3895 Tasting Notes
Drank this one hot the other day…
Mostly, I was just really craving the grapefruit in the blend. I’ve been on such a huge grapefruit kick as of late: Fresca everyday for lunch, along with canned red grapefruit, and I just bought a really yummy smelling grapefruit body wash. Not sure why the sudden cravings; I’ve always liked grapefruit but not nearly as much or as intensely as this week…
Anyway, the tea was great. This is a softer grapefruit without a lot of the acidity you sometimes get from grapefruit teas/tisanes. It’s sweet and quite smooth, and then the additional vanilla really softens the profile and turns it into something somewhat ethereal and whimsical. Sometimes the mint in this blend is a strong presence, but in this cup (perhaps because of a more light handed steeping time used) the mint was mostly just a nice refreshing cooling element on the bed of my tongue after sips.
I know I sent this one to VariaTEA for her song/music pairing sampler and I also paired it then with a different MGMT song. I don’t know why, but I find this artist and this tea are just a very nice pairing – their music is almost on a different plane. Probably because they’re high like 90% of the time and that drug culture is pretty ingrained in their music. But the ethereal nature of the tea kind of just matches that “good times” high/buzz that gets worked into their music. To be fair though, this song doesn’t exactly maintain that “feel good” quality at the end, though…
Today’s cold brew!
I never really realized how much Rhubarb and Custard was a British thing/flavour pairing until Laura, Sharla and I went to Churchill’s (the British food store in Saskatoon) yesterday. I saw so many variation of that pairing in the store: like three different kinds of hard candy, a taffy with the same flavour combo, and a chocolate bar with a rhubarb and custard filling! I then thought of this tea, and remembered it IS in fact from a UK based tea company. I feel like I’ve made some sort of worldly/cultural discovery.
It does taste AMAZING though as a pairing, so I definitely get it. The rhubarb is sweet and the custard is creamy and tempers some of the tartness that rhubarb often has. It’s really satisfying and the right balance between natural sweet and pastry sort of sweet.
Now I can’t help but ponder what other flavour pairings are cultural that I’m not aware of. At the same time, what are the Canadian flavour pairings that I just know and think of as normal that aren’t in other areas of the world?
Food, or tea, for thought…
So this weekend after we went to Sask Expo, we stopped at Churchill’s in Saskatoon. It’s basically a British Foods store, and Laura REALLY wanted to go because she’s British and it’s one of the only places she can conveniently find a lot of the foods she grew up with.
I’d actually never been before, despite having previously lived in Saskatoon and walking by the store many, many times. I personally ended up grabbing some Pineapple Jam and Red Currant Jam, which I’ve yet to try. I also grabbed the big beautiful Elephant tin of this tea! I remember a while back on the discussion board this company was being discussed, and everyone was in love with the tins. They’re so much prettier in person, and I’ve never seen them anywhere else before (in person, that is) so I took advantage and bought one. For bagged tea, it certainly wasn’t cheap but this is definitely 100% one of those cases of getting a tea purely because of the packaging.
I tried it first thing this morning, and as far as Earl Grey goes (and bagged EG in particular) I actually thought it was pretty good. My understanding is that the difference between Williamson’s Duchess EG and their regular EG is that this uses Kenyan tea as the base? I wouldn’t say you can necessarily say the base is distinct enough that you’d know it’s Kenyan tea without the prior knowledge – but Kenyan black tea is actually quite citrusy as is, so I think that only helps/strengthens the profile of the bergamot in the blend.
I’d call this rich, and just a little sweet with the perfect balance of bergamot and no astringency. It’s smooth, and I’m sure would probably take milk well. That makes for a pretty convenient early morning tea – with gorgeous packaging to boot.
Well, I’m back from Sask Fan Expo!
It was a really fun weekend filled with a lot of cool things; road tripping with my friend/coworker Laura and her wife Sharla was great! We kicked things off with some Timmy Hoes and a group sing-a-long of the Once More With Feeling soundtrack from BTVS. I scooped up some peppermint tea while we were at Timmies; I figured as far as bagged tea from a coffee shop was concerned this was likely a safe option.
And it wasn’t bad; standard peppermint tea, essentially. Sadly it was the only tea I drank all day because the day was just filled with so much other stuff.
Honestly, we spent most of the expo in lines – but I wouldn’t change that at all because I got to meet and get autographs from three awesome, beloved celebrities. The first and most important one was obviously James Marsters. I’ve met him before at C4 but he was just as great this time. My hands were so sweaty/clammy when he shook them. We talked about Tom Holland’s portrayal of Spider Man and how much of a fan he is so far and about how we’re both excited to go and watch Homecoming. It was wonderful!
Next up was Tom Felton’s line – we were early to the line so we ended up waiting almost two hours for him to show up, but we were like fifth in line so we got to meet him right away. I got him to sign my copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard and he was so charming. When we got up front there he was fumbling to start some music to listen to while signing autographs and he ended up playing some really cool jazz music. Of the three people we saw, he was definitely the least chatty – but still it was very cool meeting him.
