3700 Tasting Notes

drank Maple Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
3700 tasting notes

Home – 10:00 AM

Matcha milk of the morning! Prepared using 1 teaspoon of matcha to 8 ounces of soy milk, and sweetened with a half teaspoon of maple agave.

Wow, it’s amazing how good this matcha base is after trying some others… I’m even more impressed with it now. So smooth and sweet, and whisks very well.

It’s unfortunate that this maple version doesn’t have much flavoring (in my opinion), but I just remedy that by adding maple agave instead of plain. ;)

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Maple, Smooth, Sweet

Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Summer in Løv by Løv Organic
3700 tasting notes

Home – 11:00 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 21

I believe I bought this one to use for cold brew, as this is not something I would generally drink hot. I’m not a great lover of fruit tisanes when they have hibiscus included.

Luckily there’s not a lot of hibiscus here, so it’s not overly sour. It’s very peachy – the flavor reminds me of peach gummy rings. The hibiscus adds some needed tartness, although they could have accomplished the same thing with lemon. There’s a bit of apple as well.

It’s actually quite good for a fruit tisane. I’m not sure I feel the need to keep it around, as fruit tisanes are not something I ever reach for. As herbals go, I would rather have a mint or chamomile blend, or a nice green rooibos.

So with no hard feelings, I’ll likely pass this one along. But it is solidly in the “good” category for a fruit tisane.

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Candy, Hibiscus, Peach, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Bali by Dammann Frères
3700 tasting notes

Home – 10:00 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 22

This is one of the Dammann Frères teas that I actually bought in France. Reading the description, this seems an odd choice for me, as I don’t generally like rose. I guess it must have smelled fruity enough that I wanted to take it home with me!

Hmm… Here’s the issue for me with this tea. I love lychee, but it’s quite floral in my opinion. So then when you add rose on top of it, it goes a bit too far for me. The two sort of fuse together and you almost can’t even taste the lychee anymore. There’s jasmine here as well, which is also a bit hard to find because of the rose.

I do get a little hit of citrus, which is a nice departure. I’m not sure whether I get peach specifically, it’s more of a generic fruitiness. The base tea is a bit grassy, which does help counter the floral aspect a bit.

I think I’ll have to pass this one on to someone else. I can recognize that it’s a very good quality tea with lovely flavors, but the rose aspect is too strong for me.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Jasmine, Lychee, Rose

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Home – 9:30 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 23

The last one from Tales and Tea Leaves! This is a combination of almond oolong, vanilla black, and cream black (again) with orange peel and cinnamon.

I mean, it’s fine. It’s inoffensive. I can taste malt from the black tea, and then woody vanilla. I’m picking up some dried leaf-y notes from the oolong, and perhaps a little bit of marzipan. It’s all quite subtle though. There’s also a touch of bitterness and astringency from the black tea, even though I only steeped for 3 minutes.

Just meh on this one.

There were some from this sampler that I would consider keeping and finishing off, but I think I’ll leave them all together and pass the whole sampler on to someone else, so they can try the full set.

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Malt, Marzipan, Vanilla, Wood

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

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Home – 8:30 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 24

Time to finish off these Tales and Tea Leaves sampler blends. It’s a bit odd to me that this one is called “The White Tea of Kings”, but is mostly black tea? Strange. Anyway, it’s a blend of Earl Grey cream, cream black tea, and straight white tea. I feel like these designers tend to overuse the cream black tea – it shows up in so many blends.

This one’s actually not bad. The Earl Grey is the strongest flavor, and it actually has a nice orange-y note to it as well. I can taste the cream as well. Somehow the cream and orange are combining to make me think of coconut, which interestingly enough goes nicely with the bergamot. I can’t taste the white tea (no surprise), but maybe it serves to lighten up the black tea a bit?

Anyway, this is better than some of the others. Not great, but drinkable!

Someone should make a coconut Earl Grey… I want to try one.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Coconut, Cream, Orange, Sweet

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

52Teas had the best coconut Earl Grey, called Foggy Coconut, but since they only do limited edition small batch blends, it is of course not available anymore. If they ever reblend it, I would highly suggest grabbing it. One of the best teas I’ve ever had!

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Home – 3:00 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 25

Ahhh first tea of the day… Well, besides a matcha milk this morning. I slept in and then went to visit my house-in-progress for a bit. This is one of the teas I chose in my sample order to August Uncommon Tea. I admit, their teas have been extremely hit-or-miss for me. I really enjoy Dots and Loops, Tropic of Capricorn, and Psychocandy though, so hopefully this one is more in that vein.

Hmm. This reminds me vividly of these Japanese plum candies that I once bought at an Asian supermarket. They were almost like smarties in a way, sort of powdery and disc-shaped. But they were plum-flavored and somewhat tart, and they tasted exactly like this! Which is funny because it’s an unusual sort of plum flavor. It’s certainly very candy-like, and I’m not sure I would immediately guess it was plum if I didn’t know what it was meant to be.

