4290 Tasting Notes


Holy mother this is a fucking spicy tea!

I mean, I shouldn’t have really expected otherwise because of the three ingredients in this is chili rings, and the last time I had a tea with those was that chocolate chili herbal one from RiverTea and it was almost too much for me. Visually, this has a hell of a lot more chili in it than that blend too. But I bought it anyway yesterday ’cause it seemed so unique and fun.

Unique, yes. Fun? Uhh…

I went with a cold brew to first try this one. Basically, the front of the sip is your regular roasted mate flavour; nothing out of the ordinary there. You kind of taste a bit of extra sweetness from the candied pineapple but it’s not adding a whole lot. But then. Man, then, BAM! Without the formality of a nice transition you’re just hit with the fires of hell all over your mouth.

It. Is. So. Damn. Hot.

But you know what? It’s bearable because it doesn’t linger much longer past when you finish your sip – and it’s certainly accurate to the name. So major points for that; I don’t know if they could get any more accurate in that department. I wont make the mistake of prepping it for something casual to sip on again; but I do think this will absolutely do the trick when it comes to being something loud, in your face, and highly caffeinated to drink for those early, early morning file maintenance shifts.

And spice lovers, you have to try this one! It’s exactly what it claims to be, and how often can you say that about a tea?

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drank Magnolia Oolong by Tea Ave
4290 tasting notes

Sipdown (110)!

Gotta make my tasting note quick; I’m waiting for a date to get here any minute now…

I’ve been hoarding the last little bit of this sample, but I finished this one off last night; despite the caffeine I thought that the floral aspect of the tea might help me fall asleep. As I’ve well documented today, I’ve been having bad insomnia all week. It did the trick though! Not half an hour after finishing the mug I was out like a rock.

The magnolia was spot on; and the base was amazing as always. So soft, creamy and buttery! If a group order ever takes place for Tea Ave please let me know guys; I really want to pick up more Ginger Lily but since that’s the only one I really want putting in my own order doesn’t seem all that realistic right now.

Unrelated; I ended up getting a spontaneous tattoo done yesterday! One of the shops in town was doing a flash sale on Umbrella themed tattoos so I got a really cool one added to my inner elbow. It’s an umbrella where the top portion is a birdcage with a canary in it. It certainly hurt more than the two on my forearms; but it wasn’t unbearable. I think the position my arm was in while it was being done ended up being a lot more uncomfortable.

Hurts like a bitch this morning though…

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Sipdown (111)!

Thanks MissB for the sample!

This is a goji and green tea blend; that’s it. Do you know how excited that made me!? REALLY EXCITED is the answer. I’ve had this ‘theory’, if you will, that I somehow have an inability to taste goji berries ‘cause every time I’ve had a tea in them I haven’t noticed anything remotely like what they’re supposed to taste like. But the goji in this doesn’t have any other flavours to compete with aside for the base so I am stoked to put this theory to the test and maybe learn some things.

And guess what guys… I TASTED THE GOJI!

It was mind blowing; the base was there and pretty nice with some grassy notes but right over top of it, all sparkly and juicy was this pretty incredible fruit flavour! It reminded me of over ripe strawberries and the sweeter side of cranberries. WOW IT WAS GOOD. I don’t know how I’ve been missing out on this flavour for so long either!? Taste buds what’re up with you guys!? You let me down for so long with such an interesting flavour.

In other news; while my Dad was visiting we went out for lunch at the restaurant Tre works at…

I don’t get what he complains about all the time; it’s pretty small, and certainly wasn’t busy at all. There were two other people dining aside from my Dad and I. The service was really good though (maybe ‘cause we walked in and immediately saw Tre though – so he knew we were there). It was a touch freaky having the wait staff know stuff about me ahead of time though; like the fact I’m vegetarian and allergic to mushrooms.

The food was really good; I got a poached pear salad with Saskatoon berry dressing and blue cheese and it was heavenly. Of course, it’s a combination I’m familiar with – Prairie Ink (my favourite restaurant) serves a very similar salad but this one was certainly able to compete with it. When he got home later that night, Tre said he gave me the ‘big pear’. Thanks? It was good, though…

We left a 40% tip – I always tip well (if you can’t afford to tip you can’t afford to eat out), but my Dad doesn’t really believe in tipping. I made sure that it was a good one though; partly because my roommate works there, but also party ’cause it really was a good experience.

Now Tre can’t complain I haven’t been, though!

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Gotta remember not to eat matcha cupcakes at night. While I’m sure they’re not entirely responsible for all the insomnia I’ve been having as of late, they certainly can’t be helping.

…I did use a lot of matcha in them. Like 3 tbsp!?


Also, I fed one of these two my Dad while he was visiting. He was hesitant to try it ‘cause he’s pretty much cut out all sugar from his diet, but I guilted him into trying one. There’s a lot of good stuff in ‘em too – like vegetables and all that jazz. He didn’t like it; but he’s old and crazy, so…


they sound good :)

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Sipdown (112)!

