284 Tasting Notes
Well this is a sipdown, albeit a short lived one since I have another 2 oz. on the way from Black Friday orders (which I’m hoping start arriving this week). I thought it’d be a nice tea to end the evening on, something creamy and lemon – because lemon is always good for a sore throat. Thankfully, the smell of this didn’t make my stomach do weird, unhappy things since I went ahead and steeped the rest of my sample from Janelle.
I don’t know why I got so sick so fast…
Sore throat, stuffy nose and other cold symptoms, and then an upset stomach. Bleck. Stupid bone chilling weather on top of being over worked :/
However, this is making me feel really good right now, especially when combined with some good stand up comedy. Right now I’m watching Iliza Shlesinger, and seriously that woman is brilliant! Mmmm, sweet sweet contentment.
Today has been a really trying day for me, tea wise. I’ve felt sick and just totally ill the last few days, but I didn’t really feel “stomach sick” (if that makes sense) until a few hours ago, and I’m not really sure what switched that over…
It’s kind of disappointing because I’d set a few new teas aside that I wanted to try out tonight and tomorrow on my day off, but now the smell of them – even though they smelled fine this morning – is making my stomach do flips. I even sat down to add the teas I received today to the spreadsheet I use to keep track of everything, and (despite everything smelling just fine individually) the pile of tea samples next to me was cumilitavely creating this nauseating smell that made me want to throw up.
Anyway, this one I received today from VariaTEA. It’s not something I would have picked out for myself, but she sent to me along with a whole bunch of other herbal teas since I had expressed an interest in branching out with that type of tea. I’m not sure exactly why I wouldn’t have picked this out for myself – there’s nothing in the ingredients list that I particularly dislike, to my knowledge (I have never had Juniper berries – so I have no particular feelings towards them). Ultimately, I feel like this one arrived just on time, what with my being sick and all.
Dry, this actually isn’t turning me off smell wise and actually it sorta is conveying what I was trying to go for earlier today with David’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (however, that failed epically – I started feeling really disgusted by what I was drinking, and eventually dumped the timolino out upon returning home). I really smell the orange and the peppermint. I’m not so sure what a Juniper berry is supposed to smell or taste like, so I’m not sure what I should be looking for, however there’s nothing particularly unidentifiable sticking out to me. I can see lots of them in the mix, though.
I ended up steeping 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf in 8 oz. of boiling water for 8 minutes. As it was steeping, the tea smelled very nice and I was really happy it wasn’t making my stomach turn.
Taste wise, I’m heavily reminded of two DAVIDsTEA blends: Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bravissimo, although more so the MSD. It’s funny because the too are quite similar, and yet MSD had me at the point where I wanted to throw up. I wonder why this one, instead, is easing my stomach (and sinuses) and making me feel so much better? I can’t believe this is something I never even considered buying for myself because – health benefits aside – it’sjust delicious! I could for sure see myself picking up more to drink ‘medicinally’, as well as just casually for the taste.
This was tea #2 for work today, continuing the idea of bringing a fruity tea with me. Although, since I had already picked one non herbal fruity tea, I was perfectly ok with this one being a herbal blend.
There were a few I was considering, but this was the front runner because I thought the orange in it would be nice on the throat considering how sick I feel, and the spearmint seemed like a good idea for both helping with my stuffyness and being gentle on the throat too. For preparation, I used 2 tsp. steeped in my 12 oz. timolino for eight minutes (boiling water, of course).
Taste wise, I’m finding myself flipping between loving it and feeling sort of sick drinking it. Every other sip, the taste is sweet and tangy gooseberry/orange creaminess with refreshing spearmint – and then the next sip reminds me of when you poor orange juice in milk and it curdles. So, I’m having a hard time getting through my timolino full of it. I’m sure that this has got to be something to do with my already feeling sick and my taste buds just being wonky, though – I had a large mug of this what seems like less then a week ago and that mug actually did have milk in it, and the taste was just fine… So this must be a today thing.
Still, it’s kind of disappointing seeing as I picked this over other because I thought it would be a good fit for being sick.
I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I am sick. I didn’t want to admit it – but after getting home from work last night, making a bowl of alphaghetti and then promptly falling asleep from 7PM to 11AM without even touching the alphaghetti, I don’t think I can realistically deny it much longer.
