2718 Tasting Notes

76

This is a queued tasting note.

While I love my early morning/afternoon cold brews on the walk to work, I got to thinking last week that it’d probably be really easy to do the prep work for tea soda (the syrup, basically) in the evening when I get home and then make the soda itself in the morning right before I leave. So, I field tested the idea with this one!

It actually was super easy to get everything set up to do the tea soda; with both evening and early preparation combined I think it took the same amount, or if not very close to it, to make the soda as it would to set up the cold brew and then later strain it in the morning. Here, the syrup was the more involved part (the at night part), but with cold brewing straining it definitely takes longer (‘cause you’re washing the strainer and mason jar in between). Morning with the soda was as easy as cracking open a can of club soda. So tea soda for the walk to work is definitely something I’ll be doing again!

As for the flavour of the tea/tisane – it was weird and I’m not 100% sure if it was in a good way. I definitely liked the plain cold brew I did of this one a while back – and I remember remarking that this would probably work as soda.

It definitely did for at least the first half of the soda; the cranberry was freshy and fruity with a fun apple quality, and almost a raspberry like top note. The carbonation suited the cranberry as well; it was a little like cranberry spritzer or Cranberry Sprite! The second half? Eh…

As I was walking (it’s a 40 minute walk) the soda started to go a bit flat – that I didn’t really mind, but it sort of welcomed a much more noticeably intense cranberry flavor that, without the carbonation, started reminding me of canned cranberry jelly, like you’d eat around Thanksgiving. On top of that, the hibiscus really started to build and the tartness was a bit too much as well. At this point I was fairly turned off. I actually don’t tend to like the flavour of cranberry outside of tea and this was too much of it.

I imagine if I continue with tea soda on the walk to work than I’m going to deal with carbonation loss – and I don’t think that’s going to be an issue with all tea soda; it’s just that the way this one was prepared didn’t work with it. I’m not going to call this a fail because the start was awesome; maybe neutral overall?

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87

This is a queued tasting note.

So I’ve discovered the most brilliant thing; basically every song in my early morning/getting ready for work playlist on Youtube sounds like 200% better at 1.25 speed, and the extra ‘energy’ in the song definitely makes me feel more motivated, alert, and upbeat. It’s absolutely AMAZING. And honestly, I didn’t even realize changing the speed of a song was a feature until I accidentally did it.

As for the tea, I made it late late at night (super fast songs are not good for getting you in the mood to sleep, I found out) in a huge mug with a bunch of milk. It was almost boozey tasting with the strong, creamy and long drawn out butterscotch top notes. It’s really easy to get lost in this tea, and if it weren’t for the upbeat music I think this could have easily knocked me out straight away, even with the placebo affect of caffeine jitters caused because of the mocha aspect of the tea. Though the mocha was super drowned out by the milk so that was pretty much not a concern in the first place…

Mikumofu

I never knew about the speed feature until now either—have to try it now!

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75

In a timolino.

This is the last Amoda subscription tea I have left – at this point I honestly can’t remember which month’s box it came out of. Definitely not January – I think March?

I don’t know why it took so long to get to trying it though; I guess partly because I kept getting straight black teas from different people in swaps and I wanted to try the swap teas first (still have straight black swap teas to get to). And I also kind of wanted to pace out all the straight black samples – after a while they sort of start to feel repetitive to me. Does anyone else feel that? It’s the reason I don’t think I could ever 100% drink only straight tea blends; I need variety of flavour to keep things interesting.

This was great though; it was super smooth and silky with a strong, but not brisk, astringent or bitter flavour. Top notes are fresh baked bread, honey, and raisin and the rest of the sip is comprised of malt and very light citrus notes. It reminds me a little bit of Easter bread, just a touch less fruity. I think this one would take milk very, very well. The flavours are strong enough that they wouldn’t get drowned out and the natural sweetness of this blend would compliment a thicker, creamier mouthfeel.

Also, dare I say it but raisin notes might be growing on me a little bit. Just a touch though; I’m still not ready for full blown, all out raisin tea but I am finding myself saying the phrase “The has strong raisin notes but I didn’t mind it” a lot more frequently as of late.

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Mystery bagged Earl Grey!

