2172 Tasting Notes

74
drank Butterbeer by 52teas
2172 tasting notes

This might be the best cup I’ve made of this one so far – lower than boiling steep temperature, for two minutes and then allowed to cool down so it’s consumed at the perfect temperature!

However, despite this being a really good cup, I’m still having issues really getting into this tea. I want to love it, but at best I just really like it? Sigh…

VariaTEA

I was able to get this to be vaguely reminiscent of Butterbeer but it took like a handful of rock sugar and milk to get to that point

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63
drank Bollywood Chai by DAVIDsTEA
2172 tasting notes

I was really craving fennel after drinking that rhubarb tea (I know, definitely a weird follow up craving) and I instantly thought of my sample bag of this blend with all the super tasty candy coated bits of fennel! For whatever reason, they taste like little crunchy Licorice Allsorts to me… Mmm!

So, I prepped myself a mug of this: 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf in a 10 oz. mug steeped in boiling water for… Well, I oversteeped it and instead of a five minute steep it got an eight minute one. Whoops.

Taste wise the first thing I noticed was totally the ginger; bleck. Of course I knew there was ginger in this (it’s hard to find gingerless Chai), but I was hoping it’d be a bit more subtle or masked. However, that being said, I also get a large amount of cardamom/cinnamon/and the fennel I was looking for! Yay! I also gets notes of vanilla and just a generic sort of candy sweetness (probably from the candy coating).

As it cooled there was more fennel and less ginger! Hazzah!

As someone who doesn’t really love Chai too much and would be content with one or two good Chai teas and nothing else (I’m thinking of Chai Apricot and Pumpkin Chai, atm) this isn’t so bad. It did a pretty good job of satisfying my fennel craving. I do so love fennel. I think I prefer to just eat the little candied fennel bits straight out of the tea and skip the ginger, though…

Anyone know where one might buy something similar to just the candied fennel?

VariaTEA

Bulk barn would probably have the candied fennel.

OMGsrsly

Superstore, or whatever your equivalent is, in the Indian food/spice section. I loooove candied fennel!

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79

God Damnit Steepster! My super, long ass tasting note got gobbled and now I get to rewrite it…

So, I’ve been moping around the house miserably all day now, not really accomplishing much of anything. I suppose I took a trip to the post office, but that just ate a bunch of time and wasn’t really fruitful at all. And, I guess I did a load of laundry and took my first shower in what, four days? I was starting to smell myself, so that had to be done…

I also haven’t been drinking or making much tea today, which I really should get on. I did apply a few places right after I first woke up, but it just feels like I’ve had a totally meaningless few days. I think Tre even noticed that I’m feeling a little “blue” because he interrupted my game of solitaire to talk to me, which he like never does. But anyway, I decided that so I have something to do I’m going to fully and properly review two new teas every day until I A) Have a job again or B) Run out new teas to review. I’ve also plugged in my 3DS to charge and once it’s ready to go I’m going to finally beat Pokemon Y, since that became really low priority when I was working full time hours. Once it’s beat, I think I’m also going to put together a proper competitive team.

I’ve been hesitant with trying this blend (one of two of my BF order teas I’ve yet to try) because I had such a strong, adverse reaction to Peach HoppiTea and I was concerned I’d have the same reaction with this blend as well, because of the hops. However, I had to pull it out when I put together VariaTEA’s swap package and I haven’t put it back yet, so might as well have it now.

Dry, it doesn’t smell bad at all which is a great relief because the smell of Peach HoppiTea made me physically ill. THis blend it very strongly scented with rhubarb in a sweet and also tangy way, with strong notes of cinnamon and a spiciness that I’m sure is supposed to be the hops. I also get whiffs of the black base, although not a lot. There’s virtually no presence of the vanilla in the dry smell. For steeping I used 2 1/2 tsp. (the recommended leaf was 1 tbsp.) in 10 oz. of boiling water steeped for four min. and thirty seconds. I made this a bit weaker than suggested just as a precaution incase this did make me feel ill.

Steeped up, the smell is significantly less strong though that’s not to say it doesn’t smell flavourful. I still get a large presence of rhubarb in a sweet and a little tangy way, but the vanilla is also almost just as noticeable. It’s definitely smooth and creamy and I’m feeling it sort of tempers the tartness of the rhubarb. The cinnamon/hops are there too, but a little more gentle, and definitely sitting in the back.

