3035 Tasting Notes

drank Cream Earl Grey by JusTea
3035 tasting notes

Sipdown! (53 | 400)

So I’m not a creamy Earl Grey person, even though I love London Fogs. For some reason they just don’t often taste good to me (with a few exceptions, like Camellia Sinensis’s version).

But this tea is honestly delicious. The vanilla-cream tastes slightly caramel-y to me for some reason, it reminds me of flan or crème caramel, or some other kind of creamy custard with caramel sauce. Or maybe even butterscotch sauce? I can taste the bergamot as well, it doesn’t get overpowered, just smoothed out and dessertified.

Will definitely consider reordering some of this once (or should I say “if”? XD) my cupboard is reduced down a bit. Highly recommend for Earl Grey cream lovers!

Flavors: Bergamot, Butterscotch, Caramel, Citrus, Creamy, Custard, Flan, Floral, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I’ve been on an Earl Grey kick the past year or so, so will be sure to try this one out as well when I get a chance.
I need to try these lattes that are like london fogs people keep mentioning lately


I looove Earl Grey Cremes, so this has gone straight on my wishlist!

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Sipdown! (52 | 399)

My last bonus sample from derk! This one is “Cretan Dictamnus picked by family”.

Of course I had to look up Dictamnus, which is also known as Dittany of Crete. To me, it smells and tastes very similar to oregano, which makes a lot of sense considering it’s in the genus Origanum, along with oregano and marjoram.

It has a pleasant herbaceous and savory flavor to it, with that oregano flavor that I’m unsure how to otherwise describe. Peppery maybe? Slightly minty? It’s quite soothing in the evening. I’m not sure I would seek it out over other, more conventional herbal tisanes, but I really enjoyed trying it. And that goes for all of the samples, thank you derk! ❤

Flavors: Herbaceous, Herbs, Mint, Oregano, Pepper, Savory

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (51 | 398)

Finished off my portion of this from last year’s spring shipment. It’s such a lovely tea, with a rich spinachy vegetal flavor and a great balance of sweetness and savory umami. There’s the silky richness of kabocha squash, and notes of freshly cut grass and soft hay at the top end.

Definitely one of the best from Obubu, and one that I’m glad I still have another package of. :)

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Hay, Kabocha, Savory, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Sipdown! (50 | 397)

Another sample from my recent Camellia Sinensis order.

This is an interesting fruity tea. Apparently there’s no flavoring added (according to the ingredients), which is amazing to me as the fruit is very noticeable. I definitely get the pineapple, plus strawberry and cherry, and some lemon notes from the lemongrass. I don’t taste rhubarb, which is supposed to be one of the main flavors.

But overall it tastes quite… powdery? Candylike? Which is ironic considering it’s not even flavored. I agree with Arby that it tastes like Pez (wow, I haven’t had Pez in forever!). Strawberry and lemon Pez with some cherry in there. There’s also something that’s reminding me of elderflower, it has that same fluffy, effervescent quality to it. The lemon myrtle maybe? Not sure.

Anyway, it’s nice enough, but not something I would order since somehow it tastes quite artificial to me. Unrelated, I was taught “parapluie” as the word for umbrella, so I find it quite interesting to learn there’s another version! Maybe “ombrelle” is more like a parasol, since that would make sense for a paper umbrella. Google translates it as umbrella, but then the French description mentions a women’s parasol so who knows. :P

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Chalk, Cherry, Citrus, Effervescent, Elderflower, Fruity, Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Pineapple, Strawberry, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (49 | 396)

My tea of the morning for the past couple of weeks. A lot of times with these Andrews & Dunham teas, I have a tendency to not want to sip them down because the stock is so inconsistent. But this one wasn’t my favorite so I figured I would go ahead and sip through it, as it was one of my oldest teas.

This is a mix of multiple Yunnan black teas, one is a smaller, wirier dark leaf with a bit of gold, and the other is a large, fuzzy, golden bud. Mostly it’s the smaller leaf, with a few buds mixed in. It steeps up a deep, dark, chocolaty brown, almost like a shou puerh. The flavor is very woody with some mineral earthiness underneath, along with a hint of smoke. There’s a touch of malt as well. It brings to mind an ancient forest, with massive tangled trees covered in a layer of moss.

