1713 Tasting Notes

83
drank Earl Grey by Nina's Paris
1713 tasting notes

Thank you again VariaTEA for the sample of this! The cute little tin has been hanging out in my kitchen most of the week while I’ve been trying this one out; and I have to say that I actually really liked it, not that I didn’t expect to. It just feel’s like there’s a little “extra” to this EG over others.

This note specifically is for a batch I made in my timolino with milk. It was very smooth with a really nice black base, with strong notes of lavendar and jasmine in addition to a somewhat milder bergamot flavour and a sort of plum-y fruitiness to it. Honestly, it was just so good and it had some many unexpected flavours in it.

I enjoyed sipping on it at home while curled up on the couch munching out on pizza and stuff. I also met a new person; Tre’s friend Kaitlyn (I may have spelled it wrong; there are so many variations) came over to watch movies with him and stuff and it was the first time I’ve actually met her, though I’ve heard a lot about her. The two of them have a weird relationship; he was (maybe still is sorta?) super infatuated with her but she has a boyfriend – still they’re super flirty with each other. They had a bit of a falling out when he called her out on it and said he couldn’t just be friends with her if she was going to continue to treat him like she does Nigel (her boyfriend), but they’re working past it now and are back on track to being friends again.

It’s complicated, and a source of great entertainment for me – but I honestly feel bad for them both too. He’s right; she can be sorta aggressively flirty with him, but on the other hand he can also be one of those guys who does the whole “friend zoned” thing where he acts super charming/like an awesome friend, but has sorta “ulterior motives”. Bleck.

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine, Lavender, Plums, Stewed Fruits

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59

Sipdown (139/146)!

Had a nice sleep and then woke up with some tasty poptarts, so now I guess back to backlogged tasting notes! I have probably a few hours worth of writing left to go, but I’m happy to do it!

This was a cold brew and I have to say that overall it was definitely a step up from the hot cup. On the whole I was kinda reminded of cinnamon nut bread or cinnamon sugar cookies; obviously the cinnamon was really present, and the nut too (but in a lesser way than the spice). I could tell it was walnut from the almost maple-y sweetness it gave off. There was some generic fruitiness too; but nothing distinct or even close to “Tropical”. Yeah, I guess overall I’m not impressed with this blend so I’m totally happy to have it out of my cupboard.

Side Story, on the day I drank this/wrote my notes for this my package from the lovely Courtney arrived in the mail (I’ve since tried every tea she included) and Tre had the day off and he spontaneously went into house cleaning mode which he never does, and I’m still not sure what prompted it.

He asked me to buy those giant “up to your elbow” gloves from work though so he could clean the toilet, and we only sell highly “feminine” ones at the store (seriously; all various shades of pink with rhinestones sewn into them and stupid sayings and stuff) – but I picked up a pair anyway. My phrase options were “Perfect Wife” or “Domestic Goddess” which seems so stupid and almost sexist to me. I went with Domestic Goddess in pastel pink. Tre was not impressed. But you know what? I’m not impressed with our highly sexist options at the store. Why is it assumed that the cleaning stuff is going to be used by women? That’s actually pretty demeaning.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Nutty, Walnut

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72

Sipdown (140/147)!

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I ended up splitting it so I could send a cup worth off to Cameron B. in the swap we just did, but first I made my cup! I think I’ve had this one for quite some time; I honestly don’t remember when you send it to me/which packaged you sent it in, but I forgot I even had it until Cameron requested it.

I had to fish it out of my sample bag stored in the closet! Honestly I probably put it off because of the spice. Oops! It really wasn’t so bad though.

I added milk to my cup, and the resulting brew ended up tasting like really weak hot chocolate or watery chocolate milk, with this odd spicy/peppery aftertaste that tickled my throat. I wish I knew what spices specifically are in this one; I didn’t taste cloves, ginger or cardamom which are “common offenders”, but I did get some cinnamon-ish notes (another common guy). More interestingly though, I got peppercorn/chili pepper spice, but I didn’t see anything in the dry leaf that would indicate that. There was also a really faint bitterness to the black base, but I think I may have oversteeped it a little bit, and that could be what was contributing that taste.

Overall, I think I just wish it was a tad bit richer in the chocolate department, but on the whole it was better than I was expecting it to be. I hope Cameron enjoys it!

I still have 17 more tasting notes to write, but I’m really tired and it’s three in the morning, and what I’ve done tonight feels like an accomplishment, so I think I’ll pick up where I’m leaving off in the queue tomorrow when I get up. Hooray for having the day off and not having plans/errands to run!

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Peppercorn

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82
drank Victoria Mint by Tea Desire
1713 tasting notes

Sipdown (141/148)!

Soft, gentle mint heavy rooibos with a nice background caramel presence to sweeten things up. I’m quite content with this being the last cup (yay more tin space and finishing off one of my oldest teas), especially given it was such a good one!

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Mint, Peppermint, Wet Wood

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86

Very sad sipdown (142/149)!

Already on my wishlist/shopping list!

