2707 Tasting Notes
Just finished off a pot of this one, Grandpa style, for breakfast.
I have to next two days off so I’m hoping that between both days I can totally clear out my queue; gonna start on that probably after this tasting note and maybe lunch.
My pot was really, really good though – it was interesting to me because with this preparation style I experienced a flavour note that I’m pretty sure hasn’t come across with this tea before, and since this is one I thought I’d explored pretty thoroughly it was exciting to taste something new. What was that new flavour? Bubblegum!
Yeah, it was like I was sipping on a very sweet, fresh pineapple flavoured bubblegum concoction; tasty and realistic like always with loads of juicy flavour but with a special candy sweetness too. I also felt like the floral aspect of this tea was more toned down and subtle with this preparation method, and honestly I sort of really liked that.
I also used my aroma cup from Tea Ave. for the first time – I wanted to play around with it a bit before actually using it for one of my Tea Ave samples; when I opened up my package from them it sort of intimidated me since I’ve never used something like it before. It’s important to me I feel comfortable using it so I can do a really good job reviewing; and I definitely feel more so now that I’ve watched a few videos and put it into practice.
One more use and I think I’ll be good to go for my Tea Ave samples!
Flavors: Candy, Pineapple
So this is probably dumb sounding, but I wanted tea to drink while writing tasting notes that I then wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time reviewing afterwards. I’ve been working really hard at finishing off my queue – and I’m SO CLOSE so the really lazy part of me just doesn’t want to drink anything that’ll require lots of writing or me paying close attention until I’ve caught up…
So I made this one as a hot latte because I knew it would be consistent with the other times I’ve reviewed it, super low-effort, and tasty as well. I was right about all of those things; rich, frothy lightly spiced vanilla goodness. You can read one of my other notes on this one if you really want a break down on it…
In a timolino.
This was really rich and creamy; definitely captured the “float”/ice cream part without needing any additives. I worry that it may have been a little too rich though, and I’ll have the same problem I had with Golden Honeydew. So, my timolino is currently getting a really, really thorough denture tablet bath after already going through a ‘boil out’ of sorts.
This note is also acting as a ‘test’ for me since I just wrote a note for Zen Tea’s Vanilla Mint Pu’Erh and it’s not showing up on my dash OR in my tealog, but I can see it on the page for the tea itself…
Gonna see if this one does the same thing.
EDIT: Yup, same thing – this isn’t showing up anywhere but on the page for the tea itself…
This sample comes from Stephanie!
I had this one earlier in the week on the way to work and honestly, I didn’t find it very exciting or memorable. In fact, it’s already slipped from my mind so much that I’m relying purely on the jot notes I wrote down to write what I thought about it.
What I’ve written for myself is basically that it was surprisingly soft in flavour with a light earthiness and a slight cooling sensation from the mint. Mostly, it was very cinnamon heavy, which was a little unwelcome. I know there’s cinnamon in the blend, but given the name you’d expect the vanilla and mint to be the most dominant flavours – and they just weren’t. In fact, it was kind of hard to pick up the vanilla at all.
I do have at least one more cups worth, but probably two, so I guess I’ll play around with the amount of leaf I’m using and see if I can make this stronger.
Today’s word of the day is/was (I mean, the day is pretty close to over) commodious. Commodious means having a comfortable amount of space.
And I just realized something; it’s practically only a month from my birthday! Holy shit I’m going to be 20. I know the majority of Steepster users are a fair bit older than that (and I still don’t know if anyone is younger), but man I feel really old and unaccomplished now…
So yesterday I worked until 11:00 and instead of waiting to catch the bus at 11:30 and getting home after midnight, one of my supervisors very nicely offered to drive me home. I kind of felt like a charity case, but it saved me like an hour of time so I humbly accepted. And God – I’m so glad none of my coworkers are on Steepster, because damn. The supervisor who drove me home? He is fine. He’s European (but I can’t for the life of me remember what country he immigrated from – I think maybe Bulgaria?), so he’s got a really sexy accent. And, he’s sarcastic and witty and is very, very artistic. It just all comes together to be…
Well to be damn. He is literally “damn”.
