3749 Tasting Notes
Finishing this one off hot tonight while I watch a movie with the boyfriend…
I’ve just noticed, but a lot of the teas in Tea Forte’s Herbal Retreat sampler are alcohol themed, aren’t they? Like, four out of five. What’s up with that?
Anyway; this actually does taste a little better hot than it did cold brewed. I think that’s because I was able to control the brew time a little better and I strained out the leaf before this could get too sour/tart. That said, it is still a very tart drink with these under ripe blueberry notes that really pop and not necessarily in the nicest way. Also, as a hot brew, the flavour of the sage is actually very present and I think I’m liking the pairing a little less the second time around.
So; to conclude… Aspects of this are definitely negative, but it is a little better overall. Not by a whole lot, though.
Nabbed this one from the first GCTTB when I had it a month or so ago…
I brewed this one up Western style to enjoy whilst having a long soak in the tub. I haven’t yet found a practical way to enjoy Gong Fu whilst having a bubble bath, but rest assured that once I do I’ll be taking advantage of those long soaks to enjoy some Gong Fu brewed Pu’erh.
I was a little surprised by this one; it had a really upfront sticky, fruity sweetness to it and a mouthfeel to match that syrupy quality. I’d say those intense fruity notes really reminded me of both raisins and plums. Apart from that, this had your typical array of earthy, brothy and mineral notes and then a richness in the foreground that I think would best be described as a fudgey, chocolate note and maybe even a little bit of caramel? The caramel was a stronger presence in the aftertaste, where it lingered on the tip of your tongue. About halfway through my mug, I noticed I was also observing a little bit of an sweet and umami quality as well in the top of the sip alongside the raisin/plum. Initial impression was tomato, but looking back on it I’m thinking a bit more of a persimmon. Persimmon is like a tomato, but sweeter/fruitier with a more honeyed taste to it.
So, a very enjoyable as well as interesting and even somewhat unique cuppa.
Made a pot of this one while just lying back and watching Pride and Prejudice. I sure do love me some Mr. Darcy…
This was pretty good; I think that both the apricot and the amaretto are very clearly present in the cup and the two are a pretty solid pairing as well. The apricot presents at the top of the sip and is sweet, lively and juicy as well as just a little bit peachy. While it tastes somewhat natural, there is a bit of candy like sweetness to it as well. The amaretto isn’t nearly as strong as the apricot but that sweet, marzipan/almond like sweetness makes for a great nutty undertone and refreshing, sweet finish. This does use rooibos, and I did find I could taste it a little in the finish but I didn’t mind it that much either.
Two of my favourite drinks at the moment are Amaretto Sours and Apricot Sours so I bet that you could probably make a pretty good “mocktail” version of the two of those if you just brewed up and then chilled a concentrate of this and just mixed it with a little sweet and sour mix. It’d probably be really lovely.
Anywho, I’d say this is probably my favourite from the herbal sampler thus far!
This is a queued tasting note.
Hot cuppa on the way to work; I’ll start with the tea things but then I have some very different work news to talk about!
This was really nice with some sweet, natural and bright fruit notes. Overall, it definitely came off as very tropical tasting but breaking down the fruit notes I’d say there was actually more peach than papaya. Also, the somewhat mossy, earthy flavour of the guayusa was delightful and the sweet, unrefined honey notes that were cropping up from wherever they were coming from was a nice addition as well.
Moving on to the new and exciting work developments…
Currently I work in the donation center in Value Village but yesterday my management pulled me aside for a meeting and offered me a new position in the production department, which is the area of the store where all donations are sorted, categorized and priced to be sold. Specifically I was offered a position in the miscel department of Production as a bagger. Miscel is the area of production where “hard” items such as dishware, small appliances, electrical items, toys and basically anything that isn’t cloth, books or jewelry is sorted. In my opinion it’s definitely the better of the two major production departments (clothing/miscel). Both jewelry and books are smaller departments run by a single person. And as a bagger I would sort the very small sort of “bulk” items that hang on bags along the store walls.
The reason for the offer of this new position is because CDC
the Customer Donation Center, where I work is having its hours trimmed in half by head office and management was so determined to retain me as a full time employee that they expanded the bagging department, which is currently only run by one very over worked person, into a two person department. I actually started training in bagging last week but that was because Deb, the woman who runs the bagging station, has a week long vacation coming up and they needed someone to run her department while she’s gone (since she’s the only one in it) and no one else was trained to do so. Out of everyone in the store, she asked specifically to train me in her department. So, it’s VERY nice to feel both appreciated, valued, and needed at work and to hear that I’m so valued as an employee that they’ve created a spot for me to work in. And even though she’s on vacation now, I know that Deb is gonna be thrilled to hear I’m joining her permanently. She’s worked at the store for a little over twenty five years now, and she’s in her late seventies: with the daily quota for bagging and how much pressure they’ve been putting on her department in the last few years she’s been overworked for a long time now. And we just get along so well!
And, one thing that’s REALLY nice about working in production is that I’m always going to have a consistent schedule now as well as a guaranteed 40 hours a week, where as currently my schedule is ALL OVER the place and I get anywhere from 30 to 40 hours weekly. Typically, production works 7:30-4:00 every week day with guaranteed weekends off. Now, I have a Tuesday class which means I can’t work on Tuesdays, but they so badly wanted me in this new spot that they’ve made an exception to the normal production hours and I’ll be working typically production weekday hours, with Tuesday off, and then coming in to work on Saturdays instead, independently running my department.
So, lots of changes but exciting ones!
