Moving on to Ravenna, Italy. I really loved all the
old stone work.
It is almost too hot to be borne again today. It's very dry and we have no shade. In the house it is almost ok, but who wants to be inside forever. I know I am not alone in this, my cousin said it is 102 degrees just north of Washington, DC. If it weren't for flowers and veggies, I would really rather just skip summer, at least the heat part.
In spite of that, I am tasting tea today. It is another sample given to me by the Boston Tea Company, Strawberry Fields. It seems like an appropriately summer drink. This tea is made from Premium Ceylon tea, “with the succulent taste of sweet strawberries.” The leaves are pretty small and very dark, with pieces of dried strawberries. The dry scent has a berry smell, but to me it is the scent of my dad's cherry tobacco. As it brews, however, that disappears and the scent of strawberries comes out somewhat. For once, I brewed it the recommended 4 minutes. Although the leaves are chopped, they are in quite large pieces, which gives me hope for the taste, even though I worry about how long I brewed it. I used boiling water and the standard 1 teaspoon per 6 ounces of water.
Well, I wish I could be more positive, but I can't. It really doesn't taste like sweet strawberries. The taste is very muddled and really reminds me far more of sweet tobacco. I am going to do another cup at 3 minutes and see if it helps. This time I also used less tea, about 1 ½ teaspoons for about 16 ounces of water for about 3 minutes. There are a couple of differences – it smelled better, but still not strawberry; it tasted better, but not enough to make me want to buy it.
Having said that I will shock you all and say I think this would've been better with some sort of natural strawberry flavoring, in spite of the fact I usually turn my nose up at them. I think the real problem with this tea is the dried strawberries, which simply haven't the same taste as fresh ones. And I confess that I have never had a dried strawberry that I liked. Those of you who do like them may like this tea, also.
On a somewhat different track, I had some Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate, with a touch of sea salt, as a treat today. It really is done very well and the small amount of sea salt really off sets the chocolate. Yum. As I had some of the tea left, I tried them together – very nice! Tasted like really good chocolate covered cherries. Oops, maybe I shouldn't have said that. I first learned about having sweet and salt together when we lived in York County, PA. You always got pretzels with your ice cream and I found the two really brought out each others taste. Try it and see.