2549 Tasting Notes

Sipdown (146)!

Oh boy; story time…

First off, let me just thank MissB for the sample.

But man; I had a crazy Wednesday night. And this is probably gonna get kinda graphic here. When I got off work I just had this ridiculous feeling of restlessness. I wanted to leave, but I didn’t want to go home. My friend Billi suggest we have some drinks, and I had promised to do something with her this week and that seemed to fit the mood so I agreed.

We, ‘we’ being Billi, her fiance Dylan, friend Kailey, and I, started drinking at about 8PM and the night started off fine. But it was one of those night that you just don’t expect to get crazy, but then it totally does. Everything just escalated so quickly; and, well, I blacked out. I lose memory somewhere around 10PM right after deciding to “mix a shot of all the alcohol we had brought” (so, Melon Bols, Spiced Rum, Pina Colada Breezers, Gin, Blackberry Brandy, and Beer) up until 4AM when I woke up in my own puke. I haven’t gotten that drunk since…

Well, I think since last summer when I was dating Tyrell?

Things I know about Wednesday night: I ordered pizza for everyone but have NO recollection of ordering, paying, or eating said pizza. I also, apparently cooked everyone spaghetti? Which I don’t remember doing at all either. But, I have no burns or wounds or anything so I guess that went well.

Honestly; I half regret it and am half happy I did it. I woke up feeling terrible, after an AWFUL night’s sleep, just smelling so bad. Vomit in my hair and everything. But it was an experience; and this is the age you’re supposed to do that stuff right? And as long as you’re not making it a regular thing, or harming yourself/others then I think it can be ok.

But man; not gonna lie – I haven’t felt quite right since I woke up on Thursday. I’ve had pretty much non-stop cramps and haven’t been able to eat or drink much of anything. I spent nearly all of Thursday and much of today just drinking water and lying as still in bed/my couch as possible.

One of the first things I did when I got home on Thursday though was to brew up a bunch of this. I certainly didn’t expect that I was gonna be drinking it for practical purposes, but I do think it helped at least a little bit.

I wasn’t paying a whole lot to the taste but I do remember it was a little more savory and herby, with a sweetness from the junipers in the blend. I thought it tasted good up until the last two or three sips and then it tasted like soap to me, made my stomach do somersaults and almost made me throw up. I’m thinking that was probably a lot more from the hangover though, and a lot less from the tea itself (if at all from the tea).

Obviously I wasn’t in the best state when I drank this, so I’m leaving it unrated. It’d be wrong to assign a numerical number to it…

Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Herbaceous

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This one wasn’t in the database, though most other Pure Life teas seem to be. I tried finding a listing for it on Lipton’s site or the Pure Life site but no such luck; so none of the information for this is really filled out…

We just starting carrying this in our store; it’s the only non-black Pure Life drink we stock so I got curious and picked up a bottle to drink during my walk home. I really didn’t like it; even the overly sweetened other Pure Life drinks I’ve had were much, much better.

I thought that it had too much honey flavour; to the point where it was cloying and almost fake tasting. I would say that it was like someone had just squeezed honey straight into my mouth were it not for the weird, sour taste from the green tea. It was very ‘slimey’ and kind of seaweed tasting? Seaweed and honey should definitely never be a thing.

Nope; not for me. Though, it did keep me quenched on the way home so that was a positive I suppose. Probably the only one, though.

Flavors: Honey, Seaweed, Sour


I’ve had sweetened green teas that taste just as you describe. It really isn’t that great…


I cannot stand any commercially made iced teas. Blehch.

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Sipdown (147)!

I am not a fan of Lipton; when I try to describe the difference between some of the really, really nice loose leaf teas I drink and cheap, poorly made bagged teas to non tea drinkers I almost always use Lipton as my example of bad bagged tea/grocery store tea. Really, it’s the difference between a fishstick or caviar, I think.

That said, I do appreciate this sample from MissB because of the thoughtfulness, if not for the tea itself. And, I’ll admit to being a little conflicted because it’s caramel and I love caramel. And you know what; it wasn’t bad. It certainly wasn’t great, but for what it is it certainly could have been so, so bad. Definitely not what I’ve come to expect/associate with Lipton.

What it reminded me of was those little five cent cube caramels they sell at Bulk Barn or convenience stores/gas stations and that you sometimes get around Halloween.

I used to love those when I was a kid; I’d eat handfuls of them in one sitting. However, they’re not really my think anyone. They taste oddly ‘woody’ to me now, and are almost borderline rubbery. But for a few short minutes while I drank this tea I tasted my ‘childhood version’ of those cube caramels – and it was great. Pleasantly nostalgic.

