4030 Tasting Notes

After ordering a couple of tea advent calendars to enjoy this December, I’ve been craving Christmasy teas a bit. I admit I’d forgotten about this one until I found it rummaging about in my tea cupboard.

I was worried about its age because it didn’t have much of a scent in the tin. Luckily the steeped tea still has plenty of flavor left!

This tea does a nice job of straddling the line between a spice tea and a dessert tea. There’s a bit of clove-y warmth, but also rich marzipan and creamy cake notes. And just a little bit of sweet orange adds a nice aroma and harmonizes nicely with the spices.

So cozy and comforting for curling up and watching a movie. ❤️

Flavors: Almond, Cake, Clove, Cream, Marzipan, Orange, Sweet, Vanilla

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

Which calendars have you bought?!


I love this one!

Cameron B.

@VariaTEA – I’ve been good, only two (so far)! Dammann Frēres and Palais des Thés. Although I did get the jam advent again so… /shrugs

@amandastory – I know! Hopefully they’ll offer it this year so I can restock. :P

Mastress Alita

I know I voted for it in some poll or another through all the B&B e-mails I get as the Christmas tea I most wanted to see return. Hopefully it does well. It’s my favorite as well (I think I snagged some during a rando Christmas in July sale at one point…)


Ah, the infamous jam advent. :D

Cameron B.

@tea-sipper – Infamous?! I can’t help it if I love jam! :P


Well, I had no idea there was a jam advent until you were posting about them. haha

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drank French Earl Grey by T2
4030 tasting notes

Why hello there, friends!

It’s been a while, I hope you are all doing well given the current circumstances. I haven’t been drinking much tea over the past year or two, but I’ve been feeling tea-ish lately so I thought I’d pop over and see what’s going on.

I’ve been mostly gravitating toward flavored black teas lately, and this is a good one. Smooth and mellow with a fairly light touch of bergamot and a nice fruity sweetness. The description lists peach and apricot, but to me there is a little bit of strawberry or something as well.

Very yummy and soft, perfect for chillaxing in the afternoon or spending the evening on the couch with your pugs! ;)

Flavors: Apricot, Bergamot, Floral, Jam, Peach, Smooth, Strawberry

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

Welcome back!

Martin Bednář

Happy to see you back!

Roswell Strange

Long time no tea! Nice to see you back :)

Mastress Alita

Welcome back, Cameron!

Cameron B.

Thank you. I missed you, tea friends! ❤️


Good to see you back! :D


Can’t believe it’s been about 2 years. Welcome back :)

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drank Peach Oolong by Adagio Teas
4030 tasting notes

Sipdown! (5 | 15)

This was actually from my swap with Kawaii433, but it was such a generously sized “sample” that I’m counting it as a full sipdown.

I will say, this one is quite good for an Adagio tea. I guess I must have a higher tolerance for subpar oolong than I do for black tea…

The oolong itself has a comforting autumn leaf flavor, and it reminds me more of a roasted green tea than it does an oxidized oolong. The peach flavoring is restrained but still has a nice sweet presence.

Overall, yummier than expected. Kawaii also sent the grapefruit version, so I’ll be working on that one next!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Peach, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

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

Hope you’re doing okay, Cameron!


Yes, we’re missing you!

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Sipdown! (4 | 14)

This one was mighty tasty! But I don’t feel too bad sipping it down, since I have other candy cane teas in my cupboard. Plus I’m planning to order some of the plain marshmallow treat genmaicha once the vanilla marshmallow black tea is in stock!

I’ll have to remember this combination for the holiday season though, I would love to try a real candy cane marshmallow treat! I’m thinking dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes… ❤

Flavors: Butter, Candy, Creamy, Marshmallow, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted Rice

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

That sounds like an awesome idea for a marshmallow treat.

Cameron B.

It’s sort of like a peppermint bark marshmallow treat mash-up. ;)

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365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 38

I picked up a sample of this with my last Harney & Sons order, because even though I don’t generally like lavender, I’m still looking for an Earl Grey with cream/vanilla that lives up to my expectations.

Happily, the lavender isn’t all that noticeable next to the bergamot. I can tell it’s there, but it’s not offensive to me. The cream flavor is nice. However, I really wish there was vanilla as well…

It also somehow comes out tasting a bit like coconut in some sips.

So not the Earl Grey cream of my dreams, but still tasty!


Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Earth, Lavender, Smooth

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

Have you tried Cream Earl Grey from Teafrog? It was pretty awesome to me!

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Sample Sipdown! (17 | 86)

I had a single serve sample of this one from a past David’s order.

