2712 Tasting Notes
This is a queued tasting note.
PAYDAY MOTHERFUCKERS! That means finally nabbing the summer blends from DT, but apparently also splurging on things from Chapters. I walked by on the trip home from DT, and saw a “Wreck This Journal”. I instantly got suckered in by the creative element and the impermanence. Take a look at this Before/After thinger from Google for a good idea of what I’m talking about:
Mine definitely doesn’t look that pretty so far, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. One of the first ‘tasks’ in it is to spill your coffee on the page. Well, I don’t drink coffee or have coffee in the house so I improvised (the book says it’s ok to do that) and spilled half my mug of this tea along the pages. It hurt to do it – but mostly ‘cause I was wasting tea if I’m being totally honest. The pages have the nicest yellow/green tint to them now, in addition to being water damaged.
(Totally not the worst water damage to come though; one of the things is to take a shower with the journal…)
As for how it tasted? Mellow with cinnamon, apple, and vanilla notes a top of a really intense guayusa base. I started drinking it hot, but finished it cold/at room temperature. It was better that way.
It’s very refreshing to see another permanent white tea blend on the DAVIDsTEA walls; I’ve been complaining for months about the dwindling amount of permanent white teas – I’ve even suffered some losses that were more emotional than I’d care to admit (Coconut Grove, Sweet Strawberry, and Big Apple…). At least a lot of seasonal blends for Spring featured a white base, and one of the Mother’s Day blends as well.
And not going to lie, the fact this was named by DT’s customers (and has such a cute name) is really appealing as well; I find I’m definitely more drawn in to wanting to try a tea when it has a unique name, even if the ingredients/flavor pairings aren’t that unusual. Let us put an end to the “Earl Grey Creams” and “Jasmine Greens” that every company seems to have a version of; give yours a neat name, and make it stand out!
I’m doing this one iced; yes, iced and not cold brewed. I don’t often have the means to do iced tea because I don’t actually have ice at my place. We don’t own an ice tray, and I don’t have the freezer space in my little apartment for larger bags of ice. I know it could be easily remedied by buying an ice cube tray but I always forget; so iced tea is a special treat for me provided by being in the right place (err, chef’s kitchen) at the right time.
My initial thought when I tried this was of Trident’s Watermelon Twist gum – the sugary, candy sweet watermelon top notes were pretty identical. I was expecting something both more mellow and, based on the name, more in the line of Honeydew so I was a little taken aback but once I got accustomed to the taste I found it really enjoyable. Contrasting that, the tail of the sip was a lot more natural tasting once the sweetness has subsided, and definitely a lot more honey dew than watermelon. I like the layers of melon that this one has. Almost like Trident Layers? That’s a bad pun, sorry.
The body of the sip is interesting too; somewhere in between where the watermelon eases up and the honeydew takes over there are a lot of very strong apple notes and some very vague mango and pineapple notes. I’d say they mostly create a tropical fruit vibe rather than make an impact as unique, stand-alone flavors though.
This was really enjoyable, and I think quite different from any other white blend that DT is currently offering, let alone any of their current blends. I really, really like the way they do Honeydew flavors; I’m thinking in particular of Honeydew Mate and Cool Cucumber (two seasonal blends). I loved both quite a bit (I still have some Cool Cucumber), and they definitely honed in on that awesome honeydew flavor. While DT’s watermelon can get too sweet or artificial, honeydew is a flavor they have successfully nailed. If you’re a fan of either of those two blends I absolutely 100% recommend giving this one a shot.
So I finally got around to picking up the summer teas from DT; definitely later than I had wanted to, but I’ve now tried all five – reviews to follow (hopefully today) for them. I definitely wasn’t impressed by at least one of them, but most I felt were pretty solid.
This one I tried as an in store sample, iced. The other one they were sampling the day I went was Mint To Be; definitely did not have an interest in that one. And actually, I didn’t have much of an interest in this either if I’m being honest. I know it was around last year; but there were a few seasonal peach teas last year and I didn’t bite on any but one. Regardless, I didn’t write about it – but I can’t remember if the one I tried was the Spring peach tea or the summer one. I had a few sips of the hot version on a date; and I don’t remember being overly impressed.
Since the sample was so small of this, I don’t think I got to make as many observations as I normally would. It’s supposed to be peach and blackberry, which is definitely a cool pairing but I only tasted the peach. I also thought it was really weak/watery but I know it’s also likely that’s because it was the watered down/stretched out in store version. Regardless, I picked up some of it along with all the other blends and I tried it out on my own terms at home – but based on this tasting alone it’s not an impressive blend.
