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Recent Tasting Notes
Cooking TTB #17
Up to this point, all of the chocolate mint teas I’ve tried have had a rooibos base. I like this one so much better! It smells like you just melted Andes Candies into your cup and brews up to a beautiful deep chocolatey brown. The base is very smooth and provides a nice foundation for the sweet mint and chocolate flavors. My only complaint is that the mint flavor overwhelms the chocolate for me. I want to try this one with milk and see if that brings out the creaminess of the chocolate a bit more. Another keeper!
Flavors: Chocolate, Mint, Smooth, Sweet
Cooking TTB #15
A good lemon tea is hard to find! I’ve had way too many that were like drinking a cup of Pledge. This one was a pleasant surprise…very smooth and creamy with a nice natural-tasting lemon flavor. There is just a bit of a tart bite at the end of the sip. A very refreshing tea!
Flavors: Cream, Lemon, Tart
Cooking TTB #13
This tea looks just like grass clippings, which scared me a bit! But Anlina had given it such a great review, I had to try it out. I’m so glad I did! This is quite possibly the best green tea I have ever had: smooth and buttery with lots of rich nutty flavor. I could drink this stuff all day…
Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Smooth
Cooking TTB #8
Not quite sure what the flavoring is supposed to be on this one, but I got a strong rose scent and a flavor that was floral but also slightly fruity…it reminded me of peaches. This was a delicious start to my day!
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Peach, Rose
Cooking TTB #7
Mmm, this is nice! It has a very rich, creamy mouth feel that really does remind me of eggnog. The flavor is mostly vanilla, with a little bit of coconut and just a hint of pineapple. Another keeper!
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Vanilla
I’ve been curious to try this one since Anlina reviewed it a few weeks ago and she was kind enough to include a sample for me in the Cooking TTB. I haven’t had many dessert teas with a white base before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This is lovely! It is light and smooth, but still very flavorful…lots of caramel/toffee and just a hint of hay from the base. So glad I got to try this! Looking forward to sampling more teas from this brand.
Flavors: Caramel, Hay, Toffee
Despite consistent sipdowns it feels like my cupboard is jumping up quite a bit again; thankfully I packed a few things for my trip to work on sipping down, and I have several more sipdowns to write about that are buried in my queue.
The bus is very quiet right now; for a while there was a kid crying but they’ve fallen asleep now. You can sort of just here the faint clicking of the keys on my laptop keyboard being struck as I write. I hope I’m not pissing people off. I did sit in the back away from everyone else though. If need be I can placate the masses by feeding them the strawberry Pocky I packed for nourishment.
To finish this tea off I had it hot. It was rather unremarkable and not so worthy of a long winded tasting note; plenty of hay notes and something a touch vegetal, but light – and then a sweet, toffee flavour. Cold brew is better. If you have this one do it cold brewed or iced.
My butt is falling asleep from sitting in the same position for an extended period of time. Darn. In between tasting notes I’m sort of just doing random quizzes. This is one I thought was pretty interesting/well done. It’s Canadian slang words. I’m curious how Americans, Europeans, or even Canadians (or people from other areas of the world) would do on it. My score was 16/20. So obviously I’m not a perfect Canadian after all.
So in addition to my Teapot Calendar that hangs on the wall, I’ve decided that I also wanted to use a Box Calendar this year. For those who don’t know already, this was my second year working at a Calendar Store over the Christmas season, so if there’s such thing as a Calendar Snob I suppose you could say I am one.
This is the cover of my Teapot Calendar:
I’m very excitably waiting for February since the “theme” of the month is Jasperware Wedgewoods – and I happen to own one! This month’s tea is “Oolong” as a tea type. They always have a spot that talks about the featured teapot and then another for some other aspect of what’s in the picture. Past additional things (from last year’s calendar) have been Breakfast Teas, Tea Tins, adding sugar to tea, tea biscuits, and others. The featured teapot is a “Mythical Tea Pot” by John Rose Coalport with a half dragon half hedgehog creature on it. And yes, I immediately thought of you Anna.
But anyway; my box calendar this year is a “Word a Day” Calendar. And, today’s word is “Plethora” – An excess or over abundance; a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood circulation, swelling, and a reddish complexion. So far I’m about 50/50 on words that are new to me and ones I already knew. For this one, I knew the first definition but not the second. So Steepster Users, my challenge for you all is to use Plethora (either of the definitions) in conversation today. I’m certainly going to try to!
Ok; now the actual tasting note…
I cold brewed this: visually it was a very cloudy/foggy light brown which actually excited me because it meant that to at least some degree the caramels in the leaf had actually dissolve despite not being exposed to hot temperatures at all.
