3847 Tasting Notes
Last tea of the night; I’m sporting a pretty killer migraine and my left eye is twitching like it’s at a rave so I’m thinking it’s time for bed. That’s a shame too; the BBCan houseguests just got all the supplies for a pool party, so you know that tonight’s gonna be pretty interesting…
I bought this bagged tea in December… Of 2013.
Back then, I REALLY liked it but since then my tastes have changed so much and I’ve hardly touched it at all. Even now, it’s taken me like two hours to get through three quarters of the 12 oz mug I made myself. And, it’s not that it tastes bad, because it doesn’t, but it’s just so unoriginal and underwhelming now. Forgetting loose leaf momentarily, I’ve just been exposed to bagged tea that’s SO MUCH better. And I love Stash, I really do, but this blend can’t compete. The strawberry is almost too tart (hibby I blame you) and what’s even up with the rooibos!? It’s peppery, woody, and buttery – all the things I hate in rooibos, with the exception of medicinal. Thank God it doesn’t go there – all four ‘negative rooibos traits’ would be a nightmare.
But I’m done with it now though; I brought all the teabags but this one (so I had something to drink/review/record final thoughts with) to work for my Tea Pleb coworkers to drink, and all those teabags I passed their way are officially GONE now! It took less than a week for my coworkers to sipdown 100+ teabags!
I saved myself so many dull cups of tea.
Prepped Gong Fu today while I was making my lunch for work and chopping up peppers for supper. I got four really nice infusions from this one, but stopped infusing after the fourth steep because the flavours from this one were definitely declining and I was almost done with my meal prep anyway.
I found that this style of prep absolutely brought out the maple flavour more than I’m used to tasting with this tea; it was very, very sweet and quite natural tasting. Reminded me a lot of good maple syrup. Oolong was very oaky, and the pecan notes were accented with other nutty notes from the base like walnut. Rich and decadent overall.
I did have one bad infusion though; the second one. I let the tea steep for much longer than I should’ve because I was distracted by my cooking (multi-tasking is not my forte) and the tea came out really, really astringent. That infusion was basically a write off.
I’ve had this one set aside in the kitchen for weeks now waiting for a chance to steep it, so I’m glad today I had time to! Probably gonna hold off on having it for a while though; this is one of the Butiki oolongs I’m definitely a fan of, but never stocked up on when Stacy announced she was closing shop…
Thank you MissB for the sample! I’ve never actually seen Twinings sachets before, and this was a pretty cool flavour. I like sachet teas a lot; you’ve basically got the quality of loose leaf, but the convenience of bagged teas. What’s not to love?
This was definitely very nutty; I tasted the hazlenut but more so I thought it was rather peanutty? Except, I don’t think that’s actually one of the ingredients but I swear I was totally reminded of chocolate coated peanuts which are the bomb. The chocolate itself was pretty good; reminded me of baker’s chocolate because it had a very slight bitterness to it. Not a lot of distinct flavours from the base itself; maybe some super light malt notes?
Sadly, I made the mistake of letting the last 1/4 of the cup sit while I showered for work and when I came back it was a cup of unholy bitterness; so drink this one hot!
Big Brother Canada Live Feeds have been up since Wednesday night, so there goes my life pretty much. Honestly, the only reason I haven’t posted tasting notes and stuff since my last day off (Tuesday) is pretty much I’ve just been watching feeds non stop. When Big Brother’s on, it kind of rules my life. THIS IS MY SHOW.
I’m so disappointed; so many of my picks have turned out to be problematic as fuck (homophobic, misogynistic, and racist) – it’s BB15 all over again. UGH. However, some of them (Sarah and Naeha) are absolute iconic Goddesses! Especially Sarah; she’s everything I could have wanted from a house guest – she’s strategic, liberal/open minded, and actual BIG fan of the game, aware of her privilege, LGBTQ, hasn’t said anything homophobic/ableist/against anyone’s religion/sexist/racist (it’s so sad this has to be said, though), and is just PERFECT in every way. I think she’s an overwhelming fan favourite right now…
But here are my House Guest standings:
Absolutely Love: Sarah, Naeha
Like: Brittnee, Sindy, Jordan, Bobby
Impartial/No Opinion Formed: Bruno, Pilar, Zach, Johnny, Kevin, Ashleigh
Dislike/Totally Hate: Willow, Godfrey, Graig
…And Risha doesn’t really matter currently ‘cause she’s evicted. But she probably would’ve fallen under “like” if she was still around. Disappointed in Godfrey/Graig for being misogynistic slut shaming douchebags (and racist in Graig’s case) who instantly formed a “Bro Pack” mentality and rather unoriginal formed a guys’ alliance when they were two of my favourites really early on. BOO ON YOU! Some of the other guys have kinda come close to being this shitty; but these two are the worst IMO.
There’s a reason Live Feeders have taken to calling him Craigslist…
Queued Tasting Note.
Cold brewed this one ’cause I totally see it being amazing cold brewed!
It’s really good cold brewed, but still very, very similar to what the hot cup tasted like. That is to say, I still think it tastes like shoving a bouquet of peonies in your mouth – but in a really good way. People who think it tastes like shoving a bouquet of peonies in your mouth, but in a bad way, should likely avoid this one as a cold brew; in the same way I loved it/was excited about it, you’ll be miserable.
