3228 Tasting Notes
So I snuck in a teaware review this morning before work but I’ve got a whole bunch of tasting notes to log as well; I didn’t do much logging over the weekend and yesterday because I spent Sunday at Barcraft with Tyrell (and then the rest of the evening drunkish), and then all Monday my brother and Dad were in town for his Birthday – and then on top of that our internet was also down for the bulk of the weekend too.
So Barcraft was pretty fun; even though I didn’t understand virtually any of what was going on game wise I thought the bar was really nice and I liked spending time with Tyrell – besides alcohol makes everything better, and they had good bar food too. The most interesting thing, I guess, would be meeting a whole bunch of his friends. Like, I know Lucas/Gwyn from DT but these people were all strangers to me. They were definitely nice though, and welcoming enough given I bet they knew next to nothing about me. Pretty much your typical gamer/sports guys in Uni; there were dick jokes, and playful insults between one another but nothing I wasn’t unfamiliar with or whatever. Afterall, I live with a guy (same “type” of guy as well), and growing up the vast majority of my friends were guys. I think I got their seal of approval?
And then after the finals we decided to go out for icecream (my treat since he picked up my bar tab, which was definitely significantly higher than the cost of the icecream). I couldn’t resist going for the weirdest flavour there (much to Tyrell’s disgust) which happened to be Pineapple Carrot Bran Muffin. I got it in milkshake format and I have to say it was pretty fucking delicious. Now I’m not gonna deny, a good part of why I thought that could be because I was a bit drunk – but I think that overall it was just a good milkshake. I’d love to see a Butiki tea version…
And then I got home to no internet and promptly watched Casanova while drunk and made myself tea! Mostly caffeine free stuff, because water consumption and a lack of caffeine while drunk is good for offsetting hangovers, and also because I just wanted tea. That involved trying this one for the first time! I bought a bunch of it in my most recent Butiki order despite never trying it just because of how much VariaTEA loves it. I figured it was a safe enough gamble because if I didn’t like it I could just pass it on to her.
Except, I do like it! So, it’s all mine. Mwah. Ha. Ha.
Basically it was super rich but still quite soft and airy with an amazing vanilla flavour and strikingly accurate sponge cake vibe to it. This is totally going to be a cupboard staple because it’s one of few herbals that I own which isn’t a fruit based blend for cold brewing! Mmm! I instantly wanted another cup of this after finishing it, but I was feeling really, really full so I passed on it. But definitely gonna have this one again, and soon!
Flavors: Cake, Cream, Powdered sugar, Vanilla
So I finally found a good picture of this one online that shows the outside of the mug and the giraffe inside so I decided to throw it up on the site and add it to my virtual cupboard along with most of the other teaware I own. I still need to add my Adeline infuser mug and my newest mug, which I got yesterday, that has the “All My Friends are Dead” dinosaur on it. It definitely bugs me just a little that only some of my teaware is in my Steepster cupboard.
Anyway, this one: it was the first “fancy” mug I ever bought – up until this point I only had the mugs that came with my Kitchen set, which are boring and solid red. I got this one in BrewTEAllySweet (sorry if I butchered the spelling)’s tea sale here on Steepster. Subsequently, this one got a lot of use.
Typically I tend to use this one when I’m drinking tea with a very dark and foggy liquor colour because then, when the cup is full, I can’t actually see the adorable as fuck giraffe which makes it “peeking out” all the more cute and amusing. The downside to that, of course, is that darker teas tend to stain your cups more easily than other blends and this guy can be rather difficult to clean. I’ve learned that, in the dishwasher, this one wont come out clean and there’ll still be staining around the base of the giraffe or in the nooks and crannies around his neck or legs/feet. So typically this really needs to be handwashed which is a little bit tedious.
I still love this mug though, and I’m very happy to have it in my collection! It’s super cute and great for serving tea to guests with.
SSTTB: Pick #14
I’ve had the Genmaicha version of this and wasn’t really a fan because the flavour didn’t come through at all, but I can visibly see a ton of cherries in the dry leaf for this one so I thought I’d give it a chance and try it anyway since I have the opportunity to.
I’ve had good success before with cold brewing Frank’s green blends so that was the route I took with this one, and I’ve strained it now this morning and am currently sipping on it while I do my make up and wait for Tyrell to come pick me up for Barcraft. It’s not really that’s is bad, it’s just that like I suspected there’s not much flavour to it at all; mostly I’m getting vegetal (maybe even a little bitter) green tea, some very faint generic fruitiness and a super subtle cheesecake kind of “tang”. There’s nothing distinct to it what so ever.
I’m definitely feeling like 25 oz. of this is too much so whatever I don’t finish by one will almost certainly get dumped out. It’s sad too because I have a hunch that this one is going to be my only tea all day…
I actually drank this last night while watching the movie Hysteria, because Hugh Dancy is such a bamf. I was gonna be done with tea for the night, but after that Thunderstorm our laundry room flooded (a few inches of water over half the floor…) I just kinda went “Fuck it, I deserve one more cup”. It also means I realized one of my “mini goals” for yesterday, which was to finish all three sample teas that came in my Butiki order.
Dry, the leaf of this one looked kinda waxy and smelled strongly of fennel. Hooray for fennel; I love fennel! Steeped up, the fennel and star anise were definitely the strongest flavours in the cup and for sure where the black licorice flavour was coming from. It was kinda weird having that flavour be provided by something other than licorice root in a tea, but I liked it a lot. However, there was also lots of spice because this is a chai (ergo why I was skeptical and only asked for a sample size) – and the cinnamon was really present and left an unpleasant dry feeling on my mouth.
