2549 Tasting Notes
I’ve been kind of avoiding the Spring teas I have in favour of easier sipdowns, but I remembered tonight when looking for a caffeine free tea that I only had about a cup’s worth of this one so I’m finishing it off before bed. Early day tomorrow; I’m getting my first tattoo(s)!
It’s pretty good hot – though it somehow tastes a lot more sugary/artificial. Kind of reminds me of hot Kool-Aid a little bit? I think Kool-Aid makes a Strawberry Kiwi flavour, if I’m correctly remembering, and this tastes just like the ‘kiwi’ half of that flavour. I don’t know why it’s suddenly so much more sweet though? I don’t remember any sort of over the top sugar/artificial flavour from the cold brew…
At first this was almost primarily Honeydew/Kiwi flavour but I left the teabag in the mug while I was writing that giant BBCan section in my Lemon French Macaron tasting note, and now that I’ve come back to this tea the papaya has actually really really been brought out. I’m both loving it and hating it at the same time, if that’s possible. I just don’t think it really goes together well with the melon so much; and I’m not sure how but there’s a “pulpy” sliminess that’s somehow translating into the taste.
So, overall I’m conflicted with this one. I actually really, really liked the cold brew and based on that method alone I probably could’ve been persuaded into picking up at least another 20g for future cold brews – but this isn’t working for me at all, and that’s got me doubting the cold brew. I probably just wont get any more of it…
I wanted to add this to the Lemon French Macaron tasting note I just wrote, but it was already getting long so I’m putting it here. I guess I’m really counting on the fact that at least someone on Steepster watches Big Brother or is interested in starting to watch it…
Roswell Strange’s Guide To Surviving Week One In The Big Brother House:
Assuming there are no major twists effecting the initiation HOH/nominations and no one gets Jodi-ed, there are two valid approaches to the first HOH competition and the week to come afterwards. We shall start with the first one and the only one that guarantees safety; winning.
First off, to even come close to doing this you need to actually be good at whatever the competition entails. Then, you need to make it look like it wasn’t easy winning, even if it is. You want to avoid making yourself come off as a competition threat at much as possible. If you do win, you’ll likely be making some nominations. There are some great approaches to making you’re nominations that will drastically reduce the amount of blood on your hands.
One; nominate the first two people out of the competition. If this is the approach you go with, you’ll likely have the support of everyone in the house except the two people you’ve nominated (obviously). At this point in the game you don’t really know anyone; emphasize this! You’re nominating the two people who performed the poorest because they ’don’t deserve to be here as much’, ’didn’t try, ‘obviously threw the comp’ or whatever excuse appeases the majority of the house. But make sure you stick with your reasoning! If you start talking to houseguests about disliking any of your noms for personal reasons or give any indication that there were other motives to your nominations, the nom that survives (or both, depending on how the veto plays out) will have that much more grounds to resent your decision/target you in following weeks.
Two; nominate the people who came in second and third place. The logic behind this one is very similar to nominating the worst competitors. No one wants a threat around except the person who’s ‘next in line’ to be viewed as top threat once they’re gone (that threat is a meat shield to them). It’s pretty well just as easy to justify this move – but same thing, once you’ve gone there you need to stick to it!
Three; simultaneously the best option and the worst is complete random chance. Literally, draw names from the bag with player tokens in it – the two who get drawn go up. Make sure you do it in front of everyone so they all witness it’s completely legitimate and just as fair. You want to emphasize you’re doing it randomly because you don’t know anyone yet, and no one deserves to leave week one because of a snap impression.
So now that the options if you win HOH are out of the way, what are the options if you don’t? Well, if you don’t win it’s very important that you finish the competition somewhere right in the middle of the other competitors. This makes you forgettable and doesn’t give the HOH the possibility to use either the excuse that you performed worst or performed best. Placing in the middle means that you will have to try to compete, but will also have to convincingly through it. This may be trickier than it sounds because other strategy savvy players will probably be doing the same thing.
If you successfully finish in the middle of the competition, you’re not done yet! The next most common justification for early nomination is that the HOH hasn’t gotten to know you yet/you haven’t made a connection with them. Don’t fall into that trap!
Make sure you go out of your way to have a good, lengthy personal conversation with every houseguest as early on as possible – thus eliminating that excuse. You always want to make sure you have at least one very brief game related conversation because another popular excuse for early nomination is that the HOH didn’t talk game with you. However, with both of these it’s important to maintain some balance as, after week one, people who are viewed as “Social Butterflys” or who are “Playing the game too hard too fast” or “talking too much game” are generally the next people who’re easy to target.
The last thing you can do; avoid any annoying habits and try not to be too loud of a personality or draw attention to yourself. If you’re annoying the house too much you can easily be unanimously voted out similar to what happened to Anick and, almost, to Gary.
