1717 Tasting Notes

25

Sipdown (162/168)!

Also made this one while Tyrell was over, and I kinda felt like I had to fight through just how terribly bad it was because he was over. Like, for whatever reason I felt like if he saw me just dump it that would have popped some might illusion he has about me being this “Tea Saint”.

But really, this was bad. And that makes me really sad because as I watched Firefly Wash definitely grew on me a lot which is awesome because first few episodes he just seemed so boring to me. But how can this be his blend!? Seriously, what’s the reasoning?

Because I steeped this one up and instantly I was all “Oh, it’s just like a black version of DT’s Jessie’s Tea blend – I suppose I can get on board with that flavour wise even if I don’t think it fits the character”. But no, I can’t get on board with it. It’s like Jessie’s Tea on fucking steroids. Like, I took one sip and it was like I was drowning in overly floral lavender hand lotion.

Worst one I’ve had so far. Wash deserves better.

Flavors: Bergamot, Lavender, Perfume

Christina

Maybe the blender was trying to make a pun with his name? Like, this is really the kind of tea that should be made into hand soap to “wash” with?

whatshesaid

That doesn’t sound like Wash at all. Weird.
I don’t have a sample of this and I’m not sad about it!

I just finished the last 2 episodes of Firefly this morning :(

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74

Part two of the date involved coming back to my place (because he actually lives 20 min. outside of town so that didn’t seem like a better option) to watch Game of Thrones. I’ve never seen GoT until today but I decided to give it a shot since he really likes it, and it seemed like something fun to do together and he was on board with the idea.

We actually didn’t get to watch much GoT. And get your heads of the gutter; it was just ‘cause my computer was being really shitty and videos longer than three or four minutes ended up being heavily problematic when it came to loading them. Boo to that. So, we watched two episodes: my impression thus far is that I like Tyrian, Daenerys, and Joffrey. Of course my impression on these characters is formed around two episodes of content; but Tre and Tyrell seem shocked I like Joffrey. I get he’s a total asshat, but I think that’s why I like him? I don’t know – I always fall for the most despicable characters.

Anyway, I sorta took Tyrell being around as an excuse to just make whatever teas happened to tickle my fancy, so I brewed up four teas at once; kinda as a “test” to see whether he could wrap his head around my “tea crazy” and he was pretty shocked_ just how many cups I was having in one go – but he was also on board with it and kinda just embraced the tea crazy. I think that’s a very good thing. Also, four cups at once isn’t that much of a stretch for me though two or three is closer to my norm. Didn’t want to get up to make tea mid episode, though.

I’m trying to finish this up which is why it was picked; but also I kinda just wanted something peachy too. I’m close to getting rid of the bag of this though; probably two cups left?

It was really good actually, peachy with sweet snap pea notes, until it began cooling off and then it just got crazy bitter crazy fast. That’s not cool. Boo to that! But oh well; it was nice for a while and I guess I’ll take that…

Flavors: Carrot, Lemongrass, Peach, Peas

Cameron B.

You like Joffrey?! o.o

Stephanie

I know someone who made “adorable” fan art of LittleFinger….barf, LOL

Cameron B.

Total barf. XD To each their own, I guess!

mj

Ok, it’s crazy that you like Joffrey. I hate him so much! But Littlefinger… I kinda like him, aside from the creeptastic behavior towards Sansa.

VariaTEA

Oh tea twin, your feelings towards Joffrey is something we definitely do not share. However, the character gave me a whole new appreciation for the actor as he captured him impeccably well.

whatshesaid

You’re not allowed to like Joffrey. It’s a rule of humanity. :)

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98

Ok, so I picked Cranberry Pear for my tea on our tea date but funnily enough Tyrell ended up opting for my second favourite DAVIDsTEA black blend of all time through no pressuring of my own.

We narrowed down his tea (because he was quite overwhelmed by “The Wall”) by asking questions.

“Well, are you feeling caffeine or no caffeine? Caffeine? Ok – ignore anything in red or yellow tin. Not too much caffeine though? Ok – so nothing in the purple tins…”

“Sweet like chocolate or fruity? Fruity? Ok great. Which fruit? Berries? Ok, choice A, B, or C? Ok Blueberry Jam it is!”

He really liked it though. Actually, he said he was shocked how much he liked it; he was expecting slightly blueberry flavoured hot water. And then he sheepishly admitted that most of the tea he’s ever had has been Tetley. Well, never again. No more of that shit. Understandably this was amazing in contrast to fucking Tetley.

But yeah, this is good. Glad he liked it because I like this one a lot too.

Amariel

I like this one and should get more of it, once I’ve made a bit more space.

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100
drank Cranberry Pear by DAVIDsTEA
1717 tasting notes

So today was my second date with Tyrell and because we already have a third date planned that revolves heavily around his interests we decided to make this one more so geared around mine (which kinda didn’t seem super fair to me because our first date was really focused around my interests too since we went and watched Spiderman 2 which was really much more my thing than his).

