I went to David’s for a bunch of fru-fru teas and decided that it was time to pick up a straight black to go with my Orange Pekoe. I smelled this one, decided I wanted it and bought 50g because I couldn’t justify spending $22 on tea that day.
I’ve already tried it and it was INSANELY sweet. I put in milk and honey and all I could taste was the honey. So I’m trying it this time with just a splash of milk.
The smell reminds me of the days of the honey latte when I worked at Starbucks. And those honey stir sticks. I don’t know if I like that or not. But mmmmm… This is one tasty tea! It’s rare that I can find a black tea that I don’t automatically want to pitch a crap-ton of sugar into, so this’ll be good for the waistline too. Bit of an interesting aftertaste (like a tinniness, but in a good way. The coldness, but not the metallics. Maybe? It’s been a while…). I’m going to try doing a second brew with this bag too, since I’ll be working late tonight.
68 Tasting Notes
I went to David’s for a bunch of fru-fru teas and decided that it was time to pick up a straight black to go with my Orange Pekoe. I smelled this one, decided I wanted it and bought 50g because I couldn’t justify spending $22 on tea that day.
Time to get to work on a chilly afternoon and I’m feeling like I need something warm in my belly, so Mulberry Magic, I choose you! I’m also in a kind of zen mood today because I finally heart my baby’s heartbeat again (after 6 weeks between appointments) which settled down my inherent worry-wortness.
I nailed the smell of the dry tea: those little liqueur chocolates that you get at Christmas! It smells exactly, EXACTLY like those. And again, it has the unmistakable yellow cake batter flavour that just fills your mouth and makes you think of licking beaters while an oven set to 350 bakes your delicious, delicious treats. Now that Canadian Thanksgiving is done, all I can think about is Christmas (and how I can get away with not hosting any of the festivities…) I think I’ll be buying several tins of this as gifts for people.
Or maybe I’ll just buy several tins of it as “gifts for people” and then drink them all myself.
I wasn’t interested in this tea.
Like not even a little.
Mulberry Magic? There is nothing about that name that thrills me.
But it was the tea of the day today with Carrot Cake (which I was hoping was in the little shot glass I was handed) so I tried it.
YUMMY YUM! I couldn’t quite identify the taste, but when the girl behind the counter at the David’s in Polo Park said, “Cake batter,” that was 100 percent correct. I had baked a cake less than 24 hours prior — a fluffy from-scratch yellow cake to make my daughter’s 2-year birthday cake — and that was totally the taste I was getting.
I was there to buy Forever Nuts and Pumpkin Chai and accidentally also walked out with 50g of Mulberry Magic.
Now it’s on my terms. Steeped a touch heavy (a little over 1/2 Tbsp for my 12oz mug), but since I enjoyed it so much in the store, I will be drinking it naked.
I want to stick my finger in the steeper and lick that flavour off. It smells like it should be thick, dripping and contain raw eggs. (Those are all good characteristics.) The tea, too, smells like it will be shocking to drink a liquid instead of a batter.
Ooh, it tastes way different at home. It’s a little hotter and a little heavier. And it tastes like booze! As a pregnant lady, I really appreciate that. It tastes like some fancy after-dinner drink in a fancy restaurant where you’d be all, “Wow, this is delicious. I think I’ll make this at home for guests,” but you never do. THIS I would serve to guests.
I can see craving this around Christmas. And I can see making this Christmas morning to open presents.
Listening to: work. And the INCOMPARABLE Mike Tompkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtBeobpTcmk
Oh my goodness.
I usually pre-amble before I taste the tea but didn’t in this case and I AM IN HEAVEN! (Which either means that I died quite recently or that I sipped the tea before typing.)
I accidentally added way too much sugar — which I’m kind of thinking may be ANY sugar — but hoooooly mackinaw, is this a tasty tea.
I’ve only tried it from the store before and it was too weak for me. I tend to throw in a lot more than the suggested tea. I likes it heavy.
It tastes like a liquid pumpkin bundt cake with that beautiful white cinnamon-bun-style icing drizzled heavily over the top. I couldn’t ask for more from this tea. Even the aftertaste is like a food.
The tea itself smells so sexy that even though I’m currently pregnant (and drinking a black tea, DON’T JUDGE ME), I think I might be having twins now. I want to grab a handful and shove it in my mouth like a snack mix. Crunch, crunch, crunch.
