2652 Tasting Notes


Sipdown (115)!

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample!

This is one of those teas I’m simultaneously infinitely grateful I got to try and also wish I had never taken a sip of because I’m totally in love now and probably wont get a chance to have this one again.

I’ve had two of Stacy/Butiki’s Pumpkin teas prior to this: Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 and Pumpkin Creme Brulee and while neither were bad, they weren’t super satisfying either. On the other hand, this is easily the best of all three pumpkin teas and basically everything I could want out of a pumpkin tea. It’s also probably the best tea I’ve had in general in a very, very long time.

To start, it’s got some absolutely incredible and robust pumpkin notes. My personal biggest complaint with pumpkin teas is that you can’t actually taste the pumpkin and the focus is more on the spices and that’s completely not the case here. Along with that strong ‘pumpkin innards’ flavour is some really great rich, cream flavour that to me tastes pretty accurate to Irish Cream. It creates a very thick mouthfeel and full, well rounded base flavour with wonderful supporting notes coming from the Pu’Erh base and other additional ingredients.

The Pu’Erh was earthy in a really sweet, fresh way instead of a grimey, sludgy and murky way. It crept up on having petrichor like notes – which is my favourite smell/flavour in the entire world for people who don’t already know that. And even though it didn’t quite nail it, the slight overlap was enough to basically have me drooling. There was also this really wonderful taste that reminded me of eating fresh picked, unwashed vegetables from the garden. Sweet dirt; as much as that can be a thing.

Since I don’t like the obvious and easy pairing of Pumpkin and Spices I was pretty pleased this didn’t fall into that cliche trap. I did taste some nutmeg but it made me more think, with the Irish Cream notes, of a lightly nutmeg and cinnamon dusted slice of Pumpkin pie ala mode.

So there was a lot going on with this one but it all tied together to create such an amazing cup and steamy, tasty art. I can’t believe I was stupid enough to not order this one when Stacy was closing up shop. D’oh!

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Holy Fuck.

- 2 tbsp. of Chai Powder
- 2 loosely packed tbsp. of margarine

Melted down together, stirred up and spooned over fresh, air popped popcorn.

I don’t care that this uses a lot of margarine; it’s sticky, and sweet and probably the best damn popcorn seasoning I’ve ever tried next to Ketchup shaker popcorn seasoning. And ketchup shaker is pretty hard to compete with ’cause I shake that shit on fucking everything to season it.

I will ABSOLUTELY be having this again…


For some reason I thought you were making something with French toast when I started reading the note hahahah


I hadn’t thought about trying chai mix on my popcorn. I usually add a few shakes of Cholula hot sauce to my butter, and sometimes sprinkle on somd cajun seasoning. Now I’m going to have to try chai popcorn. Thanks for the inspiration!

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drank Secret Weapon by DAVIDsTEA
2652 tasting notes

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I’m not quite sure why you passed this one my way; maybe ‘cause of the goji berries since that’s something I’ve been exploring recently? Either way I’m happy you did because when I made it today I definitely had a different experience than when I got it iced at DT a while back…

When I got this last time it was very, very mild in flavour but this is a lot more rich and distinct! I definitely would not have called it a chocolate tea the first time around but now I’m really picking up on that flavour note. Licorice root, almond, and hay are also all especially present with just a touch of fruityness from the orange/goji. I suspect it’s a bit more from the orange though since it has a faint citrusy edge. After a little while it started to taste a tiny bit musty though.

Still, it’s an improvement!

I’ve been looking a lot at job listings recently; it’s not that I dislike my current job because I definitely don’t but I don’t feel super satisfied or challenged being there either. I went from having a lot of responsibility to having essentially none, and while I make decent money (more than I made as a supervisor) and have much better management I feel like I’m more invisible and not doing something as worthwhile. I feel like to reach that level of satisfaction I’m craving I’d have to either actually be “advancing” throughout the company/have some level of authority or be doing something that’s going to create amazing experiences/stories or just be a really unique job to begin with. And, I’ll be honest I miss working so close to home as well…

I just applied to work at an Offsale/liquor store – I feel like that’d be the kind of unpredictable work environment I’m craving. It’s also a lot closer to home, and the hours would be 6PM to 3AM which is a lot more my style too. The other job I’m looking at is working for an inventory company. I know I’d probably hate the job itself, but it’d mean travelling and never working in the same place and that sounds appealing right now too…

But damn; I feel so dissatisfied right now. I have for a long time – the same way I did before I moved here, but I feel like I kind of have the chance to do something about it now? It’s the money aspect that scares me though: I’m in a pretty secure spot right now and doing something else… Well, there’s a risk to that.

