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Recent Tasting Notes
Last tea of the night.
When I made my Christmas treat bags for coworkers, I included a cup worth of this tea in each bag – this is the first time I’m trying it myself though. Most of today was sipdowns, and I wanted to finish the night with something new. Plus, a floral white is probably a good thing for relaxing late at night.
To be perfectly honest, I dislike lavender quite a bit. It often just tastes so soapy to me. However, I really have a love for floral whites in general; Jasmine Silver Needle and DT’s Elderflower blend with peony in it both spring to mind. Something about the delicate profile of a white tea and the therapeutic nature of floral flavours goes hand in hand for me. And while this could have been a real miss for me, I’m finding it more soft, silky, and pleasant than I’d thought I would. The lavender is light and kept from tasting too one-tone thanks to the vanilla which really, really makes the tea.
Honestly, it’ls like drinking a lullaby! I feel sleepy, and relaxed and this is just gentle enough to ease me out of the day while having a strong enough flavour to not taste bland. I’m sure in the future, depending on the mood I’m in, I may change my mind about this tea because lavender and I still aren’t super chummy; but right now it’s perfect.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Hay, Lavender, Vanilla
This is a queued tasting note.
Cold Brew Sipdown (129)!
Sipping this one down is less tragic because I know I bought it locally and I can probably get a hold of it to restock pretty easily; but it still kind of sucks because this has been really consistently enjoyable. I’m sticking with the description I used on a previous tasting note of this one: it’s basically a Coffee Crisp if the bar somehow incorporated apple into the flavour. And, in the case of this blend, cinnamon as well because that flavour note also came through really nicely.
When looking for my song pairing for this one I just pulled something from the Great Gatsby sound track, which I quite liked. That was probably the easy way out, but I’ve been fascinated by relating the flavour of this tea to the characters/settings in the book and I wanted to see if I could find a song from the soundtrack that helped strengthen the literary connection this tea is named for even further.
This is the song pairing I liked the best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLtxgDvC3Tw&list=PLf8QJjyzKLu2hm1e_Ao0G-6YKhtZnJgHh&index=17
The perfect merger of ‘current music’ and fifties flapper music!
This is a queued tasting note.
Tried cold brewing this one again; it’s definitely growing on me ever so slightly. This brew I found that the flavours seemed to muddle together/blend into one another more smoothly than past cuppas. If I close my eyes and take a sip, it’s exactly like liquid Coffee Crisp, with apple notes. Mmm!
Speaking, today, of blends I own that are similar to Tea Desire’s Latte Macciato there’s this one. Both are a rooibos/honeybush base with chocolate and coffee beans. The difference is that this has a lot more flavour elements going on that give a larger depth to the layers of flavour and the bonus of a literary name, which of course hooks me in like it’s clearly intended to…
Tried it hot today, and the flavour is really good: better than the cold brew good. And better than Latte Macciato, as well. All the flavours are there: chocolate, coffee, juicy and slightly tangy apples, and cinnamon and nutmeg! It’s kind of like drinking a really nice apple pie with the right amount of warming spices, but you’ve also got the scoop of chocolate ice cream and coffee you’ve paired it with dumped into the cup too. It’s very pleasant; better than I’m describing it – at least.
It still doesn’t totally remind me of The Great Gatsby’s setting, theme or any of the characters (so really no element of the book) but it’s a good tea in general so I guess I can put my literary disappointment aside for now.
So, what was everyone’s Christmas/holiday haul?
I’m certainly sure I wasn’t the only one who had tea related things under the Christmas tree! Like I’ve already said, I got $75 towards a Camellia Sinensis order and my Secret Santa at work got me a $15 DAVIDsTEA gift card and a Spiderman mug. Though I still have one more Christmas to celebrate before I’ll know my full Christmas haul.
Anyway; I grabbed this tea last week from Cuppa’T. It was something I 100% didn’t expect to grab or even know was carried by them but couldn’t resist once I’d seen it. Everything Great Gatsby related pulls me in; I’m such a fan of the book and movie! In all honesty, the ingredients didn’t appeal to me at all but just the idea of seeing how the flavour profile would play into how I view the novel had my literary side nerding out so badly!