Put a TBSP in a 16oz steep, added a tsp of sugar and a splash of nonfat milk. Next time, no sugar.
Outside: it is unseasonably hot. Like… CRAZY hot for Winnipeg. If you don’t know where Winnipeg is and have seen the movie Fargo, that’s pretty close. We had to turn the air conditioner back on yesterday because it was 83 degrees in our house and my daughter couldn’t sleep. Unfortunately it’s paired with a wind so sharp that it makes even kite-flying impossible. Oh well.
Listening to: Lonely Island with Michael Bolton singing Jack Sparrow. Whoooole load of swears in this song, so like heads-up. (As if you haven’t heard it already.)
I’m having issues with the tasting notes box. I didn’t steep it for 7.5 minutes; I steeped it for 6 minutes.
The smell of the tea is quite nice. Real chocolate-banana smell. Kind of like a banana split from DQ if you got it with no strawberries, no pineapple and no ice cream.
I’m trying this one milk-and-sugar because I’m feeling poorly and want an extra treat.
Steeped and in my mug it has more of a baked goods smell. I baked banana chocolate chip mini muffins using a coffee cake recipe i found online for a road trip and this smell reminds me quite a bit of that one. It’s amazing how heat can change a smell.
I don’t like the taste at all. The banana bits taste alcoholic and the chocolate comes through more as a slime on the roof of my mouth than it does as a taste. The smell is lovely; the taste leaves a lot to be desired. And oddly it doesn’t seem to pair well with the milk and sugar that I added, a problem with rooibos that I’ve never had.
I haven’t been on Steepster in months (moved to a new town, been busy, been summer, got pregnant), and it makes me a little sad that this tea marks my return to reviewing teas. I mean, it’s drinkable, but I won’t be reaching for this orange bag of tea to satisfy my tea cravings until my other flavoured rooibos are gone. Le sad.
Sitting: at my desk in the kitchen (taking a break from work) with the window wide open to let the cool air in.
Wearing: slippers and a zip-up sweater.
Listening to: Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin’ Man by The Tragically Hip – http://www.thehip.com/albums/index.html?CheckIT=21_2033&SongID=2033&AlbumID=21&LyricID=2033#21_2033
“I guess I’m too slow. But you said any time of the day was fine; you said any time of the night was also fine.” – The Tragically Hip
I went to David’s Tea specifically for this tea today, and it happend to be the Tea of the Day. The smell of caramel popcorn overpowered even the Kernels popcorn shop literally around the corner from David’s.
I’ve got to admit that I would probably have walked away with this one regardless of what I’d been looking for.
I’m steeping it a little heavy and at the top end of the suggested steep time because the sample I tried in store was a touch on the weak side. I’ve also added maple syrup instead of sugar. Which may prove to be a mistake, because I don’t know how much to use. We’ll see. It smells like the popcorn balls my uncle Tom made for me when we were very little and he was using the cabin at Clear Lake at the same time we were. One rainy night, he made up some popcorn and forbade us from eating it. Then he busted out the marshmallows, butter and microwave and we watched in awe as the marshmallows expanded to envelop the popcorn. Then he buttered his hands, formed the popcorn mixture into balls and handed one each to my brother and I. To say that my brother and I thought we were eating little bits of heaven doesn’t even say enough about it.
He never made them again and my parents never even tried to.
Now on to the tea.
The smell is overwhelming, even from my little 8oz mug.
It’s quite clear, with just a tint of honey in there, which I don’t care for. I like my tea to look like something.
Holy MACKINAW!! I just dipped my finger in to see if it was cool enough for me to sip, and my FINGER tasted like caramel corn. More, I think, like double hit butter corn from Kernels, actually. Wow, it’s tasty. I may be in for a treat. (Alternately, I may have steeped/sweetened it too aggresively.) We’ll see.
Mmm, mmm, mmm, wow.
No, it’s good.
It has more body than I expected it to. It’s like drinking a thin pudding (which sounds way grosser than it actually is.) And the body totally matches the smell in intensity. Next time I may actually back off a little bit.
Wow, Movie Night. You’re really making this day (dreary enough that it seems like evening all day and only 7 degrees outside. Come on, stupid weather, seriously??) seem a lot less sucky.
