80
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
1629 tasting notes

I finally started my Christmas baking!!!

That’s really good, especially since it has to be done by tomorrow evening (family gets here Sunday morning). So, I did two out of five recipes, and when I get off work I’ll be doing either the big one (carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing) or the two smaller cookie recipes (pistachio pudding sugar cookies and butterscotch pudding sugar cookies)! And then whatever is left will be done tomorrow before work! This is super exciting because I was worried I’d procrastinated too long and wouldn’t have time to do everything I wanted.

Anyway, in the middle of baking my brownies, my tea samples from Keychange arrived (this being one of them). I finished my baking, logged everything on my spreadsheet and on Steepster, and then set out to make myself a mug of this one. I chose this one in particular because I’m realizing that I have a TON of smaller sample amounts from DAVIDsTEA and I’d really like to work through some of them – especially the ones that are part of the permanent collection and, ergo, don’t need to be hoarded.

(On that note, I used up all of my sample of DAVIDsTEA’s Kanpe tea sent to me from VariaTEA today by setting it up to cold brew – although I’m not counting it as a sipdown yet since it hasn’t actually been consumed)

I was also excited to try this one because I’ve seen lots of reviews on it lately (ok, maybe not lots – but at least two). So, I guess my curiosity was especially peeked.

I steeped 1 tsp. in 10 oz. of water, at about 80 degrees Celsius for four minutes. I had sort of just assumed this one needed a lower water temperature, but after looking it up I guess the recommended temperature is 92 degrees Celsius. I was all ready to try this hot, but then I took a look at the clock and saw that I only had 30 minutes until I started work – so in a frenzied panic I dumped it into my water bottle and rushed to get ready and to work on time (made it with five minutes to spare!).

So now I’m drinking this cold – although keychange was very generous in the amount she gave me, so I have more than enough to try this hot as well. Taste wise, the first thing I notice is the very floral aspects of this tea: definitely orchid, and some other things as well though I can’t exactly put my finger on them. I’m finding them borderline ‘perfumey’, but not quite there. Next thing is the very creamy vanilla taste. Because of the very thick mouthfeel this has, it sort of results in a “vanilla pudding” type of taste. I actually normally hate vanilla pudding (except, oddly enough I like tapioca which is just vanilla pudding with little gelatin bead type things) – but this is working pretty well with me. The fact this is cold is also probably only accentuating the vanilla pudding thing, as well.

I’m really enjoying this though – and I don’t think I’m gonna have any issues getting through it. That said, I can also see this as something I would get very sick of if I was having it frequently, and for that reason I doubt it’s something I’d ever keep regularly stocked or stocked in large quantity. I think it’d be awesome for an occasional treat, though!

VariaTEA

I definitely agree. Every now and then I think it is a nice treat but it is not something I would want often. One of those teas that when you want it, nothing will suffice, but you have to want it.

keychange

Yup, I’m with you there. I loved on it for a while, and now am a bit sick of it. When it’s good, it’s really good, though. Weird how tea can be like that.

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VariaTEA

I definitely agree. Every now and then I think it is a nice treat but it is not something I would want often. One of those teas that when you want it, nothing will suffice, but you have to want it.

keychange

Yup, I’m with you there. I loved on it for a while, and now am a bit sick of it. When it’s good, it’s really good, though. Weird how tea can be like that.

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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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