2400 Tasting Notes
One of a few teas in my Mom’s tea cupboard that actually relatively interested me, so I stole a couple of the teabags from the cupboard and made one to drink with lunch.
This had a fancier box than other Stash teas I’ve seen, and it’s not one we carry at my store (and we carry a lot of Stash teas) so I’m wondering if, based on the flavour, this was a seasonal/Christmas blend? There’s really no smell to the dry teabag; if I concentrate maybe a little apple. It’s very weak though; I hope the tea itself has more flavour.
Sipping on it now; and there definitely is more flavour than what the dry leaf led me to believe. It really does taste like apple cider; good apple cider too! Just the right balance of sweet, tart, and spice. And speaking of that spice, there’s obviously cinnamon but the nutmeg in here is a really nice touch too. That’s the first wave of flavour but then it eases a little into the maple; it’s a little raw and unrefined tasting with a sappy quality. A like it! It makes the cup sweet and layered, and I like that this one doesn’t feel completely put together, with the ’T’s crossed and ’I’s dotted. Sometimes a little reliable inconsistency makes a tea good. If that makes any sense at all.
There are also a few other interesting notes here; I’m picking woody-cedar like notes too! Maybe it’s a trick of the mind because of the raw, sappy maple or maybe part of it is from the rooibos – but it’s very enjoyable regardless. Actually, now that I think of it the more I’m sure it’s from the rooibos. I love how natural and earthy this tea tastes though; for once the wood like quality is contributing something that enhances the tea flavourings!
There’s surprisingly a lot going on with this tea bag. Colour me quite impressed!
Flavors: Apple, Cedar, Cinnamon, Maple, Maple Syrup, Nutmeg, Sap, Wood
Ever since last night when my Mom and I went to DT she’s been asking me non-stop to try this blend; and I really only thought I had enough leaf left for one cup of it, but then I remembered that since she had teeny tiny baby cups I could split the leaf, and we could each have a tiny cup.
So that’s what I just did for breakfast/milk for us today. Each cups was brewed the same way with a little splash of milk. I was hesitant because when I used creamer with this blend there was some serious flavour disconnect – but this actually worked pretty darn well. It tasted like coffee and milk; nothing overly complex to it, except maybe a little bit of cinnamon flavour and that same creaminess I observed with my first cup (but not as strong in flavour; the milk is masking it). No bitterness and no disconnect!
So I’m thinking the last cup was either just a bad cup or Butter Pecan creamer just really isn’t the way to go with this particular tea/blend. Mom really liked it too, she even resteeped her leaves so she could have another cup!
But this is it for me; I had fun trying a few different prep methods but my curiosity is sated; no need to get this one again.
Gonna do two back to back Espresso Yourself tasting notes ‘cause I had it on Wednesday on the way to work (what I’m writing about now), but I’m also drinking it now with breakfast/lunch. And I feel bad writing the sipdown note before the other one in my queue…
This one I had with Butter Pecan creamer, like I said I would. Despite the creamer in it, this still had a very bitter, sharp “black coffee” flavour. There was a total disconnect between tea/coffee and the add ins: I tasted bitter black coffee first and only then could I taste the sweet nuttyness of the creamer. It’s like a wave of coffee and butter tarts. And then, there’s an air of artificialness to it – but I’m pretty sure that’s from the creamer not the tea itself, since this one’s organic and I also observed zero artificial taste the first time I had it.
The fact there’s such a disconnect between the creamer and tea does mildly puzzle and confuse me though – because I observed such a rich cream flavour the first time, it seemed like adding creamer would be such a natural pairing…
I brought a lot of white tea with me for my trip; white teas and black teas are my favourite tea types, but I drink a lot more black tea because of the convenience of brewing it and my white teas usually end up cold brewed or neglected. So they’re gonna get some love this trip; I want to take the time to drink a lot of them, and really enjoy the cups!
This was the other one I made last night; it was so amazing! It had the usual soft, sweet lemon notes but the vanilla “cake”-y aspect of the tea was really strong; I totally tasted vanilla sponge cake and marzipan, and it was easy to get lost in the cup. So delicate and creamy! I’m very happy I stocked up on this one.
My mom tried it though and proclaimed it tasted pretty much just like water; what a shame! Her palate’s just very, very unrefined – it’s sad though. I wish she could taste how amazing this tea is. She’s really missing out on something special.
I’m about to go make more tea now; it’s just me in the house currently so I’m blasting my music while she picks up my brother, and working on tasting notes. Not sure how long until they’re back. Mom has a soda stream, so we’re gonna try making some tea pop later today; and I brought a SBT (my first one!) that we’re gonna brew up since my brother only likes iced tea.
It’s just gonna be a casual, relaxed day.
