3801 Tasting Notes


Sipdown! (31 | 392)

This was nice, one of my favorites from the bunch. Tastes like gingerