This could end up being a weird tasting note…
So Pizza 73, which is my and Tre’s go to pizza restaurant started carrying funnel cake and it’s fucking delicious so we’ve been ordering A LOT from them this week. Last night’s order was funnel cake and pineapple and banana pepper pizza, which as always comes with Nestea! And that’s kind of perfect because it gives me the perfect non-tea (well pretty non-tea) note to use to go off about a sort of non-tea related experience I had today which got me SUPER excited!
I had to stop at the bank today to take out rent, and so I went to the branch that’s in the same mall as Tea Desire to pick up something for the bus ride home. I noticed that the associate was someone I’d never met before – and I’m familiar with most of the employees at not only Tea Desire but both DAVIDsTEA locations in town. She seemed nice; backed down when I said I was just looking, and kind of let me do my own thing.
This older woman came into the store, marched up to the counter and asked if they carried “Green tea from Kelowna”. In my head I asked myself if she meant British Columbia. Seemed like the sales associate had the same thought because she patiently explained that Tea Desire gets its tea from a manufacturer in Germany, but the teas themselves were from China and Japan – and that she’d never heard of tea grown in Kelowna because the environment here in Canada doesn’t really support the growth of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The woman looked and sounded so offended; “Tea from China!? No there is 100% green tea in British Columbia and it’s the best tea in the world!”. “Alright,” she agreed, “I just haven’t heard about it”. I know I was making an ‘are you fucking kidding me’ face, I didn’t hide it well. The associate must have saw, because she kind of looked at me like “Yeah, I know”.
But after she left, I went and picked up 50g of a blend to restock, and something to go, which I’ll write about later in a more focused and less lengthy note. It definitely took me a long time to pick something because of how many Tea Desire blends I’ve tried off their wall, and while trying to figure something out I ended up talking to the associate who turned out to be a fucking amazing person!
Seriously, without a word of exaggeration, we talked for a solid three hours! I kept worrying I was keeping her from her job, but thankfully it was pretty slow in the mall. To try and summarize the conversation would be futile – SO MUCH ground was covered. It was honestly the most profound and immediate connection I’ve ever had with a stranger, and the best in person tea related conversation I’ve ever had. I honestly feel like I got to know her better in three hours than some of the people I’ve been following here on Steepster for over a year or the coworkers I see pretty much every day.
Plus she is such a hard core tea drinker and hoarder like the majority of us here; it wasn’t like having a ‘tea conversation’ with someone who’s interested in tea but has limited exposure to it (like some DT employees; you know the ones) – nah, she knew tea companies that really only people who drink tea the way most Steepster uses do would know about: Kusmi, Mariage Freres, Dammann Freres, Nina’s Paris, Red Leaf Tea, Butiki, etc.
And some cool things were brought up; before working at Tea Desire she worked at DAVIDsTEA; and probably left her job there just months before I moved to Saskatoon! We know the same employees really well too! Also, as I sheepishly brought up Steepster early on in the conversation, I found out that she was active on Steepster briefly (based on her reviews I’m guessing in between working at DT and Tea Desire) but sadly fell out of it. Not only that, but when I mentioned my user name she knew who I was! Freaky, well sorta. I’m really, really hoping after our conversation she looks up the site again (and if you do I’m sorry I’m basically waxing poetic about you; but it was an AWESOME conversation), because the community here is awesome and I know she’d fit right in so damn well. Besides, you should really try swapping; at the very least I’d love the opportunity to share some of the blends we talked about today: Lupicia’s Golden Honeydew or anything from Butiki!
Also, I nearly pissed myself reading her old reviews: she’s got one for Red Leaf Tea’s Eggnog matcha that mentions finding a sample packet of it and I’m 99.9% sure she’s referring to the sample packets that I brought in to the DT store she used to work at. So we even have a sort of indirect connection from over a year ago! It’s also funny because we totally talked about Red Leaf Tea and matcha at some length today – and I think I’m probably a big part in what got her interested in it in the first place…
Tl;dr I had the best trip to the bank ever and met the wonderful loveaduck whom I really hope finds herself back on Steepster, and isn’t weirded out by this tasting note.
Oh, and I totally looked up “Kelowna Green Tea” when I got home. Couldn’t find anything for Kelowna Green tea but I DID find a website for “Wild Tea” from the Okanagan. Further exploration of the site reveals all of their tea is herbal tea. Sorry woman, but you’re crazy.