3856 Tasting Notes


Home – 6:00 PM

Another one from The Tea Spot. This must have been the one I placed the order for, as I have a full 100g or so of it. I really love that they use whole allspice in this blend, it’s unusual and it looks gorgeous in the dry leaf.

Yum, this is definitely the best pumpkin spice black tea I’ve had. It actually tastes pumpkin-y and has a slight creaminess to it. The spices meld together very well, but I think I can pick out cinnamon, clove, ginger, and perhaps nutmeg. Looking at the ingredients, there is no nutmeg, so perhaps it’s the allspice I’m tasting. The base tea is a bit brisk – I think this would perhaps be better with a Chinese black tea base. Next time I’ll try to remember to steep this one a little shorter or at a slightly cooler temperature, as it did come out a touch bitter and astringent.

I added a drizzle of maple agave and a splash of soy milk to the rest of the pot after drinking the first cup plain. Delish.

I’m not a great lover or chai or pumpkin spice, but this here is a good ’un.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Spices, Sweet

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

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drank Peach Mai Tai by DAVIDsTEA
3856 tasting notes

Home – 4:00 PM

Oh my goodness, David’s just released their holiday collection and the teaware is beyond amazing! I love all the bear and deer designs. https://www.davidstea.com/us_en/new/

This tea reminds me of Peachie-Os. It’s very candy peach, and the ratio of fruit chunks to tea is so high that I don’t taste much black tea. It’s also too sweet, I guess from the blackberry leaves.

It’s not bad, but it’s not for me. I bet it would be tasty as an iced tea though.

Flavors: Candy, Peach, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Work – 12:00 PM

Happy November, everyone! I’m officially allowing myself to listen to Christmas music now. (Yes, I know that it’s still almost two months away…) Christmas happens to be my favorite holiday, so I tend to start early with the holiday spirit. But hopefully not in a way that annoys other people!

Anyway, this tea was a sample size. I ordered several samples from The Tea Spot a few months ago for some reason. I think it may have been because I liked something I got in my Sips By box…?

This is super yum, by the way. It reminds me of the black dragon pearls from Teavivre that I tried a few days ago, but with an even stronger cocoa flavor. Delicious!

It’s thick and satisfying, with a great mix of malt, cocoa, and baked bread notes.

Of course, it looks as if The Tea Spot doesn’t offer this blend anymore… Typical…

Also, is the name meant to be sexual…? Seems a bit odd, rofl.

Flavors: Bread, Cocoa, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

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

Chocolate O’s are another name for Oreos lol.

Cameron B.

Interesting, I’ve never heard that before.

Lexie Aleah

tbh I googled it :P

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Home – 10:00 PM

This is an interesting one – a mix of green and white teas with green rooibos. I suppose it’s not dissimilar to Kusmi’s detox blends, just with white tea instead of maté.

I do like this one. The peach/apricot flavor is very natural and not overly strong. There’s a bit of pineapple as well, which really brightens up the blend. Something almost tastes minty, even though there’s no mint here. The green tea has some marine notes, and there are earthy, herbaceous notes from the rooibos and a bit of hay from the white tea.

This definitely seems like a “spa” blend – relaxing and tastes as if it would be good for you.

My only issue is that really this tastes like an herbal blend to me, yet at the same time it’s caffeinated. I guess it fits well as an afternoon tea. :)

Flavors: Apricot, Earth, Hay, Herbs, Marine, Mint, Peach, Pineapple, Sweet

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

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Home – 7:30 PM

Ahh Dammann Frères… I’m kind of regretting not buying the advent calendar this year. As if I need another tea advent calendar…

Anyway, on to the tea. This is a lovely fruity black blend! The strongest flavors for me are zesty orange and sweet peach. Apparently there’s meant to be strawberry and cherry here as well, but I’m not sure I taste those. I do feel like there’s a bit of vanilla or something, as the peach really takes on a creamy flavor. The base tea is mild, smooth, perhaps a bit musty.

Yummy if you enjoy fruity black teas (which I do)!

Flavors: Cream, Orange, Orange Zest, Peach, Smooth, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Can you not buy it anymore?

Cameron B.

Yes, but I’m not allowing myself to buy anymore tea this year. Plus, you know, I already have 5 calendars…


Hahaha. I am debating about buying it since I am getting the TeaRevv calendar for free…

Cameron B.

Do it… Do it…

That shipping though. :(

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drank Golden Rooster by Lupicia
3856 tasting notes

Work – 3:30 PM

This is an unflavored tea – a combination of sencha, matcha, and little flakes of gold leaf. It was a limited edition for the Year of the Rooster (2017) during the Lunar New Year.

