2260 Tasting Notes

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
2260 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
2260 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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87
drank Gingerbread by DAVIDsTEA
2260 tasting notes

My Dad doesn’t own an electric kettle which is the most frustrating, slow as balls thing ever. I’m very thankful I’ve got my electric one, even if it’s not a variable temp or anything fancy like that!

Anyway; this was the last tea Saturday night. Chugged it right before I passed out: simple, molasses cookie tea! Felt appropriate as an “Early Christmas” tea. I almost made it into an eggnog latte, since they had eggnog but that felt too rich for late at night, so I’ll make my own eggnog latte sometime before the new year at home.

TeaBrat

me too, I love mine :)

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86
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
2260 tasting notes

So other than what I had with me in various water bottles and timolinos for the card ride to Regina, I also brought small sample size amounts of four different teas to have at night and in the morning on Sunday before driving back to Saskatoon.

This is one of the ones I took with, and after the show I made a cup for myself and one for my Dad which we opened presents. I thought that the sweet cream flavour in this one also kind of translated into a thicker mouthfeel and that the sweet confectionery fruit flavours in this, like apricot, were really noticeable. My Dad just described it as “Good, but kinda weaK”. Pshhh, it’s not weak, you just have a less nuanced pallet. It’s funny too because on the car ride home my brother and I were talking about how I want to become a tea sommelier, and my Dad was going off on how there “Can’t be things like baked bread notes in straight tea because it’s straight and nothing has been added”. Uhh…

If there was no difference between straight tea blends, then there’d be no point in having so many different ones! The point isn’t that there’s literal bread in the tea – but that the natural flavours of it are comparable to bread. It’s like wine! And once I made the wine comparison, I think it clicked for him…

“Christmas” was fun though: my brother got me these gorgeous Spiderman glass tumblers which I can’t wait to use for fancy mixed drinks, and my Dad gave me a check for $100 (which funded my Cuppa’T shopping trip the next day), a $25 gift card to Galaxy (which is awesome – so many shows I want to see but haven’t been able to afford), a cool, knitted Kermit hat, and then some other stuff that was a bit of a flop…

I mean, thoughtful yes – but still not quite right. One was the first CD by Cage The Elephant, and I was impressed he remembered they’re my favourite band – but since they are my favourite band I already own all of their CDs and have, in fact, played this particular CD for him before. So now I have a double copy, and I’m not sure what to do with it. The second thing was an iTunes gift card – but I don’t even have iTunes installed on my computer or even an iPod/MP3 player, so it’s not really going to get used. But again, it was thoughtful I suppose. I just gave that one to Tre…

My gifts were a huge success! Dad loved his fishing stuff/subscription (which I finally got to work), and my Step Mom seemed very happy about the infuser mug I gave her, and even forbid Dad from using it since it’s now her “special mug”, and my brother got a collection of books that’s basically the screenplays for all the Star Wars movies translated into Shakespearean English. I wasn’t sure if that’d go over well since he’s not huge into Shakespeare (but loves Starwars), but he loved ‘em – we couldn’t pry the book out of his hand for the rest of the night!

So it went very well overall! Two Christmases (with Tre, and with my Dad) done – and one left to go (my Mom)…

Cameron B.

Yay, I’m glad the fishing magazine worked finally! :P

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35
drank Cocomint Cream by DAVIDsTEA
2260 tasting notes

Ok: getting the tea crap out of the way first and then going into stories…

Had the tea hot in a timolino on the drive into Regina. Magically, the apple was relatively toned down and so mostly this was a kind of creamy spearmint tea, which didn’t actually taste so bad. It’s taking longer to sip this down than I want it to. Bleck.

Funny “right now” story before I go into the story I was going to write about originally. I’m currently at work and I just had someone bring back a calendar they bought last week – but not for the usual reasons “I changed my mind” or “Found it cheaper somewhere else”. No, this time they brought it back because there are some issues with the months.

For starters, it’s missing some. Yeah – this calendar doesn’t have a January or a February page. But don’t worry! They compensated by adding in an extra March, April and May! So, it might be a little “unconventional” but really you’re getting more for your money because there’s a thirteenth month. Sigh.

But anyway: back aroundish the time I was drinking this one I was in Regina celebrating an early Christmas with my brother, Dad, and Step Mom. Our “family” present this year was a trip to… CIRQUE DE SOLEIL!