PS. I bumped my rating up a bit.


I sent the sample because I remembered reading a note where you mentioned wanting to pick up more to try it in a different way. So I figured I would help you out with that :P

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Sipdown (116)!

Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I definitely toyed with picking this one up, but I have another Coffee/Mocha Rooibos blend I usually keep stocked up so I figured that it probably wasn’t worth ordering since I didn’t anticipate it to be much different. But definitely glad it worked out and I’m getting a taste after all!

It’s been a while since I had actual coffee ice cream; and I always associate it with this cat I used to own named Peanuts. Back when I was, uhh, maybe five I was living in Moosejaw but would drive down to this small town called Eyebrow every other weekend to visit my Dad. Eyebrow’s a retirement community kind of out in the middle of nowhere; it’s population is probably like 200 people MAX; most of which are seniors. There’s an elementary school there that’s K-12 with all the students feeding in from about five other comparably sized communities in the area. All the kids are basically the children of farmers, the younger people who own/operate the few businesses in the area (a restaurant, bank, ice cream shop, and a few grocery stores spread throughout the different towns) and the teachers themselves. My grandparents and one of my Aunt’s live there, and at one point so did I.

But that’s all kind of beside the point; the point is I had a cat named Peanuts. He was the runt of the litter and never grew more than the size of a kitten. My Dad is a big fan of coffee ice cream so we always had a big tub of it, and he’d set out this teeny tiny little bowl with a scoop of coffee ice cream for the cat. Of course it made him go kind of crazy; and in hindsight it probably was terrible for him but at the time I thought it was so funny. And that’s ALWAYS what I think of whenever I see/have coffee ice cream…

Taste wise; I definitely get the coffee and a bit of slight roasty flavour but I think I might be missing the ice cream component. I do taste a little vanilla, but nothing creamy per se. It’s a little disappointing but this still tastes pretty divine. The honeybush pokes through a fair bit though so it’s definitely not for people who dislike rooibos/honeybush and the woody kind of taste. What the vanilla is reminding me of is those vanilla wafers that grandparents always seem to have on hand; when I first started drinking coffee I’d always dip those wafers into it. I also drowned it in milk, but that’s beside the point too. A few sips seemed to have a metallic tang to the aftertaste, but it wasn’t unpleasant – just a touch weird.

Definitely happy I tried this one if for no other reason but to have that bit of nostalgia. I like the Latte Macciato I keep stocked a little bit better just for the hint of chocolate it has, but this was tasty too! And definitely more different than I thought it’d be.

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Sipdown (117)!

Thank you VariaTEA for sending a sample of this one my way! It’s my first tea of the morning; I had it set aside for yesterday but never quite made it to the sample.

I have to say, I’m quite happy I watched enough GoT to understand the character reference here! I think the ingredients picked out by this blender are pretty well thought out too; though I do think there might just be a bit more “Fire” than “Ice” – although to be fair there certainly are a lot of very visable candy cane pieces in the dry leaf.

This is essentially a Chai, though an unconventional one, so I wasn’t the most excited about this blend but it came out pretty tasty! The clove is easily the strongest flavour here, and since that’s the one ‘conventional’ Chai spice that I personally feel you can never have too much of that works very well in my favor.

The rest of the flavour is pretty nice too; there’s an even dispersal of ginger, cardamom and cinnamon with just the faintest little touch of smoke from the Lapsang. The candy cane isn’t as strong as I expected given how much I could see in the leaf and the fact that this is inspired by Ned Stark which obviously ties into the whole “Winter Is Coming”/Ice thing. It is present, but subtly so and it’s more acting as a sweetener than really contributing any strong mint flavour. The finish is a little bit peppery, with maybe a touch too much cardamom.

