1212 Tasting Notes

So much tea. So little money in my bank account. Can you say, shouldn’t have bought enough stuff to make lip balm forever? Cries.

But at least I can just live off tea I guess until I get the rest of my money in two months. Or maybe this sampler box that goes on sale tomorrow will bring something in, because it is now slooooooow online at least.

I am so so so so so so glad I got up this morning for Formula 1. IT WAS THE BEST RACE. I just have to gush somewhere. My favorite driver had to start from the pit lane, and he worked his way up the field not once but TWICE and managed to take third place and keep his lead in the championship.

My second favorite driver won, the two of them are best buddies, so it was awesome. The only thing is, the race was in Abu Dhabi so there was no champagne on the podium…instead there was fizzy rosewater. Here is a priceless reaction from the guy who got second place: http://www.abload.de/img/untitled-1o2qfr.gif

Now this tea!

Being that this is the kind of tea I got a yixing pot for, I decided to make it in there. I had to modify the brewing instructions a bit. I used 7 grams of leaf.

First steep, about a minute: I could probably have gone just a slight bit longer on this one, but it’s delicious as is. It’s smooth, sweet, and a little fruity and floral, with just the right touch of cream and pepper. It’s not as creamy as a milk oolong, but it’s not too far off. It’s like one with added fruit.

At this point I’m not getting peach but we’ve only just begun.

Second steep: Now I am getting peach, but I think my choice of steeping this tea gives me far more floral notes than peach notes. And that is okay, because this is a super tasty oolong. And given it’s $2 an ounce, you SERIOUSLY cannot do much better than this, I’d think.

Third steep: I think I like this one the most! It tastes pretty similar to the second, but it seems to have more fruitiness to it.

Azzrian

I love this tea – great choice for your yixing!

ashmanra

Have you read “The Art of Racing in the Rain”? Excellent book!

momo

Oh gosh yes! My mom gave me it to read one time when I was visiting and I stayed up until 4am to read it entirely that night.

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I may have let this cool off too long, so I’ll definitely try it again, but for right now I am leaning towards not for me.

I made $55 at an elementary school fall festival, selling my lip balms and wax tarts. Really I only made like $10 after the table fee and lunch. Whatever, it was nice to be able to sell to people physically because you can’t smell stuff over the internet. It just annoyed me that just like the evil tea place, people were very good at freaking out over how good something was, told me they’d come back, and were never to be seen again.

I’m actually kind of disappointed in how expensive most of the shows/festivals and the like around here are. I’m sure a $200 fee is all fine and dandy when you don’t sell things that average $2 a pop. And for the most part they all seem far more art focused and it’s just irritating. It doesn’t seem like craft shows are a big thing down here at all, and the festivals like I said are all super pricey.

I was hoping to have tea earlier but it was SO warm I just didn’t even want to look at tea. So now it feels completely unseasonal to have this one.

It’s very different from the normal Eight Treasures Yabao. I love that one because of the goji berry especially. This one is a bit heavier on the pine than the berry. I can’t even really taste the elderberry. I’m also surprised the juniper berry isn’t the strongest note because I got a lot of them in the cup. Instead I think I can really taste the holy basil more than anything else. The jasmine and berries are in there too, but it’s just mostly that.

I may have to follow Bonnie’s lead here and try a rinse first. This would be right up my alley but I’d love to taste more than just the earthy, pine flavors. I’ve got an ounce so that can be done.

Azzrian

Still a great experience for you and I am glad you at least broke even and got your products out there because you have EXCELLENT products!!!

Bonnie

I noticed that the second steep was better which led me to believe that a rinse would have been appropriate to wake up the ingredients, especially the juniper and elderberry.

Babble

What about farmer’s markets?

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drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
1212 tasting notes

Thank you, darby, for saving me the time on this one, hahaha.

So admittedly I am all about the red velvet craze. I wanted to buy this just because of the name, not knowing what it actually tasted like. And thankfully darby sent me some to try and now I will not have to regret buying any amount of it, because it is a real bummer.

When I first tasted it, all I could taste was 52Teas’ Pancake Breakfast, but not as good. Not much chocolate, but at least it had that cakey taste to it, although then there was also a maple taste. I know you guys have tons of maple syrup up there in Quebec, DavidsTea, but it doesn’t go in Red Velvet.

Now, the only reason I can get down with immediate Christmas is this magnificent creation from Target. http://instagr.am/p/Rg5XZ8Ja4a/ Needless to say, I figured it’d be perfect to perk this tea up. There’s still a lot of maple notes, but at least now I’ve got chocolate.

Not impressed with this one, it is definitely not a substitute for a delicious slice of southern red velvet cake. And now I want to go to the place with the best kind…

DaisyChubb

WHAT IS THAT HOLIDAY MILK OH MY GOD WHY ARE THERE NO TARGETS HERE AHHH flail

momo

Aren’t they supposed to start infiltrating Canada? They better bring you this stuff. There’s chocolate mint too but I can’t ever get it instead of this one. No way.

