2183 Tasting Notes

100

Well, it took like two hours but I finally finished putting out all the boxes of inventory UPS dropped off for me this morning, so looks like I get to write some tasting notes afterall! I know when I finish my shift this morning, in an hour, I’m going to be way too tired to write. The next two days I work at Calendar Club, but not Sobeys so hello afternoon/evenings; we’re gonna have so much fun! By which I mostly mean; sleeping on the couch and maybe watching some TV with a cold brew and chips.

And speaking of cold brews, this is the one I had yesterday on break at Sobeys. My shift there went really well other than my taxi home taking what felt like years to show up to pick me up. On break the “free food of the day” what this gooey, yummy strawberry shortbread type thing: crumb crust and then a butt load of sticky sweet sugary glaze type stuff smothered in fresh cut strawberries and strawberry puree. It was so messy, but so good. And then in addition to that I also purchased a mini Mango (4959) Mousse Cake from the bakery; just heavenly.

There is a woman standing by my kiosk right now on her phone, and I honestly can’t tell if she’s just laughing super awkwardly or crying hysterically, minus the actual tears.

So with this lovely and juicy cold brew, loaded with sticky sweet pineapple notes (4433) and Orchid notes my lunch was like a lovely bouquet of fruity things! I mean, not exactly healthy for me fruity things, but tasty fruity things for sure.

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100

Drinking this right now for breakfast (last note to write; I’m caught up after this one). It’s got that usual vanilla/melon flavour, and then also a milder mintiness to it. Unfortunately I gave it maybe two minutes too long steeping, so there’s a bitter edge that’s actually making me feel a little nauseated drinking.

I don’t think that bitterness would usually make me feel sick; it’s likely just that I’ve yet to have anything to eat today so my stomach is especially flippy floppy. Maybe if the girl at the store next door isn’t too busy I’ll ask her to watch my Kiosk for a few minutes, and I’ll go grab something from the food court…

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80

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I honestly don’t know why I waited so long to try it when I was so damn excited about it in the first place (even before you sent it off). To be fair though, I get excited about pear anything. They could make “Pear Scented Bacon” and I’d be all over that, despite not eating meat…

I made my first cup (I have leaf left for at least one more) in a timolino; it was definitely very good, and I drank it super quickly. I kinda wish I hadn’t though, because chugging it didn’t allow for much time to be observant of the flavours. It was definitely sweeter, but in the way actual fruit is, and not in a super sugary kind of way. The pear flavour was good; definitely less a “fresh” pear and totally more a cooked/poached pear like that name suggests it should be. I want to say kinda like a Bosc Pear (4413), but I’d have to drink it again to really be sure of that. Rooibos base played well with the fruit; and there was a nice cinnamon flavour in here floating lightly along with the pear. Not over the top; just a nice accent.

I really hope this is the one that DT brings back as a ToTM as part of that contest/competition – I’d buy some more, for sure.

Kittenna

Yes, I’d agree with Bosc pear, for sure.

Amariel

Mmmm, pear. Love that you threw in the number for it in your store. :)

Roswell Strange

That’s even the specific code for Bosc Pears; 4409 is Bartlett, 3118 is Stark Red, 4413 is Bosc, and 4407 is Asian Pears/Apples :P

Kittenna

Go go memory! I’d probably have made flash cards, haha. I used to do that ALL the time.

Amariel

Ha ha ha!

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71

Cold Brew.

Sadly this came off as very artificial passionfruit last night, and the black base was a little too weighty as well. It got awfully close to bitter territory as well, but didn’t quite make it there. I’m going to have to go back to hot cups of this one; I just can’t make these cold brews work as much as I want them to.

Nice little bright point in my work day yesterday, I got to ring through my favourite postal worker! She’s the one who works in the mall I’m at – and she’s so sweet and friendly; always helps me figure out the best ways to send things, and lets me know where I can save money. If she lives in the area my Sobeys is located in, then it’s a possibility I’ll be seeing her more often, which’d be kinda cool.

We had a good laugh because she thought I was working three jobs, and she called me crazy. But no, three would just be excessive…

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93

Sobeys has those Milk To Go drinks I love on for $1.00 right now so I bought a few different kinds; Caramilk ones just because and then some Vanilla ones to mix with matcha. I’ve got a couple sample bags of matcha in my work bag, so I just picked out this one and cold shook it into the bottle.

