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1176 Tasting Notes


Last tea of the night.

Since I’ve been doing it as a cold brew, I thought that maybe I’d try it out hot and see if it was entirely terrible that way.

It smells soapy, but thankfully it doesn’t taste even close to soapy. I’m wondering if the soap smell is because I pulled the mug out of the fresh batch of clean dishes in the dishwasher. Honestly though, my first impression of the taste was that it was like McQuarrie’s Rum Cream blend just not sour – but then I took a moment to pause I try and break it down a little and I noticed that it’s really heavy on the raspberry taste and maybe a little bit of other berries (though not strawberry).

I think this isn’t super hibiscus sour though because I was really cautious with my steep time and kept it short. I’m happy I decided to set some aside for VariaTEA though; I feel like she’ll at least enjoy it, if not love it.

PS. It’s still better cold brewed.

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Finally trying this famous and tasty Genmaicha!

I swear I got a sample from Courtney but I apparently lost it, and Dexter3657 was super kind and sent me more so I could try it. Steepster people are amazing!

I’m really iffy on if I steeped this correctly; the package instructions were pretty weird. I don’t know – in the end I compromised and met them in the middle. Next cup maybe I’ll do things my way. Regardless, this tastes really good though. It’s not quite as flavourful as I expected, meaning that the nuances are more subtle than I was anticipating (Genmaicha is usually pretty straight forward – though I guess this is no normal Genmaicha).

I get the toastyness of the rice, but in a lesser concentration than I’ve grown to expect from a Genmaicha – but that’s ok because the other flavour components are made up of a really great black base and a nice, light chocolate component which makes this sort of taste like a light kind of chocolate puffed wheat cake. There’s also a buttery quality coming from somewhere which adds to the puffed wheat cake feel of it.

I’m happy I have more to go through! Mmm!

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drank L'Abricot by Fauchon
1176 tasting notes

Sipdown (168/170)!

I wonder if I could make 150 by the end of the month. Probably not. I guess I’ll leave it as an “absent minded goal”. If I hit it, great. If not – meh.

Anyway, I made this to go in the timolino but without milk so I could get an impression of what it tastes like straight. I almost regret doing so though, because even though the fruitiness of the apricot came through and there’s was still a honey like quality to the black tea there was also a lot of astringency and some underlying bitterness. I steeped it the same way as last time too (minus the milk added after steeping) so I don’t think I can really blame user error.


Anyway – it wasn’t awful, just not particularly good either. I don’t think I’ll really miss this one…


I am aiming for 150 too. In theory that is only 8 teas and therefore totally doable but I am sure there will be swaps waiting for me when I get home on the 27th and that will put me back over.



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Overnight cold brew for work! Something like 13 hours?

I missed the bus today, so I had to hustle to get to work on time (I just made it). Thankfully I live a reasonable distance away, but since I had planned to bus it and take advantage of my monthly pass I didn’t leave myself much walking time.

When I did show up I was really parched though, so the majority of this was chugged almost immediately after arriving. It was the perfect thirst quencher and, if I may indulge in a horrible pun, ‘absolutely’ amazing tasting.

Yeah – that really was horrible. Sorry.

But really, I love that this one is just simple, straight forward and delicious.

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drank Creme Brulee by DAVIDsTEA
1176 tasting notes

My second go at a “tea cocktail” type vodka drink, this time with adjusted amounts. Instead of 2 tsp. of tea, I used a tbsp. to cold brew and only about a shot and a half of vanilla vodka. I also let this cold brew for slightly longer before straining it.

The smell of this one is incredibly rich and delicious; seriously the almost pudding like caramel aroma is very intensely emanating from my cup – no smell of vodka at all. As far as the taste goes, I think this is more of a success than yesterday’s cup (but maybe that’s because I’m using a tea that I enjoy a bit more). The “burning” sensation of the vodka is less strong, and the vanilla/caramel is very rich and flavourful.

It saddens me a little how much leaf this used of my precious Creme Brulee blend – but I’m very happy with the results! Even Tre remarked that it smelled really good. I think the next one I want to try is Blueberry Jam in the Wildberry Vodka…

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Made up for work! By the time I got to it, it had mostly cooled down in the timolino. I guess it was sort of “Lukewarm(ish)”.

Work went very smoothly today; no problems with anything during the shift or with cashing out/doing paperwork tonight. We even got out a little bit early. Morningstar, my coworker who is also a Keyholder, and I make a very good closing team (closers are always two keyholders); not that the other keyholders aren’t good at closing. It’s just that she and I have a rhythm and set of strengths/weaknesses that really compliment one another.

Anyway – this was super light on the bergamot, but that didn’t mean it was weak in flavour. The cream/fruit elements were very strong in this mug! Although, disappointingly, the fruit was mostly a generic “berry” kind of vibe – not expressly blackberry. Still, I very much enjoyed this mug and the switch up from the usual flavours I experience with it.

Flavors: Berries, Cream

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Cold Brew: I’m still trying to find a replacement for my beloved Coconut Grove and this was the next tea up in the list of potential replacements. All in all, I think it cold brewed for about 15 hours?

Going into this cold brew I knew this blend would have a place in my cupboard either way. It’s really good hot!

However, this actually made for a really good cold brew. It was weird, I really got the “pudding like” filling quality that made it almost believable that I was eating ‘pie guts’. And then the crust like, almost “graham” component was exaggerated as well. I really, really enjoyed this as a cold brew and I will totally have it that way again!