Overall I think this is better than most Adagio fan blends though; they tend to get pretty muddled because blenders pick out ingredients that are either too similar so there’s no contrast or playing off one another or they pick ingredients that fit the ‘character’ but clash with one another/don’t compliment each flavour. This kind of avoids that for the most part, while still being fairly thoughtful.

I definitely wanted more “ice” – but maybe it’s poetic irony that the “fire” was the most dominant thing…

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Smoke, Sweet


I love the artwork!

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drank Ball & Chain by Indie Tea
2652 tasting notes

Sipdown (118)!

Thanks VariaTEA for the sample!

I cold brewed mine ‘cause I’ve had some pretty good success with cold brewed date teas in the past; though dry the last thing I smelled was date. It was more burnt toast with a pinch of marigold which I think was probably as unappealing in reality as it sounds in theory. I can immediately see why you passed it along; the oolong is strong with this one!

I’m a bit disappointed because I didn’t taste dates at all in my cold brew. The focus was, instead, very heavily on the oolong base which belted out some seriously ‘in your face’ roasty notes with some support from smoke notes on guitar, mineral notes on drums, and some biting, kind of dry nut notes on bass. There wasn’t a whole lot “sweet” about it, let alone ‘date’ like. However, I felt like I could taste the marigold a little bit underneath all that heavy oolong flavour.

Also; I think if I’m gonna stick with the whole ‘this tea is a band’ metaphor “Ball & Chain” is probably a pretty fitting band name for the kind of ‘music’ this tea would play…

All that said, I kinda liked it even if it was close to the total opposite of what I wanted from it. If I drank it again, it’d probably be hot just to see if that brought out more sweet less dark oolong – but as is I think I can agree with VariaTEA that for me this is probably just fine as a “one and done” sort of tea.

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Sipdown (119)!

Got this one in the most recent box of goodies from VariaTEA but I’m pretty sure that it’s from Sil originally. My memory could be failing me, but I thought that Murchies was the name of the tea store local to you guys in Toronto?

I cold brewed my sample, and it was my companion on Thursday to my tattoo appointment. I know I mentioned last week booking in another session when my Dad was visiting – and it finally happened! The appointment started at 10:30AM and I was supposed to be out of the shop at about 1:30 but we didn’t finish until a little after 2:30PM – three hours of tattooing in total with a lot of stenciling and otherwise in between. Immediately following leaving I had to cab it down to work because I started at 3:00PM!

I added four tattoos of varying size to my arms; one on my right which is a Mrs. Marvel/Carol Danvers quote that’s stuck with me since first hearing it. I admit to not really being the biggest Mrs. Marvel fan and not really knowing anything about the comic character/her history but it’s an amazing quote! “Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” I think people need to remember that more often; you can’t just go around claiming you’re a ‘good person’. You actually need to do good in order for that to be true.

On my left arm, I added my siblings names in Elder Futhark runes, a long band of binary code (with a very personal message/meaning when translated back into words) that circles most of my arm above my elbow, and one of the panels/images from Shel Silverstein’s illustration only poem The Thinker of Tender Thoughts. I’m on day three of healing, and so far all is going pretty well. I think having two days off in a row is gonna help; since I now have to wear long sleeves at work at all times I know that the constant rubbing of the icky fabric over my arms is going to hurt a lot/be tender for a while.

And once everything is all healed up, I will totally post pictures for you guys! I wanted to get everything I had planned out done at once/closely together and now that I have I can let everything heal ‘cause it’s gonna be a while before I can afford to get my next set done (even though I totally know what I want to get). But anyway…

This was pretty decent to take with me; it definitely helped a lot having something to sip on in between each tattoo while the stencils were being prepared. I don’t know, if I had more of the tea to play with, I’d choose to cold brew this one again though; I got the impression it’d actually be nicer hot?

It had a really brisk/bold black base and I don’t think it was necessarily the highest quality base either because accompanying this defined, almost floral, flavour was a biting astringent edge that sort of tainted what would’ve been a nice strawberry flavour otherwise. Though it was more of an unsweetened rough strawberry flavour. The vanilla was mysteriously lacking; really, it was hardly there at all. I think if it had been more present the strawberry would have felt smoother and more pleasant. As it was, there was something about this blend that seemed unfinished.

