New Tasting Notes
Stupid weather. It was pouring rain when I was walking home from hanging out on Whyte avenue and it decided to stop after I got home. My allergies are worsening, sore glands, throat, headache, etc, so I tortured myself even further by stopping in at Shoppers Drug Mart for some Advil. Now I’m downing a couple of those with this tea.
I got excited when I saw this because I was hoping it would be a decent replacement for Butiki’s Watermelon Xylophone and/or Cantaloupe & Cream. But I wouldn’t say so. It’s more watermelon than honeydew, in my opinion, and the watermelon is a little on the artificial side. I don’t really taste much else? What, there is supposed to be mango and pineapple in this? Can’t even taste them.
FWIW, I prefer Melon Drop, even though it’s a little artificial, but mainly because I enjoy that kind of artificial melon flavour, which is found in awesomeness like Melona bars. Speaking of which, I should try to pick up more of that before it’s gone.
Ok ok ok, I need to pay attention. My beloved Habs are playing.
Oh yeah, so despite buying more of this today, this review is actually for the chocolate bar which I had a few weeks ago. I don’t even think you can get it anymore, but it’s no loss, really. The coconut was ultra weak, there was a hint of nuttiness, but overall, it was basically like a plain milk chocolate. I liked it, but would have preferred another Salted Caramel bar.
This is one of my absolute favourite teas. I am a huge chai lover, so it is no surprise. It is so, so good as a latte. It is a pricey tea, but, fortunately, Teavana had multiple 50% off sales around Christmas and I definitely took advantage on that. I have a lot of stock on hand, in case it is discontinued on short notice. I do think that it is a tea that you either love or hate. I can definitely see how some people would not enjoy it. But I love it! It is my go-to tea and I dread the day that it is discontinued.
This is another great tea from David’s Tea. It was the first tea from David’s that I really loved. It is sweet, creamy, and nutty. Amazing as a latte. And all of my tea friends love it, when we usually have different tea preferences. It is an essential tea in both my home and work stock. Highly recommended!
This one of my absolute favourite teas! I was heartbroken when I went in to get a refill only to discover that the tea was no longer available. I searched and searched for a replacement from other companies but could not find anything comparable. Fortunately, I was able to pick up a bunch online when it went on clearance. I always drink it iced. It is amazing! I don’t think I have even tried in hot. Love this tea!
Holy mother this is a fucking spicy tea!
I mean, I shouldn’t have really expected otherwise because of the three ingredients in this is chili rings, and the last time I had a tea with those was that chocolate chili herbal one from RiverTea and it was almost too much for me. Visually, this has a hell of a lot more chili in it than that blend too. But I bought it anyway yesterday ’cause it seemed so unique and fun.
Unique, yes. Fun? Uhh…
I went with a cold brew to first try this one. Basically, the front of the sip is your regular roasted mate flavour; nothing out of the ordinary there. You kind of taste a bit of extra sweetness from the candied pineapple but it’s not adding a whole lot. But then. Man, then, BAM! Without the formality of a nice transition you’re just hit with the fires of hell all over your mouth.
It. Is. So. Damn. Hot.
But you know what? It’s bearable because it doesn’t linger much longer past when you finish your sip – and it’s certainly accurate to the name. So major points for that; I don’t know if they could get any more accurate in that department. I wont make the mistake of prepping it for something casual to sip on again; but I do think this will absolutely do the trick when it comes to being something loud, in your face, and highly caffeinated to drink for those early, early morning file maintenance shifts.
And spice lovers, you have to try this one! It’s exactly what it claims to be, and how often can you say that about a tea?
Gotta make my tasting note quick; I’m waiting for a date to get here any minute now…
I’ve been hoarding the last little bit of this sample, but I finished this one off last night; despite the caffeine I thought that the floral aspect of the tea might help me fall asleep. As I’ve well documented today, I’ve been having bad insomnia all week. It did the trick though! Not half an hour after finishing the mug I was out like a rock.
