on my sidebar on Facebook quite some time ago, first peddling Doctor Who teas and then Sherlock. I’ll be honest in that I didn’t pay much mind the first time because I thought, you know, there are a lot of people who are like, JUST PUT A TARDIS ON IT AND YOU’LL MAKE MILLIONS, which is sort of true, but not entirely something I’ll jump at given the choice. I think when it came up again I was considering this tea journey I’m taking, so I clicked the link. I am SO glad that I did. See, this site has normal tea and teaware and such, but you can also make your own blends, named and themed after whatever you like OR get fandom teas. What I mean by this is you can get teas (or groups of teas) based on pretty much any nerd thing you like. There are ones for sci-fi shows, animes, dramas, comedies, hobbies, video games, animals, plays and more. Seriously, I found some fairly obscure fandoms on there. It was great. They also have these super clever, customer requested deals where two tea blends are “shipping” (a term referring to the non-canon romantic pairing of two characters from a fandom) together, where if you buy both you get a discount. It’s probably the smartest marketing move I’ve ever seen (cause really, who loves tea if not nerds? We pretty much love all things English and what’s more English than tea?), but even besides that, the tea is AMAZING.

I got five blends, each of which came in a fairly sizeable pouch. They include:

  1. Hatori tea: Based off of Hatori from Fruits Basket, this might be my new favorite tea of all time. It’s white cucumber, earl grey green, chamomile and apple. Not only does it smell so good I want to live in the bag, it’s got the lightness of white and green teas, the freshness of cucumber and the more grounded flavor of earl grey to keep it balanced. Seriously, I think about it several times a day now. It’s great.
  2. Kyo tea: Based off of Kyo from Fruits Basket, this tea almost reminds me of drinking cappuccino. It has tiger eye, blood orange, cream and orange peels. The site said it tastes good with milk and sugar, but I haven’t tried it yet. I also just found out after looking into the ingredients more that it has caramel and chocolate flavors in it, so no wonder it reminds me of a cappuccino (or at least the approximate mix of one I get).
  3. Tamaki tea: Based on Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club, I haven’t actually tried this one yet. It has mango, blood orange, peach and orange peels, so I’m thinking it’s going to be fairly fruity (obviously) with a heavier rather than lighter citrus flavor. I’m hoping it’s not too heavy, but we’ll see. I found out there are hibiscus flowers in it, which I am not a fan of, but I guess we’ll just see.
  4. Soubi tea: Based on Soubi from Loveless,  this tea has white tropics, pomegranate green, mango green and marigold flowers. I haven’t tried this one either, but it sounded pretty good. Looking at a more in depth list it has coconut flavor too, so we’ll see how that works. I didn’t think I’d ever want coconut in my tea, but I thought the same about chocolate and I liked the Kyo tea just fine.
  5. Zelda tea: A fruity tea, this one has strawberry, gingseng green, lemon grass, mango and lemon verbena. I don’t know that I brewed it right to bring out the flavors well, and most of the time I was drinking it it was already cold, so I didn’t think of it as a standout, but I think that might change if I’m better with brewing.

That’s all of the teas I bought the first time, but I was so impressed I’ve already got a wishlist started for more. For one thing, I want the utiliTEA tea kettle they have, which you can use to set your water temp to the appropriate temp for specific teas (the one we have now basically just goes to rolling boil until the water all evaporates with no indication of anything in between unless you touch the sides. This is bound to burn white and green teas). I’m psyched for that, which will be my next purchase. After that, I want to get Haruhi tea (Ouran High School Host Club), maybe some Yuki tea (Fruits Basket), DEFINITELY FOXTROT TEA,  possibly Playwright tea, and then maybe some other fandom or a tea to gift to a friend (you can get free shipping on larger orders, so I try to order in groups of five). Unless I need more Hatori tea, which is definitely possible.

I’m also looking into buying 19 Lessons on Tea: Become an Expert on Buying, Brewing, and Drinking the Best Tea by 27Press, which is essentially what the title says. I’m excited to learn about the differences between different types of tea and also about pairing teas with food, which sounds super fascinating. I may also search for a book on the history of tea, because that’s a huge deal too, world history wise. Ideally I’d like to find a guide on tea flavors so that I could know what I’m buying on Adagio (half the time I read the description and am pretty much not helped at all because I don’t know what the ingredients are), but that’s proven slightly harder to find.

Anyway, at approximately 16 teas and counting, I’m certainly off to a great start.

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Recommendations, tea and galimaufry

  1. Kim May 4, 2014 / 6:59 am

    Congratulations to you! What wonderful things happening in your life! I miss cross stitching with you. Needless to say, mine has not progressed since the last time I was at your house. Your tea talk is very interesting. Thank you for all of the updates.

    • brainnoms May 4, 2014 / 10:28 am

      Yes, I miss working with you too! With the job thing, scheduling things has been increasingly hard. I’ll keep you updated on the tea talks! It’s super fascinating.

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