1528 Tasting Notes


365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 13

I did something very unusual (for me) with this one – I prepared it extra strong and added soy milk & sugar. I’m a person who virtually never adds anything to tea, but once I decided on this blueberry black tea the thought just wouldn’t leave my head.

So now I have a tasty mug of blueberry muffin. I actually added a little too much sugar, so of course it’s extra delicious, hah! Sugar makes my brain go “wheeeeeeeeeeeeee”!

So really, this is not a good tasting note for this tea since I added so much to it. But that’s okay! I’ll just leave the rating as-is and revisit it next time when I’m drinking this plain.


Flavors: Blueberry, Creamy, Smooth, Sweet

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

I love your tea pictures! So beautiful and artistic!


VariaTEA, I agree!

Cameron B., wowee, great pic <3

Cameron B.

Ha ha, thank you! Can’t really take credit for the Instagram filters though. ;)

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drank Bougainville by Dammann Freres
1528 tasting notes

Tea Swap Sample Sipdown Catch-Up! 4 of 4 (12)

Yay, my last catch-up swap sample! This one comes from VariaTEA again (she sent me a boatload!).

I would love to try more teas from Dammann Frères, they have so many that sound amazing. But why can’t they just offer 50g sizes?! I would want to order multiple different teas, and there’s no way I could ever drink 100g of each one… So I guess I’ll just wait and see if anyone is up for a group order sometime this year.

This is a nice fruity black tea. I taste the apricot and plum most strongly, and they add a bit of nice tartness. They’re closer to dried fruit or potentially preserves than they are to fresh fruit. The fig adds a nice richness and rounds out the bottom note. I’m not sure that I specifically taste vanilla, but there are some sweet woody notes that sometimes go along with bourbon vanilla.

It’s yummy! I’m not sure it’s unique enough that I would order it, and I do wish there was a stronger vanilla presence to add a nice creamy element.

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Earth, Fig, Jam, Plums, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart, Wood

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

I hate that tea companies don’t offer samplers and 50g sizes! I’ve gotten to the point now where I won’t even do business with those companies that offer 100g as their smallest bags, no matter how much I really want to try their offerings, because as a single person household, I simply cannot drink that much tea as a variety drinker in a decent amount of time to keep its optimal freshness. It’s so annoying!

Cameron B.

I’m definitely with you, 50g is about my maximum for a tea I haven’t tried before! And sampler sizes are even better, even if they’re less cost-effective.

I’m hoping that maybe later in the year, maybe when the advent calendar comes out, people may be interested in a group order. :)

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Tea Swap Sample Sipdown Catch-Up! 3 of 4 (11)

Another 52teas marshmallow genmaicha from VariaTEA!

Wow, does the dry leaf have a powerful aroma… Super strong maple!

This has sort of a pancake syrup flavor. There is maple, but it’s more of a somewhat artificial version than a real maple syrup flavor. That combined with the buttery and toasty genmaicha is making me think of frozen waffles with butter and pancake syrup.

There is a slight alcoholic note here too – I’m assuming because of the large amount of maple flavoring used. I could do without that aspect of it, but it’s not overpowering.

Overall, it’s tasty and I’m glad I got to try it. I probably wouldn’t purchase this one, though. I seem to have difficult finding the marshmallow flavor in these blends, unfortunately.

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Butter, Maple, Pancake Syrup, Sweet, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This one was a bonus sample that tea-sipper sent when I purchased from her stash sale.

I admit, I was a bit worried when I saw this one, as I’m not a fan of rose. But I gave it a sniff, and it didn’t seem overly rose-y, so I decided to give it a try. And looking at the ingredients, it looks like the rose is just rose petals and not flavor or essence, so that’s a good sign. Makes me wonder why they put “rose” in the name though.

This is interesting, and I like it. The green tea base is smooth and very mild, with a soft dry grass flavor. I can taste a bit of spice – definitely cardamom and licorice with a bit of clove. They give a lovely warming sensation as well. I’m really enjoying the herbs, though the flavor is hard to describe. I can pick out ginseng and mint with perhaps a hint of rose. The overall flavor is warm and aromatic with a lovely sweetness.

This is lovely and relaxing, perfect for the evening. I bet it would make a delicious iced tea as well. Thanks tea-sipper! :)

Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Clove, Dry Grass, Herbaceous, Licorice, Mint, Rose, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I took a gamble, since I knew you didn’t like rose, but didn’t taste much rose here myself. So I’m glad you like this tea. :D

Evol Ving Ness

I seeeeee. So, what you are saying is completely disregard your likes and dislikes then. :)

Cameron B.