Taste wise, this is a flood of rhubarb in your mouth with a super thick mouthfeel and the creamy taste of vanilla. This is followed up with a still present but more light rhubarb tastes and notes of cinnamon/hops. I need to make this for Tre sometime because he’s definitely more knowledgeable about hops/alcohol in general and I want his thoughts on whether he gets “ale” out of this. The last alcohol inspired tea I served him was Ontario Ice Wine, and even though he hated the taste he was able to instantly name it for what it was supposed to be, without any prompting. As it cools, the vanilla/rhubarb get a little more intense and the hops/cinnamon get a little less noticeable. The aftertaste is sweet, creamy rhubarb although it left a kinda numb(ish)/tingly feeling in my mouth like cinnamon or clove teas sometimes do.

Overall, I’ll pleasantly surprised with this blend. At this point, I’m not sold that I’d need to buy more of it but it does make a good cuppa. Who knows, maybe I’d throw it into a large order to reach the free shipping mark – although, it really doesn’t take a lot of work or effort to build up a large enough cart with Butiki to reach the free shipping threshold.

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86
drank Pink Flamingo by DAVIDsTEA
2172 tasting notes

I’ve been so into this one lately and even though I’ve always enjoyed it I’m not sure why I’m currently just so enamoured with it. I ended up cold brewing myself just a single cups worth of it (and am now cold brewing some Champagne Cassis), which I guzzled on the way to the post office. That was at like 2 PM and was my first tea of the day, and has actually been my only tea so far today…

I need to get on that.

I’m relieved and pissed over going to the post office though. I finally sent out the last swap I owed which is always a good feeling. I look forward to reading the reviews from those samples! However, it’s frustrating because the whole reason I went to that specific post office was because they sent a slip to me saying I had a package to pick up by the 24th or it was being returned to the sender.

When I got there, turns out they didn’t have any mail for me and the pick up slip was sent out in error. There are two post offices closer to my house, and yet they always insist on sending my stuff to the farther away location! I would have gladly taken the 10 min. walk to either of the closer locations to send out that swap, but instead I wound up walking 40 min. there and 40 min. back for nothing…

It’s just a little infuriating.

VariaTEA

Yeah that is definitely a piss off. Well at least you sent the swap so it wasn’t totally for not.

Cavocorax

That’s so frustrating!

Fjellrev

That sucks. Too bad you can’t put in a request?

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41
drank Buddha's Blend by DAVIDsTEA
2172 tasting notes

I swear I looked at the clock not even five minutes ago and it was just 6:00 PM, but now it’s nearly 11:30! Where does the time go! Oh well, I’m not even remotely tired, so I can still get a few more episodes of Chuck and some good cups of tea.

Robyn gave me a tin of this for Christmas and even though I hated it as an iced tea just a few weeks ago I figured that I’d try it hot and at least give it a fighting chance before completely dismissing it. She knew it wasn’t in my cupboard which is why she picked it out, I guess she just didn’t know why it wasn’t in my cupboard.

So, I’m using 1 1/2 tsp. (barely) in 10 oz. of water. I kept my water temp. and my steep time both very low in the hopes of preventing this from turning this into a bitter/chemical mess. I also paired it with some heavily butter and ketchup shaker soaked popcorn because I might as well be having at least one thing I really enjoy.

The problem is this smells so promising! Just absolutely juicy and sweet and delicious. But based on the reviews I’ve read and my own experience prior to now it just can’t deliver. That said this mug’s not super bad. It does linger especially close to that perfume/chemical line – but at least this time around it’s not bitter. It’s way more peachy than I remember experiencing with the iced cup I had, too. That’s a plus in my books.

I won’t write it off completely yet – maybe I can perfect the ‘art’ of brewing this particular blend, though it seems daunting in how finicky it is. Usually I have no patience with finicky teas, but this one was a gift so I’m going to at least put in a little effort to make it work…

Fjellrev

I’ll make sure to stay away from this one! And I can totally relate with time flying like that. It’s ridiculous.

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76

Made a cup of this while putting together a DAVIDsTEA sampler package for Zach Guillen! I know I promised to have it sent out by today, but had some unexpected things come up this week (horrible tooth pain, becoming unemployed again…). I am going to postal jail to pick up a package tomorrow though, so this’ll be sent out then.

I remember when Lala did the same for me, just with different companies, when I was brand new to Steepster! It was incredibly kind of her, so I really wanted to take the opportunity to do the same for someone else and since I have an excess of David’s blends it made sense for me to send some samples to someone who had no local store and would be limited to buying 50g quantities of something they couldn’t even smell online. Since I’m late sending this, I also added in two Della Terra samples as well.

Anyway, this tea was supposed to just get steeped for like three minutes but because I was distracted portioning things I ended up forgetting I was even making tea, and so this got a steep time of upwards of ten minutes. However, despite that there’s practically no difference in taste other than just the absolute slightest bit of bitterness.

