2059 Tasting Notes

92
drank Prairie Berry by DAVIDsTEA
2059 tasting notes

Tre had a major craving for pie, so he ordered in a Saskatoon Berry pie. Yes, you read that right – he ordered in a pie. Anyway, he wont share and the smell made me crave Saskatoon Berries, so I dug this tea out that I purchased from Shadowfall (How could I resist buying a tea made with berries that originate in the town I live in) to help satisfy the cravings.

Dry, it smells very sweet and fruity; about 50/50 of Saskatoons and cranberries. I know there’s maple in this, but it just comes off as a sugary sweetness in the smell and nothing distinctly maple. For my preparation, I used 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped with boiling water for five minutes. The steeped smell was a very pure Saskatoon Berry smell – like Saskatoon Berry puree. So good!

Taste wise, the Saskatoon Berries are the most prominent taste. I was worried the cranberry would be very strong in taste because it’s practically on par with the Saskatoons in the dry smell, but now that it’s steeped it’s a nice background flavour complimenting the Saskatoons and not competing with them or overshadowing them. It’s a very natural tasting Saskatoon Berry flavour to me too! And, surprisingly, the maple does taste like maple syrup and not just a generalized sweetness. The maple is most prominent mid sip and leading into the aftertaste, though the taste of the berries outlasts the taste of the maple ultimately.

I think I’d like it if the oolong base was a little more present – but this still tastes super good regardless. I’m not sure if I like it more than Blueberry Jam, but I think it’s definitely on par with it. I’m sad now that it’s not part of the regular collection, but I do have enough left to enjoy a very good amount of cups still!

Sil

oh man..i miss saskatoon berries..

Shadowfall

Wouldn’t share his pie? I’d wait for him to fall asleep and steal some. XD
I’m glad to see that you liked it. I guess Saskatoon berries are an acquired taste. Lol. And I’d keep an eye on the DavidsTea Website. They might bring it back in the summer or something. Or you could shoot them an email and ask? I’ve found their customer service with questions is excellent.

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78
drank Earl Grey by Tea Desire
2059 tasting notes

After meeting Kittenna at Tea Desire for a swap, I then rushed my ass off to get home (Day #5 of the Christmas exchange from Momo was waiting in the mailbox for me when I arrived at home) and change into something appropriate for my interview… Which happened to be at Tea Desire, the place I had just come from.

I think the interview went really well. The woman who interviewed me is someone who I already know fairly well and who I’ve had many good tea related (and a few unrelated) conversations with already. It was kind of interesting because, obviously, she knew I was super familiar with tea already and about Tea Desire’s blends in particular (I’m in there at least once a week to buy tea and sometimes two or three times just for tea to go). It was kind of funny because some of her interview questions she didn’t even have to ask because she already knew the answers. I think that’ll probably work in my favour.

Regardless, wish me good luck! She said that I’d likely hear back by Monday! How cool would it be if I got the job? :D

And… Of course right after my interview I had to buy tea. She knows me well enough, I think, to get I wasn’t “sucking up”. It’s literally just a compulsion I have every single time I walk into the store. So, I got 50g of Sweet Toffee Rooibos and this as a tea to go latte.

Taste wise, it was pretty decent. Just a touch bitter, but I’m 90% sure that’s because I left the tea bag in for a very long time. It was a very nice London Fog though, essentially. Definitely not something I’ll stock from them because I have better Earl Greys at home, but something nice to sip on while out doing errands and things like that!

Sil

Goodluck!!

caile

Good luck!

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, good luck! :)

tigress_al

Good luck!

keychange

This would be a great job for you! good luck!

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96

It’s been a packed day so far!

I started the day by going out for breakfast with Tre, which was nice enough. In the middle of the meal I got a phone call from who other than TEA DESIRE! I ended up doing a phone interview in the middle of Smitty’s while eating breakfast – which was interesting enough. The meal concluded with them asking me to come in for an in person interview and Tre paying for my meal – which was a very kind gesture, albeit one I’m not totally sure he could afford.