Taste wise, I picked up on notes of sweet toffee, brown sugar, and butter. Lots of butter, actually. And then, the base was a mild hay flavour. Also, cream notes – not sure whether that was a base thing or a flavouring thing. Both, possibly. Probably flavouring though.
I only have a little of this left and I’m definitely doing it hot because I can’t remember if I’ve had this one hot before. I’m thinking not, though. Thanks again Anlina for sending this one my way!
This is the last tea in Anlina’s Secret Pumpkin package for me to try/review; the package was so full that I put it in my tea closet instead of the sample drawer, which is why I got to it last – not because I was disinterested or anything like that.
It definitely smells very rich/decadent, but steeped up it was a little milder than I was anticipating. It had nice notes of toffee, brown sugar and malt that I think were from the flavouring, and then the tea itself had some hay notes to it which were nice.
As far as “dessert” cold brews go, this wasn’t as impressive as I was anticipating but it was still good, and I think it’ll be even better hot so we’ll do that next.
Ok, this is the first time I’ve ever been REALLY SURE that Steepster is eating notes because I know that I did this one as a cold brew and I thought as a hot cup too, but there’s no evidence of that…
I mean, I have been crazy busy lately but I was SURE I wrote notes out for that, so darn you Steepster!
But yes, thanks Anlina for the sample in our secret pumpkin swap! This is one of my all time favourite flavour combos – ALL TIME.
Since my notes have vanished I’ll try to recap my missing notes: cold brew, which I know I did was good; I remember more pineapple than coconut and the black base wasn’t nearly as smooth as Rio’s (Camellia Sinensis) which is my favourite Pineapple/Coconut tea – but this held its own. I’m not 100% sure if I actually did a hot cup, but I thought I had? If I did, I’m sure it had the same balance of notes as the cold brew.
This one was treated a little different; instead of milk or creamer like I originally thought’d be interesting I added a Pina Colada drink mix. It definitely changed the flavours; the pineapple was much sharper/distinct and had more if a “zippyness” to it, and a candied/artificial sweetness (but not bad artificial). The black base seemed smoother, and the coconut for sure more masked (still present though).
Thanks Anlina for the sample! I enjoyed trying it a few different ways, even though Steepster IS BEING A DINK a wont reflect that.
This is one of the many teas that came out of the Great Canadian Travelling Teabox when it made its stop at my house. It’s currently miserably cold outside – 27 celcius with the windchill (that’s about -17 for you Americans) so I wanted to try something warming and spicy.
It certainly smells spicy, though the flavours I taste are mostly orange and sweet cinnamon. It’s not bad for a red rooibos and I find the base actually works fairly well with those two flavours in particular. I wouldn’t pay money for it but that’s just my personal preferences as I’m not a huge red rooibos fan.
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Flavors: Apricot, Spices
Cold Brew to finish off this thoughful pick from Anlina. In my detailed notes, I made a note to mention being offered a position back at Calendar Club, but at this point with me mentioning it a few times today alone it should be obvious I did go back, P/T. I was offered to come back as a manager again but because I was F/T at Dollarama (pre shit storm) I declined it. Sorta wishing, now, that I hadn’t. Would have loved the money, and I really like working here…
Glad they still hired me on as P/T mornings though!
This time around, cold brewed, I thought the chili heat was more intense/present so I’m thinking a lot of the chili must have sunk into the little bits at the bottom of the bag. Otherwise, same sweet and slightly tangy orange/citrus flavour with the cranberry peeking out a little. I’m glad I got to try this one more than once; I liked it! I just wouldn’t purchase it for myself because of the chili and more muted cranberry flavour.
I’ll get the tea related stuff out of the way ’cause this is probably gonna be a longer tasting note…
Thank you Anlina for sending me an ample amount of this in the Secret Pumpkin Swap! I believe it was the cranberry in this which made you think it’d be a good match for me? And excited about the cranberry I was indeed! The catch? The chili. I wasn’t so excited about that aspect of it – and there’s SO MUCH visible chili in the dry leaf for this. Like, whole chili. It’s scary and intimidating for a non-spice person like me.
So, I did a cold brew of it because I thought that might bring out less chili, and emphasize the fruit in the blend. It did work pretty well, actually. The chili was, thankfully, ONLY present as a subtle “heat” or “tingle” in the back of your throat in the end sip. And it married with the fruit shockingly well. As for the fruit, sadly the cranberry was significantly covered up by the orange – BUT the orange was phenomenal. Very juicy and sweet with the right balance of “pucker” and tangyness to it. Quite juice like and lovely.