Well, I finished it off. Err, sort of. It wasn’t exactly me who finished it – though I did have a couple sips when I was preparing it.

I made this one for my Dad yesterday; he came up for a few hours in the morning to visit – and he brought some of my dental refund money with him! Hooray! I made this one specifically for him because I wanted him to get to see the chawan he bought me for my birthday in action! And why not take advantage of the easy sipdown!?

The whole process was captivating to him; from measuring to whisking to just drinking it. I went with a more traditional prep method; simple hot water instead of cold milk which is my preference. I personally, just based on the few sips I had, thought that apart from feeling thinner the flavour was a lot more cinnamon than berry.

Dad couldn’t pinpoint the flavour at all though; but to be fair “Rich Berry Pie” isn’t exactly the easiest thing to guess. He knew there was fruit – but that’s about all he was able to narrow down. He did enjoy it though!

I ended setting almost all of it aside for some more ink though; first thing I did in the morning was a tattoo consultation: I’ll be adding a Mrs. Marvel quote, my siblings names, one of the panels from Shel Silverstein’s poem “The Thinker of Tender Thoughts”, and a banner of binary code to my quickly building accumulation of tattoos. I have a three hour session to get everything done booked in for about a week from now…


Cool…I hope you post a picture of that:)

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Sipdown (113)!

Thanks to Sil (I’m pretty sure) for the tea! I remember asking for this one in a swap once, I’m pretty sure, though I don’t recall with who. They only had a cups worth though, so I was more than ok with not trying it. And turns out it worked out so I get to taste it anyway!

I cold brewed my sample; it’s been absolutely, breathtakingly gorgeous here lately so I’m not making hot tea for my commute to work anymore – which means I’ve had to be a little bit creative with what I’m picking out for cold brews. And since it’s a jumble of tea types, part of me was also relieved about not having to figure out what temperature to brew this one at hot.

This was a very weird tea; there’s certainly a lot going on with it. I tried it semi blindly; I hadn’t looked it up before hand but I had seen reviews on it so I knew to somewhat expect strawberry and caramel notes. Otherwise, I had no prior knowledge.

My experience was that the oolong stood out the most of all the teas mixed in here; and then the black tea – didn’t really pick up anything particularly like green tea. Perhaps the little bit of nuttyness at the front of the sip? But that note could be attributed to the other base teas as well. In addition to some nuttyness, I noticed a fair bit of toastier notes and mineral notes at the start of the sip; this is partially what made the oolong stick out a little more for me.

This transitioned into the body of the tea, which had a sort of ‘medium’ sweetness and richness to it; definitely the caramel. While this flavour was strongest in the middle of the sip, it was still present all throughout. The finish is where the strawberry kicked in for me; though I found it more of a soft, generic red berry sort of flavour and a lot less distinctly like strawberry.

Now that I’ve looked up the tea I know there are also some floral ingredients. I don’t recall pinpointing anything distinctly floral at all – but it is possible (though perhaps a bit of a stretch) that the presence of these flavours, if there at all, were just kind of smooshed in with the flavour of the oolong for me. With all that was going on with this tea I think it’d be perfectly reasonable for me to have missed them again.

I would totally drink this again; the impression I got is that this is definitely one of those teas that gets better the more you drink it. Thank you Sil!


haha you’re welcome. those cupcakes sound delicious!

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So a couple nights ago I made a fun, experimental batch of cupcakes. Basically, I didn’t have super high expectations for them but I thought it’d be cool to mess around and use up some of the ingredients sitting in my kitchen just in case.

What I ended up with was Zucchini Vanilla Cherry cupcakes iced with a Strawberries and Cream Matcha frosting! I don’t know if that sounds good to anyone else – but it sounds mouthwatering to me!

Tre was my Guinea Pig; he got to eat a cupcake before icing and one afterwards. He definitely prefers the one without matcha icing – he says it’s moist with a rich cherry flavour. Somewhat surprisingly, the reason he doesn’t like the icing isn’t because of the vegetal matcha but because he thinks that the strawberry blends into the cherry too much, and it just because an overwhelming flavour. I can respect that, I guess.

Personally; I love the icing! I did use a lot of matcha, so the flavouring certainly isn’t subtle – but I find it distinctly separate from the cherry flavour in the cake itself. The matcha didn’t do anything weird to the consistency of the icing either; I’ve made a few kinds of icing with stuff “infused” into them and weird texture can definitely be a problem when doing that.

So; these cupcakes are a total win! And I’ve been munching on them pretty much non stop. Definitely wont be doing a tasting note for each one though – that’d be like 24 tasting notes for this tea alone, and definitely a pain to write out along with being a disproportionate number for my “most logged” teas. I may do one or two more tasting notes for them though, if anything interesting crops up.


Mmmmmm… sounds yummy!

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Sipdown (114)!

Sipdown of another super old bagged tea. I think I initially really liked this one, but as my palate has changed over time (fairly dramatically) I’ve fallen very out of love with this one. And, I think the coconut has kinda turned which I’m sure doesn’t help at all.

