Aroma

I recently read a great sentence that Jeffrey Steingarten wrote years ago: "Have you ever felt that coffee...nearly always smells better than it tastes?"
Answer: No, I didn't notice that, but now that you mention it that is true. This observation has indirectly reminded me the value of proper serving ware.
The other day I made some Lapsang Souchong tea. I don't like to call favorites with any food but Lapsang is definitely on my short-list for best teas. I usually brew my first cup in September and drink a few cups each week until May. I love the stuff. What changed that day was my need to leave the house. With my work about to start there was no time to enjoy the tea. Solution: Pour it into a travel mug and hit the road.
The tea was gross. It tasted like bland, dirty water. What changed? The change was the travel mug. I had never drunk Lapsang from an insulated travel mug. The mug managed to capture nearly all the aroma, giving only the liquid with each sip. It turns out that I hate the flavor of the tea; at least when it's not accompanied by the aroma.
In a standard mug, or a fancy teacup, the rim helps concentrate the aroma around your nose with each sip. Lapsang Souchong is a smoked black tea. It has a mild earthy flavor but a bold smoky aroma. Sipping it takes me back to memories of childhood camping trips, though I was 26 the first time I drank this tea. No aroma, no memories.
That's a long way of asking you to slow down next time you drink coffee or tea. You're going to spend $3-4 on that latte, spend 15 minutes in a nice chair drinking it from a mug instead of a covered paper cup at 65mph.

2 comments:

Jerr Dunlap said...

Great advice - I think there's also flavor involved: I can definitely taste stainless steel and paper in tea. I'm looking forward to following your thoughtful blog!
- Jerr

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

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