2265 Tasting Notes

89

This was my To Go latte at Tea Desire on Tuesday. I was totally going to try something new, but then I saw this on the shelf, and after the Caramel Black that was to Tea of Day to sample I couldn’t get caramel out of my head and, well, the rest is obvious…

I had the same problem with this one as I did with my last latte from Tea Desire; it was very thin and watery, but this one was prepared by a different associate so I’m wondering if maybe Tea Desire has just switched up their latte formula? I really hope that’s not the case! This water/milk ratio just isn’t right…

Taste wise it was good though: the earthyness of the Pu’Erh was muted and just kind of subtly floated under the sweet, smooth caramel flavour. And the milk foam, of which there was lots, was the BOMB! It was super, super creamy/rich seductive caramel flavour. I could eat buckets of the light, fluffy stuff!

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69

Yesterday at Calendar Club we received so much stock that I spent my entire shift unloading it, and had absolutely no time for internet. Seriously, they just about tripled our stock! So time to catch up on tasting notes…

Tuesday, where I’m picking off from, I had a large gap between shifts so I went down to the mall and deposited my paycheck and, because I was in a “spending mood” bought myself a beautiful, over sized sweater with a giant duck on the front. It’s cuter than it sounds, believe me. I also got some antibiotics for my infected gums (damn you, Wisdom Teeth!) which have healed up nicely now, and I went to Tea Desire.

This was the sample tea of the day, and it’s one I’ve never had before so I gave it a try. I have to say I’m a little saddened – not by the tea, but by the sample tea set up. Tea Desire used to have this really, really ornate clear glass teapot filled with the tea of the day, and you’d get the sales associate to pour you a little plastic shot glass worth of tea. They’d keep it on a stand and directly underneath would be a lit tea light candle keeping it hot. But now they’re using a metal thermos type thing with a “pump” dispenser. It’s probably more effective at keeping the tea hot and I guess it’s more accessible for customers to pour the tea themselves – but it feels less special.

As for the tea, I’m honestly slightly frustrated because there’s no record of it on the Tea Desire website at all. Which pisses me off a little bit, because now I can’t accurately add it to the database. And, I swear 90% of the dozen or two Christmas blends have been added as little ingredient blurbs at the very least, but not this one. Boo!

So, all I can remember from the ingredients list is black tea base and caramel bits. But I know there was other stuff in this too. Otherwise, in regard to the flavour, it was very, very faintly bitter – possibly from sitting in that thermos thing for most of the day. The black base was pretty apparent and brisk, but then softened a little bit by a darker, richer caramel flavour. Kind of like the “dark caramel” they use in Reisens candies. It was also a little malty. I’m not sure how the “bakery” aspect fit in – nothing I tasted indicated that for me.

Not bad overall, but I wish TD would do a better job getting the seasonal teas up on the website – if only as ingredient blurbs. Not only because I want to accurately add this to Steepster, but because the website is how I choose what I want to try as To Go teas (I look them up at work) and helps guide what I want to look at when I’m actually purchasing tea…

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Malt

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66

Sipdown (110)!

Guys, there’s a scavenger hunt in the mall right now for one of the nearby elementary schools so the place is just flooded with adorable little snot babies. And one of the clues on the hunt is to find the name of the “Painter of Light” from the Calendar Club Kiosk (me!). The answer is Thomas Kinkade, but I’ve had cutie pies coming up to me all day asking for help. It’s so precious!

But the tea…

My first “miss” from Octavia Tea. And, it’s not even so much that it’s bad – it’s just really, really weird? Dry, it smells delicious – kind of like “Tropical” flavoured Fruit Rollups? Just yummy, and kinda sweet and candy like. Steeped up, however, there’s something hard to describe about it. I wanted to initially say that it was like low quality, “healthy” Fruit Roll Up equivalents that my Mom used to buy for school lunches ‘cause she couldn’t afford the name brand but that’s a little harsh, and not super accurate either.

More so, I’m picking up one the pineapple/apple really heavily but the pineapple feels a little artificial and then the apple is more of a tart apple, and then more tartness from the rosehips and that’s a whole lot of tart together. However, something is keeping it mostly in check: not the mango, I don’t think, because I don’t so much actually taste mango. I’m thinking maybe the red currants? I would have described it more like a “dull strawberry” but there’s no strawberry in this and strawberry is closer to red currant than mango.

Anyway, there’s a sort of flat sweetness (if that even makes sense) coming from the red currants that mostly counterbalances all the tartness, but just falls short. Wah wah wah. Things “missing” other than the mango: the rose petals (hooray) and the white base in general. Honestly, this felt more like a tisane than anything else. \

So conclusion: a little disappointed, but this was still drinkable overall. Just wouldn’t really drink it again unless, maybe, it was cold brewed…

And that’s it for today guys: I’m practically done my shift and this was the last tasting note I had to catch up on for now. So have a good day Steepster!