So he drove me home last night and like the whole time I was mentally thinking stupid stuff like “Don’t do something awkward” and “Shit you’re in his car” and “This is so sweet of him”. Stupid, stupid really God awful cutesy shit. But really, it was no big deal. And he’s SO VERY out of my league anyway, in addition to him being my superior at work. But that’s not the point; the point is more…
He is a CRAZY driver. Now, my belief is sort of that since I can’t drive myself I don’t really have a right to criticize the way other people drive – but he like sped the entire way home, and because we’re in fucking Saskatchewan and there’s snow and ice and shit everywhere we were sliding around the road. I felt kinda unsafe, not gonna lie. He’s maybe kinda fucking crazy? Just a little. And, I think he noticed that I noticed he’s a crazy driver ‘cause just before we got to my house he said something along the lines of “Yeah, I used to race a lot”. What the fuck!? We’re in fucking Snow Central, Saskatchablah Canada! And it’s nearly midnight! Not the time for ‘racing’…
And that’s the other story I kind of wanted to share…
As for the tea…
This sample comes from MissB. I, admittedly, wasn’t really looking forward to this one but during the brief time I was in Steepster chat this morning we were talking about bagged teas and something (I’m sorry – I don’t remember who) mentioned this one by name as a really decent bagged tea, so I definitely had to try it sooner, rather than later, to understand what the fuss is about.
Dry it didn’t smell very monumental at all, but steeped up there was something very rich and comforting about it. Maybe it was the faint baking bread aroma; but it reminded me of home and my Grandma’s house? As corny as that sounds.
Taste wise, it was very brisk and bold without any astringency or bitterness and it had a lovely baked bread flavour with just a touch of malt to it. I don’t know why; I just really, really liked it! I only have one my bag left, but I got the impression that with just a splash of milk this would be very, very good – a smooth, comforting breakfast blend. So, I think I’m going to finish it that way.
But again, thanks MissB – this was delightfully surprising, and really good for a teabag.
Story time and then tasting note time…
So, as I mentioned maybe a week ago I’ve gotten really obsessed with Trivia Crack; and I guess I’m pretty good at it ‘cause I currently have a 13:1 win ratio – the one time I’ve lost being to Tre. But, I’ve beat him maybe six times? And it’s getting to the point where he doesn’t want to play with me anymore. He’s a sore loser.
But two nights ago I convinced him to start a round with me; I beat him in two turns. And in some sort of ‘manly rage’ he whipped his shirt off and stormed into his room. Jokingly I shouted “Well, at least you didn’t angrily rip off your pants”. He came back out, and I guess to spite me, he whipped off his sweats. Now, here’s the thing guys – he was wearing boxers (and I’ve seen him in his underwear enough to not be even close to shocked about it) so we both figured it’d be like sarcastically funny and that’d be that.
But no; that’s too easy. Instead, the boxers came off with the fucking sweatpants. Guys; I saw Tre’s dingle dangle! It was an INTENSE moment of awkwardness, followed by me just snickering and laughing – a lot. And then Tre, half joking and half serious, tried to justify the events that had just gone down with “Hey, it’s cold down here tonight!”. Didn’t help. So didn’t help. I haven’t laughed that hard in… Well, probably in months.
So enough about Tre’s penis though…
This tisane was a gift from my Mom; she thought it’d be nice to have something with Saskatoons in it to pass along to people I swap with – and I think she was right. I love being able to share the delicious berry that my town is named after. Plus, it’s locally made too which makes it a lot more interesting in my opinion too.
I decided to do a cold brew for my first try; sadly there’s a lot of hibiscus in the blend so a cold brew seemed like the best way to hold back some of the expected tartness. Thankfully, there’s also a lot of berries in the blend too as well. But even still, not thirty seconds after I’d poured the water over the leaves the water was already the colour of Grimace.
By the time the brew was done, it was a deep, dark almost maroon colour – but just slightly more purple. It reminded me of the colour of red wine. The smell is mostly hibiscus. That’s not very promising, but I’m still holding out that this’ll deliver the Saskatoon berry flavour I know and love anyway.
And the moment of truth; taste test!
The initial flavour here is a tart hibiscus flavour as anticipated; however, thankfully this isn’t all hibiscus. Similar to other berry/hibiscus teas I’ve had before like Rum Cream, from another local company, this starts tart and softens into a more mellow berry drink. I can definitely taste Saskatoon berries myself, but I also really taste the blueberries and black currants in the blend. Thankfully, I don’t get much flavour from the raisins – I’m not a raisin person, so it’s no loss for me.