Ultimately, I want to try this one hot because I just get the feeling that’s how it’ll be best enjoyed but thus far I’ve only had it cold brewed because that’s just what was the easiest way for me to drink it as soon as possible; and I wanted to try it as soon as possible. The flavour is very sweet and in an odd way quite juice like which is surprising given the amount of ingredients in this blend which aren’t fruit. I wouldn’t say the sweetness is overpowering.
Actually, I’d say the richness of the flavour notes nicely parallels the richness and opulence of not only Jay Gatsby but the whole era in which The Great Gatsby is set so that’s a nice tie in with the name of the tea right off the bat. The dominant flavour notes here are: cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, sweet apple, and coffee. Moving outside of the setting in which Great Gatsby takes place and onto how this reminds me of the characters I have to say that the one character that this reminds me of in particular is Owl Eyes!
That’s surprising for me because I’ve always pictured that if Owl Eyes was a tea drinker yes, this is something I’ve thought about before he’d drink Lapsang Souchong because Owl Eyes is in a way meant to be the embodiment of the all seeing eyes that look over The Valley of Ashes. And I still think that’s what he’d drink were he a real person, these flavours just seem to capture the nature of his personality. Also, moving back to setting, we see Owl Eyes in Gatsby’s library and I like to think that a library as elaborate as Gatsby’s would have not only the smell of books and parchment but something comparable to the warming spices and coffee I’m tasting in this blend!
I’m probably putting too much weight on what the thought process was behind this blend and symbolism between it and the characters/setting. However, I’m ultimately happy with the blend overall. This is one impulse purchase I don’t regret.
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing. This is definitely a juice tea(especially cold brewed as I am having it) though I imagined the flavor would have been more elaborate than what I am getting. Cranberry tends to be more prominent than it is here. All I’m getting is dragon fruit, which is lovely but less than what I expected. Still, it’s a nice enough tea and I enjoyed the little bit that I had, even if it was different than what I thought I would be having.
Oh and turns out this is my 2400 tasting note. That’s a nice round number.
I picked these ones up on my last visit. It was a bit of a surprise, I had never seen them here before. I am always a sucker for packaging. The store had these bricks packed 5 into a cute little box. I didn’t necessarily want 5, but that is how they came and it was better than having to purchase 50 or 100g.
They are really small mini bricks. About a half inch by half inch. I tried to confirm with the owner of the tea shop what kind of tea it was. All I got was it is real green tea leaves. So I am not sure what kind of green tea, but it is green tea. There are also what appear to be small rose petals in there.
The first time I tried this yesterday, it didn’t quite turn out. I did a quick rinse. I then planned to steep for about 30 seconds as that is how I prefer my green tea. But after about 30 seconds it wasn’t quite the right colour. So I wanted to leave it for a few seconds longer. Then my phone rang and it was an unexpected but important call… And it steeped for about 10 minutes. The brick was completely turned into just free floating large green tea leaves and fair sized pink rose buds. The tea was really bitter and had quite a strong roasted flavour. I steeped the leaves again, for about a minute and it wasn’t too bad. Still roasty, but there was quite a creamy flavour. It reminded me of sencha. There was not much rose flavour.
Today I thought I would try again. I did a quick rinse. I then steeped for 45 seconds, standing over the pot while it steeped. The brick expanded but stayed intact. The liquor was light straw colour. It was a nice, light, fresh green tea. There were light hints of creaminess. There was a very, very light rose, florarl flavour. The rose blended well with the green tea.
The second steep I did about 30 seconds. The brick was starting to break apart but still remained intact, and it brewed up really quick. There are starting to be metallic mineral notes to the green tea. It is also starting to get a little bit astringent. The rose floral is becoming a bit stronger but it is still pleasant.
More steeping to come…. I am not much of a re-steeper but I am interested to see how long this brick lasts for.