Yum, yum, yum.
No notes yet.
Well, today brought heavy rain, heavy snow and sleet.
So naturally I took the opportunity to clear all of the winter gear out of my closets and brew some fresh iced tea.
Screw you, Nature. I’m going to enjoy my spring!
I didn’t use the recommended way of brewing iced tea (brew double-strength and pour over ice) because I had time to let it cool, so I just brewed up a 4C batch of Orange Pekoe, mixed it with two and a half ounces of simple syrup and sliced up a lemon to throw in the jug. It looked a little strong to me, so I also added a cup of cold water, but it turns out that it didn’t need that at all, because it’s the tiniest bit weak now.
Otherwise, it is DELICIOUS. My husband is a Good Host iced tea die-hard, so I don’t think he’d enjoy this as much as I do, but it is absolutely perfect. I can see brewing up a jug of this to drink on the deck with my daughter after a nice morning of gardening. The lemon is critical, I think. It adds interest to what could otherwise just be cool tea. But it mixes really, really well with this orange pekoe.
The tea itself has zero bitterness to it (which I’ve found sometimes icing tea can tend to bring out) and is just refreshing and zippy.
Yum! Perfect for drinking while sitting at the dining room table, looking out on the diagonal bombardment of snow on April 3rd…
OH, my beloved Forever Nuts!
To my delight and surprise, you were hiding in wait in the little cardboard box sent directly from David’s Tea as a prize for me for entering a Steepster review contest on Twitter. I knew to expect an arrival of tea; I didn’t think to expect an arrival of three of my most favourite teas!
You and your cousins (Cinamon Chai and Orange Pekoe) were nestled all snug and tasty in the little cup-sized box, wrapped in tissue paper. I haven’t been able to find you for AGES in the for-real David’s Tea at Polo Park, so I have been trying to hide my disappointment.
In my haste, I added a little bit too much brown sugar and quite a bit too much whole milk, but you managed to shine through, your absolutely delightful princess pink staining the water and milk alike and your oatmeal-muffin tastiness coming through in smell, taste and happiness.
You make my #1 Mom mug seem even better than it already is and you make my working late into the night seem like nothing.
I love you, Forever Nuts.
Do you love me too?
Used up 4 precious tsp of this amazing stuff to brew two cups of iced tea for my brother and myself. Thinking back, I’m preeeetty sure that should’ve been 8 tsp. Yeah… but anyway…
I simmered up some medium simple syrup and put a bit over ice, then iced up my Goji Pop and HOLY MOTHER is it ever delicious iced… I may have to go and get another like 200g of this to get me through summer.
Seriously, David’s Tea. I’m not dicking around now.
This tea neeeeeeds to be in the core line-up.
Like, for serious.
Tomorrow — you know, the first day of spring? — we’re expecting 10-15cm of snow. SNOW. Seriously. How will you expect me to make it through my Winnipeg winters unless I have access to a non-stop Goji Pop party town stash? You can’t.
And to withdraw my access is inhumane.
You don’t want to be inhumane, do you?
PS: Next time I’m mixing it with lemonade. Yeah. That’s right. Goji Pop Lemonade. While you’re reeling from how awesome that sounds, just switch it on over to a core tea, available year round.
PPS: Seriously. I’m having apoplexy here.
I’ve already established that I quite enjoy Pink Flamingo, but I’ve never tried a David’s Tea tea iced (outside my iced spearmint tea actually FROM David’s Tea.)
Gotta say, I’m going to be resorting to iced tea a lot more frequently this summer!
Quite a treat.
I’m going to whip up a batch of simple syrup though, because cold things need to be sweet.
I got a little bag of this in an effort to expand my non-flavoured tea selection. I want to find a Really Good Black (and David’s Breakfast Organic isn’t it. Toooo floral.) or two and a Really Good Green (which will probably be a Chinese green, because I love the way they taste.)
Milk and sugar because it’s orange pekoe, and that’s how I usually take it, so this’ll draw the best comparason.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really measure because I still don’t know how much water my teapot holds. (Because I’m lazy.) So it looks a TOUCH weak…
Smells good, though. And TASTES lovely.
My go-to orange pekoe (okay, go-to TEA altogether) is Red Rose, but I can see this replacing it quite easily.