Unfortunately, even though I actually ended up using a larger amount of matcha than I normally do for matcha milk (limited measuring things in the staff room) I still couldn’t really taste the pineapple? I did taste some vegetalness from the green tea itself but no juicy sweet tropical fruit? What’s that about.

Boo.

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89

Quick tasting note ‘cause my shift is almost done and the boss man’ll be here soon! Such a Rebel.

Pulled out an old Christmas favourite from last year to drink on route to work. Added a splash of milk and guzzled that drink so quickly, you all have no damn clue. It was smooth with thick creamy white chocolate and mint, no present stevia and just the faintest warmth from the peppercorns to tie it together. Now my timolino is all goopy, but no regrets…

I still wish they’d brought this one back this year. It was pretty popular despite chocolate goop, and it’s so much better than Cocomint Cream.

And that’s it guys; all caught up on tasting notes from the weekend! See you all tomorrow! :)

Kittenna

Apparently I still have some of this. I feel like someone sent/gave it to me (no idea who), but I need to try it (again?) because everyone’s so crazy about it!

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100

Made in my timolino. There was a weird lingering smell to the timolino when I steeped this in the morning, but I hoped the strong vibrant flavours in this would kinda “override” that, but no such luck. That musty kinda smell definitely carried into the tea. Otherwise, lychee and fresh flowers – just with a gross aftertaste.

At work, the “feautured” food in the break room (basically, the thing that was free that we all ate) was Poppyseed Buns and Cherry Danishes! Mmm!

Don’t worry, I finally gave my timolinos a really good scrub last night with denture cleaner and boiled vinegar, and they’re looking so shiny and clean now, and no weird lingering smells.

When I got home, Tre was making homemade Skor/Peach Schnapps Cannolies! So I had that with dinner; and damn it was good. You wouldn’t think so, with the weird pairing, but it worked. Don’t tell him I told you, but he’s actually a good chef.

Kittenna

Ooooh, clean Timolinos! Mine were in use all weekend, so it’s time for their weekly cleaning. One had an herbal in it, so I had best make sure that one gets cleaned pronto (herbals have that way of making things funky if you leave them too long, whereas straight/flavoured teas don’t.)

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81

Cold Brew!

This company is a new one to me, but Sobeys carries a large selection of their loose teas and some of them look pretty good too (plus decent price: $10 for 80g), so I had to try at least one of them. This is the one I bought, although there was another tisane which caught my eye too. Fig is definitely a less common fruit/flavour to see in tea, so I was definitely interested in trying it. The lack of super cliched tisanes was nice!

Dry, this smells very fresh with strong, aromatic notes of figs, caramel, and rose. The cold brew is a kind of “blush” pink, and smells really fruity with some floral traits. Taste wise, there were really strong juicy fig notes paired with sweet pineapple with a mild bit of tang/tartness to it, possibly from the fruit or possibly from the hibiscus. There was a caramel and honey sweetness that softened the whole thing, and a floral/rosey after taste. Overall, it tasted really natural!

I’m actually really impressed, so I think I’ll definitely eventually be buying that other tisane that caught my interest!

Anlina

Which was the other one that you were looking at?

yyz

I’m glad you liked it!

OMGsrsly

I’m so curious about this one! :) And the company was super great with my ingredients clarification online.

Roswell Strange

The other one I was curious about is a Cranberry Tisane; something like “Cranberry Purifier”. It’s got lots of hibby in it though, which is why I went with this one first. But the cranberry could definitely make a good cold brew…

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Sipdown (103)!

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

First the tea stuff, and then the personal rant type stuff.

The Jabberwocky is one of my favourite poems of all time; the other two it’s tied with being Chaos by G. Nolste Trinite and Invitation by Shel Silverstein. I’ve very heavily considered getting a string of words tattoed somewhere, like on a shoulder but I can never pick just one section so it’s likely not going to happen (since I don’t want the whole poem tattoed on myself). So, obviously, I was dying to try this tea. So thanks Marzipan for making that attainable.