On another note…

My chawan arrived! WAY earlier than anticipated too; only took seven days to get here from Japan instead of the expected two weeks to a month! Holy smokes; that’s faster than pretty much anything I’ve ever ordered from the states. And guys, it’s gorgeous. I’ve been showing it off to anyone who’s at the house; my landlord, his GF and daughter, Tre, and the friends I had here today.

It makes me so sad that no one gets it. Tre instantly asked how much it was and then seemed visibly upset when I told him (if we’re counting the shipping it was approx. $168CA). But, it’s one of a kind, authentic, and basically just a piece of art. Sadly I haven’t had a chance to try it yet because I’ve been feeling really under the weather – but when I do you’re all gonna hear about it!

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Sipdown (148)!

Queued Tasting Note. Sample comes courtesy of Sil!

Cold brewed this one (12 hours give or take an hour or two) because, since it’s intended for ‘iced’ tea that seemed like a good idea. I don’t really drink ‘iced’ tea anyway; I don’t have an kitchen equipment for making ice and never seem to be able to remember to pick up like an ice cube tray or something. So it’s just not really a convenient or realistic way for me to make tea.

This has a semi-sweet, authentic lime flavour with a touch of peel/rind and bitterness. I recently learned the term “pith” (from my word a day Calendar, funnily enough) and I’m surprised how many teas I’ve been able to apply it to that I’ve recently had – but I think it could apply a little bit to this one as well. There’s also some faint lemon notes and, at the end of the sip, a really subtle cream flavour. The black base is brisk with a little bit of pleasant astringency.

This is pretty good as a cold brew; definitely a bit better than ‘average’ although I’ve certainly had better lime teas, even recently, and it’s not something that I’d want to order for myself. It’s just missing something that makes the lime flavour ‘jump’, if you will. Sure, maybe sweetner could make this a little more vibrant but I think it boils down to not having enough ingredients to create a in depth, ‘round’ flavour. It’s just a touch flat/monotone.

Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Lemon, Lime

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Sipdown (149)!

First to review this one!? Really!? Did no one else request it or am I just the first to get to it…

Anyway; I’ve got a few queued tasting notes to get to but it was important to me that I write this one first ‘cause I know Nanuoshan really wanted reviews up by the 19th – which was yesterday, and due to some stupid decisions (which I’ll get to in another tasting note) that didn’t happen with the last two samples from them, despite what I thought was a well thought out drinking schedule.

I drank this one Gong Fu in my CS Gaiwan; I picked it out because I also got the other Rougui that they were offereing, which was new to me as well, and I wanted to sort of compare and see the differences between the two. And basically what I did was just write tons and tons of jot notes while I drank this one and then went back afterwards and edited them into more concise, easy to read paragraphs. I also did a wash for this one, though took no notes on that step.

- 30 sec Roasty, Mineral, very brisk/dark and a quite astringent w. charcoal/ashy notes? Some cinnamon – it’s very ‘dry’. Leaves opened a little; leaf in the gaiwan smells strongly roasty/ashy and reminds me a bit of bitter, black coffee. Overall kind of reminds me of the smell of a campfire AFTER water’s been poured on it to put it out; wet/damp, ashy/smokey still…

- 30 sec Smells less harsh and a bit sweeter with cinnamon notes. Lost most of the astringency/charcoal notes. Still has mineral notes and a touch of roastiness. Definitely sweeter; some floral notes are starting to emerge near the end of the sip & in the aftertaste. Has a bit of sharpness to it; very pithy.

- 60 sec No roast/mineral notes, but some astringency and bite from the bumper crop of pithy notes popping up. Floral notes are more amped up with an underlying, softer fruit flavour than the citrus/pith that’s been present so far; maybe a stonefruit? Cinnamon note is the same. Pumpernickel bread notes? Leaves are totally opened up now.

- 90 sec Very floral and still a little bit mineral and cinnamon tasting; still reminds me of stonefruit a little bit. Most of pumpernickel flavour is very toned down and while I still taste some citrus/lemon there’s no longer that bitterness/‘tang’. This is the ‘gentlest’ tasting infusion thus far with a very soft, smooth mouthfeel.

I think, between the two different types, I enjoyed the other one a lot more; it was sweeter/fruitier and I liked the nut notes in it, which I didn’t observe with this one. However, this was still very good and absolutely had similarities while still being different overall. Much more floral, and I think the first infusion was a lot more abrasive than Rougui.

