2183 Tasting Notes

84

Sipdown (106)!

One of the only companies I wanted to order from today is RiverTea but right now their website is super weird. They were down last night for store maintenance, but now today everything in the store is showing up at “100% off” (so, free) with free shipping. That can’t be right. I mean, I know people go all out for Black Friday but that’s GOT TO BE WRONG.

I really, really want to place my order though! After I’m done here at CC today I wont be around another computer until after midnight. Ugh. Please fix your site RiverTea! I can’t take advantage of those glitchy prices; I just can’t…

Anyway; speaking of RiverTea I did say I’d sip this one down and get it out of the way, which is what I did this morning. I added some milk because I’m kinda over this one plain right now, and I needed a switch up of some sort. I tried drinking it one the walk to work but the streets/sidewalks are really bad right now: it snowed very heavily last night and people haven’t really had a chance to clear the streets or shovel their sidewalks yet so i had to walk through thick piles of snow and kinda create my own path. Boo. Whenever I tried doing that and drinking I just would up spilling tea on my coat from the shaky/exaggerated walking.

Drinking it now at work though; it’s ok. Milk wouldn’t normally be my first choice with this blend but it definitely doesn’t hurt. If anything it sorta mutes the floral notes of the lychee/base. So definitely not terrible.

aisling of tea

Oh no! The folks at River Tea are so nice, I hope they don’t get screwed over because of this!

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80

Sipdown (107)!

Finished this one off in one big ’ol 16 oz. mug last night while watching Jane The Virgin (I need to catch up on my weekly shows so badly) and it was so good!

Now that I’ve had it again I can definitely confirm that this is more of a Bosc Pear flavour than other pears, and definitely accurate to the name: poached. In addition to that sweeter pear flavour, there was this kind of “Cinnamon sugar” tasted that felt like it was sprinkled on top, and much more creaminess than I remember registering with the last brew. Like, an almost shocking level of creaminess definitely comparable to the thich creaminess in DAVIDsTEA’s Cranberry Pear blend. This would be so stunning as a latte!

Please DAVIDsTEA, please please please bring this one back instead of the stupid lime/mango one (that shouldn’t even be a pairing that’s a thing, sorry). I’d buy it, for sure! And then I’d own three DT blends with pear in them – but I wouldn’t even feel ashamed about it. Not at all!

Marzipan

I love Jane the Virgin!

Roswell Strange

I’m only an episode behind now, but HOLLLYYYY SHIIIITTTTT! I don’t like the direction this is going: I like Jane/Michael too much for these crazy shenanigans.

VariaTEA

So ummm…when did Jane the Virgin air like 7 episodes?!?!? I watched the first episodes months ago and have been waiting for others to come out :(

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64

Sipdown (108)!

Cold Brew!

Reviews of this one have generally been negative or, at the very least, really critical of the use of lavender in this blend but despite that I’ve sorta abstractly wanted to try it pretty much since it was announced and I really don’t have any sort of justification for why. Although not that it’s winter/Christmas sorta type I can at least drink it “in season”.

Maybe it’s because I had low expectations going in, but I thought this was actually kinda nice. There was a sweetness/fruit flavour to it that, while “sugared”, wasn’t quite plum, but still pretty good. And hay notes; I definitely got underlying hay notes from the base tea, which actually kinda tasted better to me than Frank’s Shou Mei normally does? But that lavender…

Oh that lavender is strong and, really, why is it necessary? Even if it was only 50% more muted/toned down that would make this SO MUCH BETTER/balanced. It really does detract from the tea. So concluding thoughts: nice tea, but could be so much nicer without the overkill of perfumey-lavender.

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72

Sipdown (109)!

Bring on the Black Friday crazies. At last Calendar Club’s sale today isn’t crazy; just “tax fee” for everything, so we shouldn’t be stupid busy.

Follow up to Brisk tasting note; I have a date with Lee on Saturday, after work. I’m gonna be crazy stupid tired, but what’s the worst that could happen? And, we spent most of last night texting. He’s so sweet and nervous and flustered and I feel so flattered, no one has ever been flustered over the idea of going on a date with me before (at least not visibly). He even came to work early today so he could come talk to me at my Kiosk before he started. Blushblushblush.