For people unfamiliar with Saskatoon Berries (someday when I’m a rich, wealthy person I’m going to find a way to send you all piping hot Saskatoon Berry pies with ice cream; they’re heavenly) picture something sort of like a blueberry and cranberry cross. They’re great straight, in pies, in jam or jelly, and as syrup. Really, they’re just great. It’s that simple.
I am enjoying this cold brew a lot though I’m craving a richer, more full Saskatoon berry flavour. If they used more Saskatoons and cut down a little on the amount of other berries in the tea, I think this could be amazing without having a flat flavour. As is, I’m concerned people not familiar with Saskatoons are mainly going to focus in on the other berries in the blend and the hibiscus and miss out on the great flavour. That makes me a little disappointed.
Eventually I’ll try this one hot; I’m hoping that the hibiscus wont bury the Saskatoon flavour even further…
Flavors: Berries, Black Currant, Blueberry, Cranberry, Tart
From my queue.
First time I had this one was when I was just starting to get sick and it hadn’t quite sunk in just how sick I was gonna be – I decided I was going to try this cold brewed because it has a few qualities to it that seemed like they’re work for a ‘preemptive’ sick tea; AKA ginger and lemon.
Steeped/brewed up, this is super super foggy. And I know that’s ‘cause of the matcha in the blend – but damn. It looked like swampwater; very gross. And the smell, ugh. I don’t know why but the word “antibacterial” comes to mind. Which I suppose is what I was hoping for in a way; but also very much not.
Taste wise, this is really, really lemon-y with a strong ginger aftertaste. I also registered licorice, which didn’t really mesh well with the other flavours. I’m quite sure that licorice flavour was from the ginseng in the blend. The matcha and green tea are a little less robust; it’s hard to compete with that intense of a lemon flavour, after all. On the whole; I found this pretty gross – it reminded me of lemon scented Pledge or Neo Citron or a mix of the two.
However, at the time of having this I wrote off the distaste as more of a combination of my being sick and of the ginger, of which I’m not the biggest fan to begin with. Having tried this again; I think I can definitely say more confidently that it’s just not good.
One thing is certainly true though; it is super caffeinated. DT basically went “yeah, just dump in everything that’s even sorta caffeinated – that’ll do the trick” and while it created a potent, gnarly flavour it’s a shift workers savior. Like an “instant pick me up”. So, that does redeem the flavour at least a little!
This was my pick on my tea date.
It’s one I’d never tried before prior; and I decided to go with an iced cup for my first time having it. I think, for pathetic and nostalgic reasons, I put off trying this for a while because all I could think about when I saw it was that, back on my last day in Regina before moving, I went shopping at DT with a very, very close friend at the time named Kevin. He took me out to basically do whatever I wanted for my last day in the city; and when we went to DT I asked him which tea sounded the coolest to him and this is the one he picked. I didn’t try it though because at the time it wasn’t something that appealed to me flavourwise.
Long story short; after I moved we not only failed to keep in touch but there was an awkward incident where something he had told me in confidence about another friend we worked with (this was when I was working at the movie theatre) was spread around the theatre. And worst of all, the ‘rumour’ turned out to be completely untrue. I wasn’t the one who had started telling people or spreading it; in fact I never told anyone but I was the one blamed for it. Who started telling people I was the one who was passing this information along? My ‘good friend Kevin’. I still don’t know how it started (probably from him) but he falsely pinned it on me because I wasn’t in town to defend myself anymore.
There’s also some history there with people thinking I was into him and believing that that last day trip thing was meant to be a date; which it definitely wasn’t. I never saw him that way despite what people think – but I think it freaked him out, and he just started ignoring me and eventually I stopped trying to keep in touch.
But that’s the long way around basically saying that trying this tea brought bittersweet memories back. But not anymore; I’m so over that petty bullshit!
Flavourwise this was a lot lighter than I was anticipating. Even for a white tea, the flavours are really soft and subtle. I’m wondering if, perhaps, the associate who made this for me forgot to brew it up stronger because it’s iced. I suppose I’ll never know though.
