3411 Tasting Notes


Sample Sipdown! (19)

Caffeine free time! I admit, I’m a sucker for sprinkles in tea. They’re just so darn cute… My sample of this didn’t have any of the bigger star sprinkles, but it did have small pearl dragées and freeze-dried mini marshmallows!

Hm. This mostly just tastes like rooibos to me… There is a bit of cake battery flavor, but it’s very faint next to the strength of the base. The rooibos is pleasant enough with its woody, somewhat bourbon-esque flavor.

Unfortunate… I don’t dislike rooibos, but I was hoping for more cake batter here! It does say that milk and sugar are recommended, but I’m not really in the habit of making those additions.

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Whiskey, Wood

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Tea Swap Sample Sipdown of the Day! (18)

This one comes from VariaTEA!

I admit I was a bit worried at first, as both the dry leaf and the steeped tea smelled oddly floral, almost like rose?

Luckily, it doesn’t taste like rose. Thank goodness!

It’s a perfectly nice and fairly mild peppermint tea. I appreciate that they used peppermint flavoring in addition to the dry leaf because, to me, they’re two different flavor profiles. There’s a bit of a creamy element here as well, which is a nice compliment.

The only issue I have is that I can’t taste the base tea, period. I would think this is an herbal blend based on the taste alone. It’s not a huge issue, but I would definitely order the Candy Cane Rooibos from Simpson & Vail if I wanted an herbal-tasting candy cane tea, as that one is actually herbal and caffeine free.

Happy to have tried it, though. And looking at the NecessiTeas website, I will definitely need to order from them at some point because their flavors sound amazing!

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Herbaceous, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet

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

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Sample Sipdown! (17)

Another from my A Quarter to Tea sample order! I’ve never heard of Lemonsweet before, but after a bit of cursory Googling, I think it might be a Game of Thrones reference? (shrugs)

I like this one. The citrus flavor almost verges on floor cleaner, but it’s not quite there thankfully. I mostly taste the lemon and lemongrass, and there’s a nice sweetness to it that gives a suggestion of strawberry. It reminds me a bit of a milder lemon drop candy flavor. I don’t taste much rosemary, for which I am thankful as it’s not a favorite herb of mine. It does contribute a pleasant slight herbaceous note that verges on pine.

The base tea here has a lot of flavor. It has a vegetal, brothy nature with a hint of bitterness. I would call it cross between a Chinese gunpowder green and a Japanese sencha. It does meld well with the added citrus flavors.

I likely won’t reorder this, as it fits a similar niche to my beloved Yuzu from Lupicia. But it is a tasty and satisfying citrus green tea!

Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Candy, Herbaceous, Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange, Pine, Strawberry, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

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

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drank Napa Blanc by Lupicia
3411 tasting notes

Sample Sipdown! (16)

So I was wondering about this tea when I made my Lupicia panic orders a week or two ago. I hadn’t had it in a while and I already have a couple of grape teas from them, so I held off. Today I found a small sample of it, so I figured I’d refresh my memory while I still have the chance to reorder it!

It’s definitely not very memorable. The base is smooth and somewhat grassy but otherwise not very flavorful. I think this may be the same grape flavoring used in their seasonal Soleil Levant tea – perhaps there’s a distinction between white and red grape? I do enjoy their more grape juice-like teas, like Jingle Bells and Yamabudo. But this, to me, tastes a bit like bubblegum. Perhaps more than a bit, actually, it’s sort of like muscat-flavored bubblegum.

Not bad, but definitely not a favorite of mine!

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Floral, Grass, Muscatel, Smooth

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

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365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 15

Ahhh my love, we meet again…

I absolutely adore this one. Pear is one of my favorite flavors in theory, but I’m often disappointed in its execution. It’s often either overwhelmed by other notes, or it lacks the crispness that I long for.

But this tea executes it perfectly, in my opinion! The white base is a great choice – it’s soft and mellow with a comforting oat-y flavor that’s light enough to support the pear while letting it shine. The pear flavor here is delightfully crisp and fresh, just like a firm and juicy pear. There’s just a light kiss of warming spice to give it an added comfort factor without making it seem like pear crumble.

Nom nom nom. And what a lovely tin, too! This one will definitely be a permanent resident of my cupboard, lovingly restocked each and every time I sip it down.

Bumping the rating!

P.S. – I’m halfway through the first month of my 365 Days of Tea challenge! Yay!


Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Hay, Oats, Pear, Smooth, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

mmmm should try this one eventually. Good pear teas really are hard to find!

Cameron B.

Let me know if you’d like to do a swap! ❤


Haha I’d love to but totally not a good time for that. My brain is fried with kidddo coming in 11 wks….so much to do, and work isn’t slowing down!

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drank Daruma by Lupicia
3411 tasting notes

Sipdown! (4)

This is one of those blends from Lupicia that has a hilariously vague description. The ingredients do list dried mango though, so I’m assuming it’s meant to be mango-flavored black tea with peppercorns…

The base tea has a nice malty flavor with a pleasant tannic bite. There’s a hint of astringency as well, even with my conservative steeping parameters. The flavor is fruity and tropical in nature. I do taste mango, but it’s a softer version than usual, and it’s accompanied by peach and banana notes. There’s also a nice creaminess that makes it taste like a smoothie.