@Evol – Well, I definitely don’t like rose-flavored teas. This one just ended up not being rose-flavored!

But yes, I am open to anything you think I might enjoy, regardless of what my profile says. :)


Also, I have no idea why this is called ‘rose’ when there are a billion ingredients here.

Cameron B.

I agree, it’s really odd. Maybe they thought having rose in the name would make it more appealing? But it’s only rose petals and they’re like halfway down the ingredients list anyway…

Mastress Alita

I have a white tea that is named “White Hibiscus” and tastes nothing like hibiscus, but because of the name, I know I can’t share it with anyone because of the over-abundance of hibi-hate. I curse the tea blenders for naming it that every day. I have a huge package of it and would love to share it, but I know the name alone would make anyone think that is what they are tasting. It’s more like a light floral bouquet, lychee, and… bubblegum. One day I should just be a jerk and stick it in a teabox labeled “MYSTERY FLAVORED WHITE TEA!!!” and see what happens…


You would not believe this, but I just steeped up Taylors of Harrogate white hibiscus and peach green tea and I’m thinking what the heck is white hibiscus? I’d never heard of it before this tea. I also thought Taylors of Harrogate just invented their own white hibiscus until you mentioned another tea with it. haha. I don’t think it tastes like the red hibiscus. I’m never objecting to TRYING a hibiscus tea, but if the blend is overboard with it, I won’t have it again.


And just looked up white hibiscus.. yeah, that’s one of my mom’s plants in the yard. oh crap. haha

Mastress Alita

Ah, this is white tea, with red hibiscus petals. At least, the ingredients just say “hibiscus”, not white hibiscus. But the name of the tea is “White Hibiscus” because white tea, with some hibiscus in it… just… you can’t taste it. I mean, I love the stuff and know the taste of it well, and I don’t taste it at all. It’s more rosy and light florals. But with a name like that, no one is going to touch it with a 10-foot pole. :-P


OH but maybe it’s a white tea WITH white hibiscus? Or I just saw you mention ‘white hibiscus’ and I thought ‘what a coincidence’.

Mastress Alita

I’ll have to make it again and look at the leaf. To be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever seen what white hibi leaf looks like.

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Tea Swap Sample Sipdown Catch-Up! 2 of 4 (10)

This is a swap from AJRimmer. It’s a plain paper packet that has “Jasmine Tea from China” handwritten on it, but doesn’t list the name of the tea or the company. The tea itself is the jasmine dragon pearl variety. For some reason, I really like jasmine teas, even though I don’t really enjoy floral flavors in general. I actually just ordered a selection of jasmine pearl samples from TeaVivre to try out!

Wow, this is surprisingly good! I wasn’t expecting all that much from a generic, unknown jasmine pearl. But this has some very strong peach notes – strong enough that I’m wondering if it’s a peach-flavored jasmine pearl? I know TeaVivre carries one, in fact I ordered a sample! The jasmine is sweet and smooth. I’m not getting much from the base tea, but honestly that’s what I’d expect from a dragon pearl – they’re mostly about the jasmine flavor.

Overall it has a nice peaches ‘n’ cream sort of flavor to it, with the jasmine of course. Tasty!

Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Floral, Jasmine, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Oh yeah, I forgot about that one! I think Ost might have sent that one to me, but I figured someone else might enjoy it more, so I passed it along. I’m glad it was good!

Cameron B.

I did enjoy it, so that you for sending it my way! ❤

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365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 12

Yay, my nommy little cocoa pearls! ❤

I picked up a 100g bag of these with my TeaVivre sample order when they were having a sale. They’re tasty and I love the cute pearls much more than I should.

Today I think I overleafed more than usual, as the malt is quite intense and there’s a soft leather note that I don’t recall tasting previously. Still delicious, just slightly different! There’s still a excess of cocoa, of course! And definitely some wood – perhaps sherry oak? I really should familiarize myself more with different wood types, it would be nice to be able to describe the flavors more accurately. At the end of the sip, there’s an uplift in intensity that almost approaches bitterness, but doesn’t quite get there.

Nommy nom nom pearls of nom…


Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Leather, Malt, Smooth, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank White Blueberry by Zhi Tea
1528 tasting notes

Tea Swap Sample Sipdown Catch-Up! 1 of 4 (9)

This sample is from my swap with VariaTEA!