As it stands this last mug was super, super buttery in a really gross and over the top way with an ok mango note to finish off the sip. All I could think was; at least this ends on a nice note instead of ending with gross straight butter. Certainly wont be seeking this one out again; I’m really over it. It feels nice having it out of my cupboard.

And of course, this sipdown only came about so quickly because I brought most of the teabags into work for the staff to finish off. Surprisingly, this was the one they all seemed to like the most since all of the teabags were gone by the end of the first day I brought it in whereas it took like a week for the rest of the flavours/blends to disappear.

I bumped down my rating from the previous, and excessively high, ‘80’ I had it sitting at. What was I thinking!?

I’m really fighting the urge to put in a What-Cha order right now. I have a cart built and everything; those yellow teas are calling to me! But I also have impending Ette Tea and Dammann Freres orders (yay group ordering!), just bought stuff from McQuarries here in town, and in a week from now am gonna have to shell out another $300 for my next set of tattoos! So even though it feels like I’ve got some disposable income right now, the reality is sort of otherwise…

But damn it, yellow tea! Oh well – after I’m done with the group orders and my next set of tattoos I guess my priority is a What-Cha order and a Red Leaf order. And somewhere after that Tippy’s, I suppose…

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Sipdown (115)!

From March’s Amoda subscription box. I ended up not renewing for April (to the people who did; what was in this month’s box?) but I haven’t ruled out renewing for May/future months all together though…

I cold brewed my sample, and I’m gonna humbly admit that I had already convinced myself I wouldn’t like this before even trying it. However, it actually had a much more distinct/unique taste than I would have expected given the ingredients which I find are very commonly paired together for herbal teas.

The initial taste was very robust ginger and honey, and that quickly faded into more of an apple/citrus heavy taste with a ginger/honey backdrop. I did taste the papaya a little bit but is wasn’t as strong as the other fruit flavours. I thought the finish was rather licorice-y with some super sweet honey notes as well, but after looking at the ingredients and refreshing my memory a little bit I know I was tasting a combination of the licorice root and the ginseng in the blend. The mint must be very sparse in the blend, I didn’t taste it at all.

Overall, this was better than I had anticipated for sure – though I didn’t love it. At least it didn’t fall perfectly into the mold of other herbals that utilize a lot of the ingredients here. After a while they start to feel like the same blend with different names. I wouldn’t buy this one to drink casually, but I could see it working well as a “sick tea” – it utilizes all of things that make sick teas work: licorice root/ginseng, lemon, mint (sorta), and ginger…

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Made this one as a latte!

I admit, I haven’t found this one as tasty as I expected to but it hasn’t been a bad tea either. And, I wanted to do something a little different with it – so latte it was! It certainly came out as a subtly flavoured latte, but the flavours were still all there.

Apart from the very thick and creamy mouthfeel, this had some very silky, smooth cinnamon, vanilla, and hay notes with a bit of buttery goodness and starchy potato-like notes. The squash was more noticeable in the back of the sip, while the vanilla/cinnamon were the initial front taste. I may finish off the last of my bag as a latte; it’s probably the tastiest way I’ve had this one so far.

That said, it did take a lot of leaf to make this one – and because it was pretty subtle/nuanced I definitely think you’d have to A) know that this was Cinnamon Vanilla Squash before drinking it and B) probably have tried the tea straight as well to really experience the latte.

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Cinnamon, Hay, Potato, Vanilla, Vegetal

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My name is Kelly. I’m a twenty something tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually three(ish) years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

I’m a TAC trained Tea Sommelier!

Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends and as of late oolongs but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

My Goal for The New Year (2017) is to make time for at least one long, proper Gong Fu session every week because it’s something I deeply enjoy doing but struggle to make time for…

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additive. The exception to this is matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives. So unless I mention otherwise you can assume that I’ve prepared my tea Western style without added ingredients/sweeteners.

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, Lychee, Cranberry, Cream, Melon, Pineapple, Malt, Roasty, Petrichor

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger/“Chai” in general, overly vegetal or marine, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach

I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms; as such I do not drink Kombucha teas (just to be on the safe side)!

Currently exploring/looking to try: Straight Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends or straight teas with strong sweet potato notes, and anything with Goji berries

Tea Pet Reference Guide:

Clay Pixiu Dragons: Zak & Wheezie
Clay Monkey: Enzo
Ruyao Carp: Splashy
Ceramic Rabbit: Rupert
Ceramic Horse: Bergamot

If you see me writing about sharing tea with any of them that’s what I’m talking about ;)

I also have two real life pets:

A skinny pig hairless guinea pig named Eilert, after Henrik Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler, and a fancy rat named Wasabi.

Currently I’m employed at DAVIDsTEA. While I’m still reviewing DAVIDsTEA blends I am no longer numerically rating them due to the obvious conflict of interest. Any tea blends you currently see with a numeric score that are from DAVIDsTEA were reviewed prior to my being hired there.

The URL to my tumblr blog is: guyfierithirdandfinalantichrist


Regina, SK, Canada



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