1819 Tasting Notes

89

Oh man.

Oh man oh man oh man.

Like I mentioned in my tasting note for Southern Belle; I made a couple different tea syrups today, and this is one of them. There was a toss up whether I wanted to use this with club soda for a tea soda or if I wanted to pour it over fruit; once I had decided that tea soda was too safe I was then daunted with the decision of peaches or pears. With the help of the fantastic people in the Steepster Chat Group I decided on Peaches, and also vanilla ice cream.

So I had a can of halved peaches, with the tea syrup poured over and then a scoop of vanilla ice cream situated in the center of the bowl. And holy shit it was heavenly. Everything came together in the most fantastic way and fireworks went off on the surface of my tongue.

The tea syrup alone was quite tasty; mostly it was just really sweet but faint notes of cinnamon could be picked out in addition to strong rootbeer/vanilla flavours. Of course this complimented the vanilla ice cream exceedingly well. And then, the vanilla ice cream complimented the peach halves, and that really helped to tie everything together. But the Rootbeer/Peach would have worked on its own too; it’s hard to explain but the contrasting flavours made one another pop while the sweetness shared by both helped to prevent them from clashing.

A+; Would make again!

Oh, and I posted it on the Southern Belle note but I’ll paste it here too for consistency/reference. This was my tea syrup recipe:

- 1 tbsp. of leaf steeped in about an oz. of boiling water for roughly 4 min.
- This highly concentrated brew was then strained
- I then added approx. 2 1/2 tbsp. of white sugar into the tea
- This is heated up to dissolve the sugar
- The overall “yeild” was about a shot worth of tea syrup

Mandy

I told you! Peaches and Cream Rootbeer Float Sundae. I would totally buy that from an ice cream shoppe.

OMGsrsly

That sounds AMAZING. Totally need to try tea syrups now!

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86
drank Southern Belle by DAVIDsTEA
1819 tasting notes

So I made two tea syrups today; this one and Root Beer Float, also from DT. I’ve never really done a “tea syrup” before so my method might be a bit sloppy, but for each of them this is what I did:

- 1 tbsp. of leaf steeped in about an oz. of boiling water for roughly 4 min.
- This highly concentrated brew was then strained
- I then added approx. 2 1/2 tbsp. of white sugar into the tea
- This is heated up to dissolve the sugar
- The overall “yeild” was about a shot worth of tea syrup

It’s a little thinner than I was expecting, but still really sweet and yummy. I knew for sure I wanted to add one to club soda and the other to fruit, but Rootbeer seemed too safe for the soda so this is what one I mixed with club soda. Literally I just poured the syrup into a mug along with a can of club soda and stirred everything around for a couple seconds.

And, this is really, really good. It’s definitely very sweet and distinctly peach and as I’ve discovered before fruit flavours in general just work really well with club soda so it’s an automatic win on that account. All the sugar in this definitely makes this more candy like, and then combine the creamy, yogurt aspect of the tea with that and it’s like drinking a carbonated version of a liquid Peach Campino! Peach Candy with lots of sweet, rich vanilla. Instant success.

I am a very happy tea drinker at the moment. And now to do something with the Root Beer syrup…

Cameron B.

Milkshake! ;)

Tealizzy

That’s pretty neat! Might have to steal your recipe…hmmm, things to enjoy with tea syrup…

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83
drank Pear Tea by Fauchon
1819 tasting notes

Sipdown (116/123)!

Thanks so much to Cameron B. for the sample! I see you also had this one today, so I guess great minds definitely think alike.

This was really, really amazing! I was honestly expecting mostly black tea with maybe just a hint of pear (like a “pear scented” black; you know, light…) but the pear was actually very pronounced, and very authentic. And I’m really gonna have to go with what Cameron B. said and say that the whole tea emulated more of a “cooked pear” vibe.

I also got some super light floral notes and some slightly stronger honey notes from the black base, which was very smooth and rich; which was just a bit surprising seeing as I think I over steeped this by a few minutes.

If I ever managed to find a way to get a hold of this again, but in a larger quantity, I think I would definitely do so. It was a really good pear tea! And, it might not being saying much given I haven’t tried many, but probably the best Fauchon tea I’ve had yet. I suppose on the wishlist this goes!

Side Note: The Steepster chat group is awesome, but really distracting. It took me probably half an hour longer than it should have to finish this tasting note.

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Sipdown (117/124)!

