Category Archives: Trial Run

Trial Run: Chinese Restaurant Tea

As a special treat for finishing the bulk of my exams, I decided to make myself steak tips on the grill for dinner. So I made the trip to Tops, where tips were on sale (yes!) and then moved to the international food aisle to pick up some Kikkoman teriyaki sauce to marinate the steak. While I was there, this caught my eye:

Chinese restaurant tea

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I was THRILLED! As I mentioned in my bio, my childhood consumption of black tea from small, handle-less cups at the Golden Bowl Chinese restaurant in Quincy, MA, was instrumental to my growth into a tea aficionado. I had no idea that such a thing existed in tea-bag form, at a chain supermarket, and with such a slap-in-the-face-obvious name!

Naturally, I bought some and brewed a cup right when I got home. I prepared it just like my grandmother had at the long-closed Golden Bowl — sweetened with a little sugar but without milk. It looked and tasted EXACTLY how I remembered it! Mahogany in color with a delicate, peppery flavor.

In response to my find, my mom said, “Now we just have to track down the Golden Bowl’s egg rolls.”

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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Images, Trial Run


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Trial Run: Blood Orange Tea

When I traveled to Italy a few years ago, I picked up a quart of OJ at a market near my rented apartment. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when a deep red juice poured from the carton into my glass. Afraid I’d accidentally purchased grapefruit juice — healthy but not my favorite — I took a hesitant sip. I was in love! The juice, which I soon discovered was blood orange juice, had a richer and less sweet flavor than the OJ we have in the states.

So, when I was prowling the tea aisle at Wegmans, I was thrilled to see that the Eastern Shore Tea Company makes blood orange tea bags.

Blood Orange Tea

And look how cute the package is!

When I began brewing the tea, I was careful not to get my hopes up. I’ve been burned — literally and figuratively — by flavored teas before. You take a sip of wildberry tea expecting this burst of fruity flavor, and all you actually get is a taste of weak supermarket-brand black tea.

I added a bit of milk after steeping the tea for three minutes; I typically don’t sweeten flavored teas. When I took the first sip, I thought this tea fell into the same disappointing pattern I’ve experienced with other flavored teas. But I inhaled after that first sip and, voilà — an explosion of rich, tangy blood orange flavor filled my mouth and nose! Delicious! I can’t wait to try some of the Eastern Shore Tea Company’s other flavored blends.

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Images, Trial Run


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Trial Run: Green Tea

Believe or not, until this morning I had never drunk hot green tea. I can just imagine all the green tea fanatics out there, aghast that I’d never sampled what they consider to be the best shade of tea leaf.

Let me explain myself. As detailed in earlier posts, my tea drinking habit is one that was passed down matrilineally. My great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother only drank or drink Irish and English teas, which are black teas. I’d tried green iced tea (meh), but never the hot stuff. So when I was at the supermarket yesterday, making my usual rounds of the tea aisle to see what enticed me, I picked up at box of plain-and-simple Salada green tea with lemon.

I fixed myself a cup this morning, being careful to let the water cool a bit after reaching a rolling boil. I also let it steep for only about 3 minutes (I can’t stress enough the importance of following steeping directions — steeping temperature and time profoundly affect both the taste of your tea and the health benefits you receive from it).

Overall, I liked it. I typically take milk (always) and sugar (just a pinch if the tea is strong) in my cuppa, but I drank the green tea au natural. It tastes earthier and a little sharper than black tea, and stronger than the white teas I’ve tried. The aesthetic experience of drinking green tea as opposed to black felt different, but that’s probably just psychological. I’ll try a different green tea next time it strikes my fancy, but for now I’m gonna stick with black.

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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Trial Run


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