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Recent Tasting Notes
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 Sipdown (215)!
I didn’t have much time today to drink tea at work, ironically enough given I work at a tea store. We had a fire alarm go off midday though so we were all evacuated for around half an hour. Then, I spent a few hours in the back stock room gabbing stock so no tea then. Finally, our close was really hectic/demanding because we were short staffed someone didn’t come in for serious medical reasons.
So this was my ride or die tea today. Sip or die?
I really do love this tea, and I know I’m going to feel the absence of it in my cupboard a lot more once the rainy season hits because it’s very much my go to bad weather tea. I fully intend to restock it though next time I visit Cuppa’T if they’re still carrying it. It’s just so unique…
Flavors: Coconut, Cranberry, Floral
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…
Yes, I did pick up more of this tea…
It’s kind of funny how much it’s grown on me given the weird jumble of flavours. However, when I was shopping at Cuppa’T I saw this on the shelf and instantly knew I needed another 50g. This weird floral, fruity potpourri tea has a really comforting quality to it!
Notes of cinnamon, rose, coconut, pineapple, and cranberry kind of meld together in a way that I want to describe as “a hug from the inside out”. A hug that’s reassuring/comforting after something upsetting and a hug that’s more in line with “welcoming a loved one” after a period of absence. It’s weird because often I associate tea/the flavour of certain teas with emotions and for me this one is a cross between melancholic stillness/peacefulness (that kind of beautiful, nostalgic sadness) and the feeling of butterflies in your stomach on a first date with someone you really like.
I’m slowly sipping on this mug, and reacquainting myself with this tea has me very emotional and tearing up. I mean, to be fair I’m also listening to a playlist I’ve titled “melancholy” and the music itself makes me fairly emotional – but I’m a borderline sobby mess right now…
And I love it.
I was really enjoying this cold brew up until the point where I got off the couch to answer the phone and came back to see that in my short 10 minute or so absence two fruit flies had inhabited my mason jar of tea, essentially ruining it or – at least, ruining my desire to drink it. I guess they liked it too.
Overall; I have to admit this is far from the best tea out there. There are many things wrong with it, not the least of which is the overwhelming amount of ingredients and flavors but one thing is certainly true and that’s that the more you drink this one the more it does grow on you.
So while I may have initially regretted buying it, I definitely don’t now.
Tre made some sort of seafood dish last night, and the whole house just stinks of fish, so when it started heavily pouring outside this morning I made a hot cup of this with a little bit of cashew milk added in and just stood in the backyard in my t-shirt and boxers, barefoot getting rained on while sipping tea. It felt like it could be a scene from a coming of age movie,or something of that nature.
I kind of hated this tea at first; it’s grown on me a fair bit now. It’s a weird jumble of flavours: cinnamon, rose, coconut, cranberry, pineapple, vanilla – all present but none commanding. Though I’m tasting all of the fruit elements more directly with this most recent infusion. The cashew milk just adds even more to the mix. It’s peaceful though, and almost makes me sleepy with how relaxing it is.
I’m back inside now, and all dried off but it’s still raining and I really want to head back out. The fresh air and rain, combined with the warmth of the tea created such a lovely moment of stillness and calm and I need another fix of that.
The flavour of this brew was mostly comprised of cinnamon, coconut, cranberry, and rose – it bordered a little bit on over the top, flowery/perfumey potpourri but actually managed to be drinkable in a way that wasn’t totally offensive or overwhelming to the palate. Maybe this tea is just an “acquired taste”? You know, you have to try it enough times to actually wrap your head around it.
So, at work I’m a cashier – and recently I became the ‘engagement committee’ representative for my department; I think I may have written about that in a previous tasting note? Well, part of that is meeting up monthly with the representatives in every other department to hash out the issues the store has alongside our store manager and try to come up with ways to resolve those issues, be they departmental or store wide. Doing this has opened my eyes up to a lot of issues other departments are facing which mine isn’t; the fact most are understaffed without enough hours to either hire more employees or give existing employees more shifts is just one of many.