Funnily enough, before my interview, I had already planned to meet the lovely Kittenna for an in person swap. So, this is what I ordered as a to go tea while waiting – as a latte like normal. My swap with Kittenna went really well even though it was brief; we had a short but very sweet conversation!

The tea was lovely too; like usual. I’m very excited to try all the new blends! I then rushed home from Tea Desire to change for my interview since I had not dressed for an interview upon leaving the house this morning (I was wearing PJ Pants and an oversized Hoodie with food stains all over it)…

Terri HarpLady

Sounds like my kind of wardrobe! :)

K S

Good luck on the job.

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64

Tre was being really mean about the fact I’m sick and have had nothing but tea and breakfast foods to eat all day. He stole all the pillows from the couch I’ve situated myself on and was being an ass and laughing at how it was really arduous for me to go and pick them from the ground. So – in the spirit of revenge I used the only weapon I had; spoilers about the new Sherlock episode.

While that was happening, this tea was steeping. 1 1/2 tsp. used for a 12 oz. stein. Tea Desire suggests 1 tsp. for 8 oz., so I just upped the leaf amount a little bit. Same proportions I’d use for Victoria Mint which is from Tea Desire, and which I happen to adore. I used boiling water and this steeped for five minutes – which is on the low end of their suggested steep time spectrum. The steeped colour is a rather nice orange.

The smell is more cinnamon than I thought it’d be – even though the packaging describes this as a cinnamon orange tea, that doesn’t come across abundantly in the dry smell. It’s also creamy orange and something else super familiar that I can’t put my finger on.

Taste wise, it’s a little bit weaker than I would have thought. Maybe I did under leaf it or perhaps I should have left it to steep longer. Initial taste is creamy orange in a slightly artificial way, and then a wave of cinnamon. Tickly cinnamon that does not totally mesh with the orange. Typically orange and cinnamon compliment each other; but here it feels like two competing flavours that are both kinda, well, ‘off’.

I also get the hint of something kinda soapy – similar to what I sometimes experience with DAVIDsTEA’s Blueberry Jam. I double checked both ingredients lists though, and neither tea share any listed ingredients. As far as the other listed ingredients in the tea go, I can vaguely taste the banana but that’s about it. Like I said though, this seems rather weak (especially for a Tea Desire blend). Not really “magical”.

Right now I feel like this is something I would not stock again and that will probably take a while to get through – that being said, I don’t find it terrible and I’m going to do some experimenting to see if I can make it more enjoyable. Perhaps more leaf (though it worries me that that could make the soapy taste more prominent) or a longer steep time (which presents the same fear)…

Sidenote: I just removed a whole bunch (ok, like… 5) of teas from my cupboard! I posted several in the Take It Away thread and got a quick response, so went and dug them out and because of the quick response was able to parcel everything up to get mailed off. I don’t know if I’ll have time to go to the post office tomorrow before I leave for vacation, but they’re all officially out of my cupboard which is good enough for me!

Japanese Cherry, Lime Gelato, Cherry Cola, S’mores – this is basically goodbye!

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78

Round #2 of this one!

It was very good so I made a second, though this time with much more honey. Still very pleasant and soothing on the throat.

I read online that butter and other salty things are good for a sore throat; it fights bacteria or something like that? So, I’m eating a giant bowl of popcorn drenched in butter and ketchup popcorn seasoning, too. I think it might actually be helping? Plus it’s tasty, too…

Watching Doctor Who as well; I’m struggling to follow it more than I usually do! >:(

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83

This was the other one I drank while watching Sherlock (HOLY SHIT SO GOOD)! Special thanks to MissB who helped me to acquire my package of this! Even though this episode didn’t have Irene in it at all, it still felt appropriate to be drinking this one…

The dry leaf visually looks to be composed primarily of the rooibos with black tea leaves scattered throughout as well as bits of fruit and the like. The smell is strongly smokey (because of the Lapsang Souchong) with a very subtle background fruitiness – maybe cherry, but not in a pronounced way – and an equally subtle sweet, creaminess to it. It smells complex and intriguing; much like Mrs. Adler, no?