And, it still 100% reminds me of those pink jellybeans which also 100% remind me of Easter, which 100% reminds me of Spring so really, this tea is still 100% a hit for me. Add up all those perfect scores and you have a tea valued at 400%, but not really – ‘cause math doesn’t really work like that. You get the idea though; this is absolutely the best tea from the Spring Collection. Anyone know when it leaves? I definitely want to pick more up before it’s gone!
Side Story; more than just Easter there’s a very specific childhood memory I associate those little pink jellybeans with – when I was around my sister’s age or maybe even younger, like seven or eight, we’d spend Easter vacation at my Grandma’s house – and on Easter day they’d have a special Church service. They always hid the pink, blue, purple and nasty yellow Easter jellybeans in the church pews and we’d go through and find them and it was really fun.
Then we’d get home and during the hour we were gone the Easter bunny would’ve been to Grandma’s house and we’ve have a really big, giant Easter Egg hunt in her massive lawn and garden (she lives in the country, sorta. so there’s LOTS of space to hunt). One year all the hidden eggs were chocolate and it was so nice out that they’d all melted – and even though that was disappointing, it was still a blast hunting for them. Sometimes in the summer when we came down to visit for a few weeks we’d find the eggs we’d missed during Easter break. Found out several years later than the “Easter Bunny” was actually my cousin Luke (who was only three years older than me). He always stayed home from Church ‘cause his Dad was very, very anti-religion and wouldn’t allow him to go and during the time we were out he took advantage of that and hid all the Easter stuff for us. I can’t even imagine my sister, who is ten, doing something that big/wide spread without any help. To set it up for one person would’ve been monumental – but for three (my siblings and I)!?
Easter’s not my favourite holiday (Halloween is my favourite) but I sure love it a whole lot! This year my sister’s staying with me for a few days and even though she doesn’t really believe in the Easter bunny anymore, I’ve still gone all out putting together a giant basket for her and getting all the stuff to do a decent sized (I live in a basement suite; so not a ton of room to work with) egg hunt for her!
I just realized that all the tea I’ve had today has been Green Tea; definitely not doing that on purpose. This one comes from MissB – she definitely sent a lot of green tea from her travels; and while it’s pushed me outside of my comfort zone, it’s been fun trying all the different blends!
I buggered this one up though; I started steeping it, and then promptly forgot so it got a really long nearly twenty minute steep. As a result, I imagine the taste is not really a shining example of how it’d normally taste. It’s quite bitter, the grassyness of the green tea cuts in very harshly, and there’s a bit of a drying mouthfeel at the end of the sip. However, I can also taste some well rounded, sweet cherry notes and some floral notes as well, so I see how this would be really good if prepared properly.
For whatever reason, cherry when paired with green tea always reminds me at least a little of bubble gum though. There must have been a kind I chewed a lot as a kid that has some cherry flavour to it but I’m not sure which; something drilled that association into me though! I think Hubba-Bubba and Bazooka Joe were my picks all the way up until like grade nine? After that, I don’t recall having a ‘Go To’ kind of bubble gum – I just bought, and still buy, whatever’s accessible and cheapest. Maybe I’ll have to revisit those brands and see if they taste like cherry to me?
But actually; all things considered this could’ve come out A LOT WORSE. Even with bitterness, it’s still pretty drinkable. That is to say, I’m totally finishing it. But, gonna hold back on rating it. I’m obviously not tasting it like I should be.
Today’s word of the day is…
Tizzy! A tizzy is “a very excited and mixed up state of mind”.
Queued Tasting Note.
Made this one to drink during my tattoo appointment; I measured out porrly though and it was really watery and disappointing. Boo.
I promised information on getting my tattoos done on Tuesday, so here it is! I went in a little bit nervous, but mostly really excited! I think I’ve mentioned it before in other tasting notes, but when I visualize myself, how I’ve always visualized myself – is with tattoos.
Getting my arms shaved was kinda weird; and my artist was like super, super tender about it. And then he put the stencils on and I checked them out in the mirror to make sure everything was laid out how I wanted it – when we actually started, I was so braced to be in a lot of pain. I know tattoos are supposed to hurt so I was ready to white knuckle through that pain; much to my surprise it didn’t feel like much of anything. In fact, it was really relaxing. I imagine that acupuncture would maybe feel similar. Honestly, taking the surgical tape from the bandages off the next morning probably hurt more.
So far everything’s healing up pretty nicely; I’m definitely making sure to follow all my after care instructions – these tattoos are gonna be with me the rest of my life; I want to make sure they look good! There’s a small bit of very light scabbing on the Tabula Rasa one but after checking several different websites it looks to fall very comfortably within the range of what is normal. I’m already getting a little sick of explaining to people what they mean, though. I explain Tabula Rasa (means blank slate, and to me means “Fresh Start” and symbolizes my moving to Saskatoon and starting fresh) and they all go “Oh!” and nod because they can at least emphasize with that. I explain Camellia Sinensis to them and they just look at me very blankly…
I’m very excited to go and get more work done though! Next up is probably either going to be the series of Shel Silverstein illustrations I want done (the Candle from Invitation, bearded man, and one of the panels from The Thinker of Tender thoughts) or getting the actual Camellia Sinensis plant done on the same arm my CS word tattoo is; but that’ll absolutely be a bigger piece since I plan on getting something that’ll cover most of the length of my forearm.