Drinkable and smooth, no bitterness… I’ll experiment, of course, but I believe I’ve found my Really Good Black!
All right, then.
I accidentally tried Cocomama Lime naked this afternoon and enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE than when I had it with honey in it.
Is this the trick? Not to put anything in your teas to get the full enjoyment out of it?
Silly me. Let’s hope so.
Unfortunately, my little girl decided that she was not having a nap this afternoon, so not only did I not get to submit a tasting note for my Cocomama Lime experience, I also did not get to drink more than a couple sips before it was time to colour and rock out to the Galaxy Party music station and play in puddles.
All things equal, I’d rather play than drink tea.
But this tea is going to be enjoyed.
Now, it SMELLS great of course, but I have serious, serious sense memory, so I could just be imagining the taste with milk and sugar. I disappointingly don’t see the usual skiff of chocolate-based oil on the top of my cup of tea either, but whatever. I’m not here to be visually entertained, I’m here to have my tastebuds knocked out of my mouth.
I have the feeling that going milk-free will really bring out the spiciness.
And it does.
It’s almost like it just keeps being hot in parts of my mouth after the rest of it has cooled down from the heat of my tea. It’s really interesting. Like putting your hand on that machine that alternates hot and cold coils that they have at science museums. I like it!
Okay, after letting it sit for a little bit, I’m happier with it. My initial reaction was, “It isn’t sweet AT ALL!” followed by a sad-face. But once the heat of the chili wears off, it’s plenty chocolatey and plenty sweet.
I’m pretty sure I need to GET OVER my sugar addiction…
The only real disappointing thing about this tea is its body. It’s akin to water, and I like a little more substance to my teas. But seriously? I can get over that.
No notes yet.
I’ve got a rather expensive wager with my sister in law going on.
We’re both trying to lose 20lbs by summer.
Loser pays for a hotel room in Grand Forks for a shopping trip. (And if we both lose the weight, nobody pays because we’ll be so busy having slamming beach parties.)
So I’m trying to reduce my intake of sweets, and that includes dessert teas.
Hello, Japanese Sencha.
On to the tasting.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t put enough tea in (okay, yes, I eyeballed it) because it doesn’t have much of a scent. Not the heady, lush amazingness I loved the first time. How sad.
Upon tasting, I’m convinced that I’ve brewed this tragically wrong. I should find out the dimensions of my little teapot so that I don’t make this mistake in the future. Very disappointing, especially considering the tiny amout of this tea that I have available (it came in a World Tour box.)
On a more serious note, the Shizuoka prefecture — where this tea is harvested — was where the 6.0 aftershock took place (yesterday, was it?) So good vibes and thoughts to the people living in the area as well as the rest of Japan.
AGAIN, with the over-indulging.
I made cake balls for my mother-in-law’s birthday. French vanilla cake, french vanilla icing, dipped in milk chocolate. They were delicious.
A little too delicious…
So The Skinny it is today.
The body of this tea always surprises me. I’m used to ginger teas being thin and sharp, but this has the creamiest body outside of a rooibos. I’m not used to oolong teas, so maybe that’s a feature of oolongs as well.
The last time I tried this tea I really enjoyed it, but wound up having stomach ache about an hour after. I hope that doesn’t happen again, because I plan on drinking quite a bit of this tea over the next month.
The gingeriness is pretty much all I can pick out, but it feels like it’s slicing through my mouth and stomach (in a good way) to release all of the badness I’ve been shoving into my body over the last weeks.
The smell is scary, like Detox. The taste is a LITTLE scary too, but too scary. I think it’s the addition of the “organic ginger flavouring.” Or, that’s what I’d guess.
I’m not all “Let’s drink THE SKINNY!” when it comes to this tea, but when I need a bit of a gluttonous time-out, this is a good one.
Man, oh, man it’s killing me to drink this.
I put my name in at the David’s Tea here in Winnipeg (Polo Park, WOO!), and haven’t heard back. So I may be drinking a precious, non-renewable resource!
I’ll be honest, I really only wanted to see how this spectacular pink tea looked in my white teacup, but it’s not like it’s a tea I don’t ADORE, so there’s no real hardship.
If I don’t get my “We have Goji Pop in, come and buy 150g straightaway!” phone call, then I’ll be pretty ripped up about it.
