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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a cold brewed sip down; for a short six hour steep too, which is nice because it didn’t allow the sharp, fruity hibiscus to become overly drawn out and powerful enough to drown out the more subtle pumpkin flavour.
So, this is definitely more of a creamy pumpkin, with light fruitiness and apple notes and a wee bit of cinnamon. It’s one of the better cold brews I’ve produced of this, so I’m happy it’s the one I’m ending on. Better to leave on a nice note than a sour one – almost literally, in this case.
I wont be restocking though; it just wasn’t that good. I’m glad I tried something from a local store, though, and that I was able to share it a little with some other Steepster members (even if they didn’t really like it much either).
I just want to start my tasting note by letting everyone who was concerned know that today at work went pretty ok. I am thankful to still be employed.
It was a very shaky start, and I definitely got yelled at a little bit, but my manager Kyla was overall very reasonable and understood that what happened with closing was an amalgamation of a lot of things going wrong because of a lot of people, and not solely my or Hazel’s fault. She also helped to show us what had gone wrong, so that it wont in the future.
And then she left for the day; and left me/Morningstar in charge. Thank God that when we closed for the day all the cash/tills added up PERFECTLY; that definitely makes me feel better and I’m sure it will also help to reassure Kyla too.
Tomorrow I’m coming in three hours early, and I will be in charge of the store for the entire day; opening until closing. Please cross your fingers for me that all goes well like it did today. My manager wont be in the store at all tomorrow; so everything is on me. I definitely feel like, out of all the keyholders, I’m the one who is receiving the most responsibility, and I’m not really sure how I feel about that.
Anyway – this was my daily cold brew (20 hours). At first I thought it was great; cold brewing it definitely tamed the tart apple/hibiscus cider thing the hot version has going on, and the Pumpkin was a lot more noticeable – which is good because it’s kind of the most advertised component of this blend.
However, the more I drank the more it started to taste… Scummy? I don’t know – just really weird. Like some underlying flavour in the cold brew was building up gradually on my tongue to the point where it became just too much. Ultimately, I dumped the last third of this. I don’t have time for shitty tea.
This was the second of the two “tag along” teas I brought with on the date( urghh, I’m full of emotions; VariaTEA should inbox me so I can rant and have some sort of weird “girl talk” session with her – because lord knows I need one and Tre’s not going to be very supportive of that).
It was ok; at first it was more mellow and pumpkin-y but then it started to build up into more of a tart hibiscus/sour apple cider flavour. Kinda “meh”, and a little all over the place. I had tried to keep the steep time really short to avoid that! Smeh!
I don’t think I actually got any hibiscus in this mug (which I spilled half of on the couch because I foolishly attempted to jump onto the couch from behind the couch while holding a full mug of tea) – which actually changes the taste a fair bit. I don’t know why that really surprises me, though; hibiscus is a pretty loud flavour.
Anyway, the flavour I get sans hibiscus is still a pretty close to 50/50 pumpkin and apple cider, but less tart and a little more sweet. Like, I kind of get caramel or brown sugar notes? It’s good – anyway.
I’ve decided, though, that while I like this I don’t like it enough to repurchase it. Plus side, or maybe downside, is that this was pretty heavy so the leaf is being used up at a relatively consistent rate.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon
My teeth are killing me, and now it’s on both sides of my mouth. And, it’s so sporadic when it happens. It’s absolutely driving me crazy! I just want to curl up into a ball with a pair of pliers and pull them all out. Part of me, an increasingly large part, feels like that would be the best solution. OW! It’s not even when eating or drinking foods anymore – it seems like any large noise sets it off too. How does that even make sense?
Anyway – I made a timolino full of this earlier in the morning when I made all my other teas, but then left it to sit until later when I went to the theatre to see Frozen. I ended up guzzling this back while watching the movie, and it was a really enjoyable drink.
So my parameters for the timolino were about 2 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped in boiling water for about five minutes.