It frustrates me though; for one my department is constantly overstaffed to the point where it becomes necessary for people to be sent home – those are hours that we aren’t using that could be going to departments that need them; namely Deli or Fresh Cut Produce! They NEVER have enough time to do all their work, and are always rushed/overwhelmed. And then, we’re not typically allowed to be cross trained for multiple departments – I’m already sort of an exception because on top of being a cashier they’ve cross trained me in File Maintenance, and I sometimes volunteer to help out Chef Darcy in the event room with his classes.
Well, yesterday I kind of got frustrated with that. We were so over staffed and it was so quiet in our department that instead of sending me home I convinced Corey, our store manager, to let me work in Fresh Cut Produce for the rest of my shift. So for three hours I worked non stop cubing honeydew and cantaloupe. The sleeves from my white work shirt are actually stained orange from all the cantaloupe I cut.
And it was surprisingly really hard work; keeping up with the pace they’re used to working at was not easy – and it was absolutely non stop work. But I enjoyed doing it a lot; I wish they could solve their under staffing issue by just cross training some of the cashiers in different departments. I understand why it’s not feasible in some departments like Kitchen, Meat, and Deli where there’s more to learn but Produce/Grocery would be easy to do! They’d just need relief cutters and stockers and that’s easy enough to pick up.
Cold brew that I came home to Sunday morning after drinking with Billi and the gang…
I’ve been kind of mixed about this one; it’s got good qualities but it can also feel like too much is going on because of the vast ingredients list – and some of the flavours are a little weird together. This cold brew was under leafed specifically to try and avoid that.
It still came out tasting heavily of potpourri; cinnamon, rose and coconut in particular. However, with a very mild hangover there was something super, super appealing about that to me and I guzzled it down. In a normal “state of mind” I think I likely would have found it too intensely floral and perfumey. Maybe it was good I was kinda hungover?
Downside to having a hangover on a Sunday though? It happens to be the landlord’s day off too and lately his new renovation project has been replacing all the tile flooring in his half of the house. So from noon until about ten thirty at night (dear God; regardless of being hungover WHY is it necessary to be doing construction THAT BLOODY LATE!?) it was just constant hammering, pounding and drilling. Would’ve been annoying on its own – but was made that much worse by already having a slight headache.
Tre gets back in from Regina sometime tomorrow so I thought it’d be nice if I made cupcakes tonight so he’s coming home to something sweet. It also doesn’t hurt that it’ll probably help with him feeling less ticked off that he was gone a whole week and a still haven’t done the dishes. For anyone curious, I made Butter Pecan Zucchini Cupcakes with a chocolate frosting! Instead of a cup of water, I used 1/2 of milk and 1/2 cup of Southern Butter Pecan creamer, which has only made them even more over the top rich and indulgent. Mmm; moist and yummy!
I am both the best and worst roommate.
Anyway, this was the tea I brought with to work today! I’ve only had it once before; cold brewed, and I think I felt pretty impartial to it – you know, it wasn’t necessarily really good but it wasn’t awful either. Hot was quite nice though!
There are a lot of ingredients in this blend, and so the combination of flavours is a little bit overwhelming. You’re tasting so many at once, and in different proportions – but it comes together to make one nice flavour. For me, I greatly tasted the sweet, floral rose among other floral notes from the oolong base and cinnamon, pineapple, coconut and a dulled down cranberry flavour. It kind of reminds me a little of DAVIDsTEA’s Alpine Punch blend if I’m being honest – but a touch more tropical and with no marzipan flavour. It’s like drinking a really, really good potpourri?
I’m confused about what time of the year/temperature it’d be appropriate to drink this though; it has the sweet fruity flavour of a summer tea (I mean common; Pineapple/Coconut) but the warm, snuggly comfort factor that a good winter tea also possesses. Have I sent this one out to anyone else? I’d really like to see what other people think of it…
Anyway; it was better the second time around! Gonna play around a little more with hot preparation styles since I have lots left and now know I prefer hot to cold with this one.
This is one of two new teas I picked up for myself in December when I was down in Regina. For my first time having it I prepared it as a cold brew; I actually wrote out much more thorough jot notes for this blend than I tend to typically do, and since I wrote out a lot of them I’m just going to paste them straight into the note instead of expanding on each point. I still have quite a lot of this one since I had to get 50g, so I can write a more structured review at some point down the road…
- Definitely not quite what I was expecting
- Notes of cinnamon, roses, cranberry, and pineapple are most present
- With lesser notes of coconut and vanilla and other less descript floral qualities
- With so many additives, the oolong base was well masked
- It seems, really, more like an afterthought
- I was expecting a more fruit heavy tea similar to Pina Colada but with a twist
- That’s definitely NOT what this is, though it wasn’t bad either
- Curious where the name comes from: none of the ingredients scream PINK to me
- And the liquor was more an amber colour than anything else
- So far not something I’d want more of, but happy to have tried it!