Stick to these guidelines and you should survive your first week in the house just fine!
Daily Cold Brew!
Thought I’d take a bit of a break from trying new things and sipdowns to just enjoy a blend I love a lot. This cold brew was perfection; it tasted like super fluffy lemon vanilla spongecake with a super light, airy vanilla almond icing lightly spread on top. I want to eat that cake; but drinking it is the next best thing.
The rest of this note’s probably just gonna be BBCan3 impressions…
I know I asked this last year, but I can’t remember the answer and there are also new people here on Steepster now so I’m asking again. Who watches Big Brother or Big Brother Canada? BBCan 3 premiered today, and I need someone other than Tumblr to flip out to!
Spoilers ahead if you watch the show, but missed the premiere!
It was a really interesting premiere; I’ve of course (since I’m obsessed) been watching ALL of the pre-show interviews, and reading all blogs posts, scouring the internet for information on the house guests, and watching any mini-cips they release – like the preview of the house. Going in; my pre season picks were: Sarah (quirky “stoner” type who seems to be a pretty big fan), Pilar (another quirky person, but more athletic than mental), and Graig (Very athletic but seems more genuine and grounded than most of the asshole meat heads that usually get cast). And, it’s hard not to kind of root for Zach since he’s the only contestant from Saskatchewan this season (and from any BBCan season) – he’s from Regina. Though, he seems like he’s going to be a terrible player…
However, after introductions and all that jazz I’m adding Godfrey to my list as well; he seems very strategic and seems to understand game mechanics and also has all the tools for a good physical and social game without the over the top personality that’ll draw attention to himself or the ego that’ll drive him to “win every competition”, and make him viewed as a competition threat. I have high hopes for him. And, Naeha has definitely caught my attention too – she seems fierce with the determination to make big moves (which we always like to see) and understands the lying/scheming/back stabbing part of the game. I’m just holding out she can keep a level, strategic head and doesn’t get caught up in the cattyness most girls seem drawn in to.
Sindy “with an S” was super stupid. She seems self centered and incredibly vain approach to things. She came in practically screaming her stupid ‘name phrase’ at each other, and how much do you wanna bet that’s a huge part of why everyone voted to nominate her? I mean; a lot of the houseguests didn’t even know everyone’s names at this point – but she sure made sure everyone knew hers. However, I was really impressed she was able to take herself off the block when she was competing against three very visably athletic guys in a primarily athletic competition as well as the two girls who had, primarily within the ‘fandom’, been perceived to be more athletic than the rest of the girls. But then I was right back to hating her; she
obviously took herself off the block but then she had the sole power to chose to replacement nom and who does she pick? Fucking Pilar!
I hate when the girls target girls, because we all know the boys are gonna do the same thing too. They’re already talking about keeping “the bros” safe and together in their DRs and they’ve only known each other for like five hours! She had the perfect opportunity to get a physical threat out of the house early on without getting too much blood on her hands. It would have been very easy to pick Kevin who came in 2nd in the competition and justify it by saying that he was the next best person other than her (easily justifiable and the other house guests would’ve latched on to it).
I’m just hoping that Pilar survives Canada’s vote to evict. As much as Risha seems like a great person and like a potential iconic player I think Pilar would be better. She’s the first Mexican BBCan contestant, and a POC almost always is the first to be evicted but she’s also the only girl who took advantage of the anonymous initial voting for who went on the block by nominating two men! Plus, she didn’t have a chance to compete in the Veto, but Risha did (and blew it) and, when she was nominated, she played it very cool (and was nice about correcting Sindy’s mispronunciation of her name – stupid Sindy who made sure EVERYONE knew hers) and stayed to hang with the houseguests while Risha ran off and cried…
Thank you MissB for the sample! I liked the other Harrod’s tea I’ve tried from you, so I definitely was excited for this one. I’m not actually a huge chocolate fan; but I don’t think you can ever really, truly dislike chocolate either.
I had some of the worst cramps I’ve ever had today; so I called in sick. I literally spent 90% of my day on the couch today; I couldn’t move it hurt so bad. Work wants a Sick Note/Doctor’s note – but obviously I didn’t get one. I’m gonna go to the Walk In tomorrow after my tattoo appointment and pick one up, and hopefully that’s good enough for them. I get why employers ask for sick notes occasionally; to keep employees from abusing sick days off. It just, it still seems sorta stupid to me.
On top of your employee missing out on a day’s pay (because face it; the employees with paid days off or who work for salary are not usually the ones asked to get Doctor’s notes), they actually have to pay to get a Doctor’s note. And that can range anywhere from $10-30 here…
One thing that’s been suggested/debated is employers being billed for their employee’s sick notes – and I’m all for that. It still keeps employee’s accountable to almost the same extent, but it doesn’t affect low income earners as directly. And, there are employers who harass employees (I’m not thinking of me right not but another woman I work with) and ask for a sick note every time they don’t show up – even when it’s not frequent! So, that would also deter employers from targeting employees.