It’s not bad. I do enjoy the combination of apple and citrus with a hint of mint, and caffeine-free is always nice. But it does sort of taste like it has citric acid in it, which makes it remind me of vitamic C chewables.

Not the worst association, but it does taste a little artificial.

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Candy, Mint, Orange, Sweet, Tart

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown! (3 | 13)

This is a perfectly pleasant melon oolong. It does remind me somewhat of watermelon Jolly Ranchers, but not necessarily in a bad way. The oolong is nondescript, but smooth and nice enough.

Too bad for this tea, it could never hope to compete with my beloved Melon Oolong. Ah well, they can’t all be Lupicia teas. ;)

Flavors: Candy, Melon, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

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

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365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 37

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Japanese green tea, even though they happen to be some of my favorites. I’m not sure why that is, really… But today, we rectify!

I have a 20g packet of this from my Yunomi subscription. Full disclosure – it’s a few months past the “best by” date… But it was completely sealed, so I’m giving it a go anyway. I followed the steeping parameters on the packet for the first 3 steeps, and then went with a further 4th steep because it still had such good flavor.

My leaf was a bit broken, so I was worried about this being bitter. But it definitely was not!

This is a very tasty, well-balanced sencha. It has a nice combination of both sweet and savory vegetal notes, along with a refreshing light citrus note. The most amazing thing about this one, though, is the tasty sakura note. It actually tastes like a very lightly sakura-scented sencha, even though there is no scenting here. I love sakura sencha, so I found this quite delightful!

The vegetal notes were a nice combination of sweet and creamy pea and edamame, along with more savory spinach and a touch of umami seaweed. The savory side was a bit stronger in the second infusion, and there was also a hint of very pleasant bitterness. The fourth (extra) steep was light and sweet, a lovely way to finish the session.

Yummy in my tummy… I’ll have to steep my favorite sakura sencha this way one of these days.

5g – 200ml – 175°F – 60/10/30/60s


Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Creamy, Peas, Sakura, Seaweed, Smooth, Soybean, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (16 | 85)

This was one of many oolong samples that the lovely Kawaii433 saw fit to share with me!

So full disclosure, li shan and ali shan oolong are not my favorites. They have a tendency to be quite floral, which is not an attribute that I love in tea.

This one was quite floral as well. The rinse was creamy and delicious with light peach notes, and it probably should have occurred to me to start with shorter steeps because of that. But it didn’t, so I started my first steep at 25s. Next time, I think I’ll start at 15s (at most) for gaoshan.

So the first several steeps were very strong on the floral notes. There were also some sweet peach, grass, pea, and spinach notes in the background. I didn’t find the overall flavor to change a lot during this time, which surprised me. But this may have been a side effect of my poor brewing parameters.

I did really start to enjoy this tea in the last few steeps though, where the flowers faded a bit and I could appreciate the soft grass, vegetal, and fruit notes more.

I will say, every single steep of this tea had an amazing sweet aftertaste that lingered forever. I’m not sure if that was what is referred to as hui gan, or not? Either way, I could definitely appreciate that this is a very good quality tea, even if it isn’t my personal “cup of tea”. ;)

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Orchid, Peach, Peas, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (14 | 83)

I’m finishing off the second dragon ball from tea-sipper grandpa-style.

I used one orb in a 16-ounce glass and 185° water. I’m on my fourth refill now and it’s still flavorful. The ball has completely disintegrated at this point, which is nice because it didn’t sink properly while it was still formed.

I definitely like this one much better this way! It has a nice sweet and malty flavor that is very close to a light black tea. Then there’s the lovely honeyed raisin notes, along with the usual hay, grain, and oats. Surprisingly, there’s no hint of bitterness even with these long steep times.

I wasn’t sure whether this would be well-suited to this treatment, since this is my first time steeping this way. But it’s definitely a perfect match! Low maintenance and yummy, I’ll have to remember this for the future, and order a suitable brewing vessel for it.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Honey, Malt, Oats, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet, Tobacco

185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 16 OZ / 473 ML

Oh good, I’m glad you liked it better this way.


Mmm, I love Moonlight Whites :) Glad you got it to work for you!

Evol Ving Ness

Hurray for finding a work around to make a tea a happier companion!

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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, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- May Sipdowns: 20
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 33

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.

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

I tend to reach for fruitier flavors rather than desserty ones these days, but I do have favorites from both categories. Willing to try anything once! There are a few ingredients/flavors that aren’t generally my jam, such as coconut, rose, lavender, and chocolate flavoring. But I also have teas that I love with some of those things, too! :)

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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