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65

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.

Fjellrev

Your baking list looks awesome. I almost never bake brownies but have been thinking of doing it for the holidays this year too. With the pudding cookies, do you add pudding powder to the batter?

Roswell Strange

Pretty much. It actually gets creamed into the butter.

Fjellrev

Ohh ok. Interesting. I should try that sometime!

Isaila

Omg you should make look at buttermeupbrooklyn.com; her maplesnaps are out of this world.

Fjellrev

I can’t believe maplesnaps are actually a thing! And no molasses. I need to try those out. :)

caile

I just looked up that maplesnaps recipe – I think I need to make these as well!

Roswell Strange

Mmmm, all of those recipes look so good D:

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Comments

Fjellrev

Your baking list looks awesome. I almost never bake brownies but have been thinking of doing it for the holidays this year too. With the pudding cookies, do you add pudding powder to the batter?

Roswell Strange

Pretty much. It actually gets creamed into the butter.

Fjellrev

Ohh ok. Interesting. I should try that sometime!

Isaila

Omg you should make look at buttermeupbrooklyn.com; her maplesnaps are out of this world.

Fjellrev

I can’t believe maplesnaps are actually a thing! And no molasses. I need to try those out. :)

caile

I just looked up that maplesnaps recipe – I think I need to make these as well!

Roswell Strange

Mmmm, all of those recipes look so good D:

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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 teas I ever drank were bagged mint teas (especially peppermint), and mint still remains a staple flavour for me. My favourite teas are flavoured ones (doesn’t matter if they’re fruity, chocolate, sweet, savory, etc). And thus far in my tea journey, blacks are my favourite as far as flavoured blends go, but I’ve also developed a very strong liking towards mate and whites. For the most part, I really enjoy everything else as well. The exception is green tea – which I very much dislike. I have found a few heavily flavoured greens that I enjoy, but I’m always very wary in trying green blends.

My favourite fruit flavours in regard to tea blends are cranberry, banana, pear, lychee, melon, passion fruit and especially pineapple (pineapple is my favourite fruit). I am also always excited to try anything with Saskatoon Berries, which are delicious and also my city’s namesake. I also have a huge weakness towards toffee/caramel teas and a bit of a soft spot in regard to black licorice. And I adore anything creamy. Since I’ve used flavoured teas as a way to cut out soda from my diet, I am always up for trying soda inspired blends. I want to try all the Rootbeer teas!

Tastes I strongly dislike are ginger (I tend to avoid blends which mention ginger as an ingredient), and raisins (I’ll typically flat out refuse to try anything with raisins – I hate them that much). 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 especially adore silver needle teas. Green teas, with the exception of Genmaicha and some Hojicha, make me feel a bit sick and I 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.

As far as cold brewing goes, I do prefer to have my tea hot – but I always keep a selection of herbals and fruit blends to cold steep. I do a daily 25 oz. cold brew which I either have first thing with breakfast or take in a thermos to drink at work, in addition to the hot Timolino(s) I also bring with every work shift. On average, I have six cups of tea a day.

I prefer to drink my tea without adding anything to it, and that’s always how I first try a tea. 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 “tea 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.

As far as ratings go, I try to rate things comparatively to other teas I’ve tried. If I like it less than something rated, say, a 90 then it wont be rated more than a 90. Instead I’ll try to find a rated tea I like about the same amount and then the tea I’m drinking gets rated that number. If I find I like it in between two rated teas then I’ll rate in a number in between those ratings. I also wont restock anything with a rating lower than 80, unless it’s a bagged tea (but bagged teas need to have a rating of at least 75 for me to consider stocking them).

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 people in my life, within my new city, are my friends Robyn and Kristina.

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).

Kristina is also a friend from highschool, though not nearly as close. We’ve become much closer since she moved here a few months after I did and we both realized we knew hardly anyone.

She lives less than 10 minutes from my house, and is over here a fairly large amount of time. Recently, she’s also undertaken the huge task of introducing me to Metal music and slowly getting my involved in the metal community here in Saskatoon. It’s a work in progress.

She’s not a tea drinker, but thankfully she’s always excited to hear me ramble and is often really amused by the teas I take with me different places.

I’m very much into clay and sculpture and, if I’m being honest and not modest, I’m really good at it. I also play way too much Pokemon for my own good, and watch more TV than one person should. I’m a huge sap and cry during TV and movies all the time, even if nothing terribly sad is happening.

I’m really wordy and have this tendency to write way more than is necessary or relevant, and that often carries into my tasting notes and reviews.I feel like that probably gets annoying for the people following me…

And, on that note I think I should maybe shut up a little bit now?

Location

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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