Zhi Tea is actually native to Austin. I haven’t been to their location yet, but I definitely plan to go!

This one’s just okay. The bai mudan base is smooth with soft hay and oat notes. There’s a bit of dry autumn leaf flavor as well. According to the description, the blueberry here is from botanical blueberry extract. But somehow, to me, it still tastes somewhat candylike or artificial.

It’s not bad, but not great either. I do like the idea of white tea and blueberry together though, as blueberry oatmeal is one of my favorite flavors.

Flavors: Artificial, Autumn Leaf Pile, Blueberry, Candy, Hay, Musty, Oats, Smooth

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Zhi Tea is still open? Sheesh, I tried ONE of their teas ages ago!


I got one of their teas in my Sips By box recently. They must be.


Both Zhi teas I have tried were from SipsBy.

Cameron B.

Yes, they’re still open according to Google Maps. :)

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Tea Swap Sample Sipdown of the Day! (8)

Yay, I’m back home! I’ve been traveling for work the past few days, so I haven’t been posting many notes. But I did keep up with my 365 Days of Tea Challenge on Instagram, so that’s good. I plan on catching up on my tea swap sipdowns today, since I missed 4 days this week. Onward!

This swap sample comes from Arby. According to her tasting note, it’s a 2016 harvest – not sure which season.

I don’t know why, but I seem to be reaching for the oolongs lately. Apparently I have grown fonder of them than I remember being… As long as there’s not too much floral action going on, we get along just fine! This one is an unflavored milk oolong.

This is really a delicious tea. The base flavor is more vegetal than floral, which makes me very happy! It’s lightly vegetal though, reminding me of a Chinese green tea with soft sugar snap pea notes. There’s a touch of mineral flavor, which along with the clear, refreshing nature of the tea brings to mind the image of a cool mountain stream. The milky note is delicious, and it’s definitely milk as opposed to cream. It manages to be both indulgent and light at the same time, and has a slight edge of sticky rice flavor. I can taste apricot at the end of the sip, which again makes me think of a Chinese green tea.

Yummy! This somewhat reminds me of dragonwell, with a silkier mouthfeel and that lovely creamy, slightly rice-y note. And I happen to love dragonwell, so that’s a good thing! ❤

Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Milk, Mineral, Peas, Rice, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vegetal

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Yes I agree! Vegetal over floral :D

Cameron B.

Must be because we’re green tea lovers. ;)


That’s gotta be it, Cameron. ^^ :)

Lexie Aleah

Green teas are my favorite! They deserve more appreciation from people.

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365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 11
Sample Sipdown! (7)

The first to be tried from my A Quarter to Tea sample order! :)

Hmm, I do admit to being a bit disappointed. I actually overleafed a bit, and still this is quite light on flavor.

But the flavor that is there is quite good! There’s a lovely creaminess here, and I do taste a hint of eggnoggy nutmeg as well. I can taste the base tea, and it has a smooth oat & hay flavor. There’s perhaps a little hint of amaretto or rum flavor in the background as well?

It’s good, just a bit lighter than I was expecting. But definitely custardy! If it were a bit stronger, it would be completely amazing.


Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Custard, Eggnog, Hay, Marzipan, Nutmeg, Oats, Smooth

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

And your slippers are adorable!! :D

Cameron B.

Thank you! They are very cozy too, with memory foam inside and rubbery soles.

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Tea Swap Sample Sipdown of the Day! (6)

This one comes from VariaTEA!

I’m always intrigued by the concept of marshmallow genmaicha, but I’ve been disappointed by it in the past. But I do love a good genmaicha, so here we are! Plus this one has cute sprinkles.

I admit, this one is a bit disappointing too. Mostly it tastes like a plain ol’ genmaicha with a hint of bitterness from the grassy green tea. I suppose I can taste a little hint of vanilla or marshmallow if I concentrate. There is a note of artificiality to it as well.

Not for me. Oh well! It smells nice at least.

Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Grass, Marshmallow, Sweet, Vanilla

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I think this one suffers from being the last bit in my packet. All the broken bits fall to the bottom and as much as I try to make sure I shake the packet, the last bit always seems to be more bitter than the rest.

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers, currently working in the field of Machine Learning. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

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, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! 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 do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and 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 main 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. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Yunnan Sourcing

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.

My profile photo is by inkpug!


Austin, Texas



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