Anyway tea; I finished this one off at a latte last night: I’ve never had a straight black tea as a latte before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, how much of the natural tea flavour can you really expect to come through? Turns out just enough! Visually this looked golden and beautiful and taste wise it had just the right amount of malt and cinnamon notes coming from the tea to make this different from just hot milk. Really simple, really tastey!

Also I have to confess; every time I do a tea latte my favourite part of eat the milk film/skin that collects on the surface. That might be kinda weird, but I just love it!

VariaTEA

So I am debating about buying the Breville milk frother from Davids…thoughts? If I buy it this weekend, I get a free timolino with purchase :P

OMGsrsly

Yes for the timolino! Haha. Otherwise, IDK. I have a little handheld frother and a microwave. That seems good enough. :)

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66

This is what I’m currently drinking.

I think I must just not be a fan of straight/simple lemon and black tea blends. I do love lemon flavouring with almost any other base, but I’ve yet to really find a black tea focusing on lemon that really works for me. Although, admittedly this is probably the best one I’ve had yet.

There is a creamyness/richness and natural sweetness to this but I’m encountering the same problem I’ve faced with pretty much every other black lemon blend I’ve had and that’s a “lemon rind” sort of flavor that’s a little bitter and loosely reminds me of Pledge. In this one, I’m experiencing the creaminess first and then the bitter lemon rind flavour as the aftertaste. Not especially the way you want to end a sip.

And now I’ve let it go cold; I’ve been dragging out drinking it so much. Oh well, thank you Cameron B. for the sample anyway; I’ve got another cup left and I’ll definitely tweak this and see if I can’t make it a bit better – but worst case you’ve just helped me to rule out a tea type, and saved me time and money trying more out, and can’t complain about that.

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84

Cold Brew!

I’m actually almost out of this one, which means I’ve definitely burned through a substantial amount of leaf. And you know what? I think it shows because I am growing a little tired of this one. I mean, it’s still delicious – subtle lychee and a nice malty black base with some subtle floral tones, but I definitely don’t find myself craving it frequently and at the point I don’t think I’d miss it if it was no longer in my cupboard…

So, I may just push towards a sipdown. Wont rule out restocking it because I do love it for a reason, but if I do it wont be for a while; I need to go without this one for a little bit so I can get to a point where I miss it, and where I don’t feel like I’ve gone through so much of it.

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88

Mmm, I can smell Safeway baking cinnamon buns right now…

So yesterday, I made this in a timolino before I left for work and then when I got home, after taking a nap, I drank this when it had cooled enough in the timolino to be a perfect temperature. I don’t know if it was from sitting in the timolino for several hours or just from being prepped in a timolino in general (or maybe I’m just crazy), but this was very cherry, and not necessarily good cherry.

If it’s happened before it was a while ago because I don’t remember it, but this actually tasted kinda medicinal and borderline cough syrup like instead of like fancy cherry candy!? Still drinkable, but no…

Probably going to avoid timolino prep with this one, to be on the safe side.

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68

Happy Thanksgiving ’Mericans!

I imagine it’s going to be a slow day here on Steepster while you all celebrate with your families and eat lots of turkey and that kind of thing, but that’s ok I guess. Gonna miss my morning conversation with the people in Steepster chat though.

Crazy things to write about: we’ll start with the negative stuff from today and end with the positive stuff from yesterday; even though that timeline is weird I think the order will be better…

So today; I showed up to work this morning (on time, thank God; usually I’m like 10 minutes late because I’m good at opening the store quicker than the time allotted for me to do so) and my boss, Doug, was there already. Super weird because I always open on weekdays, and it’s never busy enough in the mall to justify having two employees present. So right away I knew something was up.

Apparently last night the girl who closes the store was robbed. It sounds like the guy was a scam artist and had done it before (or at least definitely knew what he was doing), he waited until five minutes before close and bought the cheapest thing we sell – and paid with a hundred dollar bill. If the poor closing girl, Ellen, had cash handling experience that probably would have been a tip off but she didn’t. So she gave the guy his $96 in change and then he dropped it. While they were both bent down picking up all the money, he reached up and grabbed all the bills in the open register and bolted.