But seriously, this is an amazing, delicious and delectable dessert tea and I’m crushed that I am officially now all out of it. As soon as I can, I’ll be getting another 2 oz. of it though! Woohoo! Umm, additional tea notes on this: there were a lot of cherry chunks in the last of the dry leaf, and that resulted in a cuppa that was distinctly more cherry flavoured than any other cup I’ve ever had.

It was weird, but good weird.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cherry, Overripe Cherries

Lynxiebrat

Yeah this is one of the ones I plan on getting when I finally get it together on making an order to Della Terra.

Hmm, I don’t remember any cherry flavor in the one sample I had…I just mainly remember a pleasant cake-y taste, and a very slight pineapple taste. Interesting.

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68

So, I may have mentioned it before but Saskatoon recently changed its bus routes, and given I can’t drive and I definitely can’t afford to cab everywhere, the bus is my primary mode of transportation when walking isn’t a reasonable option.

I have not made a smooth transition between the old routes and the new routes.

So, I had to bus home from Downtown (where DAVIDsTEA is located) to my house – and trying to be smart I looked up the route I’d need to take back at home before I left earlier in the day: I needed to get on the 17 to make it home! And, that’s exactly what I did. So what’s the problem? Well S’Toon has multiples of some route numbers. There are two #1s, two #5s, three #6s, and two #17s. I got on the wrong 17.

So I ended up going in the exact opposite direction of where I wanted to be going and I ended up having to wait for the route go full circle and come back around. Saskatoon is a fairly big city, and it takes a while for the bus to complete a rotation. In fact, this particular route takes an hour and a half to complete a circuit. So I had a long ass, miserable bus ride of shittyness. Thankfully I managed to get in a decently sized nap, and I had a bottle of this to sorta keep me company (in addition to the last of the Caramel Corn latte I got), plus my candy haul.

But fuck the bus.

Cavocorax

That’s so annoying!

Lynxiebrat

Argh. They really should not label 2 routes with the same number. They got to figure people will get confused. I mean bus routes are confusing enough without that!

Cavocorax

It’s not like they’re going to run out of numbers… Sheesh.

mj

I have totally done almost exactly the same thing for the same reason. Then, sometimes the routes just end in the middle and they kick you off at a random location….why??

yyz

I once did that when I was in Ecuador. Instead of going home I ended up going on the poverty tour of Guayaquil and into the bamboo shanti town that was built originally to house people displaced after a particularly bad El Niño destroyed houses and salinated coastal fields. It was sad but interesting to see that part of the city until a security guard boarded the bus as we entered the district. I wouldn’t of minded so much but I had an expensive camera on me and had recently had a watch ripped off my wrist when I had made another bus mistake ( it wasn’t an expensive one, so I wasn’t to sad about it). Anyways, everything passed without incident and I got home after seeing the city from a different perspective.

Roswell Strange

yyz wins; definitely a much more interesting story!

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Ok, so my little sister Brenna’s birthday is on the 4th of August, and this is the first year that I wont be around to celebrate with her, so I knew that at the very least I had to send her the most awesome birthday present EVER to try and make up for it. So while I was out running around I stopped at Saskatoon’s local gourmet/fancy ass candy store and I dropped about $50 on a really, really large assortment of candy for her: a combination of things I thought she’d find delicious/know she loves, and then just some of the weirdest things I could find in the store like Onion Ring Mints and Chocolate Flavoured Pop Rocks. I mailed everything out to her the same day; just waiting to get confirmation she’s received everything!

I also picked up some stuff for myself! For my stuff, I got Pina Colada Honey Sticks, Juicy Drop Taffy, Chocolate Poprocks (yeah, I got ‘em for Brenna and for myself too), Tabasco Chocolate (this was really interesting; I got some for Tre and myself, and I liked it more than he did which is weird given he likes spicy food and I don’t), Latte/Coffee Hard Candies, and drum roll because this is what the note is kinda sorta mostly about hard Tea Candies!

I’ve been in this candy store so many times, but this was the first that I saw these ones, so I’m thinking they must have been new inventory! But basically it was a bag of hard candies flavoured like “classic iced tea” – so I was definitely thinking like Southern sweet iced tea. The company they’re from is called Bali’s Best and each candy is infused with “real tea”. Honestly, I’ve been snacking on them all week and I not a single person I’ve given ‘em to (Tre, Bobbi, my assistant manager Val, and one of our cashier’s named Marina) has disliked them.

Personally, I actually do really like them myself. To me they come off as a mildly sweetened black lemon blend and I really am reminded of iced tea. It does take a little while of having one in your mouth for the flavour to really sink in, but it’s good and not too sweet – just sorta nicely balanced. I guess really what I have to complain about the most with these ones is that they really stick to the packaging so when you try to open one up quite often it’s a bit of a hassle, and a few times the plastic has gotten stuck so badly I’ve ended up with semi plastic coated candy in my mouth.

I’m happy I bought them overall though! Out of 100 I think I’d give them pretty close to a 75/100.

PS. VariaTEA I definitely added some candy to my package for you! So I hope you enjoy the tea candies and Tabasco chocolate!