Plus, it just takes valuable time out of Doctor’s day! Not to mention, if you’re really too sick to go to work than you’re probably too sick to walk/bus/drive to a clinic, and you’re exposing all sorts of people to your illness too. Ugh.
I don’t know; this is just something I didn’t realize I was passionate about until it sort of hit me that “Damn, I’m really opinionated about this”. Ugh; so not looking forward to sitting in a walk in clinic for, like, two or three hours probably.
Anyway, the tea!
There was something oddly familiar about it; but not anything like other reviewers have mentioned – I wasn’t reminded of barley at all. I thought the smell was so much better than the taste though; it was like a hot, steamy mug of chocolate pudding or rich custard with sweet vanilla like undertones.
That didn’t translate so directly into the taste though; it was more flat with a simpler chocolate flavour. Less rich, if you will. Though having just finished reading Kittenna’s review I can sort of agree that it did taste kind of malty. Not exactly malt – but close enough. Overall; didn’t love this one but certainly didn’t dislike it either!
CHALLENGE: Off the top of your head and without looking anything up, how many varieties of apples can you name? Can anyone beat my ‘high score’ of 15?
Drinking this one right now. I was in the mood for tea and a movie, but I couldn’t find something light hearted enough so I’m just watching Steven Universe, and then probably gonna go to bed. Sooooo tired.
This is surprisingly flavourful; more apple than cinnamon, I’d say – but both are present. It’s really juicy! And, I don’t know why, but I was expecting a little bit more of a cider/tart apple but it’s reminding me of sweeter, red apples like Red Delicious apples or Salish apples. I really liked the Black Currant bagged tea from MissB, but next to that one I think this is my favourite so far.
PS. These were the apple I was able to name:
Salish, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Cripps, Spartan, Macintosh, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Jazz, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Crab Apples…
And, my score’s 17 if you count “Asian Apples” and Grapples- though at Sobey’s we classify Asian Apples as pears and Grapples are a hybrid fruit so I didn’t include either in my total.
I’m sure I only knew so many ’cause I work in a grocery store though.
Cold brewed this one thinking it was the other Christmas Twinings blend from MissB – but it turned out ok overall because the flavours in this one were pretty suited to cold brewing too. I drank 25 oz. of it during my 15 min. break at work today, and it was definitely refreshing. Basically it was like a light, watery orange drink with notes of cinnamon heavy pie crust. I get the “Christmas” tie in for sure.
Today’s word was “teem” which means: ‘to become filled with many of something : abound’. Not a new word for me, and an easy one to use at work.
Interesting work thing: I sold about $120 worth of frozen frog legs to someone today. Pretty sure he bought out all the store’s inventory. I didn’t even know we sold frogs legs; but it sure was a lot of them.
This one’s from the March Amoda subscription box. I still haven’t finished all of my February teas, but when I saw this sample I couldn’t wait. I love pineapple; and I’ve been searching for the perfect pineapple tea to replace Butiki’s Flowery Pineapple Oolong which I’m coming closer and closer to finishing off.
I cold brewed my sample because I saw that this was recommended as an iced tea. I don’t regret the decision to do so even in the slightest. I’ll break it down in a second; but I’m just gonna jump the gun and say that, next to Flowery Pineapple Oolong, this is the best pineapple tea I’ve ever had. MAYBE even just as good. And considering this is on a green tea base that’s such high praise coming from me.
The pineapple flavour in this is over the top, 100% authentic, freshly cut pineapple with all the natural sticky sweetness and tang from the juices – and the tiny touch of coconut in here makes it pop and invokes a lovely tropical flavour that’s perfect for this time of year when all the snow’s melting and the weather is wishy-washy. It’s an instant vacation in a cup or, in this case, mason jar. Plus, the coconut just touches on a creaminess that really rounds out the brew.
I found that for the most part the green base was very masked by the extreme pineapple flavour; and that suits my tastes well. But, what I could taste blended near seamlessly into the fresh pineapple and provided a very faint grassyness that just worked well with the other flavours. It was highly refreshing and thirst quenching.
I know this isn’t oolong, and it doesn’t have the floral component that Butiki’s kick-ass pineapple tea has, but to be honest I didn’t miss it. I honestly think this is what I’m going to be replacing Flowery Pineapple Oolong with once I’ve finished it off. It was SO GOOD.
Good find Amoda, good find!
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Grass, Pineapple, Tangy, Tropical
This was the last of my Nannuoshan samples; and again I’m sorry that I was a little bit late getting them all up.
