2725 Tasting Notes

70

Another caffeine-free option from my Løv Organic sampler. Pineapple teas always remind me of Roswell Strange now, because I know it’s one of her favorite flavors. Silly, I know. :P Anyway, this is a green rooibos base with a few pieces of dried pineapple and crushed mint leaves. Dry scent is a sweet and fairly even mix of pineapple and mint, which is lovely.

The steeped tea is stronger on the mint. I can still smell the sweet/tart pineapple, but the spearmint overpowers it a bit. Aw… I can’t taste pineapple at all in this tea, which makes me extremely sad. It basically tastes like a very mild spearmint tea with a kind of herbal flavor that reminds me of chamomile or linden. Not bad, but not at all what it’s supposed to be.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Spearmint

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Pineapple mint sounds odd.

Cameron B.

I think it would have been really good… if there had been any pineapple. D:

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88
drank Løvely Night by Løv Organic
2725 tasting notes

Continuing on with my Løv Organic sampler! Time to move on to some caffeine-free blends for the evening. I admit it, I chose this sachet because of the cute name and the pretty rich purple color of the wrapper. Shhh don’t tell! Inside the sachet, I can see rooibos and honeybush along with chamomile and some kind of crushed leaf. The dry scent reminds me of cinnamon apple and chamomile, though after looking at the ingredients it’s actually cinnamon pear.

The steeped tea still has that apple cinnamon-like aroma, though now I can smell the licorice as well. I must say, I really like this company’s licorice root because it doesn’t add that weird artificial sweetener aftertaste, which is what I normally dislike about licorice root. This is a really tasty blend! I can taste the chamomile along with the linden, and there’s a nice, light apple cinnamon sort of flavor going on, as well as a very light sweetness from the licorice. I would absolutely buy more of this one for nighttime!

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Hay, Licorice, Pear, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Haha oh god, they SO did not call that tea that. So ridiculous.

Fjellrev

I just appreciate ridiculous puns is all. :)

Cameron B.

OH okay. I thought I was missing something, he he. :D Most of their teas have ordinary descriptive names but the Wellness Blends all have “Løv” in them somewhere. :)

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85

Yay, more Løv Organic teas! I figured I should go for the ones that have actual tea in them for now, so that I have the caffeine-free options to enjoy later tonight when I’m trying to wind down. This tea is a blend of green, white, and green rooibos – not a combination I’ve had before. The leaves in the sachet are quite small, and the green tea almost resembles gunpowder. There is one big piece of peach in this sachet, and it smells amazingly peachy with a nice tart edge (which makes it more realistic for me). Perhaps some apricot here too?

The steeped tea has that same peach/apricot aroma, and it’s making my mouth water! (I love apricots so much.) I can also smell a little bit of the pineapple sharpness. Hm… This is definitely a lightly flavored tea, and the peach/apricot is much more subtle than I was expecting. However, this actually works quite well here because the base tea(s) are very light and refreshing. I can taste slight cucumber notes from the white tea, as well as hay. The green rooibos is just a little bit herbaceous and works well with the hay notes from the white tea. I’m not sure whether I can taste the green tea or not, but at least it’s not grassy. The peach/apricot/pineapple combination is just a subtle suggestion for the majority of the sip, but they become a bit stronger in the aftertaste. I would definitely describe this as a “spa tea”, it just has that refreshing and soothing vibe to it! I’m sure it would be lovely cold brewed/iced as well.

Flavors: Apricot, Cucumber, Hay, Herbaceous, Peach, Pineapple, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Winter in Løv by Løv Organic
2725 tasting notes

Yay, my Løv Organic order is here! I’ve been wanting to try this company’s teas for a while now (I think they’re the same company as Kusmi) so I was happy to see a $50 credit for $25 on Rue La La a couple weeks ago. I ordered the biggest sampler and then a tin of this tea (I was originally going to order a box of sachets, but I needed two more dollars for free shipping, so I upgraded to the tin). I’m not usually one to order a large amount of a tea I’ve never tried, but I figured what the hell. Even if I hate it, someone else around here will love it! Visually, there isn’t a ton of black tea in this blend. It’s a mix of crushed up pieces of cacao shell and various spices with a few leaves in there. Dry scent reminds me of Verdant’s Campfire Blend – it has that creamy spice element, but without the orange.