So last week when the construction on the floor for my landlord’s half of the house was really, really bad (ie. migraine creating loud) I ended up going to work an hour early because I just couldn’t handle that level of noise so early in the morning. Ten is was too early for drilling! On a day off, I would’ve still been sleeping!

I ended up running into Chef Darcy before he’d started his shift; for whatever reason he was also there an hour early. He bought me a tea from the coffee bar, and we sat and talked about art culture within Saskatoon and Regina (where I grew up) and the differences, and he showed me photos of his art, which was stunning of course. It’s weird how we have such similar but also drastically different styles. For one, I primarily work in clay (though his only exposure to my art has been the dry erase drawings I do on the board for the classes he teaches) and I like to incorporate mythology and the idea of innocence/purity into my art work and it seems like the themes of his art seem to be the overlap between nature and technology. But visually, the style is very similar. I think we both really heavily love surrealism, Pop-art, and neo-dadaism, and cool colours. Though I saw some cubism in his paintings too.

As for the tea, it was… Well it was lower quality bagged bergamot, pretty much. I’m guessing it was probably Compliments’ brand (the Sobeys ‘name’ brand) because it’s one of the few ‘flavored’ teas carried by that brand, and it’s probably dirt cheap too. Which would make sense seeing as tea and coffee are sold for only 50 cents to staff. Ultimately, I don’t know though…

Mine was heavily drowned out with milk to cancel out the nasty bitter taste. The point wasn’t the flavour though – it was sharing a warm cuppa before work with a friend, and having an awesome conversation we wouldn’t have otherwise had I not been in the right place at the right time.

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70

Sipdown (115)!

Finished up as a cold brew. Nothing new to add, just kind of relieved to have finished this one off, essentially, all on my own. I thought this might become a summer cold brew ‘must have’, but definitely not the case. Just too much hibby overall…

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70

Sipdown (116)!

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! This is actually one of Stacy’s last teas that I actually had almost no interest in – I don’t typically go for chocolate teas or spicy ones, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful to try it. Since it’s not one that appealed to me greatly I probably would have never sought it out, so without your thoughtfulness I’d have never tasted it!

Hmm, I’m not getting a lot from the dry leaf. I expected to be able to smell at least a little bit of chili spice – and especially after having The Devil’s Mate from McQuarries so recently I’ve very, very wary of chili in tea currently. But mostly it smells like black tea with wisps of dark chocolate. Steeped up I’m happily surprised with how clear the liquor is; by which I mean it doesn’t have oil spots or things like that from the melted down chocolate chips!

Initial taste is a mild, somewhat watery chocolate. There’s a bit of bitterness, but in the way that’s associated with dark chocolate/bakers chocolate and not from the base tea. However, the more bland/flat chocolate flavour is definitely distinct of chocolate chips; it’s a shame that cacao shells/nibs weren’t incorporated into this one.

After the initial chocolate taste you’re hit with the delayed heat from the chili. This is way near the end of the sip/aftertaste, by the way. It’s actually pretty reasonable; though I think at this point anything less than the level of chili in Devil’s Mate would likely feel reasonable. I don’t like spice – keep that in mind, but to me this is a good compromise of having a flavor with impact, but not being incredibly mild/light handed. Other notes present in the tea/from the base: Cinnamon, honey, and some light floral notes as well.

I probably could have gone without trying this one; it’s not made a huge impact on me – but that’s just because the flavours aren’t ones that generally appeal to me anyway. I imagine someone into chocolate tea/spicy tea would find this quite delicious!

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90
drank Lychee Konnyaku by ETTE TEA
2718 tasting notes

Sipdown (117)!

This is the second Ette blend that I’ve finished off as a cold brew when I initially had it hot, and I think that I may have to try each blend this way – cold brewed and hot, because so far my observations have been that each tea can taste dramatically different depending on the two prep styles.

While Kris Grey was much improved as a cold brewed tea, I definitely think that had I tried this one cold brewed first (like I was sort of inclined to) I definitely wouldn’t have liked it as much.

The flavor of the jasmine is drastically more drawn out as a cold brew, and the green tea is now clearly more dominant than the black tea used. There is also quite a bit less cranberry flavour, which is perhaps the most disappointing thing. However the lychee is very, very intense. I’d summarize by saying this has now shaped up to be a Jasmine Green tea with lychee; no longer a lychee tea with jasmine.

