1713 Tasting Notes

73
drank Eros by Tealeaves
1713 tasting notes

Sipdown (135/142)!

Another from Cameron B.! The name of this is what compelled me, but when I saw what the tea was flavoured with that’s what really convinced me I wanted to try it. Also, this is a new company for me!

I have to say, this was a pretty good introduction to the company for me; dry this smells very, very fragrantly of mandarin oranges and flowers and steeped up this is still very flavourful! To me the mandarin flavour comes off very clearly, which seems like that’s a bit of a challenge to accomplish given how watery mandarin oranges can be. It’s also accompanied by notes of vanilla, flowers, tangerine, and maybe even some very generic melon notes (in that order of prominence)? That last one is a little iffy, but I swear I tasted that in a few sips. The black base was also nice; it was smooth with no bitterness/astringency and light enough that it really let the mandarin be the most stand out flavour.

Honestly, my biggest gripe with this one is that by the time I was nearing the last few sips of my mug it was almost far too "mandarin-y’. Like, the flavour just built in my mouth to the point where I was really losing out on the other notes I had picked up earlier. But overall this was not bad, and I think it’ll be a really memorable cup. Thank you Cameron B. for sending some my way!

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84

Made a large mug of this to sip at while watching Big Brother with Tre; he made an interesting observation – when my tea mug is either totally full or piping hot still I bring my face down to the mug to sip from it, instead of bringing the mug to my face. Hopefully that’s an apt description; I had never noticed I do this until he mentioned it but it’s definitely totally true.

I actually let most of this one get cold though; like I said earlier it’s SUPER hot here today, and this one is really good iced! It’s just like this rich, robust chocolate/coffee duo, but with tea! I’m very happy I decided to restock this one; it’s an interesting rooibos to keep around, and good for those odd times when I actually am craving a little java.

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68

Sipdown (136/143)!

First tea sample from my swap with Cameron B.! This one appealed to me primarily because of the banana in it – I was very interested to see how it would play with a rooibos base or the chamomile.

I have to say, I really didn’t smell or taste the rooibos at all in this; if I couldn’t see the abundance of it, I might not have even known it was there. However, I don’t have nearly as much of a rooibos sensitivity as most people on Steepster seem to have, and I am somewhat sensitive to chamomile so those two things should definitely be taken into consideration.

The chamomile for me was very present and kind of distraction; I felt like it didn’t fully mesh with the banana/coconut, although I think I understand the intent behind including it, and even if I was kinda distracted by it I did feel soothed drinking it, which is a weird and conflicting set of feelings. The coconut was steadily present throughout the whole cup (I’ve had a few coconut teas from this company now, and I’m beginning to form the impression that they do coconut pretty well). The banana fluctuated a little for me depending on the temperature; when it was hotter I didn’t notice it as much but as it cooled down I thought it was more present and powerful, and definitely not as masked by the chamomile. I also want to note that all banana I tasted, no matter how strong, slightly reminded me of a not quite ripe banana. You know, that “green” peel kinda flavour?

On the whole though; this was drinkable and fairly enjoyable if not very bemusing.

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67
drank Nestea by Nestle
1713 tasting notes

As Tyrell would say, all day my place has been “hotter than a nutsack”. I have no idea what he means by it, but he says said it all the time – and today it felt true, I guess.

Seriously though I’ve been sweating buckets (Tre and I are both hanging out in the house in our underwear right now; I guess you could call it a bonding moment) and that’s actually the main reason I didn’t do much tea drinking today; not that I had such an immense amount of backlog to get through. One can only CB tea so fast, there’s no ice in the house to flash chill stuff. We don’t even have an ice tray (something I plan to fix).

Thankfully I had a few cans of this in the fridge to sip on! Hooray!

Marzipan

That would be a testicle reference.

Roswell Strange

Well yeah, I get that :P But are testicles particularly hot? I wouldn’t think so, meaning it’s not difficult to be “hotter than a nutsack”. I don’t have one though, so I guess I don’t know.

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94

Heya! Notes from teas I had today! Hoorah!

This was cold brewed; finally crackin’ into the 50g I bought in my most recent RiverTea order. Summary of thoughts; 50g wasn’t enough, I should have gone for 100g. Seriously.

This is such a good raspberry tea! And for me it really, really stands out as a fruit blend because on top of being very genuinely raspberry flavoured it’s also insanely creamy with beautiful vanilla notes. It’s so lush and refreshing and doesn’t even get close to treading into overly tart hibiscus territory. Yummy!

Flavors: Berries, Raspberry, Vanilla

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82

I bet I can sum this one up in three lines:

So much vanilla.
So much cream.
So much… Smoke?

