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Well, there goes the days sipdown efforts…

I got home from work today only to find that my swap from akgrowngirl had arrived, and she’d added in an extra tea – negating my two sipdowns of the day. Curse the generosity on Steepster (not really though, you people are lovely)! Anyway, because I was back at where I’d started I felt I had to make the last tea of the day a sipdown so I’d made at least a little progress. I also really wanted to make this sipdown count so I picked this tea which I recieved as a surprise add in from VariaTEA in our first swap.

First time around I used half the leaf for a timolino full of this that I took to work – and I hated it! I’ve been dreading siping down the last little bit, and I always feel horrible throwing leaf out. I can’t pawn it off on Robyn either because the two things she flat out wont drink (she accepts most of my ‘toss away’ tea quite graciously) are coconut and pineapple, and this definitely has pineapple. I know I’m going to feel SUPER relieved once it’s out of my cupboard officially! So, this sipdown is definitely worth it and will make me feel like I’ve accomplished something significant today.

(Also, I think this is my first time noticing it – but this blend has raisins in it! YUCK!)

So for preparation I used the last of the leaf (nearly a tablespoon) for a 10 oz. mug, steeped in 10 oz. of water for a very brief 2 minutes (in the hopes of balancing out the fact I heavily overleafed). The colour is a funky purple. And the smell is majorly artificial blueberry with a generic, tart “tang”. Ick…

As far as taste goes, this is just about as bad as I remember it being the first time. Everything about it tastes artificial, cloying, and borderline chemical. It leaves a really funny “sour” taste in my mouth (sour as in “gone bad”), and the pineapple is so warped and distorted from any kind of actual pineapple taste. I’m drinking as big of gulps as I can manage, and choking it down like a champ. I can do this!

Semi side note: In anticipation of this being awful, I started cold brewing a jug of Blueberry Jam to enjoy tomorrow morning so I can have a real blueberry tea first thing – to counteract this lousy tea experience.

ALL GONE! Like. A. Fucking. Boss.

I feel very accomplished right now. I could have just tossed the leaf, but instead I fought through the cuppa, making this sipdown so much more worth it! Hell yeah! SIPDOWN!

VariaTEA

OMG I am so sorry to put you through that torture. Honestly, life is too short to suffer through bad teas so just throw it out or send it away or swap it. At least it is done now and I will never send it to you again. Also, after our many swaps and reading your reviews, I am quite aware of your hatred for raisins and keep that in mind when I decided to add things.

Roswell Strange

It’s ok! Honestly, even if I had of noticed the raisins initially, I would probably have still tried it because I love pineapple. I don’t think there’s a single pineapple tea I’m not willing to try at least once. Pineapple trumps raisins :P Anyway, I’ve tried lots of good teas from you – so that more than makes up for the occasional lousy one.

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VariaTEA

OMG I am so sorry to put you through that torture. Honestly, life is too short to suffer through bad teas so just throw it out or send it away or swap it. At least it is done now and I will never send it to you again. Also, after our many swaps and reading your reviews, I am quite aware of your hatred for raisins and keep that in mind when I decided to add things.

Roswell Strange

It’s ok! Honestly, even if I had of noticed the raisins initially, I would probably have still tried it because I love pineapple. I don’t think there’s a single pineapple tea I’m not willing to try at least once. Pineapple trumps raisins :P Anyway, I’ve tried lots of good teas from you – so that more than makes up for the occasional lousy one.

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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

Website

http://guyfierithirdandfinala...

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