Very creamy with the sweet cream cheese kind of icing taste I just adore with this blend and then a sort of cakey-spiciness to it! Not a cinnamon bun to me, but more a spice cake. Yummy regardless! And now that I know it handles long steep times well this is likely going to be a more frequent travel companion for me.

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80

Sad Sipdown (179)…

Made up the last of this as a tea soda – the best way I’ve found to enjoy this one! I really liked this – it reminded me of a fizzy, Vitamin C health drink I used to have as a kid!

That said, I think I’ve found a few other flavours I liked a lot more, so I doubt I’ll be searching out any more of this.

But thank you Lala and Iridium!

Lala

Haha I am so glad you actually like this one. I am currently working through grapefruit matcha. It is very similar to the orange.

Roswell Strange

I wonder if, with sweetener, it’d be like Fresca if made into a matcha soda? Maybe add a little lemon?

Lala

I think it could work. Although I am finding it is a bit more citrus than actual grapefruit tasting. We should just contact RLT and see if he will just make a Fresca flavour.

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100
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
2172 tasting notes

Urghhh…

Now that I’ve figured out there are a few matchas I really enjoy, especially in certain ways, I’ve been spending all morning browsing Red Leaf Tea’s site and building carts. That’s really not a good idea considering I’m unemployed and the only money I have right now is earmarked for February and March’s rent. I need someone to yell at me and tell me “no”…

So, I’m taking the time to enjoy some personal favourites right now, just to remind myself I already have plenty of teas that I do enjoy and don’t need to be getting any more. It helps a little knowing that I just placed a relatively large order with RiverTea and that I have a massive swap on the way from VariaTEA. I also have some stuff stuck in postal jail – though to be honest I haven’t the slightest idea what it is. I think I’m going to go pick that up tomorrow afternoon. Pressure’s on because if I don’t get off my couch and get it by the 24th it’s getting sent back to whoever it is that sent it.

I have a swap I really need to mail out too – so I suppose I can do that tomorrow when I rescue whatever it is that is waiting for me.

Anyway, this particular mug was prepared regularly (which for me, is overleafed with this blend) but with some milk because I have huge, ridiculous milk cravings today! It’s so good! Seriously, this is one of the creamiest fruit teas I’ve ever had – with or without milk. NOM.

To echo Keychange from earlier today – “if nom can be achieved, what else even matters?”.

VariaTEA

NO! NO MATCHA!

I am having a tea buying issue too. I just calculated it out and I have more than 8 swaps and 2 orders coming in and yet I still browsed like 10 different tea sites just trying to place an order. I don’t even have a credit card right now because I am waiting for mine to be replaced. What I do have is a balance on my paypal account that apparently I am just dying to spend. Oh and a visa debit but I like using credit because I get the reward points. Luckily though none of the sites inspired me enough to actually press check out (except for Steep City Teas but then their $20 shipping on less than $10 of teas made me give up on that site even though I could send it to my Dad and only pay like $3)

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87
drank Gingerbread by DAVIDsTEA
2172 tasting notes

A Gingerbread latte seemed like an awesome idea in theory, although in practice I made one hell of a mess in my kitchen. I don’t really have “proper” latte making equipment so I microwave my milk to hot temperatures, though this time my milk ‘exploded’ in my microwave creating one hell of a mess.

Anyway, 10 oz. mug of really fucking hot milk steeped with a little more than 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf for about 7 minutes.

In hindsight, I should have used more leaf because while this is still pretty yummy, it’s also relatively weak. Anyway, it’s sort of like drinking a weak version of a liquid gingerbread cookie (gingerbread dipped in milk, anyone?). The molasses and sweet ginger notes come through and are pleasant enough but the whole thing is pretty gentle, and I wanted a bit stronger flavour at the moment.

Fjellrev

Sounds like a mess indeed! I don’t have any equipment like frothers either, so my idea of a latte is just pouring milk or half and half into my mug.

VariaTEA

I thought about a Gingerbread Latte for days when I got my milk frother but kept forgetting. Then when I finally made it, I was not nearly as impressed as I was with some other lattes. Birthday Cake lattes are pretty tasty.

TheTeaFairy

Lol at milk explosion, that happens quickly, doesn’t it…

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82

Morning tea. At the moment, oolongs seem to be my tea of choice to ease into the morning/day – specifically my Butiki blends.

I love the dry smell of this: it’s very creamy but also reminds me of the smell of dirt right after a heavy rainfall. I love that smell!

Anyway, this was really good! I slightly overleafed, and I think that’s perhaps why I was especially able to taste the creamy pumpkin this time around and not just the spices.

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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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