Here’s the “Promo Vid”/trailer for the show I went to see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41YDUrgCG28

And guys, it was really amazing! The “theme” or “story” was heavily inspired/influenced by China, but it was about the elements (Fire, Water, Earth) and their relationship with each other. There were a lot of really, really cool acts but my favourites were the trampoline artists, hand balancing, aerial artists, the bamboo poles, and the crossed wheel (that was my favourite). But really, all were good except for the juggler.

I remember watching the crossed wheel guy and thinking that was the coolest method of “flying” I’d ever seen. Just memorizing really. Of course, it wouldn’t be “live theatre” without a few missteps: the juggler dropped one of the balls he was juggling, and the jump rope artist snagged one of the jumpers, causing the jump rope to pull out of his hands. And then, the aerial hoop artist clipped a hoop, but it just wobbled and didn’t actually fall or anything. All of them recovered very gracefully, and it was still impressive – but still…

And of course there were drink stands and stuff at the Centre it was held in so, monumental type thing, I had my first drink in front of my Dad. Just a beer – but still felt like a big “adult” type step. Hoorah! It was a really fun night, an amazing show, and a nice sort of “mini vacation” from work.

Fjellrev

I haven ever gone to Cirque de Soleil but sounds great! Glad you had a great time with your family.

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73

Sipdown (112)!

Well, I forgot to message my list of tasting note jot notes this morning, so before I struggle to remember what I drank and what I thought about it I’m going to write about the tea I’m currently drinking at work. Bleck; I hate out of order tasting notes, but I’d rather write accurately.

Dry, this visually has a lot of cocoa shells/husks in it as well as tiny shredded bits of what looks like strawberry, and tiny black tea leaves. It smells very much like powdered hot chocolate and maybe a little bit of fruit. Now that it’s steeped up, it’s definitely got a richer chocolate taste and a lovely fruitiness to it that reminds me of that sugary strawberry waffle topping you can get with your Belgian waffles at any kind of breakfast restaurant. Mmm! The “mocha” part isn’t super obvious to me though: I don’t really taste any sort of coffee flavour. As it’s cooled, the fruit has become more apparent.

Took the bus ride to work, but I finally realized that what this is reminding me of is the Strawberry Cacao from Herbal Infusions, but richer/higher quality. Pretty good; plus, this seems to be a much easier company to deal with than HI.

EDIT: I just looked it up and apparently this is raspberry/chocolate – but I definitely tasted strawberry.

Fjellrev

OMG, seriously? I noticed Amoda had this on their site and almost ordered it because it sounded good. I’m so delighted to hear that it’s similar to Strawberry Cacao.

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98

Abstract thought, but I’ve been craving a tea with a really strong petrichor kind of flavour as of late. If anyone has any recommendations for something sort of like that I’d be stoked to hear them!

So, I don’t think I’ve really talked about it much or even at all in tasting notes but this weekend I went up to Regina to celebrate an early Christmas with my brother, Dad and Step Mom. We exchanged gifts, went to Cirque De Soleil as part of our Christmas present, and I did some tea shopping! It was really fun and I’ll kind of break things down a little in the next few tasting notes but it was a much needed mini vacation from work, and it was cool going back to Regina even if only briefly. I wish I’d had another day there to try and meet up with Regina Tea Friends, and maybe go to a movie at the theatre I used to work at.

But before all that, we had to drive from my house to Regina. And this was the cold brew that I picked out to sip on for the drive there. It’s not new to me, so no surprises here: just good, authentic and lush watermelon over a beautiful silver needle base. Glad I stocked up on this one! My first Butiki love…

OMGsrsly

Cold brew, huh? I need to try that.

Dexter

Petrichor is the scent of rain on dry earth, or the scent of dust after rain. Yes I’m admitting that I had to look it up. ;))
I’m voting for a light sheng. IMHO pu’erh has a bit of an earthiness to them – subterranean is a word I like. GREAT pu’erh has that clean damp forest after a rain thing going on. I’m assuming that would count. So that’s my vote. A really nice light earthy sheng (I think shou wouldn’t quite be what you are looking for – but I could be wrong…)

Roswell Strange

Petrichor is my favourite smell, ever ;) But will keep that in mind Dex!

carol who

Thanks for defining petrichor… I bet we all did a search on that as soon as we read it. ;-0 Roswell Strange you get the prize for Word of the Day! :D

OMGsrsly

The puerh I got from SOKO kinda has that, but also has a mushroom/dirt going on. I call it “wet forest”. :)

Stephanie

I drank this one on Sunday too :)

Roswell Strange

Technically I had this on Saturday ;)

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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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