I mean, it makes sense considering how stuffy I was yesterday during work on top of having a killer migraine, and just being an irritable bitch in general. I just don’t have time to be sick. And so, despite feeling crappy I came in to work today anyway. I just can’t afford to not come in…
I’ll admit to being glad I left the house though – otherwise I probably wouldn’t have checked the mailbox, and today I have two parcels in it for me! None of my BF orders, but still exciting none the less. The first was from VariaTea and contained a whole bunch of herbal teas (thank you!). This one arrived at the perfect time, because I could really use some of DAVIDsTEA’s Cold 911 to help curb my cold. The second was from CrowKettle – and I’m very excited to try out those teas as well (especially Peach HoppiTea – it smells AMAZING)!
Anyway, I chose this one today for work because I wanted something fruity but not specifically herbal – and this seemed like a good fit. For preparation, I steeped 1 tsp. in 8 oz. of water (about 75 degrees Celsius) for three minutes. This was poured into my water bottle. I then resteeped the leaves the exact same way and poured into my water bottle as well.
I’m drinking it now in addition to some cinnamon hot chocolate froyo, and it’s really delicious. I’m not sure if it’s because of the combination of having it with the frozen yogurt, but the raspberry is a little sharp (kinda lightly tart) today. However, it still finishes with really rich, creamy, buttery raspberry pastry notes. The second steep of this usually is quite strongly oolong tasting with minimal raspberry, so drinking the first and second steep simultaneously makes for a nice even balance.
I don’t know if this is specifically doing anything for my cold, but it’s very delicious and I’m happy with this morning’s tea choice.
Ok, so I actually set the tin of this out last night with the plan of making a mug of it – but I ended up taking a nap after getting home for work, and then forgot about it when I woke up (and, consequently from that nap, I couldn’t get back to sleep all night – so I’ve been wide awake since 9 PM last night…).
I saw it this morning when I was making my Mate, and I thought it might be a nice sorta comforting tea to take with too, and this one tastes better hot, in my opinion, so I made it in my timolino. 2 tsp. for the 12 oz. timolino steeped with boiling water for seven minutes.
Compared to yesterday’s Very Big Hill Dew Honeybush form 52Teas, which just fell so short for my yesterday, this is amazing! I’m getting nice, eggy cake batter with some creamy vanilla notes, and just the right amount of woody rooibos taste to keep me happy. I wish there was some milk in it, but it’s still ok without.
The only thing leaving me disappointed is that I’m not really getting a lot of “benefits” from it, other than the awesome taste. I was drinking Tea Desire’s Mate Mint earlier – and that one was helping my headache, hunger pains, and keeping me alert (while tasting good too) so this is falling a little short to me, admittedly probably unrealistic, expectations.
Well, I successfully was the perfect employee/manager for three+ hours today! Basically, my boss’s (the district manager) boss (the head of the company) is doing his yearly “rounds” and visiting every branch in the country, and today was my day…
I had no idea when he’d be here, so for three plus hours I did everything I should have been doing anyway that I normally just… don’t. That included greeting every single customer, asking if they could be helped and reciting the stupid line “and if you have any questions, definitely don’t be afraid to ask” to every single one and then offering everyone a wallet calendar and giving, again, another stupid speech ("on the front is our company website and toll free number, and on the back you’ll find all of the dates for 2014). And all the while nursing a sickeningly sweet smile and “soft” voice (because having a soft voice makes you “more approachable and less intimidating”).
I know – this is my job and I’m complaining an awfully lot about things I should be doing anyway, but it’s just draining forcing a chipper attitude (and speaking in a voice that is not my natural one) for hours on end, especially when I’m listening to the same fucking Christmas carols play on repeat all day every day and nursing a killer migraine…
However, I think they were both very satisfied with my guest service and I was able to masterfully answer all their questions about stock shipments, facing our products, general reception from the seniors in the mall, what we sell lots of and what we don’t sell lots of – among other things.
I’m just so glad that I had my mate with me, because I’m just super drained. I’ve had an awful nights sleep the last two days and despite eating more healthy the last week or so compared to how I usually eat I just feel weak and malnourished. I’m wondering if I might be getting sick – and I really hope that’s not the case because I just don’t have the time to be sick.
Anyway, this tea is a miracle worker! It’s keeping me awake, the mint is helping to curb hunger pains (seven hour shift with no food), and just tastes great in general! I don’t think, for the day, I could have made a better choice in mate!
