3102 Tasting Notes
Well, yesterday my mom and I drove down to Saskatoon to finish clearing out the old apartment and clean the place up. This was the tea I cold brewed for the ride down there; in hindsight I should have chosen something caffeinated because it was a long day and the extra boost of energy would have gone a long way.
The tea was nice though; very, very strong apple notes were brought out with this cold brew as well a buttery notes that brought a thickness to the mouthfeel of the liquor. The pistachio notes disappointed, but I did enjoy the sweetness of the almond notes which were present. It was better at the top of the morning when we were first driving down, as opposed to right before we’d arrived and the liquor was room temperature.
We basically broke the day into three ‘stages’ though: the first was gathering up everything still in the house that I didn’t want but that could be donated – that stuff was driven down to the Value Village in Saskatoon and donated there. Loading the giant dresser into the car was a bitch between the two of us – but we made it work, and thankfully the donation crew at VV unloaded it for us (like I knew they would). Then we gathered up anything that I DID want to take back; a bookcase, some end tables, dishes, pots/pans, cutlery, and a few books I’d missed in the rush to pack everything the first time. Finally, we cleaned the place so I could get my damage deposit back.
The whole process was very cathartic, and at the end of the afternoon it felt kind of nice to be closing that chapter of my life even if I’m not 100% happy with living in Regina again, and losing the independence I had living on my own. I’ve just got to work hard so I can reach a place where I can afford to branch out again, because that’s what I want the next chapter of my life to be.
Brought the last of this with me to work late last week; I finished up at lunch. It was so good. I’ve been kind of flipping back and forth between liking this and finding it unsatisfactory to be perfectly honest. I probably wont buy it again, because my experience has been that it doesn’t brew up all that consistently. However, that said, this final cup was a delight!
Notes of Cherry, Eucalyptus, Sweet Potato, Flowers, Molasses, and a whole bunch of other interesting things! Drinking this tea has certainly been an interesting experience; each mug was a grab bag of flavour notes.
Never a dull cup.
Earlier in the week I got a chance to go to The Vintage Tea Room with my Dad; I was there at the start of the month to apply for a job but I didn’t have time to stay and actually have any tea, which is a shame ‘cause it’d been probably close to a year?
I got a cucumber cranberry cream cheese sandwich, and we split a pot of tea!
This was my pick; I remember last time I was in town and had a chance to spot in here I bought 50g of this and it was the best Monk’s blend I’ve ever tried. However, my tastes have changed a lot over the last year and I needed to know whether I’d still like this. Dad was skeptical about this tea – pomegranate and vanilla? He seemed unimpressed. However, he was won over! And you know what, I fell in love all over again. The flavour profile is so lovely; bright notes of grenadine, silky vanilla, a full bodied, malty black base…
I swear, we were passive aggressively fighting for the last cup. I don’t have tin space for any of this at home, but should I clear out a tin I’d certainly pick up another 50g of this for at home. Even though the tea room is less than a five minute walk away, it’s a lot more cost effective to be brewing in my own time.
Unsweetened tea soda made with the soda stream we’ve got in the house; I’m really loving having that around – it honestly makes tea soda such a more easy thing to make. The downside, of course, being that everyone keeps asking me to make soda for them…
This was my mom’s pick, and because it’s so strongly flavoured we did it unsweetened too. It had an interesting, ‘drying’ mouthfeel. Not necessarily ‘astringent’ because it wasn’t puckeringly dry or an ‘all over’ sensation – it just made your tongue feel dry. However, the taste was really lovely. More “Pina Colada” than “Strawberry Colada” though you wouldn’t have expected the strawberry to taste so light just going on the pop’s colour. I adore pina colada anything so I was sold instantly when I realized how much the pineapple notes were popping.
Made with a splash a milk, this tasted very delicious!
The mouthfeel was creamy and incredibly thick; I almost felt like it could have been whipped up into cream for early Sunday morning pancake toppings. It tasted really indulgent with confectionery type notes such as chocolate, caramel, and mocha. It was also, obviously, very roasty which only complimented the pacifying feeling of drinking a cup of hot milky tea.
Perfect before bed or to ease into your day with.
Finally cold brewed this blend instead of accidentally brewing up Jabberywocky by mistake. The tins looks so damn similar! However, the frustration of brewing up the wrong thing was well worth it because in the end this was a super rewarding cold brew. Interestingly, it was incredibly chocolate flavoured as anticipated, but there were also flavours that reminded me strikingly of carrot cake (minus cream cheese icing). Chocolate carrot cake? HELL YEAH!
Actually, carrot cake in general is pretty exciting. But I’m not talking any carrot cake flavour with this cold brew. I mean gourmet carrot cake; the stuff that’s giant and fluffy where you can see all the big carrot shreds and not just fine orange bits, with visible chunks of walnut and maybe raisins, and a mellow spice taste, and almost a ‘molasses-y’ brown sugar sweetness too. Damn good carrot cake…
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cake, Carrot, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Molasses, Nutty, Raisins, Walnut
Man, I am sore!