Primarily this one has a lot of coconut and hay notes; coconut from the add ins and hay from the base tea. I could also just barely taste the licorice which was nice; it was a touch of sweetness that, even though this was so light, did help round out the flavour at least a little. I didn’t really taste the nuts in the blend or the orange which surprised me a little bit and though I half expected, I couldn’t taste the goji at all either.
I’m going to have to see if I can find a tisane that’s just goji to try as a control. I honestly think that some part of my ‘taste receptors’ or what have you just don’t register the flavour of goji, at all – like, ever.
I let Face Eater have the last couple of sips – he said all he could taste was water. That didn’t surprise me though; and it that reason in particular I stayed away from white and green teas when building his “DAVIDsTEA’s Worst Hits” sampler pack; too subtly flavoured for a novice palate. Worst he’d do it probably burn the leaves and get a bitter cup.
Overall, I really desperately wish this had been more flavourful because it seemed quite promising – I half thing it was improperly prepared, and I half think it was just the tea itself. What I did taste was nice though; very soft and relaxing. I picture this something to very casually sip on during spring or summer. Like, if you were taking a walk in the park or something, instead of drinking straight water you’d drink this and feel quenched.
I do want to try this again; but with me preparing it. Next time in store I’ll definitely have to pick up a small sample to bring home with me.
From my Queue…
Ok, finally writing the tasting notes from the date I had with Face Eater like three weeks ago; these are essentially the last things in the queue (a few things from the last couple of days are left; but nothing this old).
To start the date off we went to DT; he got this one hot To Go and I got an iced Secret Weapon – review for that to come right after this one. Honestly, this isn’t the tea I would have recommended since it was essentially his first cup of tea ever – but he saw the name and decided this was going to be what he was having, before even really looking at the others or learning what was in it other than the, rather obvious, mint.
He did like it though; enough that after his cup he decided to buy 50g. Part of me really, really wanted to talk him out of it because I don’t think he’ll actually drink it regularly – and so the coconut in it is probably going to turn before he can finish it. But he was so proud of himself buying tea, so I just didn’t say anything…
We also decided that it’d be fun to make a DAVIDsTEA’s “Worst Hits” sampler for him; things that he just absolutely wouldn’t like at all. Don’t ask me why he wanted this because I don’t know – but the sort of cruel part of me was more than happy to oblige.
His sampler included:
- Lapsang Souchong Star
- Hibiscus Punch
- Queen of Tarts
- Garcinia Goodness
- Coffee Pu’Erh**
*The sales associate recommended this one because we suspect all of the teas FE makes are going to be terribly prepared and fucked up, so he thought this would get really bitter and gnarly.
- And this one was picked less so because we thought it’d be bad but more because he was curious what “earthy” tea tasted like and we thought it’d be a good way to introduce him to Pu’Erh without it being super unfamiliar since he’s a coffee drinker.
So far I know he’s made the Lapsang – and hated it. He did it side by side with Mint To Be as a ‘control’ and about halfway through each cup he mixed them together. Yeck.
The rest of the date was kind of nice too; we went to a comic book shop and I helped him pick out a Spiderman comic and a Deathpool comic to start off with (Spiderman’s my favourite hero, and Deathpool is the hero he was more curious about). I can’t remember what arc we decided on for Deathpool, but for Spiderman I thought it’d be fun to start him off with the Clone Saga. I know it’s controversial, but I really liked it…
The rest of the date was ok; we went out for pizza and had a good conversation. At the end he dropped me off, and there was another kiss – with less face eating! But if I’m being honest, I don’t know if there’ll be a third date. I mean, I feel terrible considering I just put together a super nasty package of tea for him and convinced him to drink it all – but as interesting as I find him, and as great a time as I have there’s just one really important problem…
I’m just not attracted to him. Ugh.
One more note brief note before bed…
Made a pot of this one yesterday to just sort of casually sip on and drink; I think grandpa brewing oolongs is gonna be my new favourite thing.
Like I said though, I was casually drinking this one which means I really wasn’t paying it any attention. I tasted ginseng and maybe like moss notes sort of, and a little licorice as the cups progressed but most of it was mindlessly consumed without any second thought.
Wasn’t great, wasn’t awful either.