I’m kinda snickering to myself, though for perhaps a stupid reason. I went to search up this tea to write my tasting note, and I got as far as “Very Big Hill” and noticed that DAVIDsTEA’s Alpine Punch was still one of the options in the drop down menu. For whatever reason, that really cracked me up.
Urghh… Three hours left. Time is going by VERY slowly and I’m running out of things to do to keep occupied. I know I could eat up time by browsing various tea websites, but I don’t want to stoop to that since my wallet is strapped enough as is. I’m trying to come up with a reasonable list of baking to make for Christmas. Right now my list is looking like:
- Pistachio Pudding Sugar Cookies
- Banana Pudding Sugar Cookies
- Carrot Cake muffins w. Cream Cheese icing
- Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cluster drop cookies
And I’m thinking one more thing would sort of round everything out. Maybe brownies? I like brownies…
Because I can’t cook to save my life, and Tre will be at work (so I can’t guilt him into cooking Christmas dinner for me) we’ll be ordering in pizza – which I think is a perfectly acceptable Christmas type dinner. I’m also gonna prepare a couple cold brewed teas, but am not sure which ones yet. So, still have that to figure out. Hmm, maybe I can use my Christmas planning as something to do to pass time by.
Anyway, back to the tea at hand (or rather, in hand). When I saw this one on the 52Teas site I knew I had to try it out, and wouldn’t you know I seem to be the first tasting note on it! No pressure, right?
After getting really into loose leaf a few months ago I basically cut all pop out of my diet with the exception of the occasional “cheat” drink (I let myself have one pop once per paycheck; so every two weeks). The three I’m having a hard time letting go of, however, are Root Beer (and now I have a tea alternative), Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew. So, the prospect of a replacement Mountain Dew tea has me super excited!
I actually gave the first cup away, which was hard for me to do. My favourite cashier Shelby from Tea Desire had expressed an interest in this blend so I brought it in the day it arrived in the mail (fingers crossed that she’d even be working that day) and gave her the honors of opening the packet and having the first cup. Sadly, I had to catch the bus before I got to hear her thoughts on it!
Dry, the leaf smells amazing and is basically bang on for Mountain Dew. I need to figure out how to make air freshener or something similar out of tea leaf, because I keep going back to the packet just to take the chance to smell it. Mmm!
Today when I was making it I decided I finally had to have it and couldn’t put off trying it any longer. I’ve never had a honeybush/rooibos blend from 52Teas before so I wasn’t totally sure if there was a generally “accepted” method to making them – so I went with 1 1/2 tsp. for my timolino steeped 6 minutes in boiling water. Essentially what I’d do with many of my other rooibos teas.
(Side note, I just had someone knock an entire shelf of box calendars down, kinda shiftily look side to side and scamper away without even the slightest effort to clean them up. On top of that, are debit/credit pad isn’t working at all today, and when I called about getting someone in to come repair it the response was “It’s too cold to come today, and we don’t work Sunday – so we’ll be there to fix it sometime on Monday”. Urgh! I was cold today too coming to work, but I fucking did it because THAT. IS. MY. JOB!)
The smell was kinda sugary lemon, with some lemon zest/rind type – faintly like Mountain Dew, but there was something missing as well, that I just can’t place my finger on. And, this time it’s not the absence of carbonation (though I really wanna try this as tea soda) or the fact I’m drinking it hot. It’s something else.
Taste wise – the first thing I get is a distinct taste of honeybush – straight honeybush. And then, oddly enough, I get notes of both lemon rind and graham crackers. I’ve seen Lala describe honeybush/rooibos as tasting ‘peppery’, and this is actually the first time I’m finding that too. Huh. Odd. In the body of the sip I’m not particularly impressed – but the aftertaste does come awfully close to tasting like Mountain Dew, so there’s still that. I’m wondering if I just messed up in how I brewed it or if there’s contamination in my timolino from the last time I used it (which would be for DAVIDsTEA’s Read My Lips) – although I did try to thoroughly clean it out.
I definitely need to try again at home, maybe with different proportions and in a nice, fresh, clean mug. But my thoughts right now are that this is one of those teas that sounds like a good idea and has an amazing smell dry, but just doesn’t translate the same in the actual steeped tea. Kind of disappointed, honestly.