Wish someone else would review this though (if anyone else grabbed a sample of it?) because I know I’m not that experienced with this variety and I’d like to see how others viewed it, and how my observations line up. The fact no one else has written for this one unnerves me a little. I hope I’m not missing another page for this tea, with other reviews…

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drank Sweet Chili by Yogi Tea
2549 tasting notes

Sipdown (150)!

I walked home after work today instead of busing because it was beautiful outside and I thought it’d be a good time to see just how long the walk home takes me because, during the summer, it might be a lot more financially smart to walk instead of bus – and the route I take to work doesn’t run between May and August. Took me 40 minutes overall; not too bad. That’s actually less time than it takes to bus home. My feet are killing me though…

I drank this one from a timolino during the walk though; it’s another one that I’m trying blindly. I expected to get a lot of spice/heat from it but the flavour was much, much milder than I anticipated. In fact, I barely got any spice or heat at all! The closet thing would be some super watery cinnamon or black pepper? What I did taste a lot of was licorice though! That seems like a weird pairing to me; but it’s absolutely what I got. Some kind of licorice root and actual licorice cross, perhaps? I liked it, but also found it a bit boring as well.

Certainly wouldn’t buy this one for myself, nor would I go out of my way to try it again but, if served to me, I would be totally ok drinking it. And, you have to keep in mind that it’d bagged too; it could’ve been much worse.

Side Note: I’m sure it wasn’t the intention, but the woman on the bag art/design reminds me a lot of Frida Kahlo, and that made me smile this morning as well as prompted me to switch up my Magnetic Fridge Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe. She’s now rocking a Hijab, Anarchy Shirt, and Skull leggings and has a Capuchin perched on her shoulder. Fridge Frida is one of my favourite things about my kitchen…

But anyway, thanks MissB for the sample!

Flavors: Black Pepper, Licorice, Sweet


Yea, I don’t know why they call this by this name, it’s really not indicative of the taste at all.


Fridge Frida sounds awesome!


I love Frida Kahlo. The Detroit Institute of Art just started a huge new temporary exhibit based on her time here with Rivera when he did the murals for the DIA. I’m super excited for it. I have passes for in May, though, so I have to wait until then to go.


I love Frida too!

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drank Pêché Mignon by THE O DOR
2549 tasting notes

Sipdown (151)!

Happy St. Patty’s Day! I realize it’s over for most of you now, but technically I’ve still got about a half hour left until midnight…

Thank you MissB! It’s finally nice enough here that I was able to ditch the crappy, leaky glass tumbler I use for hot teas on the way to work and switch to my large, beautiful plastic one that holds my daily 25 oz. cold brew, and then some! Spring is really here!

So; I did this one “blind” – by which I mean I just didn’t look it up at all when making/drinking it. So, these are my completely ‘unbiased’ thoughts about the blend.

Dry, I thought that the leaf was very grassy with obvious peach notes as well as melon – most likely honeydew? I very much anticipated there to be peach in this; I know enough French to know “Peche” is peach – however, I don’t know what “Mignon” is supposed to be. Were I to guess, though, I’d say probably melon just based on the smell. It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.

Obviously I cold brewed this one since I’ve already pointed out that I drank it in my cold brew tumbler. It got a whopping 16 hour steep though, because I forgot I was steeping it. First thing I noticed was the green base, which was really strong. Strong in a good way though; it tasted the way freshly mowed grass smells and kind of like chlorophyll? It also has a very, very fresh ‘dewy’ melon taste. At first I was thinking honeydew, but the more I drank the more it tasted like cantaloupe to me. Having now checked out the ingredients I see that it is, in fact, cantaloupe.

Where’s the peach though? I definitely pick up on it in the smell, but I can barely taste it. I also noticed some really, really light floral notes and a third fruit flavour but it’s blending in too closely with the melon for me to identify it. I’ve seen the ingredients list now though; and I’m pretty confidant was I was tasting was strawberry.

This was delicious! I love the way the flavours came together, and it was one of the fruitiest greens I’ve ever had – with interesting and unusual fruit flavours, as well. I don’t know if I’ve seen cantaloupe done by a company other than Butiki.

Today’s word of the day was forlorn, meaning: “1. feeling sad and lonely especially because of being left alone; 2. hopeless”.


Mignon can mean a few things depending on context. Cute, or soft in this case. I found it got really grassy really fast when I steeped it too long as well, yet really lovely nonetheless. Glad you enjoyed it!

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Last one of the DT Spring Collection that I hadn’t tried; I cold brewed this for work yesterday, but didn’t finish it. I’m drinking the last little bit now thought before I start getting ready for work.

