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Sipdown (193/197)!

This is one of the many samples I received in the mail today from who other than VariaTEA – leave it to her to not only shower me with tea in general but with Nina’s Paris samples.

I wasn’t really sure how I’d react to this one: I’m not exactly the biggest fan of mangoes or mango flavoured things. However, the dry leaf of this smelled incredibly juicy and rich in a very appetizing way so I figured I’d give it a shot. It definitely has a flavour very true to a mango and it’s pretty solidly good, especially considering I don’t like mango a whole lot to begin with. Oddly, I thought it tasted better the more it cooled down though: maybe that’s because there was a faintly floral quality to the hot cup in the end sip that I found less present cold.

VariaTEA sent me two sachets but given my mango aversion I think I’m going to share the tea wealth and send the last one to 221Tea. While I thought this cup was surprisingly good for my own personal tastes I think the one cup was enough to satisfy my curiosity.

PS. I really like this one’s name.

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers

221tea

I’m not gonna lie…every time I see my name in one of your posts, I do a mental happy dance. Brian and I both like mangoes! This just gets better and better!

Roswell Strange

Package #2 which I’m currently compiling will be coming to you in a box instead of a bubble mailer so I’m just trying to fill it up as much as possible ;) Doesn’t make sense to not fill it since I definitely have enough tea to fill it. Hope you enjoy :)

VariaTEA

Confession time: despite our many swaps, I had no idea you didn’t like mangoes. I shall make a mental note.

VariaTEA

Also, 221tea, I hope you like this one. It is from their Japan store :)

Roswell Strange

@VariaTEA – no worries; it’s definitely no where near my dislike of ginger or raisins ;)

221tea

I finished packing up your swap batch today :) I tried to give you enough to do 2 or 3 cups when I could. :) Hopefully it’s a good mix of teas you haven’t tried, which I feel is a difficult thing to do since you seem to have a TON of tea!

@VariaTEA…I cook with lots of mango in the summer, and we use them for smoothies also, so I am hoping it’s a hit! crossing my fingers

Roswell Strange

@221Tea – I remember when I first started swapping with VariaTEA I was super nervous I’d send her something she had already tried. Now I’m kinda just like “fuck it – she can pass it along to someone else or try it a different way”. So no worries; I’m sure that whatever you send will be put to good use in some way :)

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221tea

I’m not gonna lie…every time I see my name in one of your posts, I do a mental happy dance. Brian and I both like mangoes! This just gets better and better!

Roswell Strange

Package #2 which I’m currently compiling will be coming to you in a box instead of a bubble mailer so I’m just trying to fill it up as much as possible ;) Doesn’t make sense to not fill it since I definitely have enough tea to fill it. Hope you enjoy :)

VariaTEA

Confession time: despite our many swaps, I had no idea you didn’t like mangoes. I shall make a mental note.

VariaTEA

Also, 221tea, I hope you like this one. It is from their Japan store :)

Roswell Strange

@VariaTEA – no worries; it’s definitely no where near my dislike of ginger or raisins ;)

221tea

I finished packing up your swap batch today :) I tried to give you enough to do 2 or 3 cups when I could. :) Hopefully it’s a good mix of teas you haven’t tried, which I feel is a difficult thing to do since you seem to have a TON of tea!

@VariaTEA…I cook with lots of mango in the summer, and we use them for smoothies also, so I am hoping it’s a hit! crossing my fingers

Roswell Strange

@221Tea – I remember when I first started swapping with VariaTEA I was super nervous I’d send her something she had already tried. Now I’m kinda just like “fuck it – she can pass it along to someone else or try it a different way”. So no worries; I’m sure that whatever you send will be put to good use in some way :)

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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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