Also, I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact I was being tattooed for an extended period of time but no matter how much I drank of this I couldn’t help but feel even more parched. It was a little frustrating but I think probably had more to do with the ‘activity’ this accompanied…


Murchies is out in Vancouver but that doesn’t mean anything in terms of who it’s from hahahaha


Haha this is actually from me originally or if you want to get technical it’s from my roommate who went to visit our mutual friend in Vancouver and brought it home for me.

Also when you go for something, you really go for it! How many tattoos are you at now? 6? 7? Lol I am impressed. I was actually looking at tattoos and stuff last night but alas, if I actually got one my parents would disown me.

Roswell Strange

Ah, maybe it’s OMGsrsly who always reviews Murchies teas then :P And, I’ve got seven in total now :P


Seven in like 2 months?!? Go hard or go home :P

I struck up a deal with my tattoo hating mother that once I lose the weight I want to lose and keep it off, she will allow me to get a tattoo without comment from her.

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Sipdown (120)!

Another Butiki sipdown; but not so much a tragic one since I never got super attached to this blend; plus I recently received quite a few Butiki blends in a box from VariaTEA so I’ve been enjoying those this last week.

This last bit of tea was made in a timolino and since I had a weird amount of tea leaf left it was a little overleafed. Even still, it tasted pretty subtle/weak to me. More than anything, it tasted like hay and squash without much else to back up the flavour and it just felt a touch unsatisfying. I immediately wanted to follow up the mug with something with a lot more… punch.

I appreciate the artistry behind this blend so much though; who else would come up with a flavour like this!? And while I couldn’t quite make this one work for me I never produced a bad cup either. Very happy I got to try this one – and in quite a few different ways as well.

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Cold Brew!

Pretty tart from the hibiscus; almost too tart when I was just drinking it straight on my commute to work – but when I had the second half with lunch is was much more palatable with a more distinctly choke cherry and lightly sour blueberry/saskatoon berry flavour. Quite juice-like. I should try and make lemonade with some of this…

Sadly, I spilled a little bit on my nice, white work shirt though! It’s not the end of the world ‘cause the green Sobey’s apron I have to wear overlaps with the stain, and it’s now mandatory that I have long sleeves/my black company sweater now, since I have so many visible arm tattoos (we’re up to seven now – all on my arms). So, the damn stain is always gonna be covered.

I was so proud of myself for keeping my uniform unstained for so long though!


Hey Ros, when are we gonna get pics of all these tattoos :)

Roswell Strange

There’s a picture of my Birdcage/umbrella tattoo floating around in one of my tasting notes :P But since everything got done so closely together I’ve held off on posting pictures until they’re all healed. So once ALL SEVEN are healed there’ll be pictures for sure! :) While I definitely know what I want for my next tattoo/set of tattoos it’s gonna be a while before I can afford more again :P

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Sipdown (121)!

We were treated with a blizzard here in Saskatoon today…

Yes, on the 25th of fucking April! So much for that April 25th Miss Congeniality meme. I’m so glad I got to stay in all day and basically just be a shut in. I have no clue where the day went though; I swear I blinked and it went from noon to nine.


The rest of this note is a queued tasting note.

Finally finishing this one off, and hot this time. It was probably the best form of this yet but I’m not sure if that’s because it was hot or because so much of the blackberry leaf had sunk to the bottom of the sample bag that it easily made up 50% of the measured out leaf – probably even more.

Regardless, the flavour of the peach, nectarine and apricot which I’d been finding super artificial and juice crystal like in flavour was very very mild and toned down and instead I got to focus in on more of the hay like notes of the white tea. It was much more soothing and natural tasting that way.

But this is still a disappointment for me; considering it was the tea I was most excited about I had a very time getting into it. The flavours were all off and very extreme in an unappealing, artificial way. It’s not my least favourite of the Spring blends but I definitely didn’t even think about picking any more up.

Also, I can hear Tre clipping his nails in his room right now – and maybe I’m just in a stressed out mood or whatever but it’s driving me absolutely crazy. It’s just the most annoying sound! AGHH!


Ack, a blizzard sucks – good you got to stay home though!


I feel your pain! We had a blizzard and a lot of sub-zero temperatures this past week, but it’s finally warming up and the snow is melting. Someday it will be summer… someday… :)

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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


Saskatoon, SK, Canada



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