- And will try it again several ways because this seems worthy of exploration
Finished this one off last night at something stupid like three in the morning. I was drinking it and my brother had just gotten home from work, came downstairs and instantly commented on how good it smelled/how strong the rich vanilla aroma was.
And the vanilla certainly was strong! This was a really wonderful tea to end the night on and I’m happy to have gotten in a sipdown since I’ve got tea en-route and just picked up some of DT’s fall stuff. Plus, now that I’m in Regina again it’s not too hard to pop on over to Cuppa’T and see if I can grab some more!
Man, I don’t envy Liam right now though. He’s working the same job I used to in highschool; at Galaxy Cinemas. He absolutely hates it – I can tell. To be fair, I did encourage him not to apply because I know he’s in no way an evening person and working at the theater is really late hours. But watching him do it, I have no idea how I did it – I AM an evening person so I know how I managed to stay up so late, but to then go to school at 8AM? That’s crazy.
I guess to be fair in my final year of highschool I did have a lot of spares; first and fifth period and then 2nd too because IB Art finished a few months early. So I’d just go to school with my brother in the morning and catch up on sleep in the art loft (we had the best couches up there and no one other than art students were allowed access) during my spares…
When I was packing everything on Tuesday, there were a few tea soda syrups in the fridge that, because of the containers they were in, couldn’t come with me to Regina so my friend Robyn who was helping me pack and I had tea soda and ice cream while getting everything ready to move back!
She had a Redberry Tonic Soda (I’ll remake this eventually so I can try it too) and I had a Creme Brulee Rooibos soda! My idea with this one when I made the syrup was that because of the strong vanilla notes it might taste good or somewhat like Cream Soda and that’s exactly what it tasted like! Except no where near as sweet/cloying, and a lot more natural.
Now that I’m back in Regina, stopping at Cuppa’T to restock this tea seems a lot more realistic/doable – the downside of course being that neither Tea Desire or McQuarrie’s (both shops I have blends from which I like to have on hand) are quite so local anymore…
I’ve decided to stop hoarding the leaf for this blend, and just work on sipping it down.
Vanilla bean, vanilla custard, vanilla cake… Vanilla everything!
And on top of that mouth watering vanilla flavor, this cold brew had a lovely soft floral quality, honey notes, and a subtle graham/woody flavour from the rooibos base. This leaf might be somewhat older, but that hasn’t changed the wonderful flavour yet! I’d still like to try more teas with tonka beans in them though; I think they’re the key to this wonderful ‘triple threat’ vanilla flavour – but I can’t be sure if I don’t have something to compare with.
Old leaf; but not spent leaf.
Steeped this one up as a hot cashew milk latte for class last week. I was a little scared that the cashew milk’s distinct flavor might over power the vanilla notes but the tea did a good job keeping up with the milk.
It was actually very sweet; almost cloying actually and I really didn’t expect that. I was sure this would be a nice, creamy beverage with subtle vanilla flavouring. But I’m not disappointed it was really sweet; it was a good surprise! Obviously the vanilla notes dominated, with the extra kind of ‘exotic’ presence/feel from the Tonka Beans. Liquid Proust should see if he can find a source for Tonka Beans; I’ve yet to see another company use them (and I know they’re supposed to be near impossible to find in the states) and I’d love to try them in another blend. Maybe with a black base…
But overall this was super comforting and enjoyable; though perhaps better suited for fall/winter?