So I had to be fairly restrictive with what tea I brought with me for my trip; I wanted a combination of comfort teas, things to work on sipping down, and new things to try; but at the same time I didn’t want to pack an excessive amount of tea for the time I’m down here.
And, I spent last night raiding my Mom’s tea cupboard (I’m going to try and take a picture so you can all witness how horrific it looks and share in my pain) and there were a few interesting sounding things I may attempt to try as well, along with a few things I left behind the last time I visited.
I also forgot that my Mom has the teeniest little teacups instead of mugs like the ones I use; the teacups she has are 8 oz. tops, but I think are actually far closer to 6 oz. and it may just drive me crazy; I’m so used to my 12 oz. mugs. So last night I made two before bed cups of tea; this was one of them!
I really do like this blend; it was a whim purchase and I think it was a good one. The fig in it is so well done, and really apparent in the flavour but there are a lot of other great flavour contributions too that round out the cup. Last night’s cup in particular had a really thick mouthfeel and a particular sweetness about it; the honey/caramel flavours in the blend were really shining! The hibiscus? There was so little of it that the liquor was barely even that “trademark” hibiscus pink! And then just a brief little flicker of pineapple juice and rose in the aftertaste.
I brought the whole bag of this one; I’m probably gonna try to sip it down – but I think I might repurchase it again when my cupboard is at a lower number. My mom took sips of both teas I made; this was the one she liked better – she called sweet and fruity. Don’t think she was able to identify the fruit in it though.
Well, I got into Regina yesterday at about four; met up with my Mom at 4:30 and then we spent the next few hours doing some shopping – ended up stopping at a DT so I could pick up a few tins, and my Mom and I each got a latte to go. I really wanted to get a Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait latte but the sales reps wouldn’t make it for me because of the hibiscus. They were afraid it’d curdle; I was willing to risk it though!
Mom got a Blueberry Jam latte; she ended up not actually liking it though which made me a little sad – it’s one of my all time favourite DT blends. This is what I ended up settling on; it just didn’t hit the spot at all. Orange with some cinnamon – but a little soapy? Just wasn’t my thing.
Then we got home and I took a motherfucking bath. That might not seem like a big deal; but at someone without a bathtub in the house and who hasn’t had a bath in over a year it was one of the most indulgent, relaxing things I could have done! And I plan on having a bath every day I’m here with a tub available!
And then we watched If I Stay and I cried a lot…
I didn’t expect to get into the movie as much as I did, but it was really, really good. Very sad; but well done. I like Chloe Moretz as an actress though; I don’t know if I’ve ever been disappointed by something she’s done.
I also, finally, got my two tins of Alice In Wonderland tea from when my Mom and sister went to Disney – I’ll have to add them into my cupboard later. So yeah, my first little partial day in the city was nice! Today I get to open the last of my Christmas presents as well; I’m pretty sure I’m getting more tea? Heh…
Not much longer to go on the bus!
I split a pouch of this one with Kittenna in a shared Butiki order. Even though the flavourings all sound wonderful to me, the base has me wary; I do not like green tea and even though I’m generally viewed Stacy’s flavoured greens more favorably than other companies I’m still hesitant.
I cold brewed most of my half; I tend to really enjoy cold brewed pear flavours, and I like iced tea with jasmine as well so I thought it’d suit my tastes really well. Wow, the anise flavour is definitely a little stronger than I was expecting. I like it; but it’s bold. Anise is tricky though; it’s a strong flavour that people tend to feel rather polar about.
And even though the anise in this is dominant, I can still taste both pear and jasmine! The jasmine in particular is well done; sweet and fragrant without tasting like the perfume lady at The Bay just spritzed you right in the face. The base is actually nice; it has a light spinach taste that I find pleasant, and it works well with the flavouring. I know Stacy is pretty well done blending now, but a version of this one without the anise would be really interesting. I just personally thought that since both pear and jasmine are in the title they’d be a little stronger and more of the focus of the tea.
Overall I did like this one though, even though it wasn’t quite what I expected! It reminds me a lot of Camellia Sinensis’ Peking Opera blend which is also Pear/Anise but on a white base. Of the two I think I like Peking Opera better, but mostly because of the base it uses and my personal preferences. It’s nice to have something comparable to drink since this is no longer available for purchase even if I did want to get more of it.
Flavors: Anise, Floral, Jasmine, Pear, Spinach, Vegetal
Despite consistent sipdowns it feels like my cupboard is jumping up quite a bit again; thankfully I packed a few things for my trip to work on sipping down, and I have several more sipdowns to write about that are buried in my queue.