I feel like they over-advertise the Earl Grey aspect of this. There is a little bergamot, but it’s very little and I’m not sure I’d notice it if I weren’t expecting it. It’s a bit overwhelmed by the strong, tart candy plum and the floral notes. I don’t get clove at all. Perhaps I missed getting a clove in the steeping basket?

I’m not sure I get this one really. To me it mostly tastes of candy plum with a bit of floral, and not much else. The base tea is very light, so I can’t really taste that either. I would like it better if the bergamot were strong, and the plum weaker.

Is it just me or are their Dark Iris and Arabesque teas chronically out of stock in the sample size…?

Flavors: Artificial, Bergamot, Candy, Floral, Plum, Stonefruit, Tart

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

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drank Orzo Strawberry by Lupicia
3700 tasting notes

Home – 11:00 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 26

I really do enjoy all of these barley teas from Lupicia. I will say, I generally prefer the mugicha-style ones as they’re a bit less roasted and that allows me to taste the fruit flavors more. But these orzo versions are interesting too, and more similar to coffee.

I used a bit less tea (2 teaspoons instead of my usual 3) and steeped for 3 minutes to prevent this from being overly strong and coffee-like.

The strawberry here is definitely quite light compared to the roasted barley. I can taste it though, and it’s nice with the sweet cocoa notes. The coffee-like quality of the barley definitely helps to enhance the chocolate. There is a lasting sweet aftertaste, which is something I always find with barley teas, though I’m not sure why that is.

Digging this, it reminds me a bit of a chocolate cake with some strawberries on top and a bit of coffee. I bet this would make a really amazing latte – I’ll have to remember to try that sometime.

Flavors: Cocoa, Coffee, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Strawberry, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Capri by August Uncommon Tea
3700 tasting notes

Home – 10:00 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 27

I’m actually running out of caffeine-free teas to try in the evening. I only have a couple more untried ones to go, and then I suppose I’ll allow myself break into the swap samples in the evening.

I actually ended up using the whole sample packet of this for my 16-ounce pot, because the fruit chunks were huge and heavy so there wasn’t that much volume for the weight.

This is… not what I expected. It’s barely sweet at all, and there’s an interesting slight tartness. I suppose it must be from the apple and pineapple? I guess I was expecting it to taste more like melon, since that’s the primary flavor mentioned. There’s definitely mint, but it’s more of an herbaceous peppermint which isn’t my favorite. It tends to taste a bit… musty? Or something? I’m not even sure how to describe it besides “sort of like a wet dishrag”.

This one is a bit disappointing to me. I feel like the apple overshadows the melon too much, and that it would be nicer with spearmint in place of the peppermint as well as a bit less mint in general.

Flavors: Apple, Herbaceous, Melon, Peppermint, Pineapple, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Home – 8:30 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 28

Finally it’s the weekend! This week has been absolutely awful at work, I’ve been dragging every night by the time I got home. So thank goodness that’s over! Plus I get to go visit my soon-to-be house tomorrow, and supposedly they’ve started the tile and countertops so that will be exciting to see.

I think I bought this tea at the Asian supermarket the last time I went for a restock, because why not? That being said, I’m not sure how on Earth I ended up with multiple lychee-flavored black teas. It’s not as if it’s a favorite flavor of mine or anything, yet somehow I have 3 or 4 different versions. (shrug)

The leaves looked rather small and flaky, so I shortened the steep to 2.5 minutes.

I’m actually quite (pleasantly) surprised by how mild the lychee flavoring is. Based on the smell of the dry leaf, I expected it to be much stronger. But it’s actually quite nicely balanced with the black tea. The base tea is strong enough to hold its own, and has some earthy notes. It’s a little bit brisk as well, but with only the tiniest hint of bitterness. The lychee is nice and light, juicy, and floral.

Overall, this is much better than I expected, especially for the price.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Floral, Lychee, Malt, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Work – 1:30 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 29

So obukucha is a tea that is generally consumed to celebrate the New Year. It doesn’t have a specific composition, but generally contains ume, kelp, gold flakes, or all three. This one happens to be a genmaicha with dried soy beans, matcha, kelp, and gold flakes.

Hm, I expected to like this more. As a genmaicha goes, it’s okay. The sencha mostly just tastes grassy, without much in the way of depth. It lacks the sweetness I have come to expect from both sencha and matcha. Love the toasty rice flavor, of course. I think I can distinguish a little bit of the dried soybean as well.

It’s good, but I was hoping for greatness. ;)

Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Roasted, Smooth, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Lexie Aleah

That sounds good!

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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… ;)

- September Sipdowns: 34
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 349

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
Old Barrel Tea Co
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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