52teas 12 Teas of Christmas – December 14

Oh. My. God. F-ck December, seriously. (Yes, this is why I haven’t been around…)

Work. My lord. I could go on and on about it – although really, most of it is just “retail at Christmas.” Our AGM went down to our offsite storage and re-organized, so I didn’t know where anything was anymore, and then nobody kept track of what we were using in the tracking forms I’ve made, and then we ran out of small shopping bags for people’s purchases, and then H/O said we could only order supplies on Sundays and we ran out on a Thursday, and supplies take 5 week days to come, so we were out of small shopping bags for 8 days. We get HUGE shipments of merch and tea to unpack on days that we’re really busy, or understaffed, or both. Our sales goals are too high. Etc. Etc.

There’s good things about Christmas, of course. People spend more on gifts than they do on themselves, typically, and while it’s often fun to find a few bags of tea that someone will like, it’s way more fun to put together a smashingly grand, gift-wrapped set of tea, tins, and teapot all wrapped up in pretty paper and a bow. The sense of accomplishment when you wave the customer on their way with a well-put together gift they’re excited about is higher, anyway. And, possibly because it’s Christmas, we’re getting merch we normally never get. OMG BREVILLE MILK FROTHERS!

But I’m so tired. I’m officially pulling 8-hour days, but it’s more like 10 or 11 – once more than 12 – when you add in submitting paperwork, ordering supplies, and staying behind to finish things like unpacking shipments the team members couldn’t get to during the day. (This is by choice, mind you; because one thing you need to understand when you take on a leadership position is that it’s not someone else’s problem anymore.) Our poor GM has it even worse. I watch her now to make sure she eats. Oh, and there’s construction on a new Target going in a few doors down, and the DUST! The dust is unbearable, and my asthma is killing me!

And my cats are sick, so everyone in my house is losing sleep over that – waking up to clean kitty puke, trying to get them to eat small amounts every few hours because they won’t eat more than two bites at a time. They’re off to the vet’s this morning.

But my little box arrived from 52teas a few days ago, and for the past few nights I have been coming home tremendously happy because I have a little packet to look forward to and rip open!

I was pleased the first one was Cotton Candy – my all-time 52teas favourite thus far – as it seemed like a good omen for the rest of the box. I think – though I could be remembering wrong – that this was the first tea with the new base, and I do adore the new base. I always had a problem with the old black base, in that it was astringent enough to nearly ruin some of Frank’s teas for me. The new base is infinitely better in my opinion – incredibly smooth with a real depth of flavour.

This is basically the zenith of flavoured tea, if you ask me. I’m still choked it wasn’t made permanent. It’s a little hard for me to explain why I like this one so much, because it’s not as simple as just saying that “it tastes just like cotton candy.” It doesn’t, in fact; it tastes like tea – a deep, rich tea – with a flavour overlay that is like your sweetest, most nostalgic memory of what cotton candy tastes like. Cotton candy that is sweet, but never so overwhelmingly sweet that you get sick, sweet without being sticky or cloying or sickening. The way the best childhood treat tastes only after all imperfections have been removed through a fuzzy mind filter of simple joy.

But I’ve never had it cold. I’ve heard it’s good cold, but since it was so amazing the first time I had it hot, I’ve never bothered to experiment. This time, I figured I would give it a go. I didn’t have the patience for a cold-steep, so I decided to ice it. I’ve already had a cup out of this packet (actually on the fourteenth), so I dumped the rest into my infuser (overleafing it some), brewed it hot, dumped in a few ice cubes and then put it in the freezer for a bit to chill it quickly.

…Then I feel asleep at the computer desk. Long week, you know?

WHUPS. Cotton Candy black tea slushie, anyone?

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

Ack, the Christmas crazies! gotta love retail. I’ve been there and it is a most stressful yet exciting time. Happy Holidays!

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Ack, the Christmas crazies! gotta love retail. I’ve been there and it is a most stressful yet exciting time. Happy Holidays!

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I’ve always been a tea drinker – I grew up drinking Tetley’s Orange Pekoe and their Chai, and considered myself to really like tea.

I’ve been working various retail jobs to put myself through higher education. One day at my store, a customer left a newly purchased bag of loose-leaf behind. We waited for three days for said customer to return, but they (likely not realizing where they had left their bag) did not return to claim the would-be brew. Too bad for them; lucky for me! I claimed the bag, took it home, and awkwardly made my first cup of loose-leaf tea with the only strainer we owned which was small enough.

I haven’t bothered with Tetley since. For the most part (and due to convenience), my patronage is limited to David’s Tea and Teavana. I also order from 52teas and Verdant Tea.

My rating system – hah, I don’t have a rating system. I rate teas a lot like Ebert rates movies. Everything’s relative.

I may often forget to mention it, but you can safely assume everything I drink is sweetened in one way or another – most rock sugar, or honey for green and white teas. I have not yet achieved drinking most tea clear. The few teas I drink unsweetened include milk oolong and genmaicha so far.

The guy in my avatar can be bought at Teaopia or here: http://www.jas-etea.com/products/Jingdezhen-%22Easy%22-Gaiwan-%22Blue-on-White-Phoenix%22-100ml.html

I currently work for Teavana. But I just work there, and my opinions about any of their teas are entirely my own and not meant to be reflective of the views of the company.

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