Taste wise, this was basically identical to the cup I experience earlier in the week (you can read the tasting note from that one for a more detailed description) – except this one had greater Pumpkin notes, and somehow seemed closer to a Pumpkin pie and apple cider, not just Pumpkin/Apple cider.
The movie was also really good! I watched it with two friends that I was in the majority of my classes with all four years of highschool (one of them all through elementary too). It was great catching up with them and watching an awesome movie. And damn! Hans is SUCH a dick!
I was really excited to try this one, so it’s the first out of the three new Cuppa’T blends I picked up that I’ve chosen to make. Visually, this blend is really pretty; it has all sorts of different sizes and colours and shapes of stuff in it – and I think that’s what drew me to it because, while I’m not anti-pumpkin, pumpkin is a flavour that I’m relatively neutral towards. So, based mostly on the visual I picked some up.
I’d forgotten what the ingredients in this one were by the time I got home and this is a newer blend not listed on the Cuppa’T website so I messaged the store owner Jule for an ingredients list and she was very quick in responding to me with the ingredients list! I am definitely impressed by that.
My parameters for this first cup were 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped in an 8 oz. mug full of boiling water for 6 minutes. I was aiming for closer to four, but time got away on me. Dry, this smells like an Autumn tea; it’s subtly fruity with a gentle pumpkin/apple smell and nice warming spices like cinnamon and steeped the smell gives off strong apple and mandarin notes with mild pumpkin and cinnamon notes. It sort of smells like a cider, to be honest.
Taste wise; the first thing I notice is the apple/mandarin with mingling notes of hibiscus (gentle though; not overpowering), pumpkin, and maybe mango. This gives way to a more 50/50 apple and pumpkin taste with cinnamon and fleeting coriander notes to round it out. The rooibos base is barely present at all. More than anything else this makes me think of some kind of gently spiced Apple/Pumpkin cider, which is lovely. The aftertaste I get is primarily cinnamon/pumpkin. This would probably be phenomenal as a fall tea.
I think with a shorter steep time you could probably eliminate the hibiscus/mango in the forefront and get more of the apple/pumpkin, and perhaps a stronger taste of the rooibos base. I’d also love to try this with milk.
I’m really enjoying this – though admittedly it’s a fair bit different than what I was expecting, though I’m not even sure if I could tell you what I was expecting. I think I just had a super generalized idea of what this might be.
EDIT: Slightly more hibiscus taste as it cooled.
Bitter sipdown. Literally bitter sipdown. I steeped this up yesterday to take with to work, and I drastically oversteeped (by like five minutes). It totally ruined the cup to the point where, in normal circumstances, I would have just dumped it but it was more worthwhile taking a hot cup of gross to work just to have something warm to sip on and hold on the walk there. Since I was running late, I had no time to rebrew.
I haven’t decided whether I want more of this: when I’m not being totally thoughtless/careless it’s actually very good, especially with just a little bit of milk. Guess I have until the weekend to decide: I’m going up to Regina to have an early Christmas with my family and see Cirque de Soleil and one of my Christmas presents is a shopping spree at Cuppa’T – that’ll likely be my only time to stock up on Cuppa’T blends for a while. Likely a long while.
Tre and Amy are having a fight right now (in Tre’s room) and I’m just sitting here, very awkwardly in the living room, trying to pretend I can’t here.
EDIT: He just came out of his room because he had to grab his charger, and he just mouthed the words “So awkward” to me.
But anyway; you know how sometimes you’re just in the mood to watch horrible TV or movies that you know are shitty in, like, every aspect possible? That was me last night and this morning; so I watched the entire Twilight Saga. I have some regrets; but it was what I was in the mood for. The cold brew I drank this morning while watching Breaking Dawn made it better though; I’m surprised how good this one turns out cold brewed.
It was sweet, and the “Candied Almond”/marzipan aspect of this really pushed through but then there was this lighter cinnamon sugar thing going on, and this super yummy French Bread note that kept popping up. Delicious! I’ll absolutely have to do this cold brew again!