The magnolia was spot on; and the base was amazing as always. So soft, creamy and buttery! If a group order ever takes place for Tea Ave please let me know guys; I really want to pick up more Ginger Lily but since that’s the only one I really want putting in my own order doesn’t seem all that realistic right now.
Unrelated; I ended up getting a spontaneous tattoo done yesterday! One of the shops in town was doing a flash sale on Umbrella themed tattoos so I got a really cool one added to my inner elbow. It’s an umbrella where the top portion is a birdcage with a canary in it. It certainly hurt more than the two on my forearms; but it wasn’t unbearable. I think the position my arm was in while it was being done ended up being a lot more uncomfortable.
Hurts like a bitch this morning though…
Thanks MissB for the sample!
This is a goji and green tea blend; that’s it. Do you know how excited that made me!? REALLY EXCITED is the answer. I’ve had this ‘theory’, if you will, that I somehow have an inability to taste goji berries ‘cause every time I’ve had a tea in them I haven’t noticed anything remotely like what they’re supposed to taste like. But the goji in this doesn’t have any other flavours to compete with aside for the base so I am stoked to put this theory to the test and maybe learn some things.
And guess what guys… I TASTED THE GOJI!
It was mind blowing; the base was there and pretty nice with some grassy notes but right over top of it, all sparkly and juicy was this pretty incredible fruit flavour! It reminded me of over ripe strawberries and the sweeter side of cranberries. WOW IT WAS GOOD. I don’t know how I’ve been missing out on this flavour for so long either!? Taste buds what’re up with you guys!? You let me down for so long with such an interesting flavour.
In other news; while my Dad was visiting we went out for lunch at the restaurant Tre works at…
I don’t get what he complains about all the time; it’s pretty small, and certainly wasn’t busy at all. There were two other people dining aside from my Dad and I. The service was really good though (maybe ‘cause we walked in and immediately saw Tre though – so he knew we were there). It was a touch freaky having the wait staff know stuff about me ahead of time though; like the fact I’m vegetarian and allergic to mushrooms.
The food was really good; I got a poached pear salad with Saskatoon berry dressing and blue cheese and it was heavenly. Of course, it’s a combination I’m familiar with – Prairie Ink (my favourite restaurant) serves a very similar salad but this one was certainly able to compete with it. When he got home later that night, Tre said he gave me the ‘big pear’. Thanks? It was good, though…
We left a 40% tip – I always tip well (if you can’t afford to tip you can’t afford to eat out), but my Dad doesn’t really believe in tipping. I made sure that it was a good one though; partly because my roommate works there, but also party ’cause it really was a good experience.
Now Tre can’t complain I haven’t been, though!
Gotta remember not to eat matcha cupcakes at night. While I’m sure they’re not entirely responsible for all the insomnia I’ve been having as of late, they certainly can’t be helping.
…I did use a lot of matcha in them. Like 3 tbsp!?
CAFFEINATED CUPCAKE POWERS ACTIVATE!
Also, I fed one of these two my Dad while he was visiting. He was hesitant to try it ‘cause he’s pretty much cut out all sugar from his diet, but I guilted him into trying one. There’s a lot of good stuff in ‘em too – like vegetables and all that jazz. He didn’t like it; but he’s old and crazy, so…
Yay!!! It’s Friday afternoon, I got off work a little early and my plan for the rest of the afternoon involves nothing more than a cup of tea or two and a couple of chapters of my most recent book while lounging around on the couch ignoring all the things that need to be done around the house… After all, tomorrow is another day!
This tea is a little cup of deliciousness! Its malty, seriously hoppy, has a hint of vanilla and a touch of wood and I hope this cup never ever runs out! Bold but silky, bitter but sweet, this is pretty amazing cup! Thanks to Nicole for sharing this with me… It’s looking more and more likely that I’ll be making an order with Golden Tips very very soon!!
Well, I finished it off. Err, sort of. It wasn’t exactly me who finished it – though I did have a couple sips when I was preparing it.
