313 Tasting Notes


… and I’m back! Possibly. I can’t guarantee tasting notes won’t be sporadic but I’d really like to remember to actually say something about teas when I drink them, so hello!

This is one of the teas I picked up while in Canada over Christmas, and I’m glad I decided to give it a go. How does it smell just like what my brain thinks breakfast is meant to smell like? Perfectly French toastly goodness. Not a ton of cardamom, though – I notice it more when I manage to get one of the cardamom pods in that spoonful of tea leaves, but it’s more of a subtle backnote than the only flavour going on, and I think that it’s a spice well-suited to that role. Yeah. This is a good ’un.


Welcome back!!

Sami Kelsh

Thanks! It’s good to be back :)

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drank Redberry Tonic by DAVIDsTEA
313 tasting notes

MAN. I have been remiss. Like, months worth of remiss. I am so sorry.

But, today. Hottest day of the year. High of, like, 34 I think? Considering that my body starts to shut down and try to self-destruct above like 23, I’m bracing myself for the worst. Given up all pretence of looking like a professional who works in an office, my hair headbanded away from my sweaty face, my baggy weekend jeans with knee holes for ventilation, and one of those loose tank tops with the big douchey armholes, and my prettiest sports bra. CLASSY UNIVERSITY PROFESSIONAL RIGHT HERE. Also hence, big bottle of this, cold brewed overnight. And I do like this one. I almost forgot I had this one when it got cold and I wasn’t drinking so many infusions, but it’s nice to come back to. It brews up a dainty, pretty shade of pink, and has a nice fruity taste upfront with a sweet-tart finish that reminds me slightly of sherbet lemon – that’ll be all the lemongrass I spied in the mix, then. Just lovely, super refreshing.

Evol Ving Ness

This post made me laugh. The heat doesn’t bother me that much, but the killer humidity we have here does. Hope the day passes much more easily than expected.

This is one of DT’s better herbal, imo.


Yes, its hot. Stratford has officially melted & im inside tidying while drinking a triple tea combo which has completely spannered me, a reminder to not mix my drinks


welcome to TEXAS (ok not where you are, but i empathize. strongly. and sweatily.). i’ve been doing a run of iced tea pitchers – makes for a great sipdown, i find!

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I don’t always know how to get the best out of black-green blends. I think I didn’t quite do it here, as it feels at once sort of too astringent but also understeeped? So that’s weird.

But in my quest to think of things to do with pineapple in anticipation of my husband’s birthday and his pineapple upside-down cake request, I remembered I had a little sachet of this lingering in my desk at work, and voila!

Apart from my steeping miscalculation, I really do like the flavours of this one, and I’m getting nice notes of floral pineapple and a bit of a citrus lift. I’ll just have to brew it more carefully next time – though to be honest, it’s just hard to make a good cup of tea in the office kitchen, regardless.

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Made a cup of this the other night when we watched the Star Wars again. It is still a very good film. But I am very cross to discover that most of the films we’ve purchased on iTunes (and we pretty much only use iTunes these days because we ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE THE SPACE FOR ANY MORE PHYSICAL MEDIA) don’t come with a commentary track! Discovered this when a friend mentioned something that Whedon said on the Ultron commentary, and we don’t have it! Commentary is half the reason I buy films! Why, iTunes, whyyyyyyyyyy

Onwards, to the tea:

This is a tea for when you want a tea that tastes like a very good cup of tea, a welcome break from instant bread and whatever portions you can trade in your day’s haul of scrap for. The fragrance is subtly earthy with a touch of dried autumn leaves, and when brewed, soft and rounded notes of cocoa and minerals are met with sweet hints of stone fruit, starch, and almond, finished with the faintest hum of warm spice. Or maybe it’s the force. Whatever it is, it’s a solid, no-nonsense brew that hints at something very special indeed.

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Sometimes I just want strawberry jam. This is one of those times. Nom.

I’ve been a seething ball of anger of late, as my GP’s basically thrown her hands up in the air about my health issues and told me to lose some weight, instead of actually testing for what’s wrong with me, when what’s wrong with me is like 90% what made me put the weight on in the first place, and I know this, because I can’t lose unless I actually stop eating. I feel like public healthcare has failed me and I’ll probably just chronically feel crappy for the rest of my life, when it’s entirely possible they could easily fix me. Nothing better than being a fat woman whose blood tests come back normal! :D This wasn’t meant to be a rant!