See you tomorrow :)

Cheri

Sounds like a fun time, Ros. Too bad the tea wasn’t better!

OMGsrsly

Hee! Snot babies. :D

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87
drank Gingerbread by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

Pretty well nothing is worse than taking a drink of something and expecting on flavour and getting something totally different. I did this last night on the bus ride home. For whatever reason I had convinced myself that I had steeped up Butiki’s Rootbeer Float so when I had a sip of this…

Spit take. That’s what.

Actually though; I think I thought it was Rootbeer Float because that’s what was in the fridge cold brewing.

Once I realized what this was it was all good though. Tasted, essentially, just fine. Only weird thing was this almost tangy fruit note that kept cropping up; that may have been because I was super, super tired though. Or it may have been a lingering flavour from whatever I last brewed in this timolino. Who knows.

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75
drank Bamboozled by DAVIDsTEA
2265 tasting notes

Sipdown, but not really because I never entered this in my cupboard.

My brother still has a lot of the Bamboozled that he bought from DAVIDsTEA over Easter before they discontinued it, so I took advantage of that and stole about a tablespoon of it from him to cold brew when I got home: I wanted to revisit this one and see how I felt about it now.

Turns out: I’m not a fan. This tasted really, really artificial to me. Like super low quality artificial powdered peach drink mix, and tart pineapple? I didn’t go back and reread my old tasting notes, but this isn’t anything like I remembered it being. I’m going to nudge my rating down, though not as much as I want to just because I know I’ve had good cups before and maybe this was stored poorly by my novice tea drinking brother.

Probably should have left this one alone…

Fjellrev

My palate completely rejected this one through and through, from the artificial fruity notes to the cellar-like bamboo.

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68

Yesterday I went to the bank to deposit my Christmas checks from my Grandma/Dad. I could have gone to the bank that’s in the same mall as DT, but I chose the one with Tea Desire because I feel like my will power is slightly better there, despite all the gorgeous Gaiwans, Cast Iron teapots, infuser mugs, and other teaware.

Picked my latte blindly from the wall of blacks; this jumped out because cranberry is a bit of a “Christmas” fruit (in my eyes, anyway) and it seemed like an interesting latte. Taste wise it was very weird, but less from the tea itself I think. This was probably the thinnest/most watery latte I’ve ever had – and my hunch is that the newbie sales associate brewed it up incorrectly. But despite the “off” consistency it tasted fine.

Definitely tasted the cranberry in this: it was fruity, and had a little tartness/“zip” in the end of the sip. I thought that there was something “off” about the black base too, but could’t for the life of me figure out what until I had to look up the tea on the Tea Desire site just now to add it to Steepster’s database. This is a black/green mixed blend – which definitely explains the weirdness of the black base. And, apparently, there’s also mint in the blend, though I totally missed that aspect as well. I’m blaming my being distracted with the mouthfeel for the complete lack of observations about the tea itself.

Really though, I just thought that this was a straight up black/cranberry blend…

Fjellrev

I didn’t even know they had a cranberry blend. Or that they made lattes. Duly noted not to get this one next time I go.

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71
drank Peach & Thyme by Fauchon
2265 tasting notes

Sipdown (111)!

Again in a timolino, but this time at an appropriate tea temperature. Huzzah!

Don’t know if it was the temperature difference or maybe the fact I was expecting a wave of thyme but this was actually much, much more peachy than thyme heavy and I think, therefore, just slightly more enjoyable. Still a savory blend for sure, but with more sweetness/juiciness from the peach. And I think, maybe, I tasted the papaya a little bit too which was nice and also unexpected.

So thanks again Cameron B. – it’s interesting how my two experiences with this had very common things, but were also pretty drastically different. I love and hate when teas have that sort of inconsistency. Still holding on my thoughts from last time: wouldn’t stock this personally, but recommend everyone with the ability to try it do so.

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94

Cold Brew.

This was gross, but it’s my fault. I cold brewed it on Friday, but wanted to wait until Saturday on the trip to Regina to have it so I strained the leaves and then poured it in a water bottle on Satuday. Except I never drank it on the trip to Regina. And then I was going to have it later in the day, but we were too busy and then when I had time it was too late at night for mate.

So I saved it for Sunday; but I had a different caffeinated tea in the morning since I wanted something hot. Was, again, going to have this one on the drive home but then I fell asleep for most of the drive home, so that didn’t happen. Finally at home I decided I could drink it but, like I should have guessed, it was SO GROSS. Just slimy, icky chocolate tea. Bleck bleck bleck.