Despite its age, this definitely hasn’t lost any flavor. The sencha packs a definite punch of umami – this is not a delicate Japanese green tea. It has a strong vegetal flavor (mostly spinach), with grassy notes that are further enhanced by the addition of matcha. There is a touch of sweetness that is perfectly balanced by an equal touch of bitterness. At the end of the sip, I can pick up on a soft apricot note that is accented by the slightest hint of astringency.

I’m not sure the gold leaf really transfers into the steeped tea, though I did see quite a bit in the brewing basket. Perhaps it’s just meant to enhance the tea making experience and not to make the final product shimmery.

Such a tasty and satisfying kick-in-the-mouth sencha blend. I can feel it waking me up already… Perfect for that post-lunch work slump!

P.S. – Sorry for the terrible tea photo. Apparently I am the only person around these parts who owns this tea, and I couldn’t even find any photos of it online…

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Grass, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Power Berry by DAVIDsTEA
3856 tasting notes

Work – 12:30 PM

This tea makes me sad.

Because I really, really like the flavor of it. It has a lovely jammy blueberry and elderberry flavor that pairs nicely with the slightly earthy, slightly herbaceous maté. And there’s just enough hibiscus to give it a refreshing tartness too.

But then they just had to cover the whole thing in stevia.

If it had just been a little stevia, it would have been okay. But this is too much stevia.


Flavors: Blueberry, Earth, Herbs, Hibiscus, Jam, Smoke, Sweet, Tart

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Pomme d'Amour by Dammann Frères
3856 tasting notes

Work – 11:00 AM

Happy Halloween, everyone!

I get to start some advent calendars tomorrow, squee. Can’t wait! I think I’ve decided on Tea Revv and Palais des Thés to go first, for no particular reason. The Bird & Blend calendars aren’t actually shipped yet, so those will need to be in December. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I also ordered a Bonne Maman advent…

Anyway, on to the tea! Apparently pomme d’amour is the French term for toffee apple (or candy apple, as we more commonly say in the US). But the tea description mentions caramelized roasted apple, so it’s a bit unclear what they’re going for here.

I think the base tea is a bit strong here. It’s earthy, mineral, and woody and it somewhat overwhelms the flavoring.

I do get some apple, and it does perhaps remind me a bit of apple pie. But the base tea makes it almost savory, which is weird.

I think I’ll give this one another chance, perhaps with a shorter steep.

Flavors: Apple, Candy, Earth, Mineral, Musty, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Maple Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
3856 tasting notes

Home – 9:30 AM

Matcha time! Prepared as a matcha milk using soy milk.

I will admit, I’m a bit disappointed in this one. I’m finding very little maple flavor. The banana version definitely has much more flavoring than this one.

It’s still nice enough as a plain matcha, but it’s not supposed to be plain. I guess I’ll just add maple agave to this one. ;)

I’m also picking up on some seaweedy notes since there’s less flavoring.

Very smooth, tasty matcha but it’s not flavored in my opinion.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Smooth, Sweet

Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Home – 7:30 PM

Another (highly overpriced) blend from Bellocq.

This is quite good though. The base tea is thick, malty, and bready. I was surprised to learn that it’s a Darjeeling. The spicing is nice, and it complements the base tea as opposed to lying on top of it. I would guess a combination of clove, cardamom, and fennel or anise. There’s a very subtle floral note, I’m not sure I would know that it’s rose. I don’t really get any vanilla, but it could be the age of the tea.

Tasty, but definitely not worth the price!

Flavors: Anise, Bread, Cardamom, Clove, Fennel, Floral, Malt, Smooth, Thick

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

Good to know. I have been looking at their site trying to pick something new to try. I am intrigued by National Parks, and I looked at this one but I am a bit tired of Christmas bkends that are orange, clove, and cinnamon. I have enjoyed the cherry and almond or vanilla Christmas teas I have tried. Orange without cinnamon and clove appeals to me, also. I love their Ashmanra Afternoon for when I want something caffeine free, and while it is expensive, at least it is all supposed to be organic and ethically sourced,

Cameron B.

Rofl “Ashmanra Afternoon”, I love that. :P

The blends I’ve most enjoyed from Bellocq are National Parks Dept. and The White Wolf.


I guess autocorrect changed it! It is actually Ashram Afternoon! Ha ha! But Ashmanra Afternoon works, too,

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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… ;)

- December Sipdowns: 0
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 413

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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