Today’s word of the day is… Melodramatic.
Melodramatic means: “exaggerated and emotional or sentimental; sensational; overdramatic”. A good real life example? Tre was being totally melodramatic when I got home today about the amount of dishes in the kitchen sink (it’s his turn to clean them – and they’re only so bad because he left it so long). Domestic squabbles. We’re like an old married couple with the old and without the married couple part.
This one is quickly climbing the ranks of my most drank/logged teas. The cold brew I did of it was quite impressive but nothing out of the ordinary for what I’ve observed with this one. Instead of writing about it I’m going to share two work related stories, rather than writing about them in different tasting notes.
This week I got to clean up a carton of broken eggs. It was sitting on the very end of a bagging station across from where we keep the company laptop cart for File Maintenance/Grocery to changes price files and add things into the system. They were changing the price for this weeks sale or something. A woman with a small child (maybe one or two) went by after being rung in and the kid reached out, grabbed the carton and then couldn’t support the weight and dropped it. All twelve eggs broke. ALL OF THEM.I’m actually quite impressed with the fact I’ve yet to drop anyone’s eggs or wreck their produce/meat/etc. personally; the worst I’ve done is lifted up one of those super thin produce bags (which are DELIBERATELY thin as fuck so that they don’t contribute to the weight, and therefore the COST of your produce when it gets rung in) that was overly filled and had a bunch of oranges spill out all over the floor because the bag ripped.
So I cleaned up eggs with out of our coutesy clerks named Nich. Nich is high functioning autistic, and everyone was freaking out about whether or not he’d be able to handle cleaning everything up. He has a very set routine at work; gets in at 11AM, goes on his coffee break at 1PM, has lunch at 3PM leaves at 6. In between he hangs outside all day just gathering up carts people don’t return (he has an impressive tan because of this) and if he happens to reach a point where there are no more carts to grab he comes in side and gathers baskets and basically does small cleaning jobs. He’s never had to deal with a mess this big.
Personally, I don’t think people give him enough credit. I think half of it is that they’re used to him having a routine and so they don’t change it – I think he’s a lot more adaptable then he lets on. It also frustrates me that employees outside of my department treat him very weird when he’s on break because they don’t know he’s autistic.
Anyway, I picked out all the eggshells and then using my hands (yuck) scooped up as much egg yolk as I could into a bag. I just explained to Nich that I wanted as much cleared before we started mopping so that we weren’t just spreading it and then he nodded and we were all good. After most was cleared that way Nich took over and mopped everything up. All was well! Definitely a memorable day though; and I swear after I washed me hands they were silky smooth all day from that yolk.
So at my Sobeys we’re partnered with Bento Sushi, in the same way that some Safeway stores partner with Starbucks to have an in store restaurant. The staff at Bento has been the same since we opened the store, but recently one of the F/T people left so they had to hire someone else. The guy they hired is super gangly and tall, with crazy bedhead and gives off a very nerdy/weird vibe. My kind of people!
Last week when I was grocery shopping after getting off work he called me over and said, almost in amazement “You sure where a lot of Spiderman clothing”. Damn right I do! Spiderman is #1, no exceptions. We had a super long conversation about comics and Marvel movies and X-Men and all sorts of awesome stuff! It was actually so long I missed my bus and had to wait for the next one. Oops.
I’m just super excited though ‘cause I’ve made a lot of neat friends at work because of common interests (Meisha and tattoos, Nathan and Chef Darcy and tea, Andrew and Cheese, and of course Bobbi from Dollarama) but this is the first person I’ve been able to click with at Sobeys about something more “geeky”. Everyone else who’s noticed the nerd related stuff has just sort of playfully teased me about it. Yay nerd friends!
Made the last of this one in my timolino to take for work – it was just as delicious this second time as it was the first time around. Definitely worth note that this one travels well! Though there were some flavor differences, there was less of a coconut flavor but the mango flavor was much stronger. It was equally pleasant to the flavor first time around!
I was working a file maintenance shift yesterday; one of the things I put sale tags up for was this new line of Gelato we’re carrying. What was one of the flavours? Mango Sticky Rice! Of course I 100% bought a tub. I haven’t tried it yet – but look forward to it!
Today’s word of the day is… Whodunit: “a narrative dealing with a murder or a series of murders and the detection of the criminal”.