To the tea: satisfying as ever. I can smell the bubblegum tuti-fruity aroma wafting towards me from my big white cup. I kind of want to chug it, but — not knowing if I’ll get any more — I think I’ll savour instead.
Mmm… today it smells like a pink lady celebration cake.
And the sweet, sweet taste is divine!
Please call me back, David’s Tea…
Brewing this in my brand new tea-for-one teapot and cup. Funny story: I went looking for teapots because I’m having a fancy tea party in the next couple weeks with two girlfriends and their daughters and we’re going to plan our elaborate vegetable and flower gardens and drink tea and eat little treats (little cucumber sandwiches, little scones, little cakey cookies.) The only “teapot” they had was this two-piece tea-for-one pot, down to $3.99. Well, it’s not what I was looking for, but the price was sure right, so I picked it up and put it in my basket. When I got to the check-out, it rang up at $7.99, so I questioned it. (I HATED being “that girl.” What am I, eighty? I apologized quite a few times to the people behind me and to the check-out boy.) The girl came back with the sign that indicated that I was right and she proceeded to tell the check-out boy how to put it through, and then she said something really awesome. “And then she gets it for free becaues the price was wrong.” Say WHAT?? FREE TEAPOT? Damn, I’m a lucky girl!
So I’m brewing this alarmingly pink, deliciously citrusy tea in my BRAND NEW FREE TEAPOT and enjoying it in the ridiculously large-mouthed rapid-heat-loss cappuccino mug that comes with it.
First of all, I can’t get enough of the colour of this tea. And that fresh orange scent blows my mind. I’m used to the Wild Sweet Orange orange from Tazo. (About as orangey to orange as NeoCitran is lemony to lemon. IE: not.)
The hibiscus is a little zingy (yuck), but the pinkness of the tea is just so excellent that I’m not too concerned.
I want to be drinking this in the sun, under the shade of a well-plant-covered pergola, listening to summer birds like robins chirping while reading my trashy Charlaine Harris novels, watching my daughter play in the mud.
But working in my dining room at my laptop while wearing slippers will have to do…
Now, with David’s teas specifically, I have had very little luck with white teas. But this came in the world tour box that I got for Christmas, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.
Trying this one naked, since it’s got so many sweet things in it already (blueberries, pomegranate, flowers… That last one may be the death knell, though, since it’s the floral nature of all of the white teas that I’ve tried that has turned me off.) A darker steep than I expected from a white tea to be sure, and that pomegranate comes out swinging! This smells like it could be an unexpected treat (like many of the ones in the world tour box that I didn’t expect to like at all.)
Nope, it’s still a white.
I don’t know what it is about them that I just don’t like! I mean, it’s okay and I’ll finish this cup, but white teas are just not my bag.
So it’s a good thing that A) this was a gift and B) I don’t have very much of it! ;)
I can’t really get much in the way of taste out of it, it doesn’t have much of a smell, and there’s a strange combination of juciness and dryness in the aftertaste that I just don’t care for.
Maybe I’ll have FOUR cups of tea today so that I can end my tea day on an awesome high.
(Although, PS, my mum gave me her space-foam mattress topper and I snuck it home and on the bed before my husband got home from his evening shift. I’ve been campaigning for one of those for A G E S, because our bed is crappy and when my husband even THINKS, I go pitching around like a small paper boat in rough seas. I mean, the bowling ball mattress it ain’t, but it is niiiiice and cushy. I’m wondering how long it’ll take him to figure it out, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be right when he comes home and asks me how my day was and I burst into peals of giggling. I have no poker face. Long story short, THAT should end my day on a high regardless, so I may succumb to my abject laziness and not brew another cup of tea after all that.)
Needed something to pick me up this afternoon, so zingy Electric Lemon it is!
I followed the instructions and brewed it at 82 degrees, but that always throws me off, because I’m used to letting my tea sit before I drink it, and if I let this sit it becomes too cold to drink!
I think I’m getting sick~ (I’m a little sniffy, anyways), so this lemon green tea with lemon honey in it should absolutely do the trick.
Smells good (not like NeoCitran) and lemony, obviously. Brews up a really nice almost tan colour. Like a sage olivey beige. I wouldn’t mind having some egyptian cotton sheets this colour.