My tummy has the gurglies…
I just finished baking two dozen cupcakes and I most definitely ate too much cupcake batter because I’m a foolish person. It was fun playing around with new recipes though; the ones I made are Vanilla/Cherry/Zucchini with a Strawberries and Cream matcha icing. I can’t even think about trying one right now – but Tre played ‘Guinea Pig’ for me and tried one without the icing and one with. He says that without is amazing; very moist, with a good balance of zucchini and cherry. With, he didn’t like as much – though it wasn’t because of the vegetal factor like expected. It’s ‘cause the strawberry blends into the cherry too much and it gets too strong taste wise. Of course, I’ll test them for myself later and record a note for them…
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this one up in my timolino with a little bit of milk splashed in. I realized that with the change of season, I’ve been neglecting my rooibos teas pretty badly so I pulled about five of them out of my cupboard to incorporate into the work week. This is the first one I steeped up.
The mouthfeel was very thick and rich, and the creaminess of the milk only help extend that feeling. Creamy vanilla bean notes dominated the cup in a way that made me think of thick, frosty vanilla milkshakes (only hot?). The last few sips were a touch medicinal tasting; perhaps from the rooibos base, sitting in the timolino for an extended time or possibly a combination of both.
Milk seemed to simplify the complexity/layers of this blend – but it was enjoyable overall, and perhaps the best way to drink it in a timolino. I find with more complex/nuanced teas, the timolino strips that away anyway or it just becomes too much of a distracting paying attention to the tea when I just want something casual to sip on during my work commute.
Next up in the queue; I wrote lots of jot notes for this one since I was very excited about it.
I picked this one up in store when I was in Regina mid December; I had planned to get at least one new blend to try, but I definitely wasn’t anticipating it being this one. In part because I picked up two other rooibos blends at the same time, and in part because I already stock another Creme Brulee blend that also uses rooibos (albeit green rooibos) for the base.
But the ingredients in this were rather unique in my opinion, and I’d never seen a blend with them sold by any other retailer so I got swept up in the excitement and bought this one. I mean, it’s got sweet blackberry leaves, puffed rice, and tonka beans. Definitely a bit different. I even had to look up tonka beans because while I’d heard the name before I was so unfamiliar with them I didn’t know what the flavour was supposed to be like and I’d never seem them mentioned in tea before.
A brief lesson of sorts on tonka beans: They’re most commonly used in perfume because they have a sweet, almost vanilla like taste and smell but they’re uncommon in food/drink because they got a “bad wrap” years ago for being toxic. Except, they’re toxic in the same way that nutmeg is toxic: you have to consume a whole lot of it. More tonka beans or nutmeg than any sane/rational person would ever or could ever consume at one time. So really, they’re not harmful at all. Just kind of… taboo.
And so now you know!
And guys, as soon as the water hit the tea leaf my house smelled incredible. This tea is really, really aromatic with such a smooth, soft vanilla/caramel kind of smell to it. I’m sure it must be from the beans – I really did immediately kind of understand why they’re so often used in perfume. It really carries, and lasts!
Taste wise, the liquor in this scrumptious smelling tea isn’t nearly as smooth as the smell would suggest it should be, but it’s still really good regardless. The vanilla (or rather “tonka”) flavour in this is really silky and powerful, and the most noticeable thing in the blend, but there’s also this lovely caramel flavour that feels just a little burned. Toasty, gooey caramel. The puffed rice contributes a roastiness that I didn’t realize I wanted to be there until I tasted it – and now I’m sure that it needs to be there. And it’s so subtle too; just a fleeting roasty quality made noticeable right before that first taste of vanilla and then again right after it’s faded.
As for the base, it’s decently masked but still a little present. I actually like rooibos though so I don’t mind it at all though. I’m gonna love having this sweet, accurately named dessert tea around for before bed though. I’m sure of it!
What a fantastic blend to come out of a fairly quaint little store. I really don’t know anywhere else I could find such a unique Creme Brulee blend. Just dying to know where they sourced it from!
Thanks to Lala for this tea! I immediately thought of using this to cold brew, and one litre later, I’m sharing some with my mom. It makes without-a-doubt-lemon iced tea without all the scary sweetness in Nestea and the like. My mom even swears the base has a floral note? I see where she is coming from.
Thanks again, Lala!
Thank you Roswell Strange for the share. When brewing, this smelled amazing and as I sip, I am enjoying it more than I anticipated I would. The base is a faint orange flavour but add to that a touch of pepper and a nice dose of spice and you have a surprisingly pleasant cup of tea. However, I do want to mention it is best hot because the flavors change as it cools and they aren’t as good. 265.