Now the non-tea related stuff…
So, I drank this on D-Day – Dentist Day…
So, I booked an appointment all on my own at a different office than last time, ‘cause the guy at my old place is kinda a dick. So, even though I had to lay all the ground work down again it was worth it going to a place I picked out (instead of my Dad) nearby to where I live AND work. And, my dentist is very nice – doesn’t talk to me like an idiot!
So, turns out the main issue was that my wisdom teeth are TERRIBLE. They NEED to come out – like, ASAP. So, that’ll get done. Other than that we just took a bunch of X-Rays and he booked me in for another appointment two days from when I had this one (which has already happened now). It went well though! And also, ORAJEL IS FANTASTIC!
But, my laptop is dying and we’re getting trick or treaters steadily now, so that’ll be the last note for tonight likely! Happy Halloween all!
Tried my second cup’s worth with a splash of milk. The flavour is a little muted, but still there. I’m not really sure which I prefer – the stronger flavour is nice, but the milk augments the creaminess and tones down some of the dry, flat generic “black tea” flavour I was picking up in the aftertaste. An enjoyable cup, all the same.
A sample from VariaTEA. Dry, the leaf smells so sweet and meringue-like, so I’m hoping that some of this translates into the flavour. I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown. No milk.
Brewed, the scent is still sweet and meringue-like, with a hint of strawberry. The initial sip of this one reminds me of a strawberry refreshers bar – sweet, candy-like strawberry, almost a little sherbet-y. There’s a underlying sugary creaminess that does remind me of meringue. The black base makes itself known at the end of the sip, where it stops the flavouring lingering for very long. It’s not bitter or astringent at all, but it does round the sip off a little abruptly. I’d been hoping that the strawberry-sherbet-meringue flavour would stick around a little, but instead it ends almost on a dry, flat note.
I’m glad I didn’t add milk to this one, as I’m not sure I would have been able to taste the flavouring as well. It’s not that it’s subtle, but I do think milk would have drowned this one a bit. As it stands, I’m enjoying this one a fair bit. I like the flavour, although it’s a little artificial tasting, and I’d happily drink another cup if the opportunity arose. It’s not world-changing, but it’s a sweet, pleasant afternoon treat.
Thanks again to VariaTea for sharing this one with me.
I don’t like this. I don’t understand how company’s can make such drastically different versions of the same tea but they can and this is not one of the better ones. I am finding it very bland. Even the base doesn’t have much going on. However, at the end of the sip, a punch of fake cherry flavor pops up (I am guessing that’s supposed to be the grenadine) but it is like a fleeting touch of cough syrup that coats your tongue and stays behind. I should mention this could have been brewed improperly as I set a timer and never pressed start so I am unsure of how long it steeped for but as it is, I am not looking forward to having this again.
Thanks again Anlina so much for this sample! I’ve really, really enjoyed it – it’s just perfectly suited to my tastes.
This last cup was hot because I only had enough leaf left for either a hot cup of a small or weak cold brew and to me I thought trying a new prep method would be more satisfying. I have to say, that cold is better and the way to go with this one, but the hot cup wasn’t bad at all. The hibiscus was a little sharper and more pronounced like expected, but it never reach an overpowering level for me personally – and I thought if anything is exaggerated the cranberry a little bit more.
I’ll be looking out for the chance to get more of this one!
So, I started watching a new show yesterday. It’s a British show called My Mad Fat Diary, and it was such a spontaneous adventure watching it; it started with this gif set on Tumblr of this really emotional scene of the two main characters, and I connected so much with the gif set that I HAD to find out what the show was so I spent like half an hour looking it up, and eventually found all off seasons one and two (the only seasons thus far) on Youtube. I started with the pilot, and then I just fell in love…
It’s such a beautiful and I think really accurate portrayal of mental health issues, and of people with low self esteem or weight problems, and even though it’s totally centered around the main character Rae’s love life as well as her self image and mental health struggles, all the characters are very dynamic. I just related so heavily to the whole show and especially to Rae, and I cried so much, and I really, really recommend people give it a shot. I was just enthralled with the whole thing. Bonus points for major cuties playing the leads! Finn, Rae, Archie, and Izzy are all so precious. And Tix. Tix reminds me of a little baby pixie or fairy or something and I just want to scoop her up like a baby bird and tell her it’ll all be ok. And, it all takes place in the 90s!
Anyway; here’s the scene that made me fall in love with the show and got me to watch the entire thing in one day… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IE_1xtGOCQ
This scene is also gold too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3EPlXic-hY If, for no other reason, than the use of the term “Sex Wizard”.