The bus is very quiet right now; for a while there was a kid crying but they’ve fallen asleep now. You can sort of just here the faint clicking of the keys on my laptop keyboard being struck as I write. I hope I’m not pissing people off. I did sit in the back away from everyone else though. If need be I can placate the masses by feeding them the strawberry Pocky I packed for nourishment.
To finish this tea off I had it hot. It was rather unremarkable and not so worthy of a long winded tasting note; plenty of hay notes and something a touch vegetal, but light – and then a sweet, toffee flavour. Cold brew is better. If you have this one do it cold brewed or iced.
My butt is falling asleep from sitting in the same position for an extended period of time. Darn. In between tasting notes I’m sort of just doing random quizzes. This is one I thought was pretty interesting/well done. It’s Canadian slang words. I’m curious how Americans, Europeans, or even Canadians (or people from other areas of the world) would do on it. My score was 16/20. So obviously I’m not a perfect Canadian after all.
From miss Stephanie!
The art I commissioned from her and tea samples made it to me not even twenty minutes before I left to go to the bus depot; so I didn’t have time to take pictures for you guys or add any of the tea samples into what I packed for my trip. I don’t know if she took any pictures before mailing stuff off, but if she did I have no problem with her sharing them so you guys can see!
The whole packaged smelled like this matcha; despite all the bags she had it in. So fruity; and so much berry! Even though I was really rushed to leave, I quickly opened up the sample baggie and measured out about 1 tsp. to shake up and add to the bottle of vanilla Milk2Go I was bringing with me. I’m a little sad my first impression of this one wont be straight; but it smelled too good to not try as soon as possible.
If I’m being honest, I’ve never had a rich berry pie before. I mean, yes I’ve had all sorts of pies with berries – my favourite of which is Saskatoon Berry (Robert; I will be tickled pink if you make me a Saskatoon Berry matcha), but never rich berry. My understanding is that it’s basically sort of an amalgamation of every sort of berry pie? Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that though. If that’s what it is, it sounds delightful and yummy!
Initial thought upon drinking this one: Man I hope we don’t hit a bump in the road! It’d suck to spill matcha milk all over myself on the bus when I still have like two hours left in my trip. But then after I had finished with that thought and successfully not spilled anything my next thought was something along the lines of “man, what I rich berry flavour! Oh – I get it. I get the name.” Yeah, I can’t say the berry in this is anything really descript but if it’s just sort of meant to be “all berries” then I can understand and accept why that is. In the vanilla milk, it’s exceptionally creamy and smooth too – like a mixed berry milkshake, sort of.
Still working on drinking this and I’m noticing something else too; there’s a buttery cinnamon note to this matcha as well. At first I didn’t really get why, but then it clicked that it must be meant to taste like a cinnamon dusted pastry crust! And once I realized that I totally tasted it; it just comes together to create this very complete and well rounded flavour of pie! It’s not just “an assortment of berries dumped together” – it’s berry pie. And I’ve had other pie matchas (Pumpkin) from RLT before – I can say confidently that the crust element in that blend is not as well executed as it is in this one. And now that I’m really getting into the pie aspect of the matcha and not just the berry, the vanilla in the milk is reminding me of a dallop of vanilla ice cream on top. Perfection!
This is cool! I’m happy Stephanie sent a fair amount of it, because I know I’m going to have fun experimenting with it! One of the better “fruit” matchas I’ve had, for sure!
Flavors: Berries, Butter, Cinnamon, Pastries
I’m currently stuck on a bus for the next three(ish) hours with not a lot else to do but write tasting notes. That’s good, ’cause it means progress on my queue – but it also kinda sucks because typing on a moving bus is really, really hard. There may be a quite a few more typos in my next couple tasting notes than usual.
In case anyone’s curious; I’m on a bus because I’m headed back to Regina to visit my Mom, sister, and brother for the next four days. I still have one very late Christmas left to celebrate and that’s finally happening now! Other than that, it’s just kind of going to be a mini-vacation sort of thing. Hopefully my family wont be too bummed that I’m going to want to spend most of my time working on backlogged tasting notes!
This cold brew was able to be made thanks to the generosity of Cameron B. Since I liked my first one so much she sent me a whole bunch of the tea leaf. Maybe revisiting wasn’t such a great idea though, because this cold brew tasted so very, very much different than the first did.
It had an overwhelming amount of cut grass and seaweed notes and was very bitter and harsh on the pallet. And yes, the pear flavouring still did taste fantastic and juicy and wonderful, but not enough so to make up for the overwhelming grossness of the base. Sadly I don’t remember how long I let this cold brew sit for – though I know I used the same amount of leaf.
I’m not going to change my rating of 80 yet; I’m still holding onto the hope that with some tweaking I can make another batch of cold brew that tastes as good as the first one I did.