So the first half of the date was a tea date! We decided to go to DAVIDsTEA because I wanted to pick up another infuser, and because he already knew the way there. I’m slightly appalled though; he has two good friends (Gwyn/Lucas) who both work/ed for DT and he had NEVER been to DT before. That seems shameful to me.

It was fun though; Gwyn was working today so he got to talk to his friend and I got to be properly introduced (I do know the DT employees fairly well as a customer, but it was different being introduced as a friend) another hard core tea lover. We had a great conversation about flavoured matcha. It was funny because she mentioned a regular customer had dropped off some Eggnog Matcha from Red Leaf Tea and the employees had all loved it and I got to gush and be all “THAT WAS TOTALLY ME!”. I feel like that earned me good points ;)

So I shared with her my favourite Red Leaf flavours with her (she was leaning towards an order with Coconut, French Vanilla, Key Lime, and Bananas & Cream) and we dished on neat ways to enjoy matcha. Funnily enough, later into the date (at home) I wound up packing up a few Red Leaf teas for her anyway…

But yeah; I struggled choosing between a familiar favourite or something new. Obviously I went familiar although I did make it a latte, but I also kinda did new too because I picked up 10g of Ginseng Oolong in addition to my infuser. Tyrell was baffled at how much “tea hardware” (as he put it) exists. Not sure why that was surprising, to him, but it was kinda cute.

This was awesome as usual!

whatshesaid

Cute!! Nice date :)

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71

Sipdown (163/169)!

Finished this one from VariaTEA off in my timolino with a little milk added in to it; pretty good if I do say so myself! Actually, it was a significant step up from the nail polish remover/cotton ball incident the first time around.

If I had to describe this experience I think I’d use words like “Nectar” or “Ambrosia” because it really was creamy, silky honey notes with very faint rooibos taste and a milky chocolate. Yeah, milk and no nail polish remover is the way to go with this one. I’ll raise my rating a bit! But I wont seek this out again, most likely.

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68

And now a brief interlude on my mass stream of backlog to slip in a funny “work” story because that’s what I do whenever I’d had this one…

First a little history: on my Mom’s side of the family I have three Aunts and one Uncle all of which I’m fairly close with. I grew up seeing them all during the holidays and we got birthday cards from them and things like that too. One of them, my Aunt Nancy, lives in Saskatoon – the same city I’m in now. As far as I’m concerned, she’s my only family in the city. We’re not terribly close (I’m closer to other Aunts/Uncles) but close enough she had me over for Christmas.

Conversely my Dad has TEN living siblings (and two that are deceased) whom I am not close with AT ALL. I can’t even name more than four of them, and I’ve only met one of them (and definitely not recently). Yet, my Dad likes to go on about them as if I have any semblance of who these people are. I don’t.

So to the story: I was at work on till for the day, and this older woman who I have NO visual recollection of what so ever comes through my till and buys about $50 in fake yellow flower garlands. I work at a Dollar Store; that’s a lot of garlands so regardless this would be a memorable encounter. But the whole fucking time she’s just locked eyes on my while I scan stuff in; and she’s not blinking or breaking eye contact which is very disconcerting. I’m thinking she’s gonna be one of those crotchety older folk who make you triple count all of their bulk orders in case you’re like a dollar off.

Instead she asks my name as I’m finishing the transaction. I meekly tell her, thinking she’s gonna go complain about something stupid to my manager but not wanting to get in shit for lying to this woman. But what she did totally through me off; she very loudly boomed “I KNEW IT! I’M YOUR AUNT HELEN!”. My face must have been priceless or just very very vacant because until yesterday I didn’t even know I had an Aunt Helen or that she lived in the same city as me.

But weirder; how did she recognize me? We’ve never met before! And then further more she had all these weird details about me that she felt like sharing, and only like half were accurate. So thought I’d share that story with you all. I figured it was worth sharing with someone.

But yeah; Aunt Helen. Who’d have known. It was certainly weird.

Amariel

How odd. Did you ask any other family members about her? Maybe she’s the batshit crazy aunt Helen that you didn’t meet for a reason? :P

Anna

Haha, I’m with Amariel on this one.

Cameron B.

This note made me laugh out loud, thanks for posting! :P

OMGsrsly

That is so weird! And yeah, I’d guess what Amariel said. :)

whatshesaid

Hahaha weird!

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66

Sipdown (164/170)!

Getting close to finishing off the backlog. Now I just have the teas from yesterday and today; and I didn’t do a whole ton of tea drinking yesterday anyway so that should be fast enough to catch up on. May have to log today’s teas tomorrow though; I’m pretty damn exhausted right now.

This is a long time ago sample sent from the delightful Rosehips that I sadly just recently got to. I made it up as a cold brew, and actually did set aside enough leaf for a hot cup but I ended up giving that portion of the leaf to Tyrell (the guy I’m dating) to give to Lucas. Lucas is one of his two friends who worked/works at DAVIDsTEA – in tasting notes he has been referred to as “Hot DT Guy” but given that I now know and am dating someone who knows him pretty personally I think we’re gonna transition to referring to him by his actual name. Also, he no longer works for DT so the previous moniker isn’t super accurate anyway.