Update: I ended up getting 6 – 30 seconds steeps. That is how long it took for the brick to completely break up anyway. I am sure there were more steeps available. It did start to get quite astringent in the last steep and that is why I stopped.
This tea was a tea that was blended by a local tea merchant, Cuppa’T Specialty Teas, for 2016, which is the 125th Anniversary of Government House in Regina, SK.
Government House was built in 1891, and served as the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories. It currently serves as a multi-purpose Heritage Facility and museum. And most importantly, in the spring/summer it serves Victorian High Tea on the weekends.
They did a contest where people could sign up to be a tea taster, there were 3 blends, this fruity blend, a traditional blend, and a maple blend, and I guess this is the one that won.
It is definitely not what I was expecting to be a Government House tea. I would think a bold black with creamy notes, or a black with vanilla, maybe a green with a bit of spice. Something simple but very elegant. I never expected a strawberry mint blend but I guess the description about the gardener makes perfect sense.
The dry tea is small leaves of black tea with very finely chopped mint. There are largish dried strawberries that are all clumped up with tea. It makes me think there was some oil or liquid type flavour that then clumped up all the tea.
The smell is super delicious. It smells like strawberry bubble gum; candied strawvberries with a bit of mint. It is sweet and has quite a bit of “pop” to it.
The tea brewed is ok. There is a black tea base that is slightly astringent at the end of the sip. It is light to moderate boldness. There are definitely cooling mint undertones. I think it is a bit of a spearmint/peppermint mix. It is not very strong but definitely present. The strawberry flavour is unfortunately lacklustre. It is an artificial, but not bad, strawberry flavour. But it loses the pop that the scent had. It definitely needs some sweetness added to it I think.
Overall it is good. The flavours were definitely a surprise from what I was expecting. I think it would be great iced. And maybe iced with lemonade :)
It is available only at Cuppa T and at Government House. All the proceeds go to the Government House Historical Society which supports and preserves this historical site.
This tea smells fairly creamy. Unfortunately, it does not taste as creamy as it smells. For a milk oolong, I was expecting more “milk”. It is still enjoyable with buttery and floral notes. A little bit lacking for me today I’m afraid.
I need to play around with the parameters a bit more I think.
I brewed this tea in the same mug as my cuppa of the morning.…bad idea because all I can taste is that previous tea. I will have to try again.
As far as I could tell though, this tea was very light in flavour. And only slightly milky. Maybe I should try with boiling water next time??
I cold brewed this for about 18 hours. I used 2tsp for close to 16 oz, but this was too weak. I would have to use 3-4tsp to see if I can bring out more flavour. I am not usually the biggest fan of hibiscus, but I thought it would be appropriate for cherry. It was a nice light pink which was neat. The cherry was certainly there, but I need more of it.
I was so happy today to go to my local tea shop, because I hadn’t been there in so long. I ended up getting a lot more tea than I intended (of course). The owner is always so nice and helpful. As an added bonus, I got a free tea today from my reward points!! Yay free tea!
This tea was woodsy from the rooibos and almond. The vanilla is more in the background, adding a tad bit of sweetness. I wish the vanilla was just a bit stronger but overall I like this cuppa. I would definitely buy this again to have in the evening.
Sad Sipdown (97)
Thank you Roswell Strange for sending me this delightful tea. It’s a consistent cup of Creme brulee deliciousness. Never has the base been noticed which means the flavors are free to take center stage. Even hanging out in a tiny ziploc bag for like a year, this has remained the same as it was the first day I had it. Amazing and definitely one I am sad to see go.
EDIT: This isnt on their website anymore. Does that mean it is gone forever?
OMG Roswell Strange, I think you found a winner!! This is amazing! First off, it smells awesome and though the smell doesn’t 100% transfer to the taste, it still has this amazing vanilla silkiness that takes over. Pair that with a nutty/almost burnt caramel and you have one big cup of delicousness. Thanks for the share!!