Nik

I couldn’t live in a place with no Tar-zhay. =P

Someone told me once (not that I bothered to look it up myself or anything) that red velvet is just chocolate. So now the flavour really confuses me, because to be honest when I eat red velvet cake, I don’t really taste chocolate, and now I’m wondering if that’s a psychological thing: that because I’m not seeing chocolate, I’m not tasting it either. And then, if it is chocolate, then how is red velvet chocolate holiday milk any different from year-round regular chocolate milk? Now I want to go to Target and get some to try it.

momo

It really isn’t that chocolatey but I still find it so good. I haven’t had any in awhile so I desperately want it. And the milk is different! It’s a bit thicker, and it doesn’t taste just like chocolate milk. I don’t know how to describe it because I try to limit myself to 6 oz a day max.

Nik

Thanks for trying, anyway. :D I will need to get some and try it (and make tea-ful concoctions with it).

Thomas Edward(Toad)

I want Holiday Milk now too lol

DaisyChubb

I know Target is buying up some Zellers, but it’s a slow process sadly. When I was in the states a few years ago I almost bought up the whole place – at least that’s what it felt like. Couldn’t buy any food of course, arguably the best part ;)

Nik

Time for another visit? :D

DaisyChubb

I have a passport! Oh man I would love to! visit every Steepster’s state haha

Babble

@Nik – Haha, I love when people call it “Tar-Zhay”. I wonder where that originated from..

Nik

Rachel, I really didn’t think I’d find anything, but check it out, an explanation from their marketing officer himself! http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=1719878893

Babble

That’s awesome! I have to share that. Thank you so much!!

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1212 tasting notes

white earl grey (thanks darby!) and an herbal citrusy lavender from a company I will not name but am PEACING OUT ON so whatever. if you want to know more I have a massively long tl;dr but it’s worthwhile I think and I’ll msg you it.

I just have no idea how to quit, but I am sure not going in there Friday. I also do not give a single cookie about burning a bridge, because in my future profession a reference from a company a step above a shady used car dealership won’t help me :)

so yeah never buying their teas again but I’ll drink what I have because I only have ones that aren’t terrible. A customer actually came up with this and I was so excited by it I wanted to make it for her but of course that wasn’t allowed, god that entire model is STUPID. But thankfully I was doing nothing important as she was leaving with her cup so I was able to ask her how it was, and so I had to try it myself since she gave it a thumbs up.

It is good though. I just don’t like how the herbal is so moist all these pieces stick together. Not too fond though of white tea for an EG, it’s kind of bland. It really needs a black tea.

Claire

I would just write a simple letter stating that you formally resign as of insert date here. Life is too short to suffer through a crappy job, especially when there are other options.
In addition I have my own history with the-company-that-will-not-be-named and have never regretted quitting. ;)

CupofTree

Oh good job! You don’t need those lameos.

Kittenna

Blegh, that sucks :(

Nik

I am sad because you were so excited about it. I’m sorry that it didn’t end up being all that it could have been, but hey, upward and onward, eh? =)

DaisyChubb

Aw mandamo, I would love to hear your msg! Definitely onwards and upwards – you are a gem!

Autumn Hearth

So I have been on Steepster very regularly for the last few months and the last thing I remembered was you interviewing, waiting and possibly getting the job and I thought she’s going to be very disappointed one day. Then I saw on a thread earlier today you mentioning you’re very brief stint, so I went looking through your tasting notes, hundreds of them, to find this. Cheers to you! Sorry you have to go through this first hand to realize how bad they actually are. I wasn’t nearly as into tea as you were when I started working there, so am glad for the intro to loose leaf. But ummm message please? I’m way too curious.

Autumn Hearth

that should read I have not been on Steepster very regularly ;)

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drank China Breakfast by Rishi Tea
1212 tasting notes

Ugh FINALLY I can write this note…Steepster was down, then I was stuck in traffic getting things done. I don’t get why everyone felt the need to leave early for trick or treating, like calm down. This guy in a convertible beetle was just letting people in everywhere, specifically people who would get a light to turn, holding up the lane. At the highway, I got in the lane he wasn’t in, and could then see he was on his phone. I made sure to get him behind me, after all I was in the left lane and the right had to merge in.

Well, he didn’t like that, apparently I was supposed to let his entitled rear end in, so he honked at me. So I mimed crying at him. Needless to say he didn’t like that LOL so after he flipped me off I did the hang up one complete with flipping him off right back. He had no response to that of course, but since he added at least a good 5+ minutes of time onto people’s drives behind me who got stuck at the light changing for nobody, I felt like I made it up for them. Mostly at first I just had a problem with him driving a convertible new beetle, but then when I saw he was on his phone, just no.

OKAY ABOUT THE TEA.

I had a problem steeping it at first, mostly because the instructions say to use a tablespoon per 8 oz of water. I think it ended up steeping for about 4 1/2 minutes, and I added milk…but it was disgustingly bitter. I had added the milk worried this was going to happen but it didn’t cut it at all. And it was horrible, because up on the platform it was so windy and I hated the tea so much I would rather shiver than try drinking it for warmth.