Sadly, I’m almost out of this one now though…
Today is mostly about sipdowns and trying new things, but had to slip in something consistent and older in between all of that; hence why I had a cup of this one.
I took it with milk; between the other blends I was steeping up at the same time and a milk (calcium?) craving, this one just seemed like the right choice. Maracaibo is one that was totally new to me, so I didn’t want any additives in it and Passionfruit Banana is not something I’d consider adding milk to because of the “Tropical Fruit” element.
This tasted pretty good; though I think the milk dulled a little bit of the marzipan sweetness. Bonus points though, because it also dulled the cinnamon and that left an enjoyable nutty sugar cookie/sweet dough type taste. Very calming and relaxing!
Cracked this bad boy open this evening! The 50g sealed package has been sitting in my closet since buying it in January and I just thought to myself “Hey, why not!?”.
Man was it ever good! It both makes me feel good for delaying opening it because it feels extra special and rewarding now, but I also am a tiny bit sad I could have been drinking it but haven’t been. But hey, I get to enjoy it now and that’s what counts!
The tea tasted really similar to something I’ve had recently but I’m heavily struggling to figure out what. Regardless, it had delightful notes of fresh baking – not bread, but similar to bread. There was also a sweet, borderline marzipan like nutty quality from the candied almond slivers, and a light dash of sweet cinnamon to give the whole mix a little depth and character. It was a very nice evening tea!
This is something I can see myself taking outside to enjoy in the backyard at like midnight. Just a serene sort of warm cuppa to cradle while looking at the stars…
Mental note to myself: drink more tea in the giant backyard you now have but haven’t put to use since moving!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Nuts
This finishes off the sample sent to me from Lala – though I thankfully still have a sealed 50g packet that I bought from Cuppa’T earlier in the month. This portion, however, was made in my timolino and brought with to Robyn’s.
Steeped for four minutes in boiling water – and I’m not really sure how much leaf was used since I just dumped it all in the brew basket. More than 1 1/2 tsp. and less than 1 tbsp.
It was a little bitter, but that could be from sitting in the timolino all day (I made this at like 2 PM but didn’t drink it until around 9 PM) or from a longer steep time. Still really good though: like a marzipan heavy almond cookie.
Received this from Lala! She was super thoughtful and sent out Christmas cards to people with tea samples. The tea comes from a local store that I’ve never been to, but plan on going to when I’m up in the city the next few weeks. I really wanted to try this one out prior to leaving, to now if it’s something I’ll want to stock up on while I have the opportunity to do so.
Dry, the leaf smells exactly like what I had wanted from Butiki’s Almond Indulgence; it’s sweet and candy like, with clear almond smell – but the hard to describe almost fruity sweetness of almond extract or almond flavouring in baking! So good!
For my preparation I went with a just slightly heaping tsp. of leaf in 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for four minutes. I just ordered pizza, so I’m drinking this while eating cheese and pineapple pizza and two bite brownies (I felt too sick to actually cook anything, but was starving). It’s a weird pairing, honestly.
The tea tastes very good; very cakey or like pastry like which really ties in to the “sweet almond baking” thing that the dry leaf reminds me of. It’s very almond with a smooth black base and a very light hint of cinnamon. So, so tasty! Yeah, I’m totally going to be picking up more of this!
Thank you Lala!
So I bought this to blend with another tea. But I thought I better try it by itself before its all gone and blended away. This one smells sweet, not too smokey. There is a light sweetness to the tea, also a little but of malt. Hardley any smoke, but there is some there. The liquor is thick but the flavour is very light and basic. I feel like there is some vegetal flavour to this like it is almost a black tea but not quite. Just the slightest metallic tinge in the aftertaste. No astringency or bitterness. I love keemun. I am kind of sad I blended it all away, but I know where I can get more :)
So on a sidenote, I have found my favorite tea blend. It is this tea, mixed half and half with lapsang (also from Cuppa T, although it really doesn’t matter where the tea is from) mixed with two fresh slices of ginger, and a slice of naval orange. Brewed for 1 minute at just less than boiling. The orange and ginger stay in the cup. It is delicious. It is like Sunday breakfast, when you stuff your face with bacon, pancakes, milk and orange juice. And then lay on the couch the rest of the day. So good.