I also did a really cute painting of Iron Man last week and I’m baking my husband a pineapple upside down cake for his birthday. Any thoughts on unusual but excellent flavour pairings to amp up the pineapple upside down goodness are greatly appreciated!

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Note to self: stop trying to drink teas you like when you’ve got plague.

Because seriously, last night I made a cup of Black Orchid and it tasted like nothing, I made a cup of Jo Grant in the afternoon and it tasted vaguely of ginger, and I made a cup of this just now and it tastes like bubble gum once you’ve been chewing it WAY too long and ought to have given up ages ago and it’s stopped really tasting of anything. Like that. My tastebuds disappoint me today. I keep trying to drink things I think will be comforting and I can’t taste them properly through my snuffly nose! No fair!



Frick, that freaking plague. Hope it kicks the bucket soon so you can go back to enjoying tea and other awesome things in life!

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So work sent me to the beautiful city of York to attend a workshop, but as I have friends who live there, I got an open ticket and rolled it into a weekend. That city smells of chocolate, man. SMELLS OF CHOCOLATE. And I got to try the Yorkshire curd tart for the first time, which is really scrummy and I’m slightly cross that in 300something years of existence it hasn’t made it to bakeries further south.

And to make matters awesomer, my hostess was, it turned out, a tea drinker! Yes! punches the air I found a lovely little tea shop in the city centre and bought her a their earl grey and cherry blend, as I’d seen her enthuse about both. She loved it. I win.

I also bought myself their rhubarb sencha, because I need all the rhubarb tea, and my previous source for rhubarb green stopped producing it. I hope this will be excellent.

Anywho. This tea is one I had just before bed on Saturday night, and it’s actually really refreshing and nice! I’ve been looking for pineapple teas lately, and I also super like grapefruit teas, so this is a genuinely good balance of the two. I might need to pick up a box for the office when my current stash runs lower.


Ooh, rhubarb sencha? What’s the shop called?

Sami Kelsh

It’s called Hebden Tea. It looked like they have a pretty interesting selection of stuff, so I might be tempted (though I probably really shouldn’t!) to try more of theirs if the rhubarb sencha is good!

(I maybe also got a rhubarb chocolate bar the same day I picked up the sencha, because when in Yorkshire I guess…)


I checked out their site and they have some really nice sounding blends—I’m putting it on my list for if/when I’m ever in York. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of the rhubarb sencha. Also, rhubarb chocolate bar? I need one of those.

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drank Chai by Marks & Spencer Tea
313 tasting notes

I’ve been having weird tooth pains ever since I got a bit of apple stuck between two of my teeth at a Starbucks in Westchester while we were on holiday. It got REALLY bad Sunday night, with my gum all swollen and my teeth feeling all tender when I try to eat stuff. So… soft foods, and because I seem to recall cloves being beneficial for tooth pain, an easy chai I could take a few bags with me to the office.

It’s still a good, solid chai, this one. The spices are balanced and the base is solid and not bitter at a 4 minute steep. I can tell there’s clove in there, and it’s cozy along with the other spices. I like that the package actually tells you by percentage how much of everything is in there. Made properly milky, this is a solid everyday drinking.

And my tooth is feeling WAY better. Careful soft foods for the next week or so and if it stays fine, I think I can get away with not seeing a dentist! Yippee!


Yikes, shame on apples for causing such chaos. You’re supposed to be healthy! I’m glad it’s better though.


If it helps, I read a book about remineralizing teeth when I had a similar issue. Highly nutritive foods, as close to raw as possible, heal these sorts of things (it did for me). So, sashimi, grass fed dairy & meats, liver, cod liver oil, and some highly healing tea (ie ClariTea). Hope it helps, and that you feel better soon!

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Jetlag is just barely starting to lift, after a decent (but not awesome) night’s sleep last night, and that nap I took while curled up beneath my desk at work yesterday… Guess I should now think about the pile of jobs I have to do in the next few weeks. Ugh.

Enjoyed a cup of Barbara blend with my soup last night. This one is one of my very all-time favourites, ever. Cinnamony almondy chocolaty warmness in cozy abundance, and never stops being delicious. SO GOOD.

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My Time Lord name is the Brewmaster. Currently working on People Of Who, an exhibition of portraits of the people who made Doctor Who happen. Professional dilettante. Literary enthusiast, frustrated sometime writer. Knitter of things.


Probably a small grey sofa in Oxford



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