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24 days of tea: Week four December 21, 2016

Posted by thejinx in life.
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And now, the final week of my DavidsTea advent calendar. Again, for those keeping track, it is a day late, this time due to opening night for Rogue One. Anyway, on with my reactions.

20161215_190141Day nineteen: Organic Sweet Almond Green

This one was… interesting. ‘Sweet’ certainly is apt. I’d say cloying. It wasn’t bad to start, but I can’t see myself enjoying this one long-term.

 

20161217_215108Day twenty: Cardamom French Toast

It had a wonderful French toast aroma dry, but prepared the only flavour I could really pick up was the cinnamon. Kind of a shame.

 

20161218_204102Day twenty-one: Spiced Apple

I’ll be honest, I drank this one while I was fairly distracted with a few other things, so I didn’t really take in the flavour properly. Suffice to say, while I enjoyed it, it didn’t stand out. If I want something spiced apple flavoured, there were other blends in the set that I enjoyed more.

20161219_194433Day twenty-two: English Toffee

Well, this may be a tiresome litany, but my hopes were low on this one because I don’t like toffee. Alas, this blend delivered on toffee, so I barely made it two sips in before it planted firmly in my bottom three with Genmaicha and Coconut Cream Pie. Moving on…

20161220_185518Day twenty-three: Organic Kashmiri Chai

Not bad. While I like the taste of chai tea, I tend to find the flavour a little… overbearing? But this one was milder and so I found it enjoyable. It’s possible I didn’t steep it long enough, as it still looked fairly light, but following the same instructions for all the other blends yielded quite dark tea – which I generally prefer – so I think this one just isn’t as strong. In a good way.

20161221_185336Day twenty-four: Santa’s Secret

It’s pretty hard not to immediately love a tea blend that includes tiny candy cane-shaped sprinkles before even tasting it. I think I steeped this one a bit too dark, as the peppermint and vanilla flavouring got a bit lost in the black tea. It wasn’t bad as it was, but I’m reserving final judgement on this one until I prepare it properly. It does make a very suitable conclusion to the set.

At last, I come to the end of my tea journey. It’s been fun trying out new varieties, and I’m certainly going to enjoy revisiting many of these blends as I finish what came in the set (the Irish Breakfast in particular goes very far). What I have learned is that I can’t trust the aroma of a tea blend by itself, which is usually the main selling point of a blend in a store like DavidsTea.

Would I buy a set like this again? I don’t know. It would have to be very different from this year’s for me to consider it. There were only a few blends I really loved, and they mostly seemed to be fruity/apple-flavoured blends. Perhaps my tastes are a bit narrow, but I didn’t feel like I got a wide palette of tastes out of this set.

I guess I’ll just have to keep trying more.

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24 days of tea: Week three December 14, 2016

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Over halfway through my DavidsTea advent calendar and on to new tastes! For those keeping track, it is a day late. Didn’t get home from my event Sunday until practically bedtime. After a nine-hour day followed by a 90-minute drive down half-plowed highway, I just wanted comfort tea rather than experimentation. But I digress.

20161208_192534Day thirteen: Creme Caramel Rooibos

As I am not a big fan of caramel and not at all a fan of creme, and the dry tea smelled strongly of both, I was not expecting to like this one. Fortunately for my taste, the prepared tea didn’t taste nearly so strongly of either and I found it drinkable. Not one I would go back to, but not my least favourite of the collection so far.

20161209_193044Day fourteen: Irish Breakfast

For all my growing enthusiasm for loose leaf tea over the past year, this is the first regular tea I have had in loose leaf form. Very nice. I steeped it a bit too dark, but it still had a very pleasant, smooth taste.

20161210_185755Day fifteen: Coconut Cream Pie

… yeah, let’s just leave it at I don’t like coconut and move on.

Also, after taking fourteen pictures of the same thing, I decided to spice this one up a bit.

20161212_194438Day sixteen: Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait

… Indeed. What can I say? It both smelled and tasted exactly as advertised. It actually tasted better than I expected, considering I’m not a big fan of parfaits. (This week is a bit more of a miss for me.) It’s hard for me to say I want something that tastes of parfait, but I did rather enjoy it. Although, I happened to look at the nutrition info and found a rather worrying statistic for this blend…

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That’s a typo, right?

20161213_184831Day seventeen: Chocolate Covered Almond

It’s nice. Has more flavour on the aftertaste than on the initial sip. I enjoyed it, though not enough that I’m likely to pick it up on my own.

 

20161214_191136Day eighteen: Sleigh Ride

I get the impression this is one of DavidsTea’s signature holiday blends (though admittedly, the first time I had really been in a DavidsTea store was when I went to buy this set). Nice and very complex flavour. At first, about all I could taste was the cinnamon, but as I continued drinking it, the fruit and nuts came out. Part of me was thinking that the blend is trying to be too many things, but after finishing the cup, I found I enjoyed the journey.

Just one week left now. To be concluded!

24 days of tea: Week two December 7, 2016

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It’s another week of tea-related adventure with my DavidsTea advent calendar!

Day seven: Nutty and Spice20161202_184157

Pretty much lives up to the name.

… yep.

It has a nice flavour, though the spice is strong enough that it’s not something I can enjoy often (I’m weird about spiced tea like that.)