I feel like a Popsicle…
Today it’s -33 Celsius out, with the wind chill making it -48 Celsius: a windchill warning has been put into affect, meaning it’s cold enough to cause frostbite and nerve damage if exposed to the cold for long times. And like an idiot, I took a shower today before work and ended stepping outside with slightly wet hair. Normally I’d walk to work (it’s a 15 minute walk) but I couldn’t bring myself to, so I took the bus instead. Yup – I paid for a two minute bus ride, and I have zero regrets about doing so. I’m going to have to walk home from work eventually though, since I didn’t bring enough cash for a bus ride home. Welp.
I knew I’d likely need some portable, liquid heat today though – so I brought this with me to drink upon arriving at work, which I’m doing now. It’s doing an excellent job of thawing me out, though. And it tastes like glorious, yummy cinnamon hearts. Just the perfect amount of spice for someone like me who is not too big into spicey things.
For preparation today, I made a 10 oz. cup using 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped in about 90 degree water for four minutes. I then brewed up a second cup using the same leaf but with 5 oz. of water (same temp.) for four minutes. They were both poured together into my water bottle, which would normally cool them down to room temperature or cooler, but I’m actually drinking everything quick enough that it’s still very warm (though I wouldn’t call it hot).
Excellent! Now I just need something to eat…
This was the second tea I took to work, and I’m excited to get it out of my sample drawer since it just kept stinking everything up! Although, I suppose I have McQuarrie’s “Rum Cream” tea doing the same now :/
For preparation, I dumped the remainder of the sample size into the brewing basket for my timolino (fingers crossed the smell isn’t too hard to scrub out). It was about 1 1/2 tsp., though I wasn’t pay too close of attention to the measurement. This was steeped for five minutes in boiling water.
I actually was sort of putting off drinking this today, not because it’s especially bad but because the peppercorns in the blend really bother me, and the rest is just mediocre. However, there’s this absolutely putrid, disgusting smell coming from the food court right now (I think it’s something from ‘Schnitzel Meister’) that’s making me feel incredibly queasy and sick (I keep gagging from the smell) so I figured the peppermint in this might help ease my stomach a little, despite the peppercorns. And, it’s sorta of doing that.
Seriously though, why are peppercorns necessary in chocolate peppermint tea? I guess it all boils down to personal preference, like usual.
Thanks again VariaTea for the sample of this. Even though I didn’t love it, you saved me from eventually caving and buying some to satisfy my curiosity only to end up dissatisfied.
For work this afternoon I decided I wanted to do a couple sipdowns, and since I saw this one back up on the Della Terra site last night (although, only available in the 1 oz. size) I figured I didn’t need to hoard this any longer and could ‘afford’ the try it: this way if I do like it then I know that I could put in an order if I really wanted to.
So, sipdown! For my 8 oz. mug I used the whole sample I received from Janelle’s tea sale – about 1 tsp. and a half. In boiling water, I let this steep for four minutes. The liquor was a little swampy and oily looking, not unlike the oil from when peanut butter separates. I’m going to attribute this to the peanut butter morsels and sprinkles.
I tried a few sips hot before I poured it into my water bottle, but it was super hot and I just ended up burning my tongue and not tasting a whole lot. Now that I’m at work I’m drinking this at slightly warmer than room temperature. The smell of the liquor is the sorta of trademark “fudgey chocolate” I associate with Della Terra. For whatever reason their chocolate teas taste different to me; more rich. Whatever kind of chocolate they’re using is probably my favourite that I’ve accounted thus far. And, I do get a very faint smell of peanut butter. It is clear enough, though, that I think I’d be able to know I was smelling peanut butter if I was blinding smelling this without knowledge of the ingredients.
Taste wise – this is very nice and fudgey chocolate tasting. I’m impressed in that regard, at the least. The peanut butter is mild, and I definitely wanted it to be at least equal in taste to the chocolate – and it’s not. However I only noticed one small peanut butter morsel in the leaf I used so if there had been more perhaps this would taste closer to what my expectation was. I guess another thing that could be a factor is the temperature I’m drinking it at – perhaps hotter the peanut butter is stronger is flavour.
I think this might be worth investing in another ounce sized sample of, just to test that theory out because ultimately, even as is right now, this isn’t bad by a long shot.