So I tossed it, and now I’ll no better for next time. Sorry tea.

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82
drank Prickly Pear by Tea Desire
2265 tasting notes

I think I’m ready to be done with this tea. It’s good, but it’s not the right season anymore and I’ve gone through a lot of leaf now, and am just kind of… Over it? Maybe after I sip this down I’ll revisit it in the summer…

Anyway; my whole family made fun of me because the first thing I did Saturday after we had driven into town was dig the tea out of my backpack and set up a cold brew. But come on; like I wasn’t going to have a cold brew ready for me for Sunday morning and the drive back into the city. That’s not even an option.

Taste wise this was a little thin: I wasn’t usually my regular pitcher or my mason jar so I had to use a different measurement of leaf, and I got the measurement wrong. Consequently, mostly this tasted like rosey kiwi water. But not horrible over all.

After Cuppa’T shopping I was supposed to go to my Mom’s for an hour or so and exchange Christmas gifts and pick up the tea she bought for me from Disney – but when we got there she wasn’t home even though I’d told her when I was coming. We called her, and turns out she was at Costco and wouldn’t been home for hours! My Dad got all pissed off about it and said we couldn’t wait for her so we just left. I tried not to seem to bummed out, but I was bummed out…

Just upset with her for not planning better so she was home, and upset with my Dad for being impatient, and upset in general because I haven’t seen her in close to half a year. But anyway; that concludes the trip to Regina! That’s it; all my tasting notes from when I was down there.

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90

At some point I’m going to have to brew up some of this and add a shot of my Apple Pie Schnapps since it’s actually pretty cider like, and I can’t think of another tea that it’ll mix “naturally” with. As is, I didn’t exactly have my apple pie schnapps with me in Regina, so I just stuck with a regular hot cup on Sunday morning to wake me up with before my shopping spree at Cuppa’T.

Nothing new for me to comment in regard to how this one tastes: it was its usual, delicious self. My Step Mom, however, watched me make it and the whole time she was going on and on about how much she’s read about matcha and how good matcha is for you. I thought she was just sharing tea stuff because, well, I’m into tea stuff. Turns out that, actually, she thought that this was matcha based on the dry leaf? I don’t know – it was early in the morning so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Cuppa’T – once we found it, was awesome! I’ve only, personally, been once and that was in January, so it’s been a while. We must have driven past it three times, easily. I just have to comment, like I’m sure I did last year, that the service there is really good! Only gripe, overall, is that the tea is displayed (like most smaller loose leaf stores tend to do) in clear jars. Albeit they’re small jars, and I saw her refilling them from thick, large solid coloured bags that were kept in the back, in a really dark room. So at least not all the tea is exposed to light.

So here’s my haul. The first block are teas I’ve had before and was just restocking and the second is new teas that I’ve yet to try before:

50g Apple Pistachio Strudel x2 (One bag for VariaTEA)
50g Dutch Licorice Rooibos
100g Dragonfruit Cranberry

50g Pink Beauty Oolong
50g Creme Brulee Rooibos

The only thing I wanted but couldn’t get was more Ice Princess since it’s out of stock. But, I still have some left so it wasn’t a huge deal. plus, I got to grab some Dragonfruit Cranberry which was one I definitely did not expect to be in stock since it’s one of their summer blends. But the associate said they ordered it in special even though it’s not the right season because it’s one of the owners favourites and she personally wanted more. So yay!

The Creme Brulee Rooibos wasn’t one I was even considering because I already have a Creme Brulee Rooibos tea that I love, but the ingredients in this one are really different than what you’d expect, and it smelled good on top of that so I’m giving it a try. It’s got puffed rice, sweet blackberry leaves, and Tonka beans in it. I had to look up what Tonka Beans were when I got back home – I’d never seen a blend with them before. I guess they taste kind of like vanilla?

Anyone tried a Tonka Bean tea before?

Butiki Teas

Might want to recheck your first sentence. Tee hee. :D

Fjellrev

Those flavours sound so intriguing! And I wish I tried a tonka bean tea before. One of my favourite notes in perfumes.

Roswell Strange

Ergh. Going back and editing that… I’m totally blaming the Steepster chat crew for distracting me while I write tasting notes ;)

OMGsrsly

That sounds super neat. Tonka beans? I’ve read all sorts of scary things about them, so maybe don’t pick them all out of the tea and eat them at once. ;)

Roswell Strange

Yeah not gonna lie, when I researched them part of me was like “Uhh…” ‘cause of the whole “toxic” thing – but I looked into it more, and you have to ingest a super high quantity to be affected: it’s comparable to the amount of nutmeg you’d need to consume (’cause Nutmeg is toxic in high doses too).

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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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