Tuesday, August 19, 2014

jasmine silver needle white tea from teavivre.

jasmine silver needle white.

The folks over at Teavivre were kind enough to send over a few samples to try! Considering how hot it's been ... I opted to start tasting the teas they sent with a very refreshing Mo Li Yin Zhen. The leaves are long, unbroken, and pale in color. Upon opening the bag you're immediately hit with the scent of delicate jasmine.

mo li yin zhen.

The tea when brewed is a very pale yellow and crystal clear. In the past my experience with jasmine teas have been limited to miscellaneous green teas in the form of jasmine scented pearls. Those teas were far more cloying, astringent, and unforgiving if you steeped a moment too long. For that reason I generally avoided jasmine in my teas. This tea is far more gentle than the ones I've tried in the past. The white base is delicate and light on the palate, and the jasmine is not overpowering. When you first sip you'll find that the jasmine fills your sinuses with sharp white floral notes, but then it softens and you get to experience the white tea base. Delicate, slightly nutty, and delightfully sweet. Wonderfully light for a hot summer day like today.

This jasmine silver needle white tea is perfect for someone who loves jasmine but struggles with finding the right balance between the tea leaf and flower! It is a well balanced floral tea that does not rely on heavy jasmine to mask the faults of the tea base. It is high quality all around and a very enjoyable brew!

Monday, August 4, 2014

never looking back.

Gosh, I am one stressed out gal right now! What a lot of people don't know about me is that I am someone who micromanages their life to ridiculous degrees. As much as I like the idea of spontaneity it is simply something that doesn't suit me most of the time. I plan things out weeks in advance. I make reservations for everything.

I'm also a creature of terrible habit. Once I fall into a comfortable cycle I am weary to change anything. It's lead my life into something of a melancholy standstill. After having to give up my cozy cottage apartment I quickly realized that life doesn't care one bit about comfortable cycles and it will derail everything when it gets the chance. And you know what? That's okay. The events following the start of the new year kicked my butt, but it gave me the drive to improve my life drastically. I did a couple spontaneous things that have already paid me back tenfold with happiness. I started to stop caring about being comfortable and started caring about living my life.

With that said, I made the decision to go back to school. What will I study? Hell if I know right now. I got ahead of myself and started trying to plan out the next 2-4 years of my life to ridiculous degrees and became overwhelmed completely. I had to tell myself: "Danielle, stop, just go where life takes you." I'm hoping to get into classes for spring semester with credits transferred from my old college. It's actually a hilariously terrifying prospect -- returning to school after so many years of being disillusioned. Here I am doing just that, though! Eek!

I'm making sure that I always have something to look forward to and work towards from this point forward. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

june adventures.

juicy pork dumplings.
(Juicy pork dumplings, aka: dumplings filled with the brothy nectar of the gods.)
May & June were exceptionally busy months! Apologies for my internet absence. My computer situation is squared away at last. It feels so good to have a working desktop and Photoshop back at my fingertips!

June saw me flying alone as an adult for the first time EVER to visit my boyfriend who is conveniently located at the opposite end of the country. Philadelphia to Seattle! 2,821mi commute, no big deal, right? I was utterly racked with anxiety, nerves, and an unrelenting fear that an otherwise reliable modern technology would fail and I'd drop out of the sky in a giant airborne tin can. My flight out was apparently an unusually bad one according to the seasoned travelers seated around me. The takeoff was jarring and the severe turbulence while dodging storms brought me close to being ill. I made it to Seattle in one piece, though!

rattlesnake ledge.
(I didn't believe him when he told me that was what we were hiking up to. I was absolutely wrong.)
The coolest thing about Seattle and the surrounding areas are the forests and MOUNTAINS. I could NOT get over Mt. Rainier in the distance. We have some Appalachian mountains a decent drive out from the Philadelphia area, but they absolutely pale in comparison to the Cascade Range. The weather during my visit was utterly beautiful (sunny and in the 70s, what more could I ask for?) and the first time I caught a glimpse of Mt. Rainier I was in a state of complete awe. It was the first time I had ever seen a snow-capped mountain. One of the things we did during my visit was drive into the mountains a bit and hike up Rattlesnake Ledge -- planting me in the middle of the gorgeous mountainous area just outside the city.

The hike was a motherfucker. I can't think of a more pleasant way to phrase it. It kicked my butt. I was wheezing, sweating, huffing and puffing the entire way up. I was told I sounded like I was in pain. I was. Sometimes it felt like I was just going to collapse and topple off of a ledge. When Dan mentioned we had hit the halfway point all I could think was, "I might actually die today, but at least I tried."

After a while and a few encouraging comments from people making the descent from the top ... we made it!!!

view from the top.
(Not our dog, just another hiker's cute companion enjoying the view with us!)
People had their kids up there, dogs, and so on. The clouds cleared enough for me to see far into the distance. It really was one of those gorgeous vistas that makes you appreciate being alive and well enough to see it all in person. The perilous hike up was absolutely worth the end result.

The descent also sucked, but not nearly as much. By that point the blisters I acquired on the way up had burst and were now just actively bleeding into my shoes. My socks were damp with blood and at some point the pain became so constant that I was able to ignore it. Glamorous, right? Still worth it!

(Cardamom rose cocktail & beef tenderloin w/egg yolk ravioli. Pinch me, I'm dreaming!)
The rest of my visit was far more leisurely. I was taken on a bit of a culinary tour and got to eat at some amazing restaurants. I've never had so much decadent food in my entire life! I think I flew back to Philadelphia a few pounds heavier. I was shown about Seattle proper but absolutely refused to go in the Space Needle because of my fear of heights. I did get to see Pike Place Market, though! We saw the fantasy, science fiction, and horror exhibits at the EMP Museum and went to the Spies exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. The week flew by, and before I knew it I was on a red-eye flight back to the East Coast. I can't wait for my next trip out!

Hope all has been well with you, dear readers! ❤

Sunday, June 1, 2014

a brief pause.

I'm sure you've noticed things have been quiet over here! Last month my computer died and took everything with it ... photos, videos, music, etc. I lost ALL of my data aside from a few important things I had the forethought to back up. I have tea photos on my camera memory card, tasting notes jotted down, and lots of things to share! At the moment, though, I am a bit technologically limited. I have a borrowed laptop I'm using until I can get a new PC, but I don't think Photoshop and Bridge will play nice with it (heck, they didn't even play nice with my old computer sometimes!)

I hope to be back in the swing of things soon!! :) I'm still posting photos on instagram and doing my best with my little iPhone camera in the meantime. Hope all is well with you, readers!