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Kyle was half an hour late getting to work this evening to take over for me (because of the traffic, which has been crazy busy), so when I got home finally from work I was kind of pissed off. Although, he did call to let me know he’d be late which was appreciated, and he agreed to take the Sunday shift I needed off since my family is coming up for an early Christmas with me (I wont be able to leave the city until after Jan. 2nd – so an early Christmas sounded better to them than a late Christmas). Normally I’m the only one who works Sundays, so it was really appreciated.

Anyway, to make myself feel better I decided to do some baking! I’m trying out a new recipe tonight for pistachio pudding sugar cookies! I was excited because the ingredients list is really small and was all things I had in the house already, and it was easy enough to put together. However, all mixed up it KIND OF smells like play doh to me, so I’m kinda nervous about that…

They’re in the oven now but will be out by the time I finish this tasting note. And, what goes best with cookies? Well tea, of course. So I decided to make some peppermint tea. Since this one has tasted borderline repulsive to me I’m giving it one last shot before I stick it in the swap thread or take it away thread. It’s been heartbreaking since peppermint is a love of mine, and this has always been a staple tea of mine. I’m wondering if the leaves have just turned or something :/

Normally I heavily over leaf this (like, quadruple the recommended amount of leaf) but tonight for thus one’s last shot at redemption I’m going to be dialing back and just sticking with the recommended leaf for the recommended time.

Ten Minutes Later

Ok, cookies are out of the oven and tea is made!

The first batch of cookies was pretty burnt, and basically just tasted like slightly burnt whole wheat sugar cookies – not a ton of pistachio (although they were definitely bright pistachio green). The second batch which I left in for less time, however, are a lot softer and chewier and taste nice and subtly sweet with a good strong pistachio taste! I think I’ll have to make them again since they’re actually relatively healthy (especially since I used whole wheat flour) – and they’ve proven to be nice for dunking in my tea (especially the burnt ones). Definitely no Play Doh flavour.

As far as the peppermint tea goes, I think this tea has been redeemed! With the heavily dialed back leaf and steep time this is actually so much more pleasant, although a bit weak compared to how I normally like it. So, what I’m deducing here is that I just gradually started using more and more leaf per cup with a longer and longer steep time until I finally just reached my threshold (which I guess was a tbsp. and a half at five minutes). So now I think I can work my way back up slowly until I figure out that perfect amount.

But I’m so pleased I don’t have to toss the tin, since I have a lot of this one. Also, I’m amused at how this turned into a tea and cookie review.

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Bio

After discovering loose leaf, I decided I had to learn as much about in as quick an amount of time as humanely possible; that led me here!

Growing up, the only tea I ever drank was bagged mint tea (especially peppermint), and mint still remains a staple flavour for me. Spearmint is my favourite. At this point in my ‘tea career’ I heavily lean towards flavoured blends; doesn’t matter if they’re fruity, chocolate, sweet, savory, etc. Blacks are my favourite as far as flavoured blends go, with whites a close second. I really enjoy everything but straight Greens though, but I’ll try anything once even if I am wary.

My favourite fruit flavours in blends are cranberry, banana, pear, lychee, melon, passion fruit and especially pineapple. I am also always excited to try anything with Saskatoon Berries, which are delicious and also my city’s namesake. I have a huge weakness towards toffee/caramel and coconut teas and a bit of a soft spot in regard to black licorice. I also adore anything creamy. I am always up for trying soda inspired blends as well because the concept fascinates me. I want to try all the Rootbeer teas! I am also currently trying to try as many Sweet Potato blends as possible.

Tastes I strongly dislike are ginger and raisins. Really, those are the only two things I intentionally avoid. I also have mixed feelings about peaches, mangoes, lemongrass, and chamomile.

In regard to straight teas, I haven’t been nearly as adventurous. I’ve yet to really explore any straight oolongs, except Milk Oolongs which weren’t really for me. In general, I really like straight black teas, especially when they have strong baked bread or malt notes. I like most straight whites, but I have a preference for silver needle teas over other types. Green teas, with the exception of Genmaicha and some Hojicha, make me feel a bit sick and I often can’t finish the cup. I can handle flavoured matcha like Red Leaf Tea sells – but straight matcha is a definite “no go”. I recently survived my first Pu’erh, and it was an alright, maybe borderline enjoyable, experience.

The ratio of cold brewed and hot tea I drink is about 50/50. As far as my cup sizes go, all my daily cold brews are done in a 25 oz. mason jar and my other mugs are 12 oz. with the exception of my Adeline infuser mug which is 16 oz. Unless otherwise specified, these are the cup sizes for all teas I review.

I prefer to drink my tea without adding anything to it, and 9/10 times that will be how I first try a blend. My belief is that milk, sugar or whatever else you add to your tea should be used to enhance an already good flavour: if the tea needs something added to it to taste good then it’s probably not good tea to begin with. The exception is Matcha; I always have my matcha whisked either into cold milk or club soda as “Matcha soda” depending on which way the flavour will be best suited. My roommate, Tre, has a very different philosophy in regard to tea, and that’s to always drown out his cup in sugar – even before tasting to see if it needs any. That’s why I don’t let him drink the good stuff ;)

I’m always up for a swap, but because I have a very low income I can’t really afford to send things outside of North America on a regular basis :(

If you’re from North America and want to organize a swap, just give me a shout and I’m sure we can work something out! Many of my teas are in large quantity so I usually have enough to spare at least a small sample or so.

I’m a vegetarian and have been for more than half my lifetime. I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms, though that isn’t something that has been an issue I’ve had to deal with in regard to tea (at this point, at least).

My roommate Tre is a huge part of my life since he’s one of the only people in town that I know. Currently, he’s taking courses at Siast to become a professional chef which means sometimes I get really nice home cooked meals. He’s a huge Whovian, which means I know way more about Doctor Who than someone who’s only watched a season or so should. Recently he’s got me into Supernatural, and now Doctor Who as well. He knows next to nothing about tea, and he doesn’t really care to learn.

The other important person in my life is my friend Robyn.

I’ve known Robyn since we were in the eighth grade – and she was in all my classes all through high school. For years she was my transportation, since I’m just plain awful at driving and haven’t acquired my license yet. She just so happened to start classes at the University of Saskatchewan the same time as Tre and I were moving here, which worked out excellently. Like Tre she’s a huge Whovian and also a fan of Supernatural (is there even a fandom term for people who like Supernatural?). She was a minor inspiration in regard to this tea obsession of mine (but now I’ve far surpassed her in tea knowledge, consumption, and quantity possessed). Often times I have her over for tea or share my teas with her (and if it’s a tea I dislike she gets first dibs before I start trying to swap it all away here on Steepster).

Some brief “IRL” interests: Clay/Sculpture (or visual arts in general), Improv, Mythology, Big Brother (USA and CA), and an absurdly large amount of TV shows – geeky or otherwise.

Location

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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