1038 Tasting Notes

Popped into a DT’s shop today to take advantage of the 2x FS points offer on leaf and yay, yet another free cup of tea of the day. Which again was this one—could do much worse. Good and gentle and nicely steeped. This reminds me of the bottled green tea blends in the refrigerator section of the corner store, plus the suggestion of green apple. The kombucha fizziness and slight sourness is missing altogether here but that is all to the good.

Kittenna

I’m sad I had to miss this day. We’re down to one car, and my husband has soccer on Thursdays… it just wasn’t going to work for me to make it to a DT with the baby. Kind of bummed. Hopefully these Frequent Steeper events happen a few times a year!

Evol Ving Ness

Today is free cup of tea of the day day in honour of International Women’s Day! Maybe that’ll work. (Babies are cute but loud and cumbersome. But they’re cute, so there’s that.)

Kittenna

Yep, I saw that and think I might make my way there this afternoon after I get the car! Had it just been me yesterday, maybe I would have tried the bus, but I’m just not willing to do that with the baby (I know, so many people do, and they are incredible; I am absolutely lazy and entitled.)

Evol Ving Ness

I didn’t get to DT’s today. thought about it and that’s as far as it got.

Kittenna

I made it! I got a free Frozen Raspberry TOTD, which was lovely, and also a free sample of a not-yet-released tea. And then I purchased about $15 of matcha, Green Apple Kombucha, and Mango Boost samples, which would have been nice to get 2x Frequent Steeper points on!

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100

Steeped up a good strong cup of this and poured it in with the leftover Heavenly Cream plus cream in my travel mug and omgoshwow. All the excellence of Heavenly Cream and the heft of bittersweet chocolate of this. Score!

If only my migraine would subside…

Mastress Alita

I know those feels all too well (chronic migrainer of 18+ years). I hope it breaks soon!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for checking in. I feel ya! Chronic stuff is really something, really something.

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Went to the Art Gallery of Ontario today to see the Femmes Noir exhibit. Had this while visiting with a friend in the cafe. Think thick vanilla clotted cream with the barest hint of bergamot. Delicious. I added half and half to it to take it over the top. Highly recommend. (However, the tins are overpriced.)

Awesome exhibit. Catch it if you can. https://nowtoronto.com/culture/art-and-design/mickalene-thomas-ago-femmes-noires/

Mastress Alita

That sounds tasty!

Kittenna

It does!

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Ayup, GREAT vanilla toning down the lavender. And the lavender is toning down the bergamot. And all the flavours are toning down the rather harsh black base. All good.

Mastress Alita

Mmm, that sounds like a winning combo.

Evol Ving Ness

I like this tea because the vanilla is a winner and it overrides all else/brings it all together.

Evol Ving Ness

I just went to their website and I predict an order in my future.

Kittenna

Oh dear. Yes, this sounds amazing. I love cream EGs; I love lavender.

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100

Well, now that ATR is, sadly, no longer, I’ve been hoarding the last shreds of this favourite.

The trick is, of course, to drink it while it is still holding its magic.

Initially, I was thinking that the magic had dissipated, but just when I was getting used to the idea that this was just ordinary. BOOM! A liquid sugary sweet raisin almond saffron pastry came through in each sip. All that was missing was that dense chewy fresh sweet breadiness that you bite into, leaving a tooth imprint in every bite.

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To borrow from derk, this is an old ass tea. Perhaps three, moving on to four years old. That said, the packet had been unopened and reasonably well stored.

I steeped it with slightly cooled water to attempt to coax all the things.

Malt, a bit of citrus, and a bit of muscatel. A beautiful cup. The apricot is not showing up for me. Perhaps it has left the building altogether.

Kittenna

Unopened usually spells good things for me, despite age :)

Evol Ving Ness

Me too. And now that it is open, the pressure is on. :)

Evol Ving Ness

From Ms. Roswell Strange—
Basically, the use of “Clonal” means that the tea was grown from hybrid clones instead of seeds – it’s essentially controlling the tea breeding/growing to achieve specific qualities. With teas from India in particular, generally what is being bred for is a higher percentage of golden tips since the higher the percentage the higher the grade they can attribute to the tea. A higher grade generally means that they can sell for a significantly higher profit since there’s a perception that higher grade = higher quality. It’s sort of true that generally a higher grade is higher quality but since tea leaf grading ONLY describes the physical appearance of tea you can absolutely have lower grades that taste better than higher grades (plus taste is ultimately subjective anyway).

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Bio

Note to self—-you do not actually need any more tea.

My real tea obsession began in February 2015.

Not, sadly, when I had been living and working in China, though I very much enjoyed sampling a variety of teas during my travels there as well. No, no, that would have been far too sensible.

I am a reformed coffee drinker. I still enjoy a long double espresso with a good quantity or milk or cream from time to time, but for now, tea is my thing. All day.

*note—this is way out of date, so if we are doing a swap and you are checking to see what I like and dislike, mostly never mind what you find below. One of these days, I will update this. In the meantime, check what I’ve been drinking and use your own judgement. I like all the teas. Well, I am open to trying all the teas.

I tend to drink black, green, or oolong tea in the morning to early afternoon. Rooibos or
Honeybush or herbal in the evening. And perhaps some sort of sleepy-type tea in the wee hours.

This year, I’ve been discovering flavoured teas, so it may look like that is all I drink although that would provide a false impression.

Not a big fan of chocolate or mint in teas, but I will try them and, from time to time, have been pleasantly surprised. Also, usually I dislike a prominent cinnamon flavour, if untempered with other things, in teas. Again, I say usually, because there are exceptions.

Also, please note that haven’t quite gotten into the habit of updating my tea cupboard on Steepster, and it is unlikely that I will do this on any kind of regular basis.

I drink my tea black and unsweetened. If there comes a rare moment that I add something to it, I will mention it.

Finally, while I thank large and successful tea companies for tantalizing and beckoning me to the world of tea, I prefer to support independent ventures with real people, real enthusiasm and commitment, and real dreams.

Currently, I am researching monthly tea subscriptions. Perhaps it will keep me out of tea shops.

And here is Shae’s rating scale— which I am using with permission, of course— which more or less describes the way I have been rating teas. I am going to make more of an effort to stay very close to these parameters now.

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Location

Mostly, but not always, Toronto, Canada.

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