2265 Tasting Notes
My Dad doesn’t own an electric kettle which is the most frustrating, slow as balls thing ever. I’m very thankful I’ve got my electric one, even if it’s not a variable temp or anything fancy like that!
Anyway; this was the last tea Saturday night. Chugged it right before I passed out: simple, molasses cookie tea! Felt appropriate as an “Early Christmas” tea. I almost made it into an eggnog latte, since they had eggnog but that felt too rich for late at night, so I’ll make my own eggnog latte sometime before the new year at home.
So other than what I had with me in various water bottles and timolinos for the card ride to Regina, I also brought small sample size amounts of four different teas to have at night and in the morning on Sunday before driving back to Saskatoon.
This is one of the ones I took with, and after the show I made a cup for myself and one for my Dad which we opened presents. I thought that the sweet cream flavour in this one also kind of translated into a thicker mouthfeel and that the sweet confectionery fruit flavours in this, like apricot, were really noticeable. My Dad just described it as “Good, but kinda weaK”. Pshhh, it’s not weak, you just have a less nuanced pallet. It’s funny too because on the car ride home my brother and I were talking about how I want to become a tea sommelier, and my Dad was going off on how there “Can’t be things like baked bread notes in straight tea because it’s straight and nothing has been added”. Uhh…
If there was no difference between straight tea blends, then there’d be no point in having so many different ones! The point isn’t that there’s literal bread in the tea – but that the natural flavours of it are comparable to bread. It’s like wine! And once I made the wine comparison, I think it clicked for him…
“Christmas” was fun though: my brother got me these gorgeous Spiderman glass tumblers which I can’t wait to use for fancy mixed drinks, and my Dad gave me a check for $100 (which funded my Cuppa’T shopping trip the next day), a $25 gift card to Galaxy (which is awesome – so many shows I want to see but haven’t been able to afford), a cool, knitted Kermit hat, and then some other stuff that was a bit of a flop…
I mean, thoughtful yes – but still not quite right. One was the first CD by Cage The Elephant, and I was impressed he remembered they’re my favourite band – but since they are my favourite band I already own all of their CDs and have, in fact, played this particular CD for him before. So now I have a double copy, and I’m not sure what to do with it. The second thing was an iTunes gift card – but I don’t even have iTunes installed on my computer or even an iPod/MP3 player, so it’s not really going to get used. But again, it was thoughtful I suppose. I just gave that one to Tre…
My gifts were a huge success! Dad loved his fishing stuff/subscription (which I finally got to work), and my Step Mom seemed very happy about the infuser mug I gave her, and even forbid Dad from using it since it’s now her “special mug”, and my brother got a collection of books that’s basically the screenplays for all the Star Wars movies translated into Shakespearean English. I wasn’t sure if that’d go over well since he’s not huge into Shakespeare (but loves Starwars), but he loved ‘em – we couldn’t pry the book out of his hand for the rest of the night!
So it went very well overall! Two Christmases (with Tre, and with my Dad) done – and one left to go (my Mom)…
Ok: getting the tea crap out of the way first and then going into stories…
Had the tea hot in a timolino on the drive into Regina. Magically, the apple was relatively toned down and so mostly this was a kind of creamy spearmint tea, which didn’t actually taste so bad. It’s taking longer to sip this down than I want it to. Bleck.
Funny “right now” story before I go into the story I was going to write about originally. I’m currently at work and I just had someone bring back a calendar they bought last week – but not for the usual reasons “I changed my mind” or “Found it cheaper somewhere else”. No, this time they brought it back because there are some issues with the months.
For starters, it’s missing some. Yeah – this calendar doesn’t have a January or a February page. But don’t worry! They compensated by adding in an extra March, April and May! So, it might be a little “unconventional” but really you’re getting more for your money because there’s a thirteenth month. Sigh.
But anyway: back aroundish the time I was drinking this one I was in Regina celebrating an early Christmas with my brother, Dad, and Step Mom. Our “family” present this year was a trip to… CIRQUE DE SOLEIL!
Here’s the “Promo Vid”/trailer for the show I went to see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41YDUrgCG28
And guys, it was really amazing! The “theme” or “story” was heavily inspired/influenced by China, but it was about the elements (Fire, Water, Earth) and their relationship with each other. There were a lot of really, really cool acts but my favourites were the trampoline artists, hand balancing, aerial artists, the bamboo poles, and the crossed wheel (that was my favourite). But really, all were good
except for the juggler.