And this is the last Design A Tea blend! It’s been really cool making my own blends and trying them all out – if you’ve yet to do it, I really recommend trying it! Besides, with all five blends I chose they did an excellent job with making the flavours I picked not only stand out but actually very accurate to the flavour.

And of course this is no exception; in fact I think the only time I’ve come across a better Pecan flavour in a tea is with Butiki’s Maple Pecan Oolong. But this was just exemplary, there was a super, super rich pecan flavour with all the sweetness of maple and brown sugar; kinda like the innards of a Maple Pecan Pie. Just honestly so indulgent and dessert-like – and also really filling.

And then there’s the plum; it wasn’t as strong as the pecan (especially as the tea cooled; the pecan sorta took over at that point) but it was present and really accurate; and the two mixed together really well. The plum tasted very natural and ripe; not candy like but sweet and that married quite nicely with the rich dessert-like Pecan.

So yeah, this was definitely another success.

And here’s what I learned overall from the 5 blends I made: I really like the black base they’re using, and I would probably want to explore more combinations with Cranberries/Pecan if I were to do this again. Also, usually one of the two flavours is more dominant – but in every blend I made both were still present.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Maple, Pecan, Plums

rosebudmelissa

This sounds so delicious!

I’ve been hearing so many good things about Design A Tea on Steepster, that I ordered some samples yesterday. All Rooibos, since I’m pregnant, which may not be the best choice since I don’t always like Rooibos blends, but I’m still excited. And I see they have Green Rooibos and Honeybush in another section, which I do tend to like much better. Anyway, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my blends turn out as well as everyone elses.

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56

So I made a hot cup of this because I’m finding hot is a lot better than cold brewed, which is just way too tart. However this time I slightly underleafed and understeeped which resulted in a significantly lighter pink brew that tasted the best of any cup thus far; enough so I think I may have to actually raise my rating.

While there was still some tart hibby tang to this; it was a lot lighter and sweeter with some really prominent notes of juicy, almost candy like lemons and strawberry. Strawberry Lemonade, if you will. In fact, it really reminded me of a Strawberry slushie with a pump of that “shocker” stuff that the local convenience store sold when I was a lot younger, living in Regina – except, you know, hot. But really delicious and summery.

Flavors: Grapefruit, Lemon, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart

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Sipping this one right now, cold brewed.

There’s no passionfruit, but loads of banana flavour. Kinda wishing I could sacrifice some of that banana for just a touch of passionfruit, but I guess I’ll have to be happy with what I can get and enjoy it as is.

Flavors: banana, Floral

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77

Sipdown (118/125)!

Woot! Look at those numbers drop! Hooray!

But anyway; breakfast tea! And when I say breakfast, I mean that for once I actually drank a tea and consumed a meal at a normal time accurate for meal it’s named for. Shocking, really.

Anyway; I’m almost through my Design A Tea samples. This is the second last one; but I’m gonna finish them off today. This is the only one I picked with an oolong base; and I just went with something safe for it: Pineapple and Coconut which is pretty much just my favourite flavour combination of all time. So it’s kinda 50/50 between having high expectations for the blend, but also knowing without much of a doubt that I’ll enjoy it regardless.

Dry, the pineapple in this smells so strong and intoxicating. You can smell the coconut, but the lush fruit does a pretty damn good job of masking it. Om nom nom, pineapples! And steeped up, this was actually really impressive. The pineapple was really vibrant, juicy and lush and reminded me a lot of the pineapple flavouring in Red Leaf Tea’s Pineapple Matcha (which I find to be very distinct from other pineapple flavourings – such as Butiki’s which has sorta the natural acidic tang to it or DAVIDsTEA’s which is more subtle and candy-like). The coconut was very buttery and tropical and it really complimented the buttery, greener oolong base.

I drank most of this hot, but I let the last few sips go cold and it was probably just as good cold as it was hot; though I thought the coconut and oolong base were more noticeable in the cold tea.

So while this wasn’t exactly a unique or out of the box flavour combination, I think it was a successful one! Definitely quite enjoyable!

Cameron B.

Oh, it’s a green oolong? I didn’t expect that. :P

Roswell Strange

The samples come in little tea bags/satchets (just like this use at cafes or some tea shops for to go teas) – I probably could have taken the tea out to look at it beforehand, but I didn’t. I just picked apart the bag now though, and visually it doesn’t look like a green oolong – although that’s definitely what it tasted like to me.