Yeah, I made it in my timolino – and there was this insanely smokey quality to it that was really gross. I ended up dumping it. I’ve been trying to figure out what I last had in this particular timolino (I used the one I don’t usually use) and I can’t remember – but what would I have had that was some smokey other than Lapsang? I don’t think I’ve had The Woman any time recently – and it’s the only Lapsang blend I have at the moment.

Weird.

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86
drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
1713 tasting notes

The other tea shot that I cold brewed! This one was soaked in Raspberry Vodka instead of Gin, but I bet it would have been really good in gin too! I wanted to finish off the vodka though to free up some fridge space.

Like the Gin & Redberry Tonic, this was also 1 tbsp. of leaf, though I used two shots worth of raspberry vodka since that’s how much I had left. It was also pretty good, but I think I liked the other one just slightly more. To me, this was strongly raspberries and orange/tangerine with some grapefruit somewhere in the mix. Again, no alcohol burn. That’s always a win. On the negative though, there was a weird taste that reminded me of children’s chewable vitamins.

I guess I’d call it chalky?

But yeah; for tea infused alcohol not so bad at all.

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75
drank Redberry Tonic by DAVIDsTEA
1713 tasting notes

In addition to getting home last night and having tea swaps and eggs to greet me, I also had cold brewed tea shots! Woo!

A few days ago I stopped at the liquor store and picked up an assortment of stuff; Rootbeer Schnapps, Spiced Rum, Cream Liqueur Shots, and Gin! I also already had Raspberry Vodka at home. I decided to mix some tisanes and alcohol and cold brew myself tea shots. For this one, because PUNS ARE AMAZING, I used a tbsp. of tea leaf in a shot glass worth of gin creating… Drum roll please.

A GIN AND REDBERRY TONIC! I am so proud of myself right now.

Best part? It was actually really, really good! No alcohol burn, and fruity and lemony with juicy berry and sweet apple notes. It had a very smooth aftertaste too! Definitely gonna have to do this one again! It’s a shame I couldn’t talk Tre into trying a sip – I think he would have actually liked it.

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47

The last one from Courtney!

Visibly, this one has a TON of lemon grass and hibiscus and stuff in it, so I was definitely a little scared of making a hot cup so I took the route of cold brewing. I have to say, I didn’t really love this one so much as a cold brew; it was super, super hibiscus tart and after a few forced gulps I dumped out the majority of it.

Sorry Courtney, while I totally appreciate receiving it I can sorta see why this one wasn’t so much for you. That’s ok though; I’m willing to play around to see if I can get it to work better for me. It just sucks because last night I really could have used something cool and refreshing to sip on.

Last night I had a definite not awesome evening. It started with balancing the cash profit for the day and doing the closing paperwork. One person does the cash, and the other does the paperwork – and then at the end we both come up with a total number for all the profits for the day, and they’re supposed to match. Except they didn’t. My number for cash was $250 less than the paperwork number. That’s a big difference.

It took an extra hour of Bobbi and I scouring the paperwork and recounting every till to figure out what was wrong; turns out neither of us has screwed up – our assistant manager did earlier in the day when he was doing a deposit. He dropped five $50 bills ($250) in an earlier deposit but had incorrectly filled out the paperwork for his deposit (he forgot to record the 50s, but recorded all the other bill/coin he dropped) so that money was unaccounted for. We had to call him at 10PM and explain to him how big of a fuck up this was; not just because it screwed with our paperwork but because the inaccurately recorded deposit is sealed in the vault that Brinks collects – and which cannot be retrieved by store employees, regardless of whether they’re a Keyholder/Ass. Store Manager/Manager or otherwise. It through our whole night off.

And then, on top of things I ended up forgetting a completely full 2L of Milk at the bus stop which made me feel like a total idiot, and then for the cherry on top (because FUCK THE NEW BUS ROUTES) I got on the wrong bus home and ended up taking a 40 minute bus ride and getting off the bus farther away from my house then when I had started (I normally don’t take the bus home because I’m only a 15 min. walk away, but I had armfuls of groceries I was nervous about having to carry home). God Damn.

Plus side? There was tea and eggs waiting for me when I got home! My swap from Cameron B. had arrived, and Tre had made midnight over easy eggs for me because he know my day was stressful! Aww!

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63

Another given to me by the awesome Courtney!

Dry this smells pretty strongly of coconut/chocolate, which is fairly appealing. I can definitely see that as being a very good thing.

For my prep, I made it in my timolino. I was very careful to watch the time as it steeped given that I’ve experienced a too harsh black base from HI on more than one occasion. Overall, I thought that the coconut/black tea were the strongest notes with cocoa notes and something else mildly offputting and hard to identify trailing behind. I was kinda reminded of kelp? But also not kelp. Not a whole lot of “graham” unless that’s what the weird flavour is meant to be.

As for the base; it was still a bit bitter despite my precautions. Oh well, looks like I just have some playing around to do so I can figure out the best way to enjoy this 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

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