Still trying to decide on whether I’m gonna renew my Amoda subscription; hashed out some of the pros and cons earlier today on Steepster chat. Right now I’m leaning against it; primarily because the three boxes I received in my gift subscription were pretty ginger/jasmine dominant – case in point this tea or the Ginger Jasmine green pearls from the January box. I’ve liked that I’ve been exposed to teas I would’ve otherwise ignored, but the ingredient diversity isn’t as strong as I want…
This was/is my daily cold brew – I’m finishing it off now. Plan was to drink it last night, but that didn’t happen ‘cause of the super ridiculous 16 hour sleep I had. It’s alright; but just your typical jasmine scented green. Not overly fake, I’ll give it that much – but I could always pop into one of my local stores like DT or Tea Desire and get something comparable for probably a better price.
Stumbled upon this store today: http://eclecticeccentricity.bigcartel.com/
EVERYTHING IS SO PRETTY AND GORGEOUS! I want all of it. Literally all of it. I put together a mock cart with a few things, trying to justify buying myself some pretty jewelry – my other favourite ‘online jeweler’, if you will, is NO WHERE near as affordable. But ugh; Pounds to Canadian Dollars is still so much.
Even if I just bought my favourite piece overall, with shipping, it’d be nearly $40! I know it’s really, really nice jewelry, but man I can’t afford that! I cry because I want pretty things and I can’t have pretty things!
PS. If anyone’s curious, this is my absolute favourite thing on the site:
Flavors: Jasmine, Vegetal
Yesterday was file maintenance; I got home at about 2:30PM after starting work at 5:00AM (you all know the deal; I don’t sleep the night before FM because it’s too hard to go from a Midnight bed time to an 8PM one) – fell asleep sometime around five last night; and woke up today at 9AM – so that’s 16 hours of uninterpreted sleep? Ick.
I just finished drinking a chawan of this – yes my shiny new chawan! It was so awesome making my matcha in an actual chawan; and my roommate definitely made fun of me gingerly holding it – because it’s shiny and new and EXPENSIVE – but also trying to have a VERY firm grasp on it, because it’s shiny and new and EXPENSIVE.
I picked this as my first thing to use in my shiny new chawan because I knew it’d be a ‘sipdown’ – sipdown in quotations because the actual last two cups/bowls worth are going to a Dietitian who works at Sobeys with me. She found out how into tea I am from Chef Darcy, and we had a really long conversation about tea yesterday after my File Maintenance shift; she’s pretty big into green tea (I don’t want to get stereotypical here – but she’s a Dietician, and I’m about 80% sure she got into green tea ‘cause of the ’health benefits’) and really doesn’t like herbals/flavoured tea. I offered to bring her a sampler of some of my favourite straight/scented teas for her to try loose leaf, ‘cause she’s never had it before other than “To Go” DAVIDsTEA.
But then something really weird/unexpected happened – they (the dietitians and our “event room” coordinator – the guy who plans out when Chef Darcy is gonna come in and teach cooking classes, among other things) asked me if I’d be interested in teaching a tea class! I, of course, said that I’d be honored to do so, but that I wasn’t entirely sure if I was qualified to do so. But they said it’d be great and it could just be like a “Tea 101” thing or even, if I wanted to do one this summer, how to “Cold Brew” or make Iced Tea sort of thing. Man, I don’t even know how I’d go about doing that… Talking/teaching people that is; I definitely know my way around how to do a good cold brew.
If I do end up doing this class (either as a one time thing or possibly one class a month or something like that) I’d definitely need help prepping for it; it just seems like a monumental thing. I’m talking to some people in Steepster chat right now and it’s making me feel a little more confidant about doing it though; right now the most ‘together’ plan seems to be doing a “Cold Teas” sort of thing in the summer with recipes/steps on how to do cold brewed teas, iced teas, and tea sodas. It’s definitely an area I know well; and I know that whatever I do (if this ends up happening) I’m going to be encouraged to use as much stuff that we sell and if this was the class I ended up doing I know I’d be able to use almost entirely stuff we sell: club soda, sugar/stevia, and some of the fruity teas we carry.
While most of what we carry is bagged tea, we have a decent selection of loose Twinings and Tea Squared products, and I actually really like the Tea Squared tisanes.
So we’ll see how this all turns out. I’ll keep everyone updated because, if I do end up doing something then I’m sure as hell gonna want some input from the community here.
As for this morning’s matcha milk; the coffee was definitely the dominant flavour, with some softer mousse-y chocolate notes and cream notes. It was good; though ultimately this is one of my least favourites matchas from the last Red Leaf order I got (the only one I disliked more was Cheesecake, at the end). Not gonna be something I reorder, but this one was fun to have around, and I really hope Brooke (the dietitian) likes it!
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…