But yeah; it’s sorta a longish story why I sent teas to Lucas/his girlfriend (who does work at DT) Gwyn – and I was gonna share it in my tasting notes for teas from today/my date when I picked out selective info to share with you all; but might as well share it here right? Sure. Yeah.

So while we were at my place, I somehow ended up getting in a fight with Lucas over our apparently drastically varying tea tastes though text message via Tyrell. Lucas was making some pretty wild claims and I sorta (ok, pretty much flat out) called him an idiot who didn’t know good tea. But in an endearing way? He pretty much said that he had never had a DAVIDsTEA blend he disliked; and I know he worked for the company but I call MAJOR BULLSHIT on that. Even his girlfriend, Gwyn, admitted to me today that she didn’t like the newest Chocolate Macaroon tea because it was too sweet. Like come on; don’t bullshit a tea drinker. It’s one thing to push things/promote DT blends to the inexperienced shoppers who come in the store and don’t know better – but I clearly know better.

But then, he said that he LOVES hibiscus; so I went on this spiel that result in me feeding my kinda sorta boyfriend straight hibiscus to prove to him his friend is an idiot (Tyrell thought it was nasty so point accomplished) and on top of that I put together a small sampler of really nice teas for Tyrell to bring to Lucas/Gwyn to show them fancy, super awesome quality shit. That included my hot cup’s worth of this, some Yunnan Sourching, Butiki, Mandala, Dammann Freres, and a few flavoured matchas from Red Leaf.

Take that Lucas!

But yeah; back to the point of this tea and my cold brew and what I thought of it. Honestly, in smell it reminded me a ton of Des Roses et Des Bonbons from Camellia Sinensis – but that’s obviously from the rose. I really wanted gentle rose water and apples from the taste; but let me tell you the rose in this was not subtle.

This was definitely too floral for my liking and I really, really wanted more apple – no, scratch that – any apple flavour from this but it just wasn’t happening.

So, maybe this was a bad one to pick to prove my point to Lucas (at the point I’m not even sure what that point was?) but regardless much thanks again to Rosehips for the kind sample. I was happy to get to try this even if I didn’t totally love it.

Flavors: Rose

Roswell Strange

Damn, that’s one long ass note. I haven’t written one this long in ages!

Christina

I, too, really wanted to get more apple from this tea and less rose. No matter how I brewed it, the rose always seemed to be the strongest flavour. However, I do admit that the dry leaf itself smells amazing.

Rosehips

Hah! I love the story! Yes, I agree. This is not what I had hoped for either, but I’m glad to get another review. Next time I send you teas, Roswell, I hope they are more enjoyable!

VariaTEA

I actually got a lot of apple when I tried this so I am sad to hear you did not. Also, feeding someone straight hibiscus is cruel and unusual punishment. Plus, I like that in order to make a point you are supplying them with some awesome teas.

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78

Sometimes when you’re sick you just need one good bagged tea to wind down and feel much better; and so I made this one up because of the intoxicating and soothing vanilla creamer aroma! It did the trick; before I knew it I felt less stressed and tense and I was stretched out on the couch/my bed watching episodes of Firefly.

Because of the whole sick thing I opted to not drink down another Firefly blend though; everything I had tasted thus far in the day had been nasty as hell so I didn’t want to waste a precious character tea when I felt rotten. Glad I made the decision, I think; although at this point I’m down to the character blends I’m much less excited about though.

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73
drank Salted Caramel by DAVIDsTEA
1717 tasting notes

Made in my timolino; I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea what with the whole being sick thing, but it very obviously wasn’t. I took one sip of it and the salt made everything in my stomach churn in all the wrong ways. So icky! So much blah!

So dumped it. I don’t particularly feel that wasteful about it though; I’ve had this tons of times and am working on finishing it off anything given that it’s not that spectacular regardless. I feel like I have ups and downs with this one though; some cups are really special and others are really not.

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83

Sipdown (165/171)!

So I cold brewed this to sip it down which I kinda regretted doing as soon as it was set up and in the fridge because I’ve had this cold brewed and I didn’t really love it nearly as much as I do hot. But I wanted to give it another chance cold brewed.

Little did I know, I was going to wake up feeling like death and everything I drank that day (two days ago?) was going to taste like shit anyway. Seriously, I woke up and I felt HORRIBLE for no discernible reason. This got dumped so damn quickly because all it tastes like was bitter and it made me so sick feeling.

Which was a terrible way to finish this blend off. I mistreated you horribly dearest refreshing cucumber blend! Many apologies.

But for realsies, I actually feel a nice sense of accomplishment in finishing off one of my oldest 52Teas blends! Woot! Go me! I need to sipdown large quantities more often; it’s a good feeling!

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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

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