I started work at Value Village this week; while I’m going to be working in the donation center and on cash I’m training in the donation center first because that’s where I have the least experience and since Halloween is VV’s busiest season (busier than Christmas apparently) they need staff there the most right now. It’s such a labour intensive job, though! I swear, every time I twist I hear something cracking…
One thing that’s cool is that we’re encouraged to keep a water bottle/drink with us (because as you’ll see with the rest of what I write we’d die of dehydration from all the work otherwise) so I’ve got the perfect excuse to bring cold brewed tea with me everyday! This was what I had with for my first ‘full’ shift – and I have to say it’s never tasted as good as it did after hauling around giant desks and grand pianos. Sweet apple and rich, creamy vanilla!!!
Basically, people pull up to our entrance and I unload whatever it is they’re donating. Things get sorted into one of four categories: “Media” (Books, DVDs, CDs), “Cloth” (Clothing, Bed and Bath, Fabric), OLI, and Miscellaneous things (Glassware, Children’s toys, that kind of thing). We have giant bins for media, cloth, and miscel that everything gets piled in, and when they’re full we roll them into the back warehouse/production area and then have to stack them into skids for the production team to go through and either price out to be sold or ship off to Africa to be donated/recycled.
Building up the skids is really interesting; it’s like a giant, high stakes game of Tetris because everything has to be tightly packed and interlocking so that when the skids are moved nothing topples onto the person moving it. I think I’m getting the hang of it, but it’s challenging – especially doing miscel skids because the boxes/bags are so heavy and it gets stacked up much taller than I am. When a skid is finished, we have to move it onto a giant floor scale to be weighed since VV pays two different non profit charities in the city for donations (by weight). That’s kind of cool.
The "OLI"s are what’s killing me though. OLI stands for “Oversized Large Items” and generally speaking that means furniture, but it could also be things like speaker systems, bikes, floor lamps, computers, overhead projectors, pianos, large framed pictures/paintings, and a lot of other stuff.
PS. All those examples are things I’ve unloaded for donation. That stuff is usually a bitch to unload, and it’s very tiring. The good thing is that it keeps us really busy and the day flies by. Once that stuff is moved into our room, we take control over it instead of the production team. It’s our job to test anything electronic to make sure it works and can be sold, as well as odd things like bikes or reclining chairs. After that we have to price it (learning to do the pricing is really interesting – I feel it’ll take a while to get the hang of until I have some sort of frame of reference for what’s normal), and then move those items onto the sales floor.
But I like the job so far; the group of people I’m working with in this department seems really cool: I’m ‘paired up’ with another woman named Amy for training (we’re both F/T getting cross trained in cash and donations and have surprisingly similar retail backgrounds and Dollarama backgrounds), and then there’s another guy named Kevin who’s training just for donations but is only P/T. We’ve also met other regulars in that department named Brian, Shauna, and Paige – all of which are around my age (as is Kevin, Amy is about ten years older) which is very cool. The three of them are kind of all training us as a group. It seems like a very close knit group of people; and I guess you’d have to be when our work station is so small (it’s smaller than my bedroom – our donation bins kind of spill outside of the room) and you have to do so much labour intensive stuff together. I look forward to my next shift tomorrow! And a subsequent soak in the tub afterwards to ease my tense muscles…
It’s pumpkin season…
Added a splash of milk which kind of drowned out some of the spices and made the earthiness a little smoother and a little milder. The pumpkin was unchanged though! And of course a thicker, creamier mouthfeel is well suited for the flavour.
This method of preparation was probably a little less enjoyable overall than the straight version just because some of the intensity of flavour was lost, but there’s certainly a place and time for it. I’ll probably pick up more of this one.
Smmoootthh, sweeet, eaartthyy peeaachh!
But really; cold brewed this yesterday and it was wonderful! I was watching Big Fat Quiz of The Year, the “70s” and “80s” special edition episodes, with my mom and drinking 25 oz. of this around 8PM last night. It was probably a mistake since I had to be awake at 8AM the next morning but it felt so right at the time. Though, I could pass out at any minute right now. I woke up at 1PM yesterday and haven’t slept since, despite trying to sleep last night. Despite that I’m in the best mood ever. I reconnected with my two best friends from highschool today!!!
I’ve been very open with talking about the depression I’ve dealt with in my life – in particular an especially bad time right before I moved to Saskatoon, and it was around that time I fell out with the two of them despite really caring about them. I was not a good friend; in fact I was the farthest thing from that. And throughout living in Saskatoon, I was never able to get to a point where I felt ready to reconnect. I still have a really hard time making the effort to talk to people and keep in touch with friends; in the back of mind there’s always that fear that they’re better off if I just distance myself from them. But I just put myself out there today and hoped for the best. I honestly expected both of them to not want to talk to me at all, but they were excited to catch up and happy I was back in town! It was so different from what I expected, and I feel so, so happy right now that they’re still interested in being a part of my life.