Thank you Roswell Strange for the sample! I set this tea up in my ingenuiTEA to brew in the morning, and I didn’t check to see what kind of tea it was so I used just boiling water. Which could be worse, considering it’s a darker oolong and can take the heat :P I got a nice big hunk of orange in my sample from Roswell that I threw in. There was such an odd myriad of potpourri ingredients tossed in, rose, coconut, orange peels… I feel like none of them stood out to me. It was like drinking the inside of a craft store. There was not enough mouthfeel or ‘why hello, it is I, tea!’ kind of sensation I usually get. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.
Sorry, this one just isn’t for me.
CURSE YOU INTERWEBS! I was looking at this note to see where the company was from, and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Like it had been eaten by the levatious tasting note gods. Le sigh I am so lucky I write my notes on my computer and then post them. … usually.
First of my swap with Roswell! this was the first tea I dug into, because it was late and I all I wanted was some dessert. I have given Rooibos a bad rap in the past, and I think I needed to give it another chance.
This was a good second chance! The nutty honey Rooibos was accentuated by the other goodies inside. Or rather, I should say that the goodies were accentuated by the Rooibos. It was as crème Brulee as it could be. Silky, Creamy, and vanilla bean-y. As much as my chefs at culinary school made me want to hate this dessert… shouting in a French accent in my ear about how I am not using the right temperature to temper my egg yolks and cream… I go ahem apeshit for that delicious dessert.
Yay for swaps! when I got the package last night, I squealed at the stickers and promptly stuck r2d2 on my dog’s forehead. Man, Ros, I demand a re-do! If only a purple glitter monkey lamp would fit in a bubble mailer….
Flavors: Cream, Vanilla
Cold brew, and the final oolong from my oolong weekend.
I’n not really feeling this one tonight, which is odd because normally I really enjoy it. I’m wondering if maybe the reason it’s not vibing as well with me today is the weather? That seems like such a weird thing to be such a deciding factor in whether or not I’m going to enjoy a tea, but I’ve just become so accustomed to this being my rainy day/stormy weather tea that now that it’s just straight up snowing and cold it feels sort of like… c
Well, like cheating, I guess? To be drinking it, that is.
It’s also very floral tonight, and in a kind of fake-y way. So, probably going to dump out the bulk of the cold brew. It’s just not working for me tonight, and that’s ok. It’s just better to not waste my time with bad tea, is all.
This is a queued tasting note.
Cold brewed this time around. I definitely like this one hot better, but there’s something nice to the cold brew as well if you can strain it before it gets too potent. Let it go on steeping too long and it becomes a little like a hellish potpourri. This brew was lovely and very tropical. So, essentially, very strong pineapple and coconut notes. Still had great supporting floral notes though.
For this to come out especially tropical in taste is just a bit off beat from what it usually is, so what better song to match it with that something equally off beat with the same “floral” tie ins.
I think this has just become my unofficial, ‘official’ rainy day tea. It’s my instant go to! I think one of the things I like most about this one, though, is that it brews up fairly consistently but because of the big range of ingredients in really varied sizes it’s still not the exact same drink every time because it still depends a little bit on what you scoop up.
This cold brew (yes; cold brew for a rainy day – not a hot tea) was mostly cinnamon, rose, cranberry, citrus and pineapple – no real flavour from the coconut shreds because I didn’t get any significant amount of them scooped up in the leaf. And no pomegranate or vanilla, either.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WK-vRhz9xs
Yeah, this is kind of an obvious one…
Commute tea on a windy/rainy day – pretty much my favourite time to pull out my tin of this and whip up a hot cuppa. Seriously, if you were to skim my tasting notes on this tea I think about half of them would incorporate rain or bad weather of some variety…
This tasted magical: lots of cranberry in this brew particularly, but in general the fruity notes present in this blend were more prominent than usual and they definitely out weighed the other notes like cinnamon or coconut. Very lovely!
It was a really windy and on again, off again drizzly day today, especially earlier in the morning. So drinking this tea, which is like a pina colada with a whole bunch of floral notes and tart but sweet cranberry undertone, was kind of the perfect thing to lift me out of such drab weather. You know, ’cause of the tropical vibe of the pina colada notes…