1991 Tasting Notes

79

Sipdown (110)!

Well, this is the last cup. I managed to squeak one last one into the night because I had some serious tea cravings left unchecked, and this was a caffeine free sipdown just waiting to be pounced on!

This cup was warm, comforting, Autumnal and delicious with oranges, cinnamon, and pistachio ruling the cup. I never really wanted this tea and when I got it as a birthday present I definitely was not excited but I have to say that on the whole it far exceeded my expectations and I never did really have a bad cup of it – which is something I can’t say about ever some of my favourite blends.

So not too shabby on the whole.

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84

Ok, so this was my big “new tea” today.

I bought it last week; and it comes in little mini-cakes. As it happens, these are my first Pu’Erh cakes which is intimidating in and of itself, except more scary still is that these come wrapped in the dried skin of a mandarin orange. I was so out of my depth figuring out how to open this fucker up to get to the tea without totally destroying and ruining the beautiful mandarin orange shell. The original plan was to send one of the cakes to VariaTEA and let her be the guinea pig testing it out, but I got impatient and wanted to try it today.

Anyway; there is a “seal” of sorts on the top so I kinda gently pried that open with one of the little pick things for walnuts and other Christmas type nut things (not a nut cracker; but the thing that helps get the nut out of the shell?). That part went well enough. After that though, uhhh…

Gotta note; this cake smells amazing! Surprisingly fresh and with this really nice sweet orange scent that fills the room in a very comforting way.

Using the little nut pick thing I did my absolute best to gently pick apart some of the leaf to make my cup; it was sorta hard to do with the tough Mandarin shell really limiting the amount of exposed tea and it made a bit of a mess but eventually I “found my groove” and got a good amount of tea loose and in decent shape. From there, I did a quick wash and then steeped my tea!

This is a white Pu’Erh and, to be honest, I’m not very experienced in Pu’Erh (as my horrible technique tonight likely demonstrates) so I’m not entirely sure what significant flavour difference that has or if the technical side of things (aging, storage, whatever else makes Pu’erh Pu’Erh) is really any different. But my observation was that this was much, much lighter and smoother than any Pu’Erh I’ve ever had – and definitely not as earthy or raw as I’ve become accustomed to.

What it was, was very natural with really beautiful and serene notes of sweet hay, mandarin/orange, and honey. While the process of making the cup was messy, this actual result was anything but; very feminine and soft while still full bodied. I’m really happy I decided to push my comfort zone and pick this one up; and I look forward to the journey I’m sure I’ll be taking with it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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86
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
1991 tasting notes

Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

That’s all I had going through my head when I drank this earlier today.

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84

The list of weird “take out” foods I’ve had delivered to my house is getting ridiculous. I’m convinced I must be on a list somewhere. Something like “The young adult orders an obscene amount of delivery; exploit her!”.

But yeah; today we got a pamphlet in the mail for a website called Just Eat; basically it’s like Skip The Dishes but with some different restaurant options. One of the restaurants is a gourmet cheesecake place. Totally took advantage of that. I ordered Red Velvet Cheesecake (yes it’s as good as it sounds) and two one person sized Carrot Cakes, which were also delicious. Their baking is delicious and obviously very high quality.

And in case anyone cared to know; Red Velvet Cheesecake and Iced Chocolate Rocket go very well together! Something with the creamy, chocolate cake components and the roastyness and raspberries. Anyway – it was wonderful.

Cheri

That sounds awesome. Also, I need more places that will deliver food to my house. All we have that will deliver here is Chinese and a large variety of pizza places.

Starfevre

I can only get chinese and pizza to delivery for actual restaurants, but I’m in the Amazon Fresh delivery area which opens up…pretty much everything you can think of.

Anlina

Oh god, Skip the Dishes and Just Eat are DANGEROUS! I love that you can get almost anything delivered, and now you’ve posted this, I’m going to have to see if either of our fancy cake places does delivery through them. DANGEROUS!

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96

Cold Brewed for a long, extended 30 hour period.

I was worried it’d be over the top floral but it was actually great! Sweet jasmine and honey; very relaxing and very refreshing with a really full bodied flavour. I have lots and lots of this leaf left so I’ll probably do this again!