I’m still liking it – but definitely not as much. Ultimately, I think I’d maybe consider ordering this one; it’s all dependent on falling in love with enough of these Ette blends to be able to justify the fairly steep shipping cost, and the dollar conversion. It’s not the best lychee tea I’ve had; but it’s certainly up there! However, without the cranberry an important dimension of the flavor is definitely lost…

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Sort of sipdown…

I don’t really get to count it ‘cause I’m just finishing off one of the things in the box and not the box itself – chamomile, in this case though. There was really only like a cups worth of it in the box though, so it’s not an impressive feat or anything.

I made it hot with some honey as a sleep aid; I swear I’m not going to finish off everything in this box as single ingredients (I will blend stuff!) however I know I wouldn’t really want to add chamomile to anything in the first place – it’s not my favourite flavour by a long shot. And of course, as such, this didn’t taste all that awesome; but only ‘cause I don’t like chamomile much.

Definitely think I’m going to have to work at blending my own bed time blend though; maybe with the lavender and marshmallow leaf?

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83

Hooray for having the day off! Too bad Tre has the day off too and is in an awful mood.

This is what I’m starting my morning with; and normally I can’t get enough of this tea but something about it today is making my stomach do cartwheels. I thought that maybe it was because I started drinking it on an empty stomach, but I’ve now had a cup of yogurt, two bagels (mmm!), and a mixed berry smoothie and I’m sipping on the now cold mug of this and it’s still too much…

I was feeling slightly nauseous yesterday morning too; maybe I’m getting sick? Bleck!

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90

Hooray Dammann Freres group order!

This has been on my wishlist for… 11 months?! According to my last tasting note, that is.

I liked this one so much that first time having it, and I remembered that tasty, tasty cup so vividly that if no one else had wanted to split this in the group order I would have happily taken 100g. As is, I wound up with 50g and I’m tickled pink about it. The intensely sweet toffee, lemon, and vanilla smell of the dry leaf was more than enough to validate the decision to get some of this.

I made this one up as a hot latte tonight; I was actually going to do Fig Fraiche (or however you spell it) but since I’ve never had that one straight before I thought it’d be better to do this instead and try that one plain first. Definitely, definitely a divine latte!

I do think the toffee flavour was a little bit lost; this tastes like a very thick, creamy lemon tart or pastry with a sweet meringue whip. Notes of lemon, lemon peel, vanilla, buttery pastry, and cream were dominant with just a hint of floral notes and papaya. Black base were pretty drowned out, not that I care.

I could get lost in this tea – and in fact I did. Seriously; I lost like ten minutes of time just cradling the mug and smelling the sweet lemon cake aroma! My rating from eleven months ago definitely still stands.

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Profile

Bio

Hello;

My name is Kelly. I’m a barely twenty tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually nearly two years ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious obsession.

You know you’ve got it bad when you get your hobby tattooed to your arm.

Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals this year is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends, but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall.

My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives (the exception being matcha which I drink in straight milk with no additives); so unless I mention otherwise you can assume that’s how I’ve prepared my tea!

Favourite flavours/ingredients: Pear, Lychee, Cranberry, Cream, Melon, Pineapple, Malt, Roasty

Least favourite flavours/ingredients:
Lemongrass, ginger/“Chai” in general, raisins, overly vegetal, chamomile, sometimes mango or peach

I also have a severe allergy to mushrooms; as such I do not drink Kombucha teas!

Currently exploring/looking to try: Straight Pu’Erh or Dark/Roasted Oolong, Sweet Potato flavoured blends, and anything with Goji berries

I also write reviews for SororiTea Sisters! Typically what I post there is more edited, focused and expanded reviews of what I’m posting here. Unless I was sent a tea specifically to review for the blog, I will post here first.

If the tea was sent to me specifically to review there then the full review will only be posted there, and my Steepster review will just contain a snippet of the review and a link to the full review on the SS site.

The URL to my tumblr blog is: guyfierithirdandfinalantichrist

Location

Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Website

http://sororiteasisters.com/a...

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