This is a queued tasting note.
Don’t ask me why, but I seem to either be especially attune to the “herbaceous” qualities of tea lately OR I’m just subconsciously picking really herbaceous tasting teas as of late. It’s weird though, because that’s not a flavour I particularly enjoy in tea even if I don’t dislike it either.
Anyway; I cold brewed some of this up last week as I way of kind of silently celebrating a few important birthdays that went by for the month of June. One of them was my brother’s: he turned eighteen which is absolutely insane to think about. When I was eighteen I moved out of my parent’s house to a completely different city; when I think about him and kind of how I view our different maturities/life experiences it’s a very odd feeling because I just don’t really view him as that independent or mature. I’m working on that though; the whole treating him as more of an equal rather than my ‘kid’ brother thing. Then, my former roommate and coworker/friend Shauna just turned twenty two so part of this cold brew was in the spirit of celebrating her birthday since she’s in BC right now and we couldn’t celebrate in person. Finally, part of this brew was also in the spirit of Bobbi, my best friend from Saskatoon. She just celebrated her twenty fourth birthday. Lots of birthdays in June!
The brew was delicious: like a lemon vanilla sponge cake…
But with that herbaceous undertone.
From the Herbal Retreat sampler.
This was the one tea in the sampler that I was the most low key excited for. I say low key, because in my head I knew all of the reasons that logically this would be a bad blend (too much hibiscus and cherry things often tasting very tart or medicinal) but I was still holding out hope that it would surprise me and be quite tasty.
I drank this one hot; a gamble, I know. It was surprisingly ok but I would’t go as far as saying great. There’s a weird, sparkling effervescence and freshness to the aroma as well as the taste. It’s something that’s honestly a little more of a feeling rather than a flavour, but it really makes me think that this would be very well suited as a tea pop where the fizzyness of the carbonation would kind of bring the liquor a little more to life. As it stands, the flavour was still kind of tea from all of the hibiscus in the blend but still had a nice cherry sweetness as well as a beautiful sweet, red apple note that kept cropping up and a very faint berry undertone that I suppose would be the raspberry? The semi tartness and fruity sweetness on top of that enchanting effervescence reminded me of some kind of cherry fizzy candy the whole time I was drinking this.
Also, I can’t put my finger on which tea/tisane I’m thinking of, but there’s definitely something about this one which reminds me of another blend. The entire cup left me with a feeling of flavour deja vu.
From the second GCTTB; I pulled the sample of this one ‘cause I wanted to try it but didn’t end up with enough time to…
I love pear tea and I’m still searching for my perfect one: the dry smell of this was absolutely amazing and it had me drooling so hard. It was fresh, dewy, sweet, and a little floral all the while absolutely nailing what pears, especially ripe ones, smell like. It was also strikingly familiar: I’m thinking it probably reminded me of Fauchon’s pear black tea? It’s been a while since I’ve drank that, but going by memory that sounds about right.
Most of the sample went towards a cold brewed pitcher of tea: I had my first cup of it yesterday and it was so incredibly delightful. The pear flavour is really smooth, and very natural. There’s a realistic amount of sweetness, and the slightly creamy flavour of a Bosc pear alongside the more floral notes of a Bartlett pear. It’s enchanting. That said, I’m not really sure if it’s my perfect pear tea but it’s still a damn delight regardless. I look forward to trying the rest of the sample hot and seeing if that lovely, nuanced and realistic pear flavour carries through to the hot brew as well.
Cola! Oh wherefore art thou Cola!?
Had this one cold brewed yesterday on the way to work; the lime in it was absolutely lovely. Just light, pillowy and soft lime notes that really nicely lifted me into the day. I could also taste hints of the linden leaf, which was also light with a sweet grassy sort of quality. What I didn’t really get a taste of was sadly the cola, and I would have really enjoyed having that flavour be present as well even though it was still a good brew.
I’m genuinely surprised that this one was actually already part of the database; I’d so expected to have to add it that I already had Sen Cha’s website loaded up and the appropriate information copied to paste into the information fields…
Anyway; my friend/coworker Laura bought three different tins of these mints because they’re vegan and she’s been looking for a good vegan mint for a while, apparently. She offered to let me try one and I of course said yes both out of politeness and curiosity. The flavours she’d grabbed were peppermint, mango, and dragon fruit and to me dragon fruit was the clear choice. I didn’t realize until after I’d tried the mint that they were also green tea infused.
The flavour was nice, though! I think it was a little sweeter than I’d typically peg dragon fruit to be; natural dragon fruit has a mellow, supple flavour and this was definitely a bit more in your face and “punchy”. You can tell they’re using a concentrate and that it is essentially a fancy vegan “candy”. It was still delicious though, and I liked that little hint of refreshing mint at the end of a really fruity initial flavour. Apparently there’s ginger in this one? I couldn’t taste it, nor could I really taste the green tea. Honestly I’d probably buy myself a tin of these if the price was right (sometimes vegan stuff is stupid expensive) but it’d be more for the taste than because of any “tea” in them.
This is a queued tasting note.
So I cold brewed this, but honestly I drank it while I was super busy just for the hydration and now I can’t really remember a whole lot about what it tasted like other than it was very roasty. This is mostly just a note for myself that it could be worthwhile trying this cold brewed again because I think I liked it? If nothing else, I’d like to make more observant notes.
EDIT: So this is tasting note 3700!? I guess MAYBE it’s time to start thinking about what tea I want tasting note 4000 to be? It’s a way off, but this “milestones” keep sneaking up on me…