It’s not quite what I was expecting; the flavour is more “punchy” and juice-like than anticipated. Whoever it was that described this as tasting like powdered juice crystal/mix was right on the money. That overly sweet, sugary fruit flavour is so characteristic of that sort of drink; it totally overrides any flavour that the white base could’ve contributed. And, I think that intense “from concentrate” juice trait is only amped up by the sweet blackberry leaves; what’s going on here is everything I’ve experienced with other blends that use them.

But once I get over how different it is from what I had expected it’s really not so bad; I like how forward the apricot flavour is even if it’s not the most realistic flavouring and I taste some peachy notes underneath it, and maybe something just a pinch floral? I’m intrigued to try it hot and see how the flavour shifts.

So, now having tried everything I think my favourite is, surprisingly, Elderflower Spritz. Strawberry Fields is the clear loser; and everything else falls pretty close together in the middle.

Flavors: Apricot, Candy, Floral, Peach, Sugar

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drank Blackcurrant by Harrods
2549 tasting notes

Sipdown (148)!

I feel like I’m probably going to be drinking a lot of bagged teas on the way to work for a little while; today I got a box of samples from Sil and MissB – 35 new teas to be specific, many of which were bagged. I’m super excited to get to explore them all; they all, yes even the bagged tea, seem quite interesting!

When I realized just how much bagged tea I had, though, I decided to bring the majority of my older and neglected bagged teas in to work – I know that a lot of the staff will appreciate having some tea to drink on break; currently we’ve just got coffee in our staff room and the tea we sell at the Coffee Bar is gross Lipton. Plus, it’s good for me too because easier sipdowns!

This was the first of MissB’s bagged tea samples that I decided to try; it seemed like the most unique of the samples – and I definitely like black currants!

Dry, this doesn’t smell like anything. However, once the boiling water hit the tea bag all I could smell was black currants; almost jammy, but not quite sweet enough to be a jam. I kept my steep time pretty short; I know that black currant has a tendency to turn medicinal very, very quickly and that’s definitely not what I wanted. The flavour was spot on for black currants; and thankfully didn’t taste medicinal at all to me. It was a very monotone flavour; but I didn’t really expect it to be otherwise anyway nor was there anything that indicated it would be otherwise.

It definitely didn’t have a lot natural sweetness; just a tiny bit of agave probably would’ve made it pop a little more. Still, this was really enjoyable and different, and I really liked it! I wonder if there are any Canadian retailers that sell this brand? I’ve never seen or even heard about it until today…

Flavors: Black Currant


harrods is a famous department store :)

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drank Jasmine Pearls by JADEsCHA
2549 tasting notes

Sipdown (114)!

I think my eyesight’s getting worse; I’m near sighted (so I can’t see things that are far away) and normally can read my computer screen just fine without my glasses on, but today I had to wear them to see the screen for The Sims, and writing tasting notes right now I’m struggling to read the font while my laptop’s resting on my lap as I type. Might be time for an eye appointment…

Last tea of the day, and my daily cold brew. I wish I had more information about this one; it was one of the two samples that came with my JADEsCHA cloud pot from VariaTEA but it’s not listed on their website at all. I tried searching under green teas, scented teas, and by looking up the word “pearl” and nothing. Dry, the pearls were about the size of a pea, and rather powdery.

Jasmine greens aren’t really my thing; I much prefer white jasmines or jasmine in oolong blends. The base of this tea is nice enough though with some buttery notes and sweeter vegetal notes as well but the jasmine tastes kind of cheap to me; a little more on the artificial side, a little too perfumey. Maybe trying this hot would’ve brought that out less; but I’ve got a hunch that even if there had been a bit of difference it wouldn’t have been much. Bad jasmine is bad jasmine.

All in all is balances out to a mediocre to average brew. Another one out of the cupboard!

Today’s word of the day was reticent which means: “1. not tending to talk or give out information; 2. quiet in tone or appearance; 3. showing doubt or unwillingness”.


I hear you. I’m ultra myopic. My prescription is like -8 with astigmatisms in both eyes. So sad.

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My name is Kelly. I’m a barely twenty tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchablah, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually a little over a year ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious, serious obsession.

Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals this year is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends, but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives (the exception being matcha which I drink in milk with no additives); so unless I mention otherwise you can assume that’s how I’ve prepared my tea!

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, Lychee, Cranberry, Cream, Melon, Pineapple, Malt, Roasty

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger/“Chai” in general, raisins, overly vegetal, chamomile

I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms; as such I do not drink Kombucha teas!

Currently exploring/looking to try: Straight Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends.


Saskatoon, SK, Canada



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