Also; I feel like a terrible person. Today is my day off and I spent the first part of it mailing out tea stuff, and then going to the liquor store and grocery shopping. I got way too many groceries to reasonably carry home, but I attempted it anyway. On the walk home I passed an abandoned grocery cart from Safeway and because I was struggling so much to carry stuff I took it…

I FEEL REALLY GUILTY. Even though I didn’t take it from the store myself, I still kinda stole a grocery cart, which is now sitting in my backyard. I mean, I will definitely return it tomorrow! But still – such a dick move. And Tre made it worse by telling Rob (our landlord) when he got home today. Whyyyyyyy…

I feel judged by everyone.

Cheri

If you take it back, you’re a good person. It was there, you needed it, and now you’ll take it back to Safeway, right?

Starfevre

when you take it back to Safeway, it probably would never have gotten back on its own so you’re a good samaritan like that.

Anlina

Don’t beat yourself up for it. You didn’t take it from the store.

Roswell Strange

Update: The cart was returned today.

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87

Turned into tea syrup and floated in club soda last night.

Made for a surprisingly smooth and delicious lemon and vanilla drink. Very rich and creamy so for a soda. I really enjoyed sipping away at it, but wont be making it again because it used up so much precious leaf.

And hot is still the best way to enjoy this one anyway.

Butiki Teas

Oooh, that sounds awesome. I turned this tea into a martini with frangelico (hazelnut liquor), vodka and brown crystal sugar. So. Good!

Cheri

This Sounds Awesome. (And the martini version as well.)

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80
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
1991 tasting notes

Made this into tea syrup last night while watching The Voice with Tre! I asked him to help me decide which would be better with pears; Vanilla or Lemon and he pulled out this massive “Flavour Bible” and looked up pears with it. Holy shit that thing is comprehensive and impressive. Long story short; vanilla and pears it was.

Let me just first say; damn.

Vanilla Orchid makes for some really, really good tea syrup. It reminded me strongly the really natural and sweet vanilla flavour that’s very characteristic of good, high quality syrups used in Italian Sodas. And then, it complimented the pear so well. Both were really present and the orchid notes in the tea syrup added this really elegant depth to the whole dessert. It was sweet but in a very natural way.

I’d be really interested in making this syrup again to try in a tea soda!

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85

Sipdown (111)!

In my timolino with some milk. I actually didn’t expect or want this to be a sipdown; I thought I had enough left for at least two or three more cups so I was very upset when I had remembered that incorrectly – and I had such strong cravings that I couldn’t talk myself out of making it.

It was delicious. Mexican Hot Chocolate Tea!? Yeah! It’s back on my wishlist now; I will be restocking the next time I’m at a DT! Though no clue when that’ll be; transit lockout is still a thing so I don’t have a time I can reasonably get to a DT without shelling out $25 for a taxi. Ugh.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon

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90

Wow this is a stunning, exceptional cold brew.

A million thanks to Courtney for selling me some more of this! I can pretty well guarantee that I would not have been placing another Butiki order in time to grab more of this. And now I get to enjoy a few additional cups I would have missed out on otherwise.

There are a lot of flavours in this one and it’s fantastic because they’re all very bold and vibrant and stand out all at once but still compliment one another in a really great fashion so it’s not overwhelming. To simplify, this featured awesome notes of coconut, cream, vanilla, banana, orchid and lily. It was so cool and refreshing and tropical.

A very summery tea indeed, which was nice and greatly needed because it’s been miserable here in Saskatoon all week; the temperature has dropped dramatically and it’s been very harsh and windy. And all day today it was super rainy and murky.

Tea makes it better.

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70

Sipdown (112)!

Still a pretty average straight black tea in my humble opinion. Fruits notes were consistent, but there was a lot more maltiness in this timolino worth of tea. I prepared it the same way though, so who knows.

The day I drank this I was incredibly stressed out at work though. Just one of the most stressful shifts I have ever had. Not just at Dollarama – but at any place I’ve worked in general. I felt like my head was gonna blow up at the end of my shift. Ughhhh….

So, Tre and I went out for supper afterwards to kinda relax and “wind down”. We eat out/order in too much. Food was tasty though. I “snuck” this into the restaurant and drank it with my meal. And by snuck, I asked really nicely if they’d mind if I drank my own tea. The staff is very nice (and maybe could tell how much of a mess I was) and said it was totally fine…

I gave ’em a really big tip because they were so awesome.

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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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