Cameron B.

That’s interesting. I’m glad you tried it first because now I can keep that in mind when I design my teas later. :P Thanks for taking one for the team! ;)

Dexter

The “oolong” in the generic drop down choice is a Formosa (higher oxidized) but they also have a greener Ti Kuan Yin available… if that helps.
http://www.designatea.com/products.php?cat=13

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100

Made in my timolino, and I drank about half of it hot at work and it was delicious (I shared a bit with Bobbi and she liked it too; which is very redeeming since the last one I shared was the awful Mujicha). However, then I came home from work and still had half a timolino with tea, and as I expressed in my Coconut Grove note this morning I fell asleep soon after getting home…

Well, I’m drinking the second half of the timolino now; and it’s gone ice cold. For perspective, this was made over 24 hours ago. But you know what, it still holds up really well. I mean, it’s a bit bitter which wasn’t the case yesterday when I had it hot; but it’s still very flavourful with lots of really yummy vanilla/melon notes (and banana?). I think if you made this one iced by flash chilling it (as opposed to letting it sit 24 hours) it’d be really good!

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87
drank Coconut Grove by DAVIDsTEA
1819 tasting notes

Sipdown (119/126)!

Damn you work; since I had to get up at 6AM yesterday to open the store I was exhausted when I got home – I am not a morning person. Usually at 6AM I am sound asleep, having just gone to bed two(ish) hours ago. And so because of exhaustion I fell asleep at about 8PM only to wake up an hour ago at 8 AM. Fuck. Why. I don’t want to be up this early, but now I am…

If this is what normal people do every day, it’s awful!

Anyway, I cold brewed this yesterday and that cold brew finishes off the leaf that whatshesaid was so nice enough to give me! I can’t thank her enough – it’s because of her I got to enjoy a few more cold brews of this and then finally reach a place where I feel I can move on.

Honestly? This last cold brew just wasn’t super satisfying; it was good when it was ice cold but after it started to warm up it just tasted weird and funky, like the coconut in it was just starting to turn. But that made me realize that I’m ok with this being the last of this one – I was crushed when I ran out the first time, but now I’m accepting that I had a good run with this one and now can move on to enjoying something else!

TeaBrat

sounds normal to me, unfortunately!

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67

Sipdown (120/127)!

Look at all the sipdown progress! Which is good, because Camellia Sinensis finally restock Le Tropicale so I put in the order I’ve been wanting to make for the last two months! And it’s a small enough order too; three teas. But it feels good to have an actual order in coming, even if all the teas are new to me and in 50g quantities. I know that if I dislike anything there are plenty of people here to share with.

As for this blend (which is the last one in my queue btdubbs) it was really interesting! I honestly anticipated not liking but I was intrigued by the idea of a grapefruit tea (I don’t think I’ve had one or, at the very least not a memorable one) and I remembered 52Tea’s Brown Sugar Grapefruit Shou Mei so I tried pairing something relatively similar. Sorry Frank; I ripped off your brain child on this one.

Anyway; it was good – at first. It was strongly and specifically grapefruit but without a lot of bitterness or tartness to it. I think that’s what the maple really contributed: it sweetened the whole thing up and kept things upbeat. On the whole I was reminded of breakfast? Well, not my take on breakfast because for me that’s usually microwaved pizza hastily eaten before running out the door for work. But like, rich people/movie breakfast where someone brings you a platter of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice in bed with a fat stack of maple waffles and sausage links accompanying it. Not my kind of breakfast; but kinda idealistic and nice.

Except then the cup cooled and it started to taste really funky. The grapefruit just kind of built up in my mouth and tasted spoiled – like someone had left out that “perfect breakfast” for a couple of days and I was picking at the leftovers. Ew.

So I don’t know if this is a success or not. It was very on point at first, but then it turned bad. I guess on the whole it was better than I thought it’d be, though. I suppose I just have to say to drink this one hot? Anyway, I’m rating a little conservatively because of the latter half of the mug. But seriously; when this was good, it was good.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Citrus, Grapefruit, Maple, Maple Syrup

Tealizzy

Haha! I love your notes! :)

Cheri

Who has time for breakfast? Even when I have time, I seem to reheat leftovers or something. (Today it was leftover fajitas for breakfast, just the chicken, pepper and onions, with some cheese, because I was way too lazy to deal with anything more than that.)

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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

Website

http://guyfierithirdandfinala...

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