I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Long time no see Steepsterites! I had a lot of fun at New Englands but now I’m back and excited to start drinking tea again.

So, I have a confession to make. And I may or may not be slightly embarrassed about it………..

I blew the $70 I made babysitting and doing chores ALL on tea. ALL of it. We stopped at a mall in Nashua, New Hampshire that had a Teavana (on the way there) and I HAD to stop by. We don’t have one in Vermont and I’m deathly afraid to order online (based on all the horror stories I’ve heard here! Also, I didn’t have to pay for shipping costs this way!) so I decided to pick up some tea. Luckily, it was a very small shop and there weren’t any obnoxious people on the floor trying to sell me tea! The only complaint I had was that they pulled the routine “You should get a tin!” and I decided to decline and just get the bag (and save myself a good $30 extra dollars it would have cost to get all the tins). Anyways, I picked up 7 kinds of tea (3 on the way there, which I was SO afraid would be damaged by all the traveling they did, but luckily remained in tact, and 4 when we stopped by the second time on the way home). I got mostly flavored teas but I also got 2 straight greens because I want to try some more of Teavana’s straight varieties (you really hear about their blends more).

This is the first straight green I picked up (the second is the Sencha Jade Reserve). I like a good genmaicha and so I decided to try Teavana’s just to test it out. It smells slightly sweet and kind of… full, if that makes sense. There’s a lot of rice, and the pieces are pretty tiny, which I kind of have mixed feelings about. ALSO, I got 2 oz of every kind of tea (except Citrus Sage Lavender which I got 3 oz of) and I have two complaints:
1.) They won’t let you go less than 2 oz which is so frustrating because they measure it out right there and they’re perfectly capable of doing it. It would be nice if I could pay for what I want, and not have to buy one flat size.
2.) I don’t think their scale worked right…. It might be just me but there definitely doesn’t seem to be 2 oz of tea in the bag…..

Anyway, on to the tea. I steeped at 175 for 45 seconds in my Noble mug. The wet leaves taste really good… Like (who would have guessed? :P) toasted rice. The tea itself smells slightly vegetal with a nice sweet note mixed into it.

This is pretty nice. It has a pretty full flavor (typical of many genmaichas in my experiences at least) and yet remains rather light in the flavor side of things. The gyokuro adds a nice grassy vegetal flavor and the rice adds a nice toasty body to it that makes for a really nice contrast. This is pretty good! I’m rather impressed! I plan on increasing the steep time for 15 seconds and I think I can squeeze two more infusions out of this.

In the mean time, I’m exhausted. I got back last night from Connecticut and besides sleeping I haven’t really had a moment of rest since. The order of events are:
Thursday-Left for Connecticut at 7:30, woke up at 5:20 on Thursday and 6:45 on Friday and Saturday
Saturday-After having a grand total of 15 hours of music rehearsal in two days, I had my concert and then retreated back to the hotel (we stayed overnight while most people went home because we had my little sister and travelling again would be too much of a hassle) and went to dinner and then bed.
Sunday-Up at 7:00, left at 8:30. Stopped at Nashua for an hour and a half but other than that I was in the car the whole trip. Got home, returned our rental car, and then went to ANOTHER music rehearsal for 2 more hours. Got home at 7:30, unpacked, went to bed.
I
Feel
Dead.

But, I have to work through it and get my work done. You don’t really realize how much not having a computer for 4 days can really impact your life until you actually do it…. But regardless, it was worth it and I had a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends! Plus, I have a butt-load of reviews to read C: !

ALSO (this post is so long), I just finished reading the first Hunger Games. O. M. G. I haven’t read a better book (of that genre) since Harry Potter! It’s so good and now I’m even more bummed that I can’t go to the midnight premier this week! :(

Preparation
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Uniquity

Oh, The Hunger Games! I read them when I worked for an indie bookstore (well, there was only the one at the time, then the second came out while I worked there). I found the third a disappointment once I finally read it, but the first two were great! Try the Uglies series sometime if you’re into that sort of thing.

Scatterbrain

I was curious about this.

Ian

@Uniquity: Luckily I bought the second and third before I even started so I don’t have to wait! I have heard that the third is a bit of a disappointment. I’ve heard of the Uglies and I thought about checking it out at the library once or twice and I think I’ll go give it another look now! Thanks!

@Kwinter: The tea or the books? lol. They’re both very good!

Scatterbrain

Both, now that I think about it.

TeaBrat

I like this too. :)

Bonnie

Missed you!

Drunk From Tea

Ahhh dont be ashaimed of spending 70$ on tea. I seriously spend half my paycheck almost every week at DAVIDsTEA (i have a problem)! But I am starting to slow down because my cupboards are becoming too full and I am becoming quite satisfied with my collection. (also, my mom will probably take my debit away if she sees one more blue paper bag in this house) lol. Anyways, it is money well spent ^^

Invader Zim

I did the same thing, spent $70 on tea at Teavana while I was down by Baltimore this past weekend. I mostly was refilling my stashes that were getting low. I did buy a new tin, I have this thing for their washi tins with the sakura petal designs. I now have 4 of them. I almost bought a yixing pot too. But I put that on my wishlist for later! Glad you had fun and enjoyed yourself on your trip though!

Angrboda

If you enjoyed Harry Potter, I would advice you to check out the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.