I didn’t try it again for an hour or so after it’d been sitting in my thermos, and it was much better then. It is very stout, it actually feels like I am drinking the beer version of it right now, a black saison. (Actually I don’t really care for it and I’d rather drink this tea again.) It’s kind of roasty/malty with cocoa powder with a hint of spices. Not much sweetness, which is why I didn’t like it at first, but either it cooling off or the milk being in there a bit helped to soften that.

Next time I think I am going to cut the leaf by at least 1/4 and steep it for only 3 1/2 minutes. I’d like to be able to enjoy it without adding anything to it.

Also since I’m probably going to be making lip balm all night for a fall festival on Saturday (just at a nearby school, nothing big but hopefully it pans out well!) HAPPY HALLOWEEN! here is a cat afraid of a kitten: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/59642_547982145228695_1941908471_n.jpg

CupofTree

Yeah I don’t understand Rishis instructions on this one. I like mine just fine by one teaspoon per cup. They must be crazies over there lol

canadianadia

It’s awesome how you can see the sheer terror in the cat’s eyes. That kitten must be bad-ass lol

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This smells SO much like cookie dough, but sadly the taste is not living up to the scent.

It’s not bad though, to me it just tastes like it needs one more thing, a savory note perhaps, to round it all out. It just ends on this super sweet note and I feel like if it could be something else that tastes more cookie-ish, it would really make the tea. The orange peel is a little too strong for me also, but I also just left the tea bag in as I sipped.

I might try using 12 oz of water in a bigger mug next time with two bags and see how that turns out. Regardless of that sweetness and the strong orange, I really do like this.

Ellyn

I had trouble with this one also…the reviews were so positive but I just could not get it to brew to my liking.

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drank Swiss Mountain by Della Terra Teas
1212 tasting notes

Ohhh yeaaaahhh this hits the mint spot! A bit of coconut milk creamer, (I forgot I had this, so it is now in full effect…I also just bought a gallon of almond/coconut milk for something different, since that cost me a whopping $4 altogether!) a couple drops of agave, and this is like…chocolate mint frosting topped thin mints. Yeah, that good.

I really have nothing else to say as I am too busy sipping away. It’s chocolate and mint and it’s delicious.

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Grrr. Decaf teas, why can I taste something off in you so prominently?!

It isn’t as apparent in this as it was in Vanilla Comoro, thankfully. So I can drink it. And I want to love it, so hopefully just a little tweaking here and there makes it amazing.

It does taste just like candy canes. But I just am not falling in love with it like I feel I should. In fact I think if I wasn’t in such a mood for minty teas right now, I’d probably feel pretty meh about this.

I’ll give it another shot though.

Bonnie

What’s amazing is the tour of the place and going into the MINT ROOM! Some of the other Steepsters like Rachel I think did that this Summer. It almost knocks you down! It’s a nice tour if you ever get out this way.

momo

Ahhh that sounds heavenly. My boyfriend was actually looking at flying to Denver in December but the NHL lockout means that didn’t happen :( I definitely want to go whenever I do go to Colorado. Tea tours and beer tours! And maybe one day again, hockey.

Bonnie

I know, we’re still San Jose Sharks fans and when they come to Denver the tickets are usually around $10 which is crazy cheap since in San Jose they were hard to get and cost way more.

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Drinking the cold steep: This is quite nice! I think I like it better this way than hot…hah.

It tastes like Christmas, sort of like if you could actually drink a nice, light cinnamony Christmas candle without the wax. This sounds so weird, but I mean seriously, it has this really green note that almost comes off like pine needles.

Next time: a full cold steep, no steeping the leaves beforehand, and steeping for around 20 hours instead of just overnight. I always don’t want to cold steep my oolongs but somehow it makes them even more incredible!

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I have to go to my annual doctor check up this morning and I do not want to. It’s too cold. I want to stay in bed and drink hot tea. It is seriously 16 degrees colder here than Montreal, like this is ridiculous.

So to warm up and make myself get up, it is matcha time!

I think I prefer just the straight chocolate. My water was probably around 165, possibly lower, and the raspberry just has an iffy aftertaste to it. The chocolate is nice though, not as strong as the straight chocolate matcha, but nice.

Not bad, but I wish I didn’t have so many problems w/the fruit matchas.

And off I go. Let’s hope this time around I do not artificially raise my blood pressure by like 30 points by my irrational fear of blood pressure sleeves. I can’t help it, I just think, what if this thing doesn’t let go? Every time they’re just like okay we’ll do this again later and it DROPS. Luckily they took it last week at the allergist and it was 120/70 so I consider that not freaking out. I hope I can do it again haha.

Nik

Hope the check-up went well!

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I watch too much hockey and soccer. So does the bird in my photo, surprise. Finally getting back to drinking my way through my stash thanks to finally securing myself a real paying desk job.

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