I made this one for my Dad yesterday; he came up for a few hours in the morning to visit – and he brought some of my dental refund money with him! Hooray! I made this one specifically for him because I wanted him to get to see the chawan he bought me for my birthday in action! And why not take advantage of the easy sipdown!?
The whole process was captivating to him; from measuring to whisking to just drinking it. I went with a more traditional prep method; simple hot water instead of cold milk which is my preference. I personally, just based on the few sips I had, thought that apart from feeling thinner the flavour was a lot more cinnamon than berry.
Dad couldn’t pinpoint the flavour at all though; but to be fair “Rich Berry Pie” isn’t exactly the easiest thing to guess. He knew there was fruit – but that’s about all he was able to narrow down. He did enjoy it though!
I ended setting almost all of it aside for some more ink though; first thing I did in the morning was a tattoo consultation: I’ll be adding a Mrs. Marvel quote, my siblings names, one of the panels from Shel Silverstein’s poem “The Thinker of Tender Thoughts”, and a banner of binary code to my quickly building accumulation of tattoos. I have a three hour session to get everything done booked in for about a week from now…
Just resessioned the Shang Chun… Interesting, definitely not as attacking as I described when I first got it (the sample). For the most part I am getting vegetal sweetness, that reminds me of steamed broccoli (this came in riigt at the start of session and later when I extended my brew times). The wet leaf aroma is sweet honey-floral, with a hint of wintergreen.
The leaf matter is fairly chopped, some darker leafs and a few stems (yes! a couple science majors, a few math majors and swear I saw a couple engineers just straight up chilling in my gaiwan!).
There is a bit of heaviness to the liquor (not as heavy as Tea Urchin stuff but it’s definitely there). Over the course of my session I actually sneezed and a little bit of sweetness came up from my throat, I am like: ‘This must be that last sweetness that everybody is taking about’ (huigan). And on a more serious note the tea does have a little lasting feeling. Note: I say feeling and not taste (or flavor) because like another reviewer said this tea could be stronger, I agree.
Thanks to Sil (I’m pretty sure) for the tea! I remember asking for this one in a swap once, I’m pretty sure, though I don’t recall with who. They only had a cups worth though, so I was more than ok with not trying it. And turns out it worked out so I get to taste it anyway!
I cold brewed my sample; it’s been absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous here lately so I’m not making hot tea for my commute to work anymore – which means I’ve had to be a little bit creative with what I’m picking out for cold brews. And since it’s a jumble of tea types, part of me was also relieved about not having to figure out what temperature to brew this one at hot.
This was a very weird tea; there’s certainly a lot going on with it. I tried it semi blindly; I hadn’t looked it up before hand but I had seen reviews on it so I knew to somewhat expect strawberry and caramel notes. Otherwise, I had no prior knowledge.
My experience was that the oolong stood out the most of all the teas mixed in here; and then the black tea – didn’t really pick up anything particularly like green tea. Perhaps the little bit of nuttyness at the front of the sip? But that note could be attributed to the other base teas as well. In addition to some nuttyness, I noticed a fair bit of toastier notes and mineral notes at the start of the sip; this is partially what made the oolong stick out a little more for me.
This transitioned into the body of the tea, which had a sort of ‘medium’ sweetness and richness to it; definitely the caramel. While this flavour was strongest in the middle of the sip, it was still present all throughout. The finish is where the strawberry kicked in for me; though I found it more of a soft, generic red berry sort of flavour and a lot less distinctly like strawberry.
Now that I’ve looked up the tea I know there are also some floral ingredients. I don’t recall pinpointing anything distinctly floral at all – but it is possible (though perhaps a bit of a stretch) that the presence of these flavours, if there at all, were just kind of smooshed in with the flavour of the oolong for me. With all that was going on with this tea I think it’d be perfectly reasonable for me to have missed them again.
I would totally drink this again; the impression I got is that this is definitely one of those teas that gets better the more you drink it. Thank you Sil!
No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the bitterness out of the brew.. I steeped it the same parameters as the previous dancong, but it always had a bitter finish even when I lowered the water temperature or had shorter steeps. Not sure what I did wrong – maybe I need a dancong expert :P
Still, woodsy notes with a hint of sweetness until the bitterness hits at the end. Steeped gongfu style.