Finally; I got to meet Bob Morley (from The 100). I didn’t expect to be as nervous as I was, but the closer I got to the front of the line the more shaken up I got. The 100 is easily my favourite show still on TV right now – and it means a lot to me. His accent was fucking amazing; every time he talked I melted inside. And, he was definitely very engaged with everyone! Of all the people signing autographs he was the only one not sitting behind a table and who was, instead, out in front of hugging fans and having longer conversations. He gave everyone the chance to get their autographs personalized however they wanted, and let everyone ask him one or two questions – similar to how you would during a panel.
When he asked me if there was anything I wanted to know about him or the show, I panicked a bit because it was just so unexpected and I was so flustered. I managed to squeak out “What kind of tea do you like?” to which he paused and answered “Earl Grey and Peppermint, though I’m more of a coffee guy. Tea is great for sitting down with a book or a game of chess, though”. His autograph was the only one I didn’t get made out to me though: instead I had him personalize it for Kyle because The 100 is our show together, and it’s the first thing we ever watched together/did together even before we started dating (part of why the show means a lot to me). I figured it’d be a good gift for him, especially since we’re coming up on six months together in less than a week now…
Otherwise, we looked at the vendors and I ended up nabbing some Fallout stuff for Kyle. Didn’t grab anything else for myself; meeting all the celebs and getting their autographs was enough of a take home for me.
Such an amazing time/experience, though!
Cold Brew Sipdown (128)!
As a cold brew, the bubblegum notes I observed in the first (hot) cup I tried of this are even more apparent and in your face. Downside is that the cherry is less sweet and well rounded, and sadly it gives off a bit of a medicinal/cough syrup sort of quality. The green base was more masked as well; in a way I think that’s a plus because I disliked the base in the first place. However, it’s also a drawback because it means there’s less flavour to counterbalance the medicinal aspects of the cherry.
Overall it wasn’t terrible; I did finish it afterall. However, there are some areas where improvement is definitely doable and needed in order to make this better. As is, I wont be buying it again.
Also, Bad Suns’ new album is out! I’m really loving it so far – there aren’t really any tracks I dislike although some are definitely better. It’s been fun learning the new songs alongside cups of tea and trying to work out pairings for songs I’m just now exploring.
Pairing for this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFSvLf0hU00&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=5
I was experiencing some pretty bad cramps earlier in the week, so I broke out the raspberry leaf again and I’ve been enjoying the occasional cup throughout the week. It’s so hard to say whether or not I feel like it’s actually doing anything – but I like the flavour and it’s not making things any worse so I think I’ll continue to incorporate it into my tea drinking routine when I’m feeling crampy…
One of the more interesting cups this week was late at night with some added in coconut milk: it was supper buttery in addition to having its usual comforting vegetal and herbaceous notes and underlying sweetness. It felt really warming; like a big hug from the inside out, and it was really smooth and tasty.
This is a queued tasting note.
Cold brewed this one; mostly strawberry but managed to stay light, fresh and vegetal which was pretty nice. This is definitely less flavourful than it used to be though; I need to start thinking of more creative ways to use up the rest of the leaf because I’m getting pretty bored of this one, as well…
Decreased my rating a little, as well.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made a tea cocktail using a cup of this one after I’d iced it
- Standard icing method was used…
- Added in a 1/3 oz of grenadine
- And then added in an oz of limoncello
Basically it tasted like this one normally tastes, but exaggerated. So, the sweet red fruit/berry notes were richer and more prominent from the syrupy grenadine and the lemony notes more powerful and aromatic. It’s a really refreshing thing to be sipping on midday. Sweet, and perfect.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made a teacup of this one with breakfast (a red pepper and egg scramble) and I found that the roasty body notes and fruity plum and raisin undertone of the tea really complimented the eggs and sweeter notes of the peppers.
All was great; that is until I finished eating and drinking my tea. About five minutes after finishing everything off I was hit with a wave of nausea that ultimately culminated in me instantly throwing everything up. The tea was not pleasant on the way up. Don’t know what went wrong; after I threw everything up I felt totally fine for the rest of the day. Either the tea or the food was just something that I guess my body needed to purge?
I’m just having a really nice, lazy morning around the condo with Eilert while I wait for Kyle to come over this afternoon, and so far that’s meant finishing Season One of Legend of Korra and drinking lots of this tea.
I’m really enjoying this one; it’s soft and sweet with these lovely, romantic floral undertones. On their own, I think the lavender would bother me but the vanilla in this is doing wonders for the flavour. Oddly, the finish of this cup seems to be kind of smoky, which is a very strange flavour note to appear in a cup of white tea that basically only has added lavender and vanilla. Not that I’m minding the smoke note so much, I just don’t know where it’s coming from…
So, Eilert always seems to try to drink my tea when I have it out at the same time as I’m drinking – and I always have to stop him because I know the caffeine in the tea is harmful for guinea pigs. I just did some research though, and apparently fennel “tea”
tisane, really is actually good for guinea pigs. So, I think I’m going to look into buying straight up fennel so we can have tea time together.
Any other pet owners ‘feed’ tea to their pets? In particular, I’m curious if anyone else with small rodents has tried the fennel tea thing. Did they like it?