Very tasty! But not one that I felt the need to restock since I already have some lovely mango and peach teas from Lupicia that I prefer to this one.

Flavors: Astringent, Banana, Creamy, Malt, Mango, Peach, Sweet, Tannic, Tropical

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank The Diplomat by Java Tea Co
3411 tasting notes

Home – 6:30 PM

I bought this one from tea-sipper’s stash sale. In fact, I got four different coffee-inspired teas from the same company. They all seem to be nearly identical, with slightly different flavors added. This one is inspired by the caramel macchiato, and it has little caramel cubes in it as well.

For some reason I thought this was black tea and rooibos, but it’s actually green tea and rooibos. So I steeped it like a black tea. Oops. Luckily, it tastes fine.

This reminds me of B&B’s Fairytale of NY, which is an Irish Cream inspired rooibos blend. I’m not sure I would specifically know that this is meant to be caramel-flavored? It is tasty, though. The rooibos is woody and goes perfectly with the coffee-like chicory root. It’s smooth and not overly roasty or coffee-ish. I guess maybe since rooibos has a bit of caramel character naturally, I don’t notice the additional caramel flavor?

I dig it, and I suspect I’ll dig the others as well since they’re so similar. :)

This would also probably make a fabulous latte.

Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Creamy, Roasted, Smooth, Whiskey, Wood

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

Glad you like this. :D

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Sample Sipdown! (15)

I love that these samples from A Quarter to Tea are perfect for a large single serving. That way I get to try the tea, and it’s an instant sample sipdown! Perfect! And they’re very inexpensive, too.

I am a lover of chocolate orange, so I’ll almost always take the opportunity to sample a chocolate orange tea when one is available. So, of course, this found its way into my order!

Wow, this smells sharply of tangerine. Hmm… This one is not for me. The combination of the rum and the tangy citrus is reminding me a bit of citrus floor cleaner. There’s a strong alcoholic or chemical note, and I’m not sure whether it’s coming from the rum flavor or just the added flavoring in general.

I do taste creamy milk chocolate here as well, but it’s not very harmonious when combined with the more acidic tangerine.

Oh well, another reason to be happy for the small sample size! :D

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Biting, Bitter, Chocolate, Citrus Zest, Creamy, Rum, Tart, Wood

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

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Tea Swap Sample Sipdown of the Day! (14)

This is the very last tea from my swap with AJRimmer. Sorry it took me so long to try them all! This is why I’ve started committing to one swap tea sipdown each day. :P

This is an interesting oolong with strong mineral notes. It’s actually somewhat similar to gunpowder green tea, which has a heavily mineral flavor with earthy smoke elements. This tea does not have the vegetal character of a green tea, however.

I assume this tieguanyin is at least partially baked, as it has a mellow, comforting roasty flavor that is not overwhelming, as well as a golden liquor. There is a light hay-like mustiness here as well, which reminds me of bai mudan. It does have the classic silky mouthfeel and floral nectar notes that I expect from a green oolong, and a hint of fuzzy apricot at the end of the sip.

What an interesting tea, with aspects of green and white teas as well as oolong. I happen to enjoy mineral notes in lighter teas, so I quite like it! :)

Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Floral, Hay, Mineral, Musty, Nectar, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth, Thick

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Foggy Coconut by 52teas
3411 tasting notes

365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 14

The first tea to try from my modest first 52teas order! Anne was kind enough to make sure there was a sampler of this left for me to try after I asked about it. Thanks, Anne! And thank you for the bonus sample! ❤

I do tend to love Earl Grey blends with additional flavors, so this was a no-brainer for me. The base tea is malty but still quite smooth, especially for an Assam blend. There’s a light amount of bergamot, but still enough to make in an Earl Grey in my opinion. The coconut is the main flavor here, and it’s lovely and creamy with the added vanilla.

Coconut is not my favorite flavor, but I do enjoy it occasionally and this is definitely one of those times! I’m not sure if there’s added cream flavor here as well, but it definitely tastes milky, as a latte would. I’m sure it would be even more delicious with sweetener.

Very tasty! I’m not sure this is one I would feel the need to stock, as I’m not a coconut lover, but I’ll very much enjoy the small amount I have. :)

I did sign up for the 52teas subscription as well, so looking forward to trying that out starting next month!


Flavors: Bergamot, Coconut, Creamy, Malt, Milk, Smooth, Sweet, Tannic, Vanilla

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

Two of my obsessions in one pic. You just increased my heartrate. I was just looking at the new Malabrigo yarn at fabulousyarn.com but I spent so much on Lupicia this month, it’s out of the question >.<

Cameron B.

I got a gift certificate for Fabulous Yarn for my birthday, but haven’t decided what to get yet…

I’m not super interested in the new Washted, as I prefer plied yarn to singles.


Oh my – I love your yarn collection! I love fiber arts – I got into needle felting for a while (before I started doing the 52Teas thing) and I loved it. Now I don’t have as much time for my other arts since taking over 52Teas, that’s become my art. I have always wished I knew how to either knit or crochet but I’ve never taken the time (or had the patience) to learn.

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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 piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby-related things… ;)

- March Sipdowns: 37
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 117

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots 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
The Chai Box

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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