I always forget there’s ginger in here until I taste it. You can’t really smell it, but when you sip, it just bites the sides of your tongue! Nice and warming. Like a hot water bottle for my mouth.
But tastier than a hot water bottle, of course.
Every time I go to David’s, I intend to buy this tea.
And I usually walk away with something else and regret it when I get home.
Today I went for Forever Nuts. They were out, so I requested Goji Pop. They were out.
SO the stars finally aligned for my favourite spicy treat: Cinnamon Rooibos Chai!
The smell of the cinnamon is like an assault to the face; a slap to the sinuses. This, of course, is absolutely a good thing.
This is only the second time I’m brewing it without having little floaties in it, because none of my steeping balls were fine enough to trap the tiny little shards of rooibos. The T-Sac disposable tea bags sure are though!
Looking out the window, eve in the dark I can see the branches of my weeping birch whipping back and forth more horizontal than they have any right to be; it’s a blizzard, you see. They told us all yesterday and today that it was coming, but it was so beautiful and temperate and WINDLESS today that I didn’t buy it. Shut my mouth for sure.
So I’m expecially thankful that I have this cinnamon-infused delight in my cup tonight. I would be ultra-disappointed had I been left to the more springy- and summery-tasting teas in my cupboard.
The cinnamon makes you feel as good as cinnamon gum or cinnamon candies~. It’s warming and comforting and delicious and it smacks your mouth awake. So, so right for right now.
Thank you, Tea Gods, for having me pick up some Cinnamon Rooibos Chai today.
~ Or, rather, as good as they USED to make me feel. I over-over-over-indulged as a girl and now whenever I try to enjoy something synthetic with cinnamon in it, I wind up with strips pulling off the inside of my mouth and along my tongue like a hundred disgusting little hairs. It’s truly awful. Especially considering how much I love cinnamon gum.
I can smell this tea from across the dining room table that I currently call my office. Baked apples were a frequent treat in my childhood home (core the apple, toss some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in the hole, nuke it for however long), and this smells EXACTLY the same, down to the buttery tones.
I’m always surprised by how clear this tea winds up steeping, even though I pretty much doubled the dosage to nearly 1tbsp and steeped it for the top end of the suggestion (7 minutes).
Ooh, that’ll do. You can taste the spices almost individually. And they stay powery on your tongue in the aftertaste. Steeping this one stupid-heavy makes it very, very nice.
Time for an afternoon treat!
This tea smells like the Jelly Belly brand buttered popcorn jellybeans (which I LOVE), and doesn’t really require much sugar or milk. I put in too much milk today, but whatevs, eh?
The butteriness is almost like a feeling in your mouth as much as it is a smell, but it isn’t so much a taste.
I can’t discern coconut at all, but it’s probably hiding with some other flavour, all coy and sneaky.
I can totally see dumping some Captain Morgan Special Reserve in here, but not while I’m working. That’s for later.
I bought this for my Swampwater-addicted daughter so that we could share a cup of tea in the afternoon or at bedtime. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to like it all that much at first, so I’m experimenting with how to make it taste more delicious.
We’re trying it today with no milk, just a little bit of sugar.
Full disclosure: I do not like papaya. Like, not even a little bit. It’s not quite down there with cilantro, but it’s pretty low on my list of likes.
The smell is friendly enough. The papaya is there, but it’s really low. I’m getting a delicious candied fruit vibe from this tea.
Ooooh, wow, I put way too much sugar in here!
But it’s delicious.
The fruitiness is almost like a mouthful of grapes, strawberries, apples or some other juicy fruit. (Not specifically those flavours, just the feeling each of them evoke.)
I’m sure this would be tasty iced, but I’m glad I’m drinking it hot. The juiciness is kind of cooling with a very warm after-effect. Quite nice. I’m thinking my problem the first time was steeping it at the higher end of the recommended range. The low end leaves me with a lovely tea; not overpowering like the last one tended to be.
I think I’ll brew this up for my toddler to enjoy while I’m preparing her dinner. (My dinner is a lovely dinner out at a simple italian restaurant here called Dacquisto, to be preceeded by appliance shopping with the husband. First date night since dinner and White Christmas at Manitoba Theater Centre just before Christmas! Woo!)