2565 Tasting Notes
CHALLENGE: Off the top of your head and without looking anything up, how many varieties of apples can you name? Can anyone beat my ‘high score’ of 15?
Drinking this one right now. I was in the mood for tea and a movie, but I couldn’t find something light hearted enough so I’m just watching Steven Universe, and then probably gonna go to bed. Sooooo tired.
This is surprisingly flavourful; more apple than cinnamon, I’d say – but both are present. It’s really juicy! And, I don’t know why, but I was expecting a little bit more of a cider/tart apple but it’s reminding me of sweeter, red apples like Red Delicious apples or Salish apples. I really liked the Black Currant bagged tea from MissB, but next to that one I think this is my favourite so far.
PS. These were the apple I was able to name:
Salish, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Cripps, Spartan, Macintosh, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Jazz, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Crab Apples…
And, my score’s 17 if you count “Asian Apples” and Grapples- though at Sobey’s we classify Asian Apples as pears and Grapples are a hybrid fruit so I didn’t include either in my total.
I’m sure I only knew so many ’cause I work in a grocery store though.
Cold brewed this one thinking it was the other Christmas Twinings blend from MissB – but it turned out ok overall because the flavours in this one were pretty suited to cold brewing too. I drank 25 oz. of it during my 15 min. break at work today, and it was definitely refreshing. Basically it was like a light, watery orange drink with notes of cinnamon heavy pie crust. I get the “Christmas” tie in for sure.
Today’s word was “teem” which means: ‘to become filled with many of something : abound’. Not a new word for me, and an easy one to use at work.
Interesting work thing: I sold about $120 worth of frozen frog legs to someone today. Pretty sure he bought out all the store’s inventory. I didn’t even know we sold frogs legs; but it sure was a lot of them.
This one’s from the March Amoda subscription box. I still haven’t finished all of my February teas, but when I saw this sample I couldn’t wait. I love pineapple; and I’ve been searching for the perfect pineapple tea to replace Butiki’s Flowery Pineapple Oolong which I’m coming closer and closer to finishing off.
I cold brewed my sample because I saw that this was recommended as an iced tea. I don’t regret the decision to do so even in the slightest. I’ll break it down in a second; but I’m just gonna jump the gun and say that, next to Flowery Pineapple Oolong, this is the best pineapple tea I’ve ever had. MAYBE even just as good. And considering this is on a green tea base that’s such high praise coming from me.
The pineapple flavour in this is over the top, 100% authentic, freshly cut pineapple with all the natural sticky sweetness and tang from the juices – and the tiny touch of coconut in here makes it pop and invokes a lovely tropical flavour that’s perfect for this time of year when all the snow’s melting and the weather is wishy-washy. It’s an instant vacation in a cup or, in this case, mason jar. Plus, the coconut just touches on a creaminess that really rounds out the brew.
I found that for the most part the green base was very masked by the extreme pineapple flavour; and that suits my tastes well. But, what I could taste blended near seamlessly into the fresh pineapple and provided a very faint grassyness that just worked well with the other flavours. It was highly refreshing and thirst quenching.
I know this isn’t oolong, and it doesn’t have the floral component that Butiki’s kick-ass pineapple tea has, but to be honest I didn’t miss it. I honestly think this is what I’m going to be replacing Flowery Pineapple Oolong with once I’ve finished it off. It was SO GOOD.
Good find Amoda, good find!
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Grass, Pineapple, Tangy, Tropical
This was the last of my Nannuoshan samples; and again I’m sorry that I was a little bit late getting them all up.
Did a shorter Gong Fu session with this one in my CS Gaiwan when I got home from work. Not counting the short wash I did, I had three very nice infusions. I probably could have gotten a fourth, but it’s just past midnight now and I’m thinking I should probably stop drinking tea and go to bed soon. I keep yawning; and the caffeine from this is probably gonna kick in soon if I don’t fall asleep first – and that’d really mess up my sleep pattern.
What I did when drinking this one was take a whole bunch of jot notes, similar to what I did for the Hua Xiang Rou Gui from Nannuoshan, and then go back and kind of condense them and make them a little easier to read. So, these are my compounded thoughts from each infusion:
- 5 Sec. Smells very sweet & fresh; quite different from most Pu’Erh I’ve experienced. Strong notes of buttery spinach or green beans, kind of creamy. Floral finish. Just the tiniest bit astringent/bitter.