She must have been incredibly shaken up, but she called Mall Security (who lectured her, of all things) and our boss Doug which is why he was here this morning – to talk to mall security, see if there was security footage (there wasn’t, turns out we’re in a blind spot) and prepare all of the stuff to file a police report. I’m thankful it wasn’t me working last night; if I had the same availability as last year it certainly would have been me – and I’m sympathetic to Ellen. I can’t imagine how paranoid she’’s going to be feeling closing up tonight.

So that’s the bad thing. Now the good thing right?

Well, yesterday I wrote about how one of the seniors in this mall had given me a Christmas card – what I almost wrote about it this guy who works in the grocery store in the mall who stops by every morning to say hi, and ask how my day’s going. Well, right before the end of my shift he spent like 20 minutes browsing the store, and when Doug showed up to take over for the day and I started grabbing my stuff to leave he approached me and basically gave me his number and asked me out for coffee. I feel all flattered and blushy, especially since I looked like shit yesterday. Since I didn’t have a shift at Sobeys I didn’t bother showering or putting on any make up, and I basically wore sweats and a baggy hoodie…

So, now I’m not sure what to do? I’m flattered and he’s not bad looking but between two jobs I don’t know if I really have time to do the dating thing? And I wasn’t totally looking to do the dating thing either…

Plus, how does one go about “being the guy” and calling the dude? I mean, he gave me his number but obviously he’d like to go out since he asked me out? So do I wait three days or? Is texting cool? And, he works in the same mall as me anyway, so I see him every day? Which is a little weird, right? I don’t know. My head is all fumbly.

OMGsrsly

Why not text? IMO, going for coffee (well, tea!) is a low level of commitment. If you click, you can then be honest with how much you’re working right now and that you’re interested but don’t have a lot of time. Good luck!

Roswell Strange

See, this is what I need Steepste for; screw the tea ;) Life advice, baby!

Fjellrev

I keep forgetting that Steepster chat even exists.

I agree with OMG, texting is a safe move, and coffee is always a good start. So excited for you!

So sorry to hear about the robbery. I’m so fortunate to never have experienced that in all of my retail days. Wow! I hope that punk goes down.

OMGsrsly

The last time I was dating, it was before texting was quite so common-place. Or, mostly, easy. Remember punching in 44-pause-444 to type “Hi”? Haha.

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81

Sipdown (110)!

Lets see how quickly I can write this, my boss just showed up a half hour early, but he’s doing a recycling run right now…

Drinking this currently, in a thermos with some milk: it’s so sweet, definitely honey notes (smelled so strongly of honey when it was steeping) to it. And then there’s this fruity note cropping up and it’s weird because normally I’d describe fruit notes in a straight black as either stonefruit like, raisin-y or citrus-y but this comes off to me as more of a “red fruit”, almost berry like but not berries. Not totally sure how I should be describing it at all, but it’s delicious, anyway.

I got a really cool surprise at work today too; one of the seniors in the mall brought me a Christmas card which was shocking and very thoughful. I mean, it’s heavily religious and I’m not religious, but it’s the thought that counts anyway and that was really thoughtful. Made my morning, really.

AnnaEA

Sun Moon lake blacks, and Red Jade #18 in particular, always seem to me to have a sort of sweet dried tomato paste kind of flavor.

OMGsrsly

AnnaEA, that is an amazing description.

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71
drank Eggnog by DAVIDsTEA
2183 tasting notes

Sipdown (111)!

The “Eggnong” problem from last year returns…

Well, finished this off last night while waiting for my taxi home. I prepared it in a timolino with a couple splashes of milk and I think the milk certainly helped a lot with making this feel less thin, although it still wasn’t as rich as I’d have liked it to be flavour-wise (mouthfeel; check!). Definitely creamy white chocolate, and a little nutmeg to add a bit of depth.

If I had more I’d try it again with double the amount of leaf, but as is I’m out and I doubt I’ll be repurchasing it again just on a hunch that might taste more flavourful.

lindsayb

I made this last night in a DT latte mug (more like soup bowl) and I had trouble brewing it. When I’ve had it in a normal size mug I love it, but it’s a tricky tea for me because of the creaminess of the chocolate chips. I’ve found this one doesn’t travel in a travel mug well either, its very picky about what you brew it in.

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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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