I remember watching the crossed wheel guy and thinking that was the coolest method of “flying” I’d ever seen. Just memorizing really. Of course, it wouldn’t be “live theatre” without a few missteps: the juggler dropped one of the balls he was juggling, and the jump rope artist snagged one of the jumpers, causing the jump rope to pull out of his hands. And then, the aerial hoop artist clipped a hoop, but it just wobbled and didn’t actually fall or anything. All of them recovered very gracefully, and it was still impressive – but still…
And of course there were drink stands and stuff at the Centre it was held in so, monumental type thing, I had my first drink in front of my Dad. Just a beer – but still felt like a big “adult” type step. Hoorah! It was a really fun night, an amazing show, and a nice sort of “mini vacation” from work.
Well, I forgot to message my list of tasting note jot notes this morning, so before I struggle to remember what I drank and what I thought about it I’m going to write about the tea I’m currently drinking at work. Bleck; I hate out of order tasting notes, but I’d rather write accurately.
Dry, this visually has a lot of cocoa shells/husks in it as well as tiny shredded bits of what looks like strawberry, and tiny black tea leaves. It smells very much like powdered hot chocolate and maybe a little bit of fruit. Now that it’s steeped up, it’s definitely got a richer chocolate taste and a lovely fruitiness to it that reminds me of that sugary strawberry waffle topping you can get with your Belgian waffles at any kind of breakfast restaurant. Mmm! The “mocha” part isn’t super obvious to me though: I don’t really taste any sort of coffee flavour. As it’s cooled, the fruit has become more apparent.
Took the bus ride to work, but I finally realized that what this is reminding me of is the Strawberry Cacao from Herbal Infusions, but richer/higher quality. Pretty good; plus, this seems to be a much easier company to deal with than HI.
EDIT: I just looked it up and apparently this is raspberry/chocolate – but I definitely tasted strawberry.
Abstract thought, but I’ve been craving a tea with a really strong petrichor kind of flavour as of late. If anyone has any recommendations for something sort of like that I’d be stoked to hear them!
So, I don’t think I’ve really talked about it much or even at all in tasting notes but this weekend I went up to Regina to celebrate an early Christmas with my brother, Dad and Step Mom. We exchanged gifts, went to Cirque De Soleil as part of our Christmas present, and I did some tea shopping! It was really fun and I’ll kind of break things down a little in the next few tasting notes but it was a much needed mini vacation from work, and it was cool going back to Regina even if only briefly. I wish I’d had another day there to try and meet up with Regina Tea Friends, and maybe go to a movie at the theatre I used to work at.
But before all that, we had to drive from my house to Regina. And this was the cold brew that I picked out to sip on for the drive there. It’s not new to me, so no surprises here: just good, authentic and lush watermelon over a beautiful silver needle base. Glad I stocked up on this one! My first Butiki love…
This is one of three extra samples in my order from Octavia Tea. Honestly, I really did consider adding it to my order but Blood Orange won out in favour because of the lack of ginger in that one. Still, I was happy to see this in the box anyway!
Dry, this smells of solid ginger. Really, we’re talking so much ginger and I’m not just saying that because I’m not a lover of the stuff. And taste wise, as expected, this is heavy handed with the ginger – why wouldn’t it be? I mean, it’s a ginger peach tea with lots of ginger in it: this is not a shocking discovery. But it’s not all ginger: peach notes are present underneath that layer of ginger, especially on the back of the tongue after those first few initial seconds of ginger overload. Don’t gulp this one down. You need to go sip by sip and not rush the cup, otherwise you’ll miss the peach in it!
Worth note: I lost track of time steeping this and it got a couple extra minutes because I was focusing on my cooking and not my tea. This may have contributed some to the ginger imbalance, but not positive on that given the dry smell and generous amount of noticable ginger in the dry leaf. And, despite extra steep time this wasn’t even a bit bitter, so I’m impressed with that.
So overall; despite the fact this leans more heavily to ginger than peach I didn’t mind it no matter how my review seems to sound otherwise. I read this review to my Dad, since I’m writing on my laptop during the drive home and he said “Wow, you really hated it”. I didn’t hate it…
So far I’ve tried two Octavia Teas, and while I haven’t found one I’d reorder I definitely wouldn’t call either of them misses.
The second, and last, of my pair of postponed lattes. For this one I hoped that te milk would really amplify the macadiam and sugar cookie aspects that this tea has, which would have been heavenly, but unfortunately it took the opposite route and the vegetal olive and spinach notes of the mulberryleaf itself is what was brought out flavour wise.
Sorry, but hot spinach milk just isn’t my thing no matter what shade of pretty pistachio it looks like. Though it was drinkable, it was not enjoyable so this one was a definite miss. I recommend against trying this one out.
For a while I’ve thought that this would be really good as a latte, so I took advantage of my day of playing hookie to indulge in some lattes that I’ve just never got around to trying: besides, I was about to go out of for the weekend and something had to be done about the milk in the fridge. Or at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.