You may also enjoy the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. I did. On the other hand, that one is probably aimed slightly below your age group, so it really depends on what else you like to read. I’m a childish soul myself, so it’s possible that I’m just sufficiently old to be able to see the charm in it. How’s that for a discouraging disclaimer!

Bonnie

I got some of this at the Broomfield Teavana (I know what you mean about spending the moola! choke! 2 4oz of this cost me $25.00!!!) but this was a splurge and really good for my first Genmaicha. Can’t afford to go back there unless I win the lottery!

Ian

I know! That’s another reason I refuse to order online-imagine having to add shipping costs on top of that!

Bonnie

Yeh but you get samples and the shipping would have been free on $70. In store no samples! Some sites free shipping on $25 like Verdant and I think 52 tea’s is cheap too (I don’t like their tea though). Davids $5.00 is not to bad from Canada. I sent out a bunch of samples to people and it cost me $18.00 and I got back not even a thank you from one person, a tiny bit from another and a decent bit from the third and forth but usually not as much as I send. Not the point I know…Hope you are well…

Kittenna

Bonnie: That sucks. Much of the fun in swapping is sharing something with someone else and hearing their feedback on it! And a thanks is always appreciated too. Hopefully things go better in the future?

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Uniquity

Oh, The Hunger Games! I read them when I worked for an indie bookstore (well, there was only the one at the time, then the second came out while I worked there). I found the third a disappointment once I finally read it, but the first two were great! Try the Uglies series sometime if you’re into that sort of thing.

Scatterbrain

I was curious about this.

Ian

@Uniquity: Luckily I bought the second and third before I even started so I don’t have to wait! I have heard that the third is a bit of a disappointment. I’ve heard of the Uglies and I thought about checking it out at the library once or twice and I think I’ll go give it another look now! Thanks!

@Kwinter: The tea or the books? lol. They’re both very good!

Scatterbrain

Both, now that I think about it.

TeaBrat

I like this too. :)

Bonnie

Missed you!

Drunk From Tea

Ahhh dont be ashaimed of spending 70$ on tea. I seriously spend half my paycheck almost every week at DAVIDsTEA (i have a problem)! But I am starting to slow down because my cupboards are becoming too full and I am becoming quite satisfied with my collection. (also, my mom will probably take my debit away if she sees one more blue paper bag in this house) lol. Anyways, it is money well spent ^^

Invader Zim

I did the same thing, spent $70 on tea at Teavana while I was down by Baltimore this past weekend. I mostly was refilling my stashes that were getting low. I did buy a new tin, I have this thing for their washi tins with the sakura petal designs. I now have 4 of them. I almost bought a yixing pot too. But I put that on my wishlist for later! Glad you had fun and enjoyed yourself on your trip though!

Angrboda

If you enjoyed Harry Potter, I would advice you to check out the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.

You may also enjoy the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. I did. On the other hand, that one is probably aimed slightly below your age group, so it really depends on what else you like to read. I’m a childish soul myself, so it’s possible that I’m just sufficiently old to be able to see the charm in it. How’s that for a discouraging disclaimer!

Bonnie

I got some of this at the Broomfield Teavana (I know what you mean about spending the moola! choke! 2 4oz of this cost me $25.00!!!) but this was a splurge and really good for my first Genmaicha. Can’t afford to go back there unless I win the lottery!

Ian

I know! That’s another reason I refuse to order online-imagine having to add shipping costs on top of that!

Bonnie

Yeh but you get samples and the shipping would have been free on $70. In store no samples! Some sites free shipping on $25 like Verdant and I think 52 tea’s is cheap too (I don’t like their tea though). Davids $5.00 is not to bad from Canada. I sent out a bunch of samples to people and it cost me $18.00 and I got back not even a thank you from one person, a tiny bit from another and a decent bit from the third and forth but usually not as much as I send. Not the point I know…Hope you are well…

Kittenna

Bonnie: That sucks. Much of the fun in swapping is sharing something with someone else and hearing their feedback on it! And a thanks is always appreciated too. Hopefully things go better in the future?

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Bio

Hello!

I’m Ian and I’m a 15 year old student who lives in Vermont. I started (heavily) drinking tea in Late 2010 and have been obsessed ever since!

I tend to drink more black and herbal teas, though I do enjoy oolong, green, and white, and I’m exploring other facets of the tea world (I’m still trying with pu-erh!)

I tend to lean towards sweeter and fruity flavors in my teas, and I’m not a big fan of smoky flavored teas, or anything that’s VERY bold.

I also enjoy a cup of coffee every once and a while, though it does mess with my stomach sometimes so I don’t drink it as often as I drink tea.

In addition to tea drinking, I’m also really interested in:
Classical music (I’ve been playing clarinet for 5 years now and it’s my favorite thing to do), independent arts/music, education on environmental sustainability, reading, Fair Trade and safe-trade practices, Cognitive science, art history, and a lot more.

I’m open to swaps, but I don’t have a very wide collection. Regardless, if I review a tea and you would like a sample, feel free to message me and we can work something out! If you would like to just try something without a swap, feel free to ask too! I know that I personally don’t have a lot of teas to swap and if you’re in the same position as me just feel free to ask for a sample and I’ll send you some, no strings attached!

I run a blog on TeaTrade which you can find here: http://serendipitea.teatra.de/. The goal of my blog is to better connect tea with the arts and go beyond just the taste aspect of tea. Enjoy!

Location

Vermont

Website

http://serendipitea.teatra.de/

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