Did a shorter Gong Fu session with this one in my CS Gaiwan when I got home from work. Not counting the short wash I did, I had three very nice infusions. I probably could have gotten a fourth, but it’s just past midnight now and I’m thinking I should probably stop drinking tea and go to bed soon. I keep yawning; and the caffeine from this is probably gonna kick in soon if I don’t fall asleep first – and that’d really mess up my sleep pattern.
What I did when drinking this one was take a whole bunch of jot notes, similar to what I did for the Hua Xiang Rou Gui from Nannuoshan, and then go back and kind of condense them and make them a little easier to read. So, these are my compounded thoughts from each infusion:
- 5 Sec. Smells very sweet & fresh; quite different from most Pu’Erh I’ve experienced. Strong notes of buttery spinach or green beans, kind of creamy. Floral finish. Just the tiniest bit astringent/bitter.
- 10 Sec. Buttery/Spinach Notes – Wondering if I jumped the steep time up a bit too much; this is a little more bitter/astringent that the first steep, though still not something I can’t handle. Floral with sugarcane and honey notes. A little bit woody. I keep expecting a musty/earthy taste which is what I’ve come to expect from most Pu’Erh but this is so much more different.
- 10 Sec. Finally identified the strong floral note I’ve been experiencing! It’s Lily! Fairly bitter; dry wood notes. Still kind of buttery/creamy, but not nearly as much spinach notes.
If I had continued with a fourth infusion, I don’t think I could have gone for the full 20 seconds like recommended; even ten was a little too much for me. Overall, I thought that while this was very different, it was really good. I’m not entirely sure if my ‘tea vocabulary’ is extensive enough to 100% convey what I was tasting – but hopefully I’ve done an apt job.
Thank you again Nannuoshan for all the samples! Of the four I requested, the Rougui was my favourite, though all of them were good and great learning experiences!
Another ‘accelerated’ sipdown ‘cause I dropped the excess teabags off at work. They’re not really getting drank though; I think ‘cause they’re not individually wrapped and people don’t know what the tea is. I should’ve wrote the name on the ziploc bag or something.
I really like this one; but it’s been well over a year since I received it from VariaTEA (it’s seen TWO Christmases) and it just doesn’t get touched. I realized that at the rate I’m drinking it, it’s not gonna be gone for like another three or four years!
But; this last cup was excellent. Really tasted the butterscotch and vanilla notes, with some cinnamon peppered in there as well. I’m mad at myself for not taking advantage of this one a little bit more; I can’t recall ever feeling negatively about it.
In other news; I had a tattoo consultation today and… I booked my first tattoo(s)! I’m getting them done on Tuesday, and I’m both incredibly excited and nervous. I mean, it’s about damn time. Whenever I really stop to picture myself, it’s with sleeves and so getting a start on that is…
Well, right now it feels amazing. Though I wish I could get more done at a time. But I know that this is my first tattoo and I should start simple because, who knows, I may get it started and have a dramatic change of heart and feel like “Never again will I get a tattoo!”
So I’m just starting with some script work; on my left arm I’m getting the Latin phrase “Tabula Rasa” and on my right arm I’m getting “Camellia Sinensis”. I think everyone on Steepster should be able to put together why the CS tattoo, but I’d love to explain “Tabula Rasa”.
I first heard the phrase on Buffy The Vampire Slayer; one of my favourite episodes is named after it. It translates to “Blank Slate”. And, I think that there’s something beautiful and ironic about it being my first tattoo – but ultimately the significance to me is blank slate kind of being symbolic of a “Fresh Start”. And, that’s what moving here to Saskatoon was for me. It was a big deal and still is, even a year and a half later. I feel like, in a lot of ways, I’m still starting over and still starting fresh. And that’s something I needed in my life.
In a lot of ways, the Camellia Sinensis tattoo ties in with that; it was exactly around when I moved to Saskatoon that I really got into teas; and learning about tea culture and being a part of this community has helped me so much with the fresh start I was hoping to find, and have found.
It’s perfect to me that I’m getting them done at the same time.
“Accelerated” sipdown because I brought all but one of the teabags I had left to work for staff to drink. And, that’s going well – there were probably about 100 assorted teabags in varying amounts when I dropped the bag off, and maybe 30 now? They’ll be gone soon!
Drank this to settle my tummy while I was still hungover. I didn’t expect to have a crazy, drunk ‘party night’ and need soothing mint teas when I was dropping stuff off at work – had I known I would have a need, I likely would’ve kept more than one teabag.
Today’s ‘word of the day’ was sluice. Totally a new to me word.
Sluice is: “1. an artificial passage for water with a gate for controlling its flow; 2. a channel that carries off surplus water; 3. a long sloping trough (as for floating logs to a sawmill)”. Practically speaking, I doubt I’ll find a way to slip this into conversation, which is a shame because it’s so damn fun to say.
Sluice. Sluice. Sluice.