So a couple nights ago I made a fun, experimental batch of cupcakes. Basically, I didn’t have super high expectations for them but I thought it’d be cool to mess around and use up some of the ingredients sitting in my kitchen just in case.
What I ended up with was Zucchini Vanilla Cherry cupcakes iced with a Strawberries and Cream Matcha frosting! I don’t know if that sounds good to anyone else – but it sounds mouthwatering to me!
Tre was my Guinea Pig; he got to eat a cupcake before icing and one afterwards. He definitely prefers the one without matcha icing – he says it’s moist with a rich cherry flavour. Somewhat surprisingly, the reason he doesn’t like the icing isn’t because of the vegetal matcha but because he thinks that the strawberry blends into the cherry too much, and it just because an overwhelming flavour. I can respect that, I guess.
Personally; I love the icing! I did use a lot of matcha, so the flavouring certainly isn’t subtle – but I find it distinctly separate from the cherry flavour in the cake itself. The matcha didn’t do anything weird to the consistency of the icing either; I’ve made a few kinds of icing with stuff “infused” into them and weird texture can definitely be a problem when doing that.
So; these cupcakes are a total win! And I’ve been munching on them pretty much non stop. Definitely wont be doing a tasting note for each one though – that’d be like 24 tasting notes for this tea alone, and definitely a pain to write out along with being a disproportionate number for my “most logged” teas. I may do one or two more tasting notes for them though, if anything interesting crops up.
I brewed this up last night and only after I did so, I realized this was an earl grey. Consequently I was hesitant but I actually enjoyed this. The bergamot wasn’t over powering or floral but rather it was bright and citrusy and blended beautifully with the berry flavors. It was actually a pleasant cup which is not something I say about earl teas often. Perhaps I’m warming up to them…
Sipdown! I am finally done with this one, have probably had it for 3 years now. This is impossible to mess up, it’s good when you gong fu it and today I steeped it Western style. I don’t think will get bitter no matter what you do. Just a really pleasant, roasted fruity flavor and very earthy. This is not the best DHP I have ever had but it is certainly nice this afternoon.
An invigorating mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The flavor is not overpowering or spicy. It’s actually quite smooth and refreshing. I attempted to steep it a second time, but didn’t get much out of it. Oh well, still very tasty. I also own the Harney & Sons Earl Grey. It might be my imagination, but both teas I have by this company seem much more mellow than I was expecting. The tins are lovely though.
The rose and the fig are there, in the scent, but a sip reveals them to be weak. And just beneath the surface, lurks hibiscus. Because if it’s a Teavana tea it probably has hibiscus, and if it’s a Teavana herbal tea, it definitely has hibiscus. But that aside, the lack of intensity and complexity in the flavors is disappointing, which is why I’m going to conduct an experiment with my next tasting.
I recently read an article by Gitte Lasby, titled “Teavana’s dirty secret: Why the tea you brew doesn’t taste like the store samples.” Her experience with Teavana was reminiscent of my constant disappointment with Teavana teas, which stems from the significant gap between their smell and their taste. They always seem to promise more than they can deliver. So, I’ve decided that when a tea fails to impress, as is in the case with this Fig Rose, I will use the tea to water proportion reportedly used at the stores (3 tsp to 1 c. water). It’s partly as an experiment, but also to be able to enjoy the rest of a tea I’ve already paid for. I will update on first experiment.
Flavors: Fig, Jam, Rose
I’m still around! Though I haven’t had as much time for tea as I would have liked…
This came with the Lupicia newsletter. I was surprised to see I had given it a rating of 65 before…probably didn’t enjoy it so much when brewed hot? This time I made it iced, and it’s a nicely refreshing jasmine green tea. Smooth, just a little sweet, and with very fresh floral qualities. Definitely glad to give it another try.
On another note, I will be visiting China this summer…definitely a lot of tea to try (among other things), though all of it will probably be logged under the “random/unknown” category here!