For my preparation I steeped a heaping 1/2 tbsp. measurement of leaf in my 12 oz. timolino using boiling water for somewhere over four minutes and before seven. I was still steeping when the livestream started and I got rather distracted by the show and lost track of my steeping time. The steeped smell is a fair bit more balanced.

Taste wise, it’s perplexing – again quite akin to Irene. There’s a definite smokey quality and taste but it’s not quite as dominating as one would think based purely on the dry smell. The cherry comes through very well and is fairly distinctive “cherry” and not just generically fruity. The vanilla presents as a smooth creamyness that I think is tempering the Lapsang Souchong and tying all the aspects together.

It’s good, sweet and kinda savoury, a complex mystery; the perfect blend for The Woman. Not sure how I feel about it though – I’ll have to revisit and ponder once I’m not sick. After the somewhat complicated process to get here, I am tickled pink that I don’t hate it though!

Sil

soo excited for sherlock to come back!

MissB

Yay! So glad you got a chance to try it.

VariaTEA

I started watching the show two days ago only to find out season 3 premiered today (well I guess technically yesterday now) and when I finished the second season I was so glad I could just stream the new one. It would have been torture to wait. I am about 1/2 through the new episode and so far it is really good!!

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77
drank Bravissimo by DAVIDsTEA
2059 tasting notes

Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!

I just finished watching Sherlock Season 3 Ep. 1 via Livestream!!!

I definitely don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who didn’t get to watch it ‘live’ – but OH MY FUCKING GOD!!! It was so amazing, and so perfect!

And Christ, PHILLIP FUCKING ANDERSON!

(Oh, and the tea was nice and stuff… Soothing on my throat and what not)

Sil

so jealous…

Isaila

SO GOOD. SO SO SO SO SO GOOD.

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78

I’ve pulled out all of my sick teas now to kind of rotate between. If I start to maybe feel better then I’ll move on to my tea for the Christmas exchange and, eventually, “The Woman” from Adagio in honour of the return of Sherlock today. I have a sample size of Reichenbach Recovery too, but I don’t want to use it up while I’m not feeling my best and can’t properly enjoy it. I have lots of The Woman, though…

I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’m not going to get through nearly as many of my new teas as I would have liked to before I go on vacation. Oh well; I did include some new things in the tea I packed and I’m sure to be picking up some new things too while I’m there.

Anyway, for this I’m using one teabag for ten oz. of boiling water, steeped four minutes and then with lots of added honey. It’s nice and soothing on my throat, and tasty enough. Definitely one of the better bagged lemon teas I’ve had, by far. It’s a really good sick tea! I may have some more today in between other teas. I think next up will be DAVIDsTEA’s Bravissimo, though.

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44
drank Bubbly by DAVIDsTEA
2059 tasting notes

Backlog…

Happy New Years! I hope everyone on Steepster rang in the new year in a memorable way! This was my official first tea of the year – and it seemed liked the perfect tea to start the year off with!

I received my sample of it from Janelle’s tea sale, and for my preparation I used the entire sample steeped up in about 2 oz. of water at 85 degrees celsius for four minute. Basically, I made one very concentrated cup! I then diluted it with a can of club soda so that I was drinking some actually bubbly ‘Bubbly’!

The smell was rather interesting; mostly pineapple with some champagne to it. A little bit of unpleasant green tea smell. Taste wise, it was almost entirely green tea with a bit of pineapple taste. Hardly any taste of champagne. It’s pretty gross, honestly. Too vegetal and kind of seaweed-like. It didn’t sit too well either, and I don’t think the carbonation did anything to help my sore throat.

Anyway, even though I didn’t enjoy this tea I’m still happy it was my first one for the year because it was just so appropriately festive! Thank you Janelle!