If you’ve ever done the cinnamon challenge before it sort of, in a way, felt a lot like that. That definitely detracted from the cup overall and will probably keep me from ordering this one again in the future. I’m glad I tried it though because the fennel was divine. I didn’t realize how much I was in a fennel mood until I had this one and had that secret craving satisfied.
Only one thing left to say about this one; so long!
It’s pouring outside again. Ugh, this rain is never going to let up. But hey, at least it’s not snowing, right? I’ll take non stop rain over non stop snow, which is what we had for our long ass Winter this year…
This was phenomenal. I’m sad to see it go. Although technically there are a few cups worth left but I added them to the box because I thought it would be cool to add something local(ish) – and this is one of those teas that should be shared. Besides, if all goes well I’m have another 50g bag of this in my greedy little paws soon enough.
Really hoping Tre follows through and stops at Cuppa’T for me when he’s in Regina! So many tasties that I want restocked…
SSTTB: Pick #13
So I’ve had this before but I really wanted to try it again to see if it lived up to the fond memories I have of it. I actually have pictures of this one bloomed, in my mason jar, and one of them is the lock screen on my phone. I just think this one is really pretty.
So I made this in my mason jar (half full because my bladder already hates me today) and watched it bloom and it was nice and peaceful. I love bloom teas; they’re so calming and relaxing, and I always feel oddly dainty when I make them.
Taste wise I still thought this one was pretty solid; I don’t remember exactly what I said last time but in addition to the soft peach notes I also picked up on notes of malt, cocoa and lilies. They all meshed together nicely. There are Lychee Blooms and Strawberry Blooms in the box still; like this one I’ve tried them before but since there are a couple of each I might take the time to revisit another one if I get the time to during the week.
Maybe on Monday when my Dad and Brother are in town I’ll serve a bloom tea so they can look at the prettiness of it too…
Flavors: Cocoa, Flowers, Malt, Peach
Stacy was kind enough to add in a sample of this with my Butiki order. I have actually had it before and from my recollection I wasn’t super impressed but hey, why not have it again? Tastes evolve, and after Stacy was so kind to include it for me it’d be a crime to not have it.
So after a round of caffeinated things after getting up I decided a few caffeine free things were called for meaning this blend came into play sooner rather than later. As a mint chocolate tea, I still thought it was pretty “meh”/“could do with or without it”overall, but it wasn’t bad and it was a nice break from the citrus/Chai this morning.
I think it was creamier this time around? Maybe there was more marshmallow leaf in this sample than the one I’d had previously…
SSTTB: Pick #12
This is the second Mint Chai that I drank today as a direct comparison with Whispering Pines’ Peppermint Chai. Like I said in the tasting note for that one, the two were really, really dissimilar.
Unlike the WP blend – this one didn’t really feel like a Chai at all. Instead this one seemed to be much more about the smooth creamy vanilla mint flavour which perfectly fit the earthy Pu’Erh. The Pu’Erh base in this kinda reminded me of clay a little bit, and then the Vanilla/Mint due (which was pretty evenly balanced) sweetened it up a bit and kept it from feeling gritty or unpleasant. As far as the “Chai” element, in this one the most that I picked up on was the cinnamon in it which almost made it feel Christmas-y to me? For whatever reason.
Both were really good, just in different ways. However, I think that I liked Whispering Pines’ version better even though it was more Chai like, the reason for that being that I liked the weird Halva flavour I experienced with it because of the unexpected nostalgia. It was a tea that made me experience something other than the tea, and it’s kinda hard for this one to compete with that.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clay, Cream, Mint, Vanilla
SSTTB: Pick #11
So, there are two mint Chais in The Box and both smell pretty good so I’m taking advantage of my day off to do a side by side comparrison of the two. So the other one I’m drinking is Rishi’s Vanilla Mint Chai. I prepared both the same way; same amount of leaf, same steep time, same water temp and I’m pretty well just alternating between cups of them.
And I have to say, they’re really NOTHING alike. This one definitely seems more like a Chai to me; it’s smooth and has much more noticeable spice flavours in it like cloves and ginger, which both very much stick out to me. The cloves, which I love, balance off the ginger for me, which I hate. I would have said I tasted fennel too, but I don’t see that in the ingredients list. Odd. The mint in this one is also much crisper and I feel like it suits the Chai element really well. Everything just kinda “pops”.
And then, as a whole there’s something very very familiar and weird about this one. It took me a long ass motherfucking time to place what – but as one component, without breaking down the flavours, this reminds me EXACTLY of the Halva that the East Indian Convenience Store near me in Regina (my old city) used to sell. And it’s so weird to me that that happens to be the flavour that this one reminds me of because the Halva that they sold there was like this sweet, very nutty melt in your mouth buttery kind of pastry – but with an almost “cotton candy” like feel to it. It’s kinda hard to explain, I think, if you haven’t had it before.
It’s delicious though – and now I’m feeling really nostalgic? And why the ever loving fuck does a MINT CHAI remind me of sweet nutty pastry? My tastebuds are confused, but on board with this.
Oh, here’s a link for people who have no idea what I’m talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halva#India
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cloves, Fennel, Ginger, Mint, Nutty, Pastries, Peppermint