Flavors: Lemon

Lynxiebrat

Giggles Onion Ring mints?! OMG that sounds so insane that I’ve got to try those! I got tea candies in the box I bought from LiberTeas,(Least I think it was Liberteas…) I don’t remember what brand but I think they were green tea ones. They weren’t bad…not a tea substitute but nice to suck on.

OMGsrsly

Onion ring mints! Yeah, I got stuck on that. :) I get tea candies at Daiso whenever I go, it’s a Japanese $2 store. So good. Milk matcha, lemon tea, etc.

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86
drank Caramel Corn by DAVIDsTEA
1713 tasting notes

Link Drop Before Note/Story: http://www.upworthy.com/2-nerd-guys-shut-down-the-fake-geek-girl-myth-with-the-kind-of-logic-spock-would-be-proud-of?g=4&c=ufb1

So way back last week on my day out of the house shopping and running errands and stuff I stopped at two tea stores: Tea Desire, and DAVIDsTEA. At both I ended up stocking up on stuff. I also went to the Post Office and mailed off a birthday present for my little sister (more on that in another tea note coming up right away), and packages for VariaTEA and Cameron B.

From Tea Desire I got 50g of Sweet Toffee and 50g of Prickly Pear, since Prickly Pear was also the tea sample of the day I didn’t try it out since I’ve had it before and know I don’t love it hot nearly as much as I do cold brewed/iced. From DAVIDsTEA I got a bit more; 50g of Kiwi’s Big Adventure, 50g of this one (I redeemed my points for this one; it was the only way I could justify getting more given how heavy it is), 16g of Sangria, and 26g of Cotton Candy. I also got this one as a hot latte to go because I’ve thought it would be fantastic that way since first trying it. And man, I was SO right!

This was very rich and sweet (so not for people who are wary of sugared up tea blends), but that’s exactly what I was expecting given what this tea is based on. It had very, very strong caramel notes and a rich, buttery flavour that was distinctly like popcorn as well as cream and coconut notes. Even a week later I’m very fondly remembering it.

Just so good overall.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Coconut, Cream, Popcorn

Cheri

I LOVE that link! Thank you!! (Fortunately, most of the nerd guys I hang out with realize that my own nerdiness is quite acceptable. Heck, I used to host D&D at my house.)

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77

Inaccurate Sipdown (143/150)!

Oh boy do I have a long ass queue of tea to log! Thankfully I have tomorrow off, and no TV to catch up on so I can spend the several hours needed tonight to write notes and not lose out on sleep or anything like that! And as always I’ve been a diligent tea logger and I’ve taken notes on everything I’ve had though I haven’t been posting notes regularly.

This one was cold brewed and carted around in a thermos on a hectic day of running around/errands. Dry it smelled very strongly of raspberries; fresh, juicy raspberries which is why I thought it’d be suited for a cold brew. And it was pretty good; like I expected the raspberry was very strong and definitely the most forefront flavour. It was kinda tangy/zingy but not in an over the top way, just in a way that felt natural for actual raspberries. I didn’t get much lychee overall though, and that’s where this one really disappointed me; I love lychee and I was so very looking forward to that flavour. There were also some very mild floral notes.

On the whole this was good and worth drinking again, but not worth restocking.

Flavors: Floral, Raspberry

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93

So, I really really love RLT’s flavoured matcha – and of all the different kinds I own this is probably the most versatile: I’ve successfully used it cold shaken in water, whisked into cold milk, in smoothies and milkshakes, and as a matcha soda. No matter how I use it the flavour remains distinctly juicy pineapple. Tonight, I went with matcha soda.

Here’s my recipe:

1.5 tsp. of matcha disolved into about 2 oz. of hot water
1 tsp. of sugar
1 can of club soda

Interestingly, as a matcha soda I find that the pineapple, while retaining some of the natural taste it has, becomes a little bit more like candied pineapple, and in the case of this particular batch it tasted just a little bit like bubble gum – but I enjoyed how different that was, and the added element/dimension it brought to the flavour. It is also possible the added sweetness was more from the added sugar; typically I do not ad d any sweetner to any of my tea, the matcha soda being the exception because I find the sweetner is needed to combat the taste of the club soda.

Just a friendly reminder if you’re gonna go the match soda route; remember to occasionally stir it a little bit because otherwise any matcha that didn’t properly dissolve will end up sitting on the bottom and your last few sips will be really, really concentrated!

And that, folks, is the last of my epic, long as fuck queue – so I can finally go to sleep now, and start fresh tomorrow without any backlog! Hooray! I feel like I’ve accomplished so much.

Flavors: Pineapple

Cavocorax

That sounds intriguing….

Kaylee

I love this idea and am slightly scared of it at the same time.

Sil

i love this matcha…pineapple lifesaver goodness

Roswell Strange

I’ve had weired matcha sodas, Kaylee! Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie are the first odd ones that come to mind, and I guess Eggnog. I liked all of them – but this is probably the best one (or maybe Bananas & Cream). And yes Sil! In fact, it’s because of you I fell in love with this one ;)

Sil

Not that I’m off my matcha kick a little…this is the one I most miss….

Sil

Er not = now

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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

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