For a while, I was obsessed with flowering teas. I just thought it was so neat how the balls would open up in beautiful pieces of art. But what I found after a while is I dislike how most of them tasted. I totally understand it is super hard to artfully sow tea leaves together so they bloom perfectly, I am sure there are only a few kinds of tea leaves that will work for this, but I just don’t like the taste of most of them.
This one is super jasmine smelling. Very parfumey, not parfume in the sense of good smelling, but parfume as in body spray. There is a definite chemical type smell to this one.
The taste is not as bad as I had anticipated from the parfumey smell. It is definitely jasmine. There is a chemical parfume taste but it is very light. There are some really sweet notes that remind me of berries, maybe like cherries. There are also some peppery notes. The jasmine is mellowing quite a bit as it cools, and the sweet berry notes are becoming stronger.
I have to take back what I said above, this one is tasting not too bad, not a favourite or cupboard staple, but it is drinkable.
Thank you Lala for this sample. From my Secret Pumpkin package. :)
The cinnamon is strong in this blend but there is something spicier lurking behind it, like pepper or chilli…it tickles my nose as I sniff.
Flavour wise I had to double check I had the correct tea…I can taste cocoa mixed with cinnamon and spices. No pumpkin though which is a shame. The black tea is strong compared to the rest of the blend and at best it tastes like a black tea with mild spices.
Some sweetener lessens the black teas thickness but there is even less spice if none now to speak of.
This tea is just not for me, it’s disappointing but at least drinkable.
I’m just now getting back into my Secret Pumpkin/Turkey swaps! This one was from my Secret Pumpkin Lala. If I hadn’t known this was flavored rooibos, I might not have known, since it was mostly just rooibos. Thankfully, I like plain rooibos. Very occasionally I would get a hint of sweet almond in my sip, but it wasn’t throughout the sip, it was more like “ohh, ahh, nice, now back to rooibos”. This isn’t something I’d stock in my cupboard ‘cause really, if I wanted rooibos, I’d just buy rooibos, but I’ll definitely use up the sample.
Also, how many times can I include rooibos in a review? Many many times.
sample sidpdown! and i’m back down to 140 teas. 15 days ish to get through 35 more haha.
I received this in the mail the other day from Lala with a really thoughtful, surprise holiday card. :) It was a wonderful surprise to get in the mail! Thank you a bunch lala. This tea smells a lot like a combination of brioche and S&V’s sweet almond tea (i think it is…) that i enjoy.
I brewed this up this evening since i was in a bit of a holiday, festive mood after my afternoon with raritea. This has a great almond taste to it along with a bit of cinnamon. It’s not cinnamon heavy though – rather the cinnamon just enhances the almond flavour. over all a pretty tasty tea, though it’s a little thin? for my tastes. While drinking it, i kept wishing for it to have a bit more of a full feeling to it. however, still a delicious cup! thanks Lala
I received a lovely holiday card tea card in the mail yesterday from Lala. Thank you so much for the warm, generous, thoughtful gesture. I am truly touched by your kindness. In the card was a sample of this tea.
This is a nice light almond cinnamon tea. In Lala’s tasting note she suggests cake, I’m getting bakery, but I think more strudel or danish – yep almond, cinnamon “coffee cake” danish.
I’m not sure I would have bought this for myself, but am really happy to have gotten this sample. Thank you!!!
I made some rhubarb muffins with rhubarb from my garden, so this seemed to be a good pairing for my snack. I was completely right because this was delicious together.
This tea isn’t sweet at all, it is a little creamy, and maybe a little bit malty? I don’t know, I am not even sure how to describe it.