I cold brewed this one 100% to burn through the leaf quicker, because I thought I’d done enough experimentation to know pretty definitively that Keemun in general is not for me. Nothing against this tea in particular though.
But actually, I thought that this cold brew was an overwhelming improvement upon the hot version of this one; it’s like raisin infused rye bread and still has the smokey aspects that it did hot. Overall, it’s also a lot sweeter. I don’t know why this works so much better for me cold than it did hot though; it’s essentially just a redistribution of the same flavor notes. It was a nice discovery though! Now when I make this one cold brewed it’ll be 50% to burn through leaf faster and 50% for the taste.
This last week seems to have been unintentionally themed around mango teas; it honestly feels like I’ve had more of them now than I have had in the last two or three months. That’s probably because I’m a picky person when it comes to mango, but because it’s such a summer flavor there’s a surplus of mango teas around which equates to more that I’m easily swayed into wanting to try out.
This one was done as a cold brew; it had a very natural and realistic mango flavour. I personally find that the actual fruit mango has a very pine like and sappy flavour. I know I’m not the only person to have observed this; and it seems to be commonly observed with unripe mangoes but even ripe ones have this flavour to me. However most teas with mango as an ingredient don’t seem to convey this flavour and as someone who always tastes it when they eat the fruit it makes me feel like something is missing. Thankfully, I did taste is here! While I loved it the vast majority of people might not given than mango ’isn’t supposed to taste like pine’.
There were also floral notes here, probably from the black base and I thought that added a nice depth to the flavour as well. While the fruit might not have had a robust, juicy flavour like I expected that didn’t stop this from feeling complete. I am, however, wary of how other people would feel about this; like mentioned it has that “undesirable” pine taste. It worked well for me, though.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this as soda! Watermelon is kind of the “ultimate” refreshing summer fruit flavour, so I thought it’d be perfect and tasty to turn the most natural tasting watermelon tea I’ve ever tasted into a fun, light soda to drink on the walk to work.
I’m convinced that when I was measuring out teaspoons of sugar for the syrup that I must have been using the 1 1/2 tsp. measurement because this was way, way too sweet and sugary which is definitely a problem I’ve not had with other tea sodas. It was cloying, and greatly disappointing. Also, I’ve always thought that this tea has really faint brown sugar notes to it naturally, but with the abundance of sweetness they seemed to almost attack you and were actually a little maple-y.
I’d retry this one though – just with less sugar, for sure.
Today’s word of the day? Neologism.
Neologism means: “A new word, meaning, usage or phrase.” I love it; I love that there’s a word for coming up with new words. How meta.
This is the tea that got me interested in Ette tea in the first place! The idea of mango and genmaicha is definitely very, very appealing. Really, any genmaicha with a twist gets me excited – it’s the first variety of green tea I ever really liked, and I’m still incredibly partial to it.
Dry, this is very roasty smelling with a distinct, and very fresh coconut aroma. I’m not getting much of the mango yet, but I can see several chunks of it in the dry leaf so I have faith that it’ll shop up in the flavor. For my preparation, I did a very quick 1 minute steep Western style in boiling hot water; I find that’s long enough to draw out the flavour, especially the roastier notes of a good Genmaicha, but not long enough for the brew to get bitter.
This method has worked well here; this has a very strong toasted rice flavor with absolutely no bitterness. It’s also accented by a lovely, clear toasted coconut flavour that pairs phenomenally with the rice and subtle vegetalness of the green tea. There’s also a slight creaminess to the coconut as well. There are some very light nutty notes as well, imparted both from the toasted rice and the green base. The black tea in the blend is a little less pronounced than the green; but I think that’s how it should be.
The mango is less obvious than anticipated, but still very much present and distinct; true to Ette Tea’s description of their blend it’s more show cased in the end of the sip and aftertaste and the sweet, tropical and fruity flavour it provides alongside the coconut does make me think of Thai food, though I don’t know if it specifically conjures up images of sticky rice. It’s delicious though!
This is an incredible tea, and while it’s not totally what I imagined it to be at this point I don’t think there’s a thing I’d change about it either. It’s very comforting, and because of the gentle wave of flavours both sweet and slightly savory I think it makes a really nice tea to curl up with at the end of the day. That said, unlike I would do with a conventional Genmaicha I think this would also work very well iced as something to take with you on a day out and about: the unconventional fruit flavors give this a little more life and lend themselves well to cold prep.
This is definitely my favourite Ette blend so far (something I feel like I’ve said with nearly all the Ette Teas as I’ve had them) and I would definitely buy more of this one!