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68
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
2059 tasting notes

Received this one from Keychange! I’m quite excited to make this my official first Harney & Sons tea!

This was in the big pile of black teas sitting on my kitchen table waiting to be tried already, but I selected it was (probably) my last tea of 2013 mostly because it’s got bergamot in it, and bergamot often seems to be nice on a sore throat – and I’m quickly noticing that it seems like I am going to be starting the new year absolutely sick!

My lips are horribly chapped, swollen, and cracked and my throat is terribly sore. I also appear to be losing my voice, which Tre so lovingly called a “New Year’s Blessing”. Hah. So, I’m eating a large bowl of maple pecan frozen yogurt to soothe my sore throat while waiting for my tea to cool.

This one is in sachets – so I just used one satchet for 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for around three minutes? To be totally honest, I didn’t really looking up the suggested steeping parameters before starting to make it. My bad. I guess after looking them up, it seems like if nothing else my brewing method will result in a watered down/slightly under steeped cup. I’d take that over an oversteeped one 9/10 times.

The smell is delightful; creamy caramel and fruity bergamot mingling joyously together. It’s very strong, and so aromatic! Yummy! I can hear Tre moving about in his room, and I wouldn’t be totally surprised if it was because he can smell this one! It’s one of those kinds of teas…

Taste wise, it’s definitely fruity, creamy bergamot. I was having a little trouble placing what kind of fruit exactly; it was so familiar! So, I went back to the Harney site and did some reading. They describe it as black currant; and yes, it’s that exactly! The black currant especially lingers in the aftertaste. I was expecting a little bit more caramel – yes, there’s caramel but it’s more subtle than I was anticipating.

The base is kind of… I don’t know. It’s nice? I’m not totally sold on it, though. Actually the whole tea is kind of the same way; it’s nice but I remain unsold. I still have two more sachets from the generous Keychange though, so hopefully that’ll be enough for me to wrap my head around this one. I’m also taking into consideration the fact I’m relatively sick and might be tasting this kind of oddly.

Urgh… One hour left until the new year! And, I just want to sleep…

Anyway, Happy New Year everyone!

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Bio

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 tea I ever drank was bagged mint tea (especially peppermint), and mint still remains a staple flavour for me. Spearmint is my favourite. At this point in my ‘tea career’ I heavily lean towards flavoured blends; doesn’t matter if they’re fruity, chocolate, sweet, savory, etc. Blacks are my favourite as far as flavoured blends go, with whites a close second. I really enjoy everything but straight Greens though, but I’ll try anything once even if I am wary.

My favourite fruit flavours in blends are cranberry, banana, pear, lychee, melon, passion fruit and especially pineapple. I am also always excited to try anything with Saskatoon Berries, which are delicious and also my city’s namesake. I have a huge weakness towards toffee/caramel and coconut teas and a bit of a soft spot in regard to black licorice. I also adore anything creamy. I am always up for trying soda inspired blends as well because the concept fascinates me. I want to try all the Rootbeer teas! I am also currently trying to try as many Sweet Potato blends as possible.

Tastes I strongly dislike are ginger and raisins. 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 have a preference for silver needle teas over other types. Green teas, with the exception of Genmaicha and some Hojicha, make me feel a bit sick and I often 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.

The ratio of cold brewed and hot tea I drink is about 50/50. As far as my cup sizes go, all my daily cold brews are done in a 25 oz. mason jar and my other mugs are 12 oz. with the exception of my Adeline infuser mug which is 16 oz. Unless otherwise specified, these are the cup sizes for all teas I review.

I prefer to drink my tea without adding anything to it, and 9/10 times that will be how I first try a blend. 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 “Matcha 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.

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 person in my life is my friend Robyn.

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).

Some brief “IRL” interests: Clay/Sculpture (or visual arts in general), Improv, Mythology, Big Brother (USA and CA), and an absurdly large amount of TV shows – geeky or otherwise.

Location

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Website

http://guyfierithirdandfinala...

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