But anyway; the tea! This is the beauty I chose to slowly sip on for like the first four episodes of the series – after that I ran out. Since I didn’t record notes on this one last time I had it, I made sure to take notes this time during any slow moments in the episodes (there weren’t many).
I’m still really liking this one: I think it has a really good balance between sweet and tart. There’s a tart, more rosehip-y (not so much hibiscus in my opinion) taste at the start and then that fades into a more juicy, sweet cranberry and red apple intermingling of flavours. Very crisp and refreshing; and just dripping with flavour.
This is, I’m pretty sure, something I want to stock and that I’d definitely order if I was making a Cornelia Bean order. Especially during the summer; this would make such a good, almost “punch like” summer tea…
(Ok, before we get into the backlogged tasting notes from my queue Imma have a mini rant about my kinda crappy day)
I just tipped over a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over my lap. There’s milk everywhereeee…
God damn it!
Just the cherry on top of a roller coaster of a day, I suppose? It started off with me sleeping through my alarm, which was set for 8AM today. When did I wake up? 10:10AM. When did I start work? 10:30AM. Thankfully I live very close to work, so I wound up only being 5 minutes late – but I had to skip a shower, breakfast, and making tea for work. I spent the whole day paranoid that I smelled funny.
And then, upon getting to work I was written up because, I guess, when I closed the store last night I forgot to fully turn the latch on the door to lock the store. I half turned it, but since it wasn’t completely turned it was a security risk. Blah. If they say I did it, I did it – but I just can’t imagine not fully locking up. Oh well. Still, not a pleasant experience today.
And then, my card got declined on break when I was grocery shopping which was really embarrassing. The clerk was super chill about it; but I felt like I had basically just wasted not only the clerk’s time, but my break too which sucked. I got home and figured out why my card got declined though; today is Sunday and I’ve been so out of is this week I thought it was Saturday – I have a “savings” feature on my account that every Sunday morning at 10AM my account automatically transfers $100 from my spendings account to my savings – and it just so happens this week I had only a few dollars on top of that usual 100. Blerg. If I had realized what day it was, I could have transferred it back into spendings before leaving for work.
NOW ONTO THE TEA!
So, this was a cold brew – and one I was really excited about. This blend comes from Anlina courtesy of the secret pumpkin swap. I think it was super thoughtful of her to include a bunch of cranberry teas (as well as other flavours I love) for me to try; that’s the element of this one that really gets me pumped about it! And, cold brew seemed like the natural route to take with prep.
Unfortunately, I didn’t record any notes for this one after I drank it (I think it was on one of the days where I was just exhausted and basically collapsed onto the couch straight after giving home, and went right to sleep) so I’m writing based off vague recollection. That said, I remember really liking this and thinking it was surprisingly sweet and juice like – cranberry always surprises me in tea; it’s never as tart as I think it’s going to be.
If I’m remembering correctly, both the apple and cranberry were present, though the cranberry slightly more so. I think the apple leaned more heavily on the “red” side of the fruit. I don’t recall that more tart/crisp green apple flavour. And, speaking or tartness – I really don’t recall any overwhelming hibiscus flavour in this. For me, at least, the hibby was on its best behaviour.
So really, gotta make this again sometime
soon because I want to really, properly review it! This make shift rant/review combo isn’t cutting it, for me. Because I know there were other things I noticed when I drank this, and now I can’t remember the specifics. Smeh.
Sipdown. Making the last of this for my sweetie and me, while we watch some TV together.
Quite a lot of hibiscus, but well balanced with lots of berry and raisin flavours, so the hibiscus just gives them a tart punch, rather than being the dominant note. Pretty good, particularly with a bit of sugar.
Flavors: Berry, Hibiscus, Raisins, Tart
Hmm, this was interesting. I tried it last night while I was kind of distracted.
Lots of tart citrus and lemongrass, a bit of cranberry, a very faint back of the throat heat, and a fragrance and flavour that I can only describe as horses. Not in a bad way, just slightly confusing – I feel like it might have been the chilis, but I really don’t know. My partner gave me the oddest look when I told him the tea tasted like horses.
The colour of the liquor was an incredible, intense reddish orange. I couldn’t stop looking at the last couple of sips in the bottom of my cup.
Not bad, interesting, and I’ll have to give it another try to see if I can draw out a bit more of the chili heat. I also wonder if the horse thing was just me last night. I gave the steeped leaves another sniff just now and not even a trace of that is present. Who knows.
Flavors: Barnyard, Citrus, Cranberry, Lemongrass, Spicy, Tart