Day eight: Organic Ginger Pear20161203_184227

Has a nice fruity aroma dry, but prepared I could mainly only taste the ginger. It’s a blend I would love to have around when feeling under the weather, but not something I am likely to enjoy on a regular basis.

20161204_190355Day nine: Forever Nuts

Oh, I like this one! Not as nutty as the name would have me believe, but the mixture of apple, cinnamon, and almonds gives it all the delightful flavour of an apple tart without any of the sugar. Would definitely go back to this blend.

20161205_193318Day ten: Green Passionfruit

I braced myself for something I wouldn’t like when I saw the name, but actually, I enjoyed this blend. Pretty fruity taste and mild green tea flavour. While I’m not likely to pick it up on my own, I did enjoy it in a sampler pack.

20161206_185248Day eleven: Hot Chocolate

Actually a fairly passable substitute for hot chocolate. Rather lighter on flavour, not surprisingly, but that’s probably more than a little due to the decreased amount of sugar. Not bad.

20161207_192156Day twelve: Bear Trap

So fruity. It’s the fruitiest. In other words, I’m a fan, especially since only one of the many fruits in this blend has sugar added, which makes the sugar content in the prepared drink negligible. It is aggressively fruity, for those who might not enjoy the flavour as much as I do. Probably also tastes very nice iced.

Stay tuned for more next week!

24 days of tea: Week one December 1, 2016

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This year, I’ve been increasingly enjoying loose leaf tea. So, in an effort to try out some new varieties, I decided to pick up a DavidsTea advent calendar.

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It’s a cleverly packaged assortment of teas and herbal infusions that can also double as a really neat craft supply/loose part storage box. Each tin holds about enough tea to make two cups. In the interest of sharing my discoveries (but mainly just so I can remember what the heck I drank) I thought I would keep something of a log as I go.

20161126_203935Day one: Snow Day

Cute presentation. Vanilla-y scent was a bit of a turnoff, but the only distinct flavour I picked up in the drink was a pleasant minty taste. Of course, given that the ingredients are pretty much chocolate, chocolate, sprinkles, and peppermint flavouring, it’s not exactly friendly to a diet. Probably why I enjoyed it so much.

20161127_162138Day two: Jumpy Monkey

Wow. They’re not kidding when they call this a stimulant. With two types of high caffeine tea and four types of whole coffee bean in here, this thing has enough kick to replace my morning coffee. Has a pleasant coffee, nutty taste. I am concerned that a theme is forming, though, as it does also contain white chocolate. I like tea because it’s not loaded with sugar…

20161128_194431Day three: Genmaicha

This was one of my concerns with getting a set like this, as I don’t generally care for green tea. But, I try to have an open mind, and after all, at one time, I didn’t like tea at all. Alas, despite the rice mitigating the green tea flavour, I didn’t enjoy it.

20161129_185218Day four: Organic Serenity Now

Now this one I liked! Fruity teas are right up my alley, so this blend definitely struck my fancy. Lovely fruity aroma straight from the tin, but there was also a pleasant spice to it as well. This is one I would go back to.

20161130_193112Day five: Coffee Cake

This blend smells stronger than it tastes. In this case, that’s a good thing, because it has a powerful aroma. Not a bad flavour for the most part, but the sugar from the candied fruits made it a little too sweet for my taste.

20161201_190051Day six: Apple Cider

Not technically apple cider, but it is mainly made with apples. Nice aroma dry, even better prepared, and in fact tastes like a watered-down apple cider. Considering most I’ve drunk have been heavy on flavour and heavier on sugar, that makes it a win. It’s cozy, comforting, and the perfect accompaniment to falling snow and a warm blanket. Delightful.

More to come next week!

June update June 2, 2014

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Summer is filling up fast and I am looking forward to getting out to many events this season with my books. Before I get to that, though, I’d like to share a gorgeous portrait of Damian, the star of Enduring Chaos, drawn by the very talented Chris Babarik:

damian-babarik

Huge thanks to Chris for such a lovely drawing.

And now, my schedule for the next few months (so far):

Hope to see you at one of these events this summer/fall.

Also, I’ll let you guys in on a secret – the trailer for Enduring Chaos that so many of you so generously contributed to help make a reality? It’s finally going to be released within the week. Stay tuned.

2010 catgirl calendar! December 2, 2009

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New art:

Cover image for the catgirl calendar, featuring November, August, April, and January/February (depending when the Chinese new year begins).

The 2010 catgirl calendar is now on sale!  Visit the website to order your copy today!  Remember, this is the LAST catgirl calendar I will be making, so if you want to get one, now’s your last chance!

Pining for summer October 3, 2009

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New art:

June image for the 2010 catgirl calendar, and that means that all calendar months are now complete!  Stay tuned for the cover image, when the calendar will go on sale.

All dressed up September 20, 2009

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New art:

At last, the next image for the 2010 catgirl calendar, January.

Sketch of the day – July 16 July 16, 2009

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sotd-12

A sudden idea to make vector – or more likely vexel – bookmarks of some of my calendar catgirls, if/when I can find the time. *sigh*  July and October.

Picture of the week: Back to school April 26, 2009

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New art:


September image for the 2010 catgirl calendar.  Only three images left to go!