As a latte, the flavours of this tea were very subtle, and frankly a little hard to pick out. I actually tasted the pecan more than anything else and despite the creamy, frothy milk it carried over that dryness that nuts seem to have, especially when you have a lot of them. The best part was actually eating the hot, milk soaked pecans straight from the wet leaf. Mmm!
So this was enjoyable, and appropriate for the season – but I think it’s still tastier straight or with just a little bit of milk added, not as a straight up latte.
So Friday I called in sick to both workplaces; I woke up with a really terrible headache and aching all over – and my tender gum around that back wisdom tooth was the worst it’s been yet. It almost had me whimpering my my tongue just grazed over it – and it’s so hard for it not to.
At first I thought I’d just cut it eating something a little more sharp, but I think if that was true I wouldn’t be in pain at this point. I’ve done as much reading as I can; common causes are food being trapped under the gum, but I’m quite certain this is not the case, “Gumboils” – but I have no visable “boil” on the gum and “Perciconitus” (sp?) which seems most likely as it’s typically associated with the gums around the wisdom teeth and I’m displaying most of the “symptoms” except for the key one: which is pus or blood leaking from the gums around the edge of the tooth. As it is, there’s no visual indicators at all of any kind of infection: just a little puffyness around the tender areas.
I’m mostly really happy my mouth isn’t all pus filled – but part of me wishes it was because then I’d at least have that confirmed and could get the appropriate antibiotics. Ugh. I keep hoping it’ll go away but it’s Sunday now and no such luck. Painkillers and Orajel aren’t cutting it.
But you guys don’t want to hear about my crappy mouth problems: you want to hear about me trying my first Octavia Tea sample which made it to me a few days ago! I’m actually really impressed how quickly it got here: since it was coming from the States to Canada I absolutely expected a longer shipping time than this. And who knows, maybe by the time I’m back in Saskatoon my Whispering Pines order will be waiting for me! Probably not, but it’d be a lovely surprise.
So first things first: Packaging. I’m impressed. Everything that came in my order is samples since this is a totally new company to me whom I have not seen reviews for on Steepster – so no larger quantities in my purchase. But as far as sample go, this have super cute packaging with fun, broughtly coloured labels that are unique to each tea, plus they’re in tiny releasable pouches which is really cool: I hate getting samples that are big enough for more than one cup but come in those wrapper type things that can’t be resealed. Sample sizes are pretty good too: I wish there was a little more white tea since they recommend 1 tbsp. of tea for 12 oz. but there is generally enough tea in each for at least two cups. Only gripe I have is that one side of the pouch is clear so the tea is exposed to light, but for a sample it’s not a huge deal especially since I plan to drink them right away – not hoard them.
Dry, this one smells super fruity and fresh and, to me, comes off distintly mango; not some sort of muddled fruit flavour. Taste wise it was really straight forward: sweet/light and authentic mangoes on a kind of silky white base. I imagine someone pouring the juices left behind from slicing a very ripe mango into a cup of straight white tea. And, this wasn’t even the slightest bit bitter: just very light and summery overall. I’ve only had one other mango white tea, as far as I can remember, DAVIDsTEA’s Mango Madness – and this was better.
I really enjoyed it, more than I expected, but would not personally stock up just because mango is not an everyday fruit for me at all – just a really nice, out of the ordinary treat.
Thank you Cameron B. for sending me a sample of this one! I honestly didn’t expect to like it but for a tea to feature thyme as a main flavour component? That’s like the weirdness of the Numi savory teas all over again, but with that level of excellence only the French can acheive as far as tea blending goes.
I made my first cup in a timolino which I do slightly regret; I feel like I got an accurate representation of the flavours but typically timolino teas are “after work teas” and have cooled to weird temperatures, such was the case with this one. But taste wise this was really, really heavy on the Thyme. I knew it would be because the dry scent was really powerful but I was hoping steeping would bring out the peach a little more and it’d be a bit more balanced. I should note that I actually do really like the taste of thyme so it’s not a bad taste for me, just weird and a little disproportionate. Undertones of peach and something floral (rose?) were also present – especially after the taste of the thyme had faded away. Black base was nice, as has been my experience with other Fauchon blacks.
I’d never stock up on this one myself, but I recommend anyone with access to it definitely try it out! It was weird in the best sense of the word. Side Note: Is Peach and Thyme actually a pairing that’s common or anything like that? Because it seems so weird to me but I have this gut feeling that maybe it’s not uncommon in fancy cooking, or French cooking in particular…
Flavors: Floral, Herbs, Peach, Rose, Thyme