- 10 Sec. Buttery/Spinach Notes – Wondering if I jumped the steep time up a bit too much; this is a little more bitter/astringent that the first steep, though still not something I can’t handle. Floral with sugarcane and honey notes. A little bit woody. I keep expecting a musty/earthy taste which is what I’ve come to expect from most Pu’Erh but this is so much more different.
- 10 Sec. Finally identified the strong floral note I’ve been experiencing! It’s Lily! Fairly bitter; dry wood notes. Still kind of buttery/creamy, but not nearly as much spinach notes.
If I had continued with a fourth infusion, I don’t think I could have gone for the full 20 seconds like recommended; even ten was a little too much for me. Overall, I thought that while this was very different, it was really good. I’m not entirely sure if my ‘tea vocabulary’ is extensive enough to 100% convey what I was tasting – but hopefully I’ve done an apt job.
Thank you again Nannuoshan for all the samples! Of the four I requested, the Rougui was my favourite, though all of them were good and great learning experiences!
Another ‘accelerated’ sipdown ‘cause I dropped the excess teabags off at work. They’re not really getting drank though; I think ‘cause they’re not individually wrapped and people don’t know what the tea is. I should’ve wrote the name on the ziploc bag or something.
I really like this one; but it’s been well over a year since I received it from VariaTEA (it’s seen TWO Christmases) and it just doesn’t get touched. I realized that at the rate I’m drinking it, it’s not gonna be gone for like another three or four years!
But; this last cup was excellent. Really tasted the butterscotch and vanilla notes, with some cinnamon peppered in there as well. I’m mad at myself for not taking advantage of this one a little bit more; I can’t recall ever feeling negatively about it.
In other news; I had a tattoo consultation today and… I booked my first tattoo(s)! I’m getting them done on Tuesday, and I’m both incredibly excited and nervous. I mean, it’s about damn time. Whenever I really stop to picture myself, it’s with sleeves and so getting a start on that is…
Well, right now it feels amazing. Though I wish I could get more done at a time. But I know that this is my first tattoo and I should start simple because, who knows, I may get it started and have a dramatic change of heart and feel like “Never again will I get a tattoo!”
So I’m just starting with some script work; on my left arm I’m getting the Latin phrase “Tabula Rasa” and on my right arm I’m getting “Camellia Sinensis”. I think everyone on Steepster should be able to put together why the CS tattoo, but I’d love to explain “Tabula Rasa”.
I first heard the phrase on Buffy The Vampire Slayer; one of my favourite episodes is named after it. It translates to “Blank Slate”. And, I think that there’s something beautiful and ironic about it being my first tattoo – but ultimately the significance to me is blank slate kind of being symbolic of a “Fresh Start”. And, that’s what moving here to Saskatoon was for me. It was a big deal and still is, even a year and a half later. I feel like, in a lot of ways, I’m still starting over and still starting fresh. And that’s something I needed in my life.
In a lot of ways, the Camellia Sinensis tattoo ties in with that; it was exactly around when I moved to Saskatoon that I really got into teas; and learning about tea culture and being a part of this community has helped me so much with the fresh start I was hoping to find, and have found.
It’s perfect to me that I’m getting them done at the same time.
“Accelerated” sipdown because I brought all but one of the teabags I had left to work for staff to drink. And, that’s going well – there were probably about 100 assorted teabags in varying amounts when I dropped the bag off, and maybe 30 now? They’ll be gone soon!
Drank this to settle my tummy while I was still hungover. I didn’t expect to have a crazy, drunk ‘party night’ and need soothing mint teas when I was dropping stuff off at work – had I known I would have a need, I likely would’ve kept more than one teabag.
Today’s ‘word of the day’ was sluice. Totally a new to me word.
Sluice is: “1. an artificial passage for water with a gate for controlling its flow; 2. a channel that carries off surplus water; 3. a long sloping trough (as for floating logs to a sawmill)”. Practically speaking, I doubt I’ll find a way to slip this into conversation, which is a shame because it’s so damn fun to say.
Sluice. Sluice. Sluice.
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
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 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!
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