Now, down to the real business… Is it a good Coconut Grove replacement?

Well, both were/are amazing, but although they both include coconut as a main ingredient I really don’t find them that comparable. Coconut Grove is incredibly light and tropical and this was a bit heavier and much more dessert like. So, I guess my search still continues…

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drank Victoria Mint by Tea Desire
1176 tasting notes

The other morning cup I’m enjoying with my extra, unexpected time. It’s nice having a few hours to kill before work. Usually I just get up maybe an hour before I start work for the day, and I typically spend that time getting ready for work; showering, making my lunch/supper for when I’m on break, brewing tea for my shift. And then I walk to work.

But anyway; I brewed this up extra strong and the resulting tea was extra good! It feels…


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I woke up several hours before I needed to get ready for work today feeling completely rested, which was very strange. I swear, that never happens. It’s nice though; it gave me time to enjoy some TV, and to make a few glasses of tea – including this one.

I’ve been using this matcha for matcha soda, but I decided today to try it in cold milk instead. It’s not a flavour I would automatically associate with milk but I figured it’d make for an interesting enough drink, and I recalled that Keychange had tried it that way and not hated it – so why not?

Honestly; it was far from bad. The watermelon came through and there wasn’t any negative juxtaposition between it and the milk, which is always a concern pairing fruit and milk together. It was pretty candy like, honestly. Then again, this is also candy like as tea soda too.

I think, maybe, I prefer it in the soda form? However I’d drink it in milk again if I was looking the shake things up in my “matcha routine” – mostly what I have in cold milk are the dessert flavours.

Surprisingly good.


yeah, I found this to be far from bad as well. Nothing really compels me to buy more, but it really was entirely inoffensive.


I need a carbonating machine!! :)

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This cup is very refreshing, and super tasty. It’s like this perfect combo between refreshing, almost melon-y, cucumber and sweet mango! It’s definitely a “spring” tea – although today didn’t really feel like Spring; it was snowing really heavily all afternoon.

I think cucumber teas are something I’d want to keep exploring…


Come on Spring.. Where are you?!?!

We woke up to snow covering the cars this morning… I completely understand how you feel.

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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 teas I ever drank were bagged mint teas (especially peppermint), and mint still remains a staple flavour for me. My favourite teas are flavoured ones (doesn’t matter if they’re fruity, chocolate, sweet, savory, etc). And thus far in my tea journey, blacks are my favourite as far as flavoured blends go, but I’ve also developed a very strong liking towards mate and whites. For the most part, I really enjoy everything else as well. The exception is green tea – which I very much dislike. I have found a few heavily flavoured greens that I enjoy, but I’m always very wary in trying green blends.

My favourite fruit flavours in regard to tea blends are cranberry, banana, pear, lychee, melon, passion fruit and especially pineapple (pineapple is my favourite fruit). I am also always excited to try anything with Saskatoon Berries, which are delicious and also my city’s namesake. I also have a huge weakness towards toffee/caramel teas and a bit of a soft spot in regard to black licorice. And I adore anything creamy. Since I’ve used flavoured teas as a way to cut out soda from my diet, I am always up for trying soda inspired blends. I want to try all the Rootbeer teas!

Tastes I strongly dislike are ginger (I tend to avoid blends which mention ginger as an ingredient), and raisins (I’ll typically flat out refuse to try anything with raisins – I hate them that much). 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 especially adore silver needle teas. Green teas, with the exception of Genmaicha and some Hojicha, make me feel a bit sick and I 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.

As far as cold brewing goes, I do prefer to have my tea hot – but I always keep a selection of herbals and fruit blends to cold steep. I do a daily 25 oz. cold brew which I either have first thing with breakfast or take in a thermos to drink at work, in addition to the hot Timolino(s) I also bring with every work shift. On average, I have six cups of tea a day.

I prefer to drink my tea without adding anything to it, and that’s always how I first try a tea. 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 “tea 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.

As far as ratings go, I try to rate things comparatively to other teas I’ve tried. If I like it less than something rated, say, a 90 then it wont be rated more than a 90. Instead I’ll try to find a rated tea I like about the same amount and then the tea I’m drinking gets rated that number. If I find I like it in between two rated teas then I’ll rate in a number in between those ratings. I also wont restock anything with a rating lower than 80, unless it’s a bagged tea (but bagged teas need to have a rating of at least 75 for me to consider stocking them).

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 people in my life, within my new city, are my friends Robyn and Kristina.

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).

Kristina is also a friend from highschool, though not nearly as close. We’ve become much closer since she moved here a few months after I did and we both realized we knew hardly anyone.

She lives less than 10 minutes from my house, and is over here a fairly large amount of time. Recently, she’s also undertaken the huge task of introducing me to Metal music and slowly getting my involved in the metal community here in Saskatoon. It’s a work in progress.

She’s not a tea drinker, but thankfully she’s always excited to hear me ramble and is often really amused by the teas I take with me different places.

I’m very much into clay and sculpture and, if I’m being honest and not modest, I’m really good at it. I also play way too much Pokemon for my own good, and watch more TV than one person should. I’m a huge sap and cry during TV and movies all the time, even if nothing terribly sad is happening.

I’m really wordy and have this tendency to write way more than is necessary or relevant, and that often carries into my tasting notes and reviews.I feel like that probably gets annoying for the people following me…

And, on that note I think I should maybe shut up a little bit now?


Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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