Anyway, as I said not a favorite for me. I feel like it lacks a bit of dimension and I tend to prefer Yunnan teas with more bready and sweet potato-y notes to them. Not a bad tea by any stretch of the imagination, just a bit underwhelming given the beautiful tin.

(this tea, Checkered Flag, and Caravan Resurrected happen to be available at the moment, by the way!)

Flavors: Earth, Forest Floor, Malt, Mineral, Smoke, Smooth, Soil, Thick, Wet wood, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (48 | 395)

A sample from derk, Lemon Verbena from Cretan Farmers Natural Products.

The leaves are lovely, full and curly and featherlight. The flavor is quite light, gently herbaceous with soft and sweet lemon notes. A touch of hay as well, that reminds me a bit of a white tea. I get a hint of sage at the end of the sip, but I wonder if that’s simply because this sample was next to a sage tisane.

Very enjoyable, but I think I tend to prefer lemongrass if I want a lemony herbal tisane. Would definitely drink this again though!

Flavors: Hay, Herbaceous, Lemon, Sage, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (47 | 394)

So I finally made a Camellia Sinensis order recently. Even though I’ve been trying not to buy much tea, I got a notification that their wintergreen was back in stock so I jumped on it immediately. I mostly chose their Quebec herbal tisanes, but a few flavored tea samples also hitched a ride.

The apricot here is on point. It tastes so natural, with a juicy sweet-tart flavor. Maybe closer to a dried apricot than a fresh one in terms of intensity? However, there’s something about the oolong that I’m just not loving. Mostly it tastes like a fairly standard green oolong – lightly grassy/leafy with a smooth minerality and hints of stonefruit and flowers. However, there’s some other note here that almost reminds me of spirulina, or maybe moringa? It’s like a little punch of vegetal-mineral flavor that throws the whole thing off.

Lovely apricot aftertaste though. Probably not one I would reorder, but I did enjoy sipping through my small sample size.

Flavors: Algae, Apricot, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Moringa, Smooth, Spirulina, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Asian Pear Harmony by Stash Tea
3035 tasting notes

Sipdown! (46 | 393)

This is a nice tea for a grocery store teabag. The green base is smooth and lightly grassy, and the flavoring reminds me of green apple candy, if green apple candy were pear flavored. It doesn’t taste like Asian pear to me though, which tends to have a more delicate flavor. There’s also a hint of banana taffy? The dry teabag smells strongly of banana Laffy Taffy to me, but it’s much more subdued in the taste.

Anyway, I doubt I would buy it again, mostly because Heirloom Bartlett Pear from Harney & Sons has defeated all other pear teas for me.

Flavors: Artificial, Banana, Candy, Grass, Green Apple, Pear, Smooth, Sweet, Tart

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Nil Noir by Mariage Frères
3035 tasting notes

Sipdown! (45 | 392)

Another oldest tea down! \o/

This has such a vague description lol, “citrus and other fruits”. I do get a bit of citrus, but it’s more of a lemon candy flavor. As for the other fruits, I definitely get jammy strawberry and maybe something like fig? It’s a pleasant sweet syrupy, jammy sort of fruit flavor overall, with added notes of honey. The base is smooth and a touch woody, inoffensive but not contributing a lot of flavor either.

I enjoyed it, not sure I would go out of my way to order it since Mariage Frères tends to be expensive and I’m not in love with this tea or anything. It’s also similar to Dammann’s Noël à Provence, which I already have in my cupboard.

Flavors: Candy, Fig, Floral, Honey, Jam, Lemon, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (44 | 391)

A sample from derk, labeled “Greek Sage from Halki Island”.

This one was a bit outside of my comfort zone, since I’m not a big sage fan to begin with. But I found as long as I didn’t use too much leaf, I was still able to enjoy this tisane. It’s earthy, herbaceous, savory, slightly sweet, a touch eucalyptus-y. Sagey, obviously.

Fun to try, but not something I would reach for often. Happy for the opportunity to try it though, thanks derk!

Flavors: Earthy, Eucalyptus, Herbaceous, Menthol, Sage, Savory, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

This struck me as almost not sage. With my unfiltered tap water and steeping times, it’s been buttery and sweet!

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-something software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby-related things… ;)

- November Sipdowns: 53
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 400

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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