Today is my first day back from a multi-day cold; the kind of cold that comes on fast and makes you do little more than sleep for a three days straight. Honestly, I should probably still be sleeping right now, but some stupid sense of duty has me back at work.
I know a lot of people drink tea while they are sick, but I was so out of it that even the thought of handling boiling water creates a bit of anxiety in me. And what have I chosen as my first, back from the dead, cup of tea? I wish it was a coin of white2tea’s Little O, but those have long ago sold out. The chenpi orange mixes perfectly with the sweet, shou puer and it tends to make me feel better when sick. Its older brother is a constant temptation, but the coin size was perfect for a tea I enjoy the most when I was feeling low or tired (aka, lazy).
No, today I am drinking New Mexico Tea Company’s Mint Spice green tea. It is a blend of green tea, mint, cinnamon, and anise. It reminds me of home and of the anise spiked bizcochitos that are always served during the winter holidays. Not quite the right season and very much the wrong place, but at least it has cooled off a bit here.
This is not a tea designed to be brewed in a gaiwan. The find particles of mint escape to clog up my strainer no matter how tight I keep my gaiwan lid. I probably should have brewed Western style in a basket, but if I’m not well enough to brew tea in a gaiwan, am I really well enough to be at work? I say no! I do wish that the leaves were a little less broken, but this tea is about that spice mix. The brew is sweet and spicy.
Don’t go out and buy a bag of Mint Spice based on this tasting note, but the combination of gongfu brewing and clogged sinuses have rewarded me with a taste that I’m positive isn’t actually in the cup: spiced, stewed strawberries. I have a feeling that part of this strawberry note is my taste buds not understanding bitterness while sick.
On the topic of hallucinations. I spent nearly my entire sick leave sleeping and having crazy nightmares. I don’t know what it says about me, but apparently my idea of a nightmare is unsolvable optimization problems. Thankfully, I don’t remember all the nonsensical details, but there was something about energy use, multiple shipping paths, and different box types. I distinctly remember waking myself up multiple having to reassure myself that it wasn’t real. Spot on brain, a murderer chasing me, I could have dealt with, but what truly scares me is important, unsolvable problems. Maybe this is why I longed for a tea that reminded me of more comfortable times?
My final review of New Mexico Tea’s Mint Spice. Get it. I’m not usually one for a flavored tea preferring pure teas and you certainly shouldn’t buy Mint Spice expecting the best green tea taste you’ve ever experienced. Get it for the spice and the feelings of comfort that come along with that spice.