Dry I honestly couldn’t smell much, but steeped up (in a timolino) this is so fantastical and complex and that’s why it’s perfect as a Jabberwock tea. Just like you can take many of the words in the poem to mean whatever you’d like, I can see how there are so many layers of flavours in just this one infusion that it can be interpreted so many ways. It’d take a multitude of cups to really come close to doing this one justice describing it, but I’ll definitely give it a stab – with the Vorpal blade-.

Overall, there was a sweetness to this tea, and it was very smooth. While there was easily a dozen flavours going on in here, the ones that stood out to me the most in ranging intensities were honey, wood, molasses, earth, and stonefruits like plums. There was also this kind of “rust” like flavour, but sweet rust – if rust is a thing that can be sweet. I wont bother to rate this yet because I’m sure I’m not even close to understanding it yet, but it’s definitely going back on my wishlist and something I’ll be looking to get more of.

And now the personal rant sort of stuff…

So yesterday I started work at 7AM; personally, that’s REALLY early for me but I set my ability like that and I was prepared to do my shift without complaint. As it happens, it was an eight and a half hour shift. So, a long one. And because buses don’t get to that area of the city as early as seven on Sundays, I walked. It’s a 40 minute walk, in the freezing cold. And that is to say that come 3:30 when I was supposed to be off, I was fucking tired.

There were eight of us who had started at 7AM and were supposed to be done at 3:30 – one for every till. I was on till #1 yesterday, one of the busiest tills (because it’s on an end), and the farthest one from Guest Services where people sign in and out. Come 3:30 I was just drained, and ready for the evening cashier to come and release me. But only five cashiers were scheduled for the evening, and they took off tills 4 to 8, leaving the people on tills 1 to 3 stranded with no relief. This is opening weekend; it was fucking busy, and like I said I was on one of the busiest tills so I had a huge line up. The evening supervisors had just forgotten we were there, and I definitely couldn’t have walked away and gone home without stranding all the people in my line, which is just a dick move.

At 3:45 I called a Supervisor to ask why we hadn’t been taken off. She said she’s go ask. At 4:00 a different supervisor came back and explained to us that no one was scheduled to take over, and asked if I was ok staying until 4:30, because she asked nicely I agreed to stay until 4:30. At 4:45 I called down a supervisor and asked, again, to go home. She said that “sure, you can go home but no one will be taking over your line so all these people will have to wait again”. She said it in front of the people. Holy Hell guilt tactics! So, I stayed – reluctantly and pissed off. At 5:00 she came back and told me to go home. I asked it someone was taking over my till. No. So, I left because I was ordered to, but everyone who was in my line had to go wait in another line including the people who already had their stuff on the belt.

I worked a ten hour shift yesterday, and I was so mad about it. Honestly, if they had been straight forward and asked me to stay late I likely would have said yes because of the overtime, but it’s the fact they just forgot I was there, and then assumed I’d be cool with staying late that pissed me off the most. And, it happened to three of us. Because they let me go at five I couldn’t catch a bus until 6:30 (Sunday bus hours), and I didn’t get home until 8PM, when I should have been home at 5PM. I was supposed to have the evening the rest/relax because I have to work both jobs all week…

Ugh.

Cheri

I’d have been fuming. You are too nice of a person.

OMGsrsly

That is really terrible on their part. I do applaud your niceness in staying, but yeesh. :/

Lynxiebrat

Ugh…and people want to know why I never EVER want to work retail again.

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75

Sipdown (104)!

So, I have like six hours of paid online training to do for Sobeys but it took a week for them to process my employee hire info (even though I started working) during that week and get me an employee number and add it to their system. I get it, ‘cause Dollarama had to do that too for new employees; but it took two weeks to clear. I finally got my employee number on grand opening though, but I still can’t log online to do the online training portal. My account just gets rejected. It’s very frustrating because if I don’t get that done I’ll get in shit, but also because, I’ll repeat again, it’s paid.

But anyway, thank you again Sil for sending this. I cold brewed the last of it because sweeter dessert teas usually work surprisingly well when prepared that way and this is definitely a sweeter dessert type tea. Sadly, I didn’t like it very much as a cold brew. Here’s basically what I jotted down in my online notes:

- Coffee/Burnt Caramel notes
- Sweet but in a very artificial way
- Kept getting strange bitter coffee notes too
- Not actually a huge fan; took me all day to finish it off…

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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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