Mmm, nice aroma! It smells creamy and spicy with a definite sweet edge from the licorice. I can smell a hint of cacao as well. Wow, I’m actually really surprised that this isn’t a licorice root bomb! Meaning I don’t get that odd sweet aftertaste that licorice root usually gives. Instead, I can actually taste the licorice/anise-like flavor. There is also definitely a lot of clove going on, and I can taste dark chocolatey cocoa in the background, providing a nice base note. I think I can also taste a little bit of marzipan-like almond, but it’s blending pretty seamlessly with the licorice so it’s hard to tell them apart! Something in here is making my mouth a little bit tingly, possibly the ginger? I added a little touch of sugar to the second half of my cup, and yum! Definitely an improvement. Overall, I don’t regret this one! It’s a nice little chai with some chocolate and almond notes.

Flavors: Clove, Cocoa, Creamy, Ginger, Licorice, Marzipan

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mikumofu

sounds really lovely! or should I say Løvly :D

Fjellrev

Oh yummy, it sure does sound great.

Cameron B.

I’ll have to send out samples since I bought a full 4.4 ounce tin of it, hah! :P

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78
drank Tourbillon by Dammann Freres
2725 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar – December 3rd

Yay it’s time for advent tea again! I must admit, this is quickly becoming my favorite part of my day. I’ve been pretty impressed with almost every DF tea I’ve tried, and I’m very glad that I chose this calendar to try.

This sachet doesn’t have any ingredients on the packaging. I must admit, I took one whiff and had to come check the intended flavors to see what I was getting myself into, because it smelled quite floral. I can definitely smell the orange blossom very strongly, and there are also slight fruity and sweet scents. I can see little pieces of something mixed with the black tea, but I can’t really tell what they are.

The steeped tea still has a rather strong orange blossom aroma. I can also smell the apricot and possibly some maple/toffee. Hmm… I must say, I wish this blend wasn’t so heavy on the orange blossom flavor. It pretty much takes over and it’s hard to taste anything else. I can taste a bit of the candied apricot and possibly the apple/papaya, but I’m not really getting much of the biscuit, toffee, or maple syrup flavors, which are the ones I was most excited about! I added a bit of raw sugar to the second half of my cup to see if that would help bring out more of the dessert flavors, but I don’t think it was very successful. Oh, I forgot about the chestnut! Yes, I suppose I can taste that flavor a wee bit. Overall, obviously floral is not my favorite note, but I am thankful that it’s orange blossom (which I find somewhat similar to jasmine, more of a sweet floral) and not something like rose or lavender. It’s a good tea, it’s just not meant for me! :P

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Nuts, Orange Blossom, Sweet

Preparation
8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

This is the second sobacha that I got a free sample of last month. This is the same type of buckwheat, but it’s grown in the Hokkaido prefecture, which is the entire northern island of Japan. I can actually see a big difference in the grains – they’re larger and much more variable in size, and they’re almost all whole. According to the product page, this sobacha has a stronger buckwheat flavor than the Aomori version. Dry scent is very similar, roasty peanuts.

The steeped tea smells very similar as well – it’s very nutty, specifically peanutty with a lot of roasted notes. Whoa, I can see what they meant by stronger buckwheat flavor. This one definitely packs more of a roasted punch than the other, but the actual flavors are very similar. I get the same taste of roasted peanut butter (though the roast is stronger here) and it’s quite creamy as well. Yum, such intense flavor and so delicious!

Edit: OMG, I just realized what this reminds me of! It tastes exactly like Corn Nuts! I don’t know if any of you have had those, but they’re basically roasted/deep fried corn kernels.

Flavors: Creamy, Peanut, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Anlina

I love Corn Nuts!

Stephanie

Hey sounds great!

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88

This was one of my November free samples from Yunomi. Thanks to Yunomi for being amazing and providing monthly free samples! I got two different sobacha teas from the same company so I could compare them. I believe the only difference is the region in which the buckwheat was grown… Anyway, this one is from the Aomori prefecture and dattan sobacha is the type of buckwheat (same as tartary buckwheat). According to the product page, this sobacha is roasted slightly longer than the other one. The kernels are quite small compared to some other buckwheat teas I’ve seen, and they’re somewhat broken. Dry scent is roasty and very nutty with some grain notes.

Steeped tea smells delicious, like a combination of roasted peanuts and homemade wheat bread. The flavor is exactly like the smell, too. It’s sort of like a super roasty peanut butter, and it’s extremely tasty! I’m kind of reminded of sunflower seeds as well, probably because they’re roasted. It also has a natural sweetness that’s especially apparent in the aftertaste. Love buckwheat teas!

Flavors: Creamy, Nuts, Peanut, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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45
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
2725 tasting notes

This is one of the samples that the lovely and kind Roswell Strange picked up at her local David’s and shipped to me. Thanks again, dear! I’m hot on the trail of a replacement tea for Butiki’s Three Friends, otherwise known as the best chocolate-orange tea ever… So even though I’m not a huge fan of puerh blends, I figured I would give this one its chance. It’s a mixture of small puerh leaves, dried orange peel, and tons of chocolate chips. I made sure to stir the tea inside the basket at the end of the steep so that I could get all of that chocolate chip goodness in my cup. This made the tea look like muddy water, but too bad! :P

Steeped aroma is heavy on the milk chocolate (yum) along with some sharp orange notes, as if from the peel itself. I can smell the puerh base a little bit, but it just smells earthy, not fishy or unpleasant. Ooh, this is a no for me. It didn’t smell fishy but it certainly tastes like it, which I was not expecting at all. The orange is also not as present as I would like, though the chocolate is definitely there. Ick, that fishy/swampy aftertaste… No thank you!

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fishy, Orange

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Roswell Strange

Sorry this one wasn’t a success :(

Cameron B.

I’m sorry too! I was hopeful. D:

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83

This is one of the Palais des Thés teas that I purchased when Rue La La had them for sale (at about half price!). It was part of the Indulgences sampler. The tea itself is a blend of generic black tea leaves and beautiful pale yellow helichrysum flowers. Dry scent is lemony and sweet and reminds me of lemon drops! :D

Once steeped, the aroma is a mix of black tea and lemon candy. Hm, this is a perfectly pleasant lemon black tea! The tea is strong enough to hold its own, but not too strong or at all bitter. It doesn’t really have any distinguishing characteristics, just a generic “black tea” flavor. The lemon is mild, but it’s somewhat sweet and more of a dessert lemon (sort of like Butiki’s Lemon French Macaron). Overall, this is yummy! And I bet it would be fantastic with a bit of sweetening.

Flavors: Candy, Lemon, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Four Red Fruits by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

This sample also came from boychik! She’s so generous. :) I’m always excited to try a new Kusmi tea, as some of them are really good! It seems to be kind of a hit-or-miss thing for me, but I’m always hopeful for hits. Red fruits is one of my favorite tea flavors as well, as generally the cherry is quite strong, and I love cherry. This one is just black tea leaves and flavoring, no pieces of fruit or flowers. It doesn’t have much of a dry scent, as I’ve had it in its baggy for a while now.

Mm, the steeped tea smells like red fruits – I can definitely pick up both cherry and strawberry here. The base tea is verging on bitter, though it’s not quite there. I’m actually surprised by how mild the flavoring is here, much more so than other red fruits teas I’ve tried. I can taste hints of cherry and raspberry, but I would really like them to be stronger. The base tea is unremarkable. More red fruits, please!

P.S. – YAY Christmas movies on TV! :D

Flavors: Cherry, Malt, Raspberry, Strawberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

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… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ February Sipdowns: 4
~ Total 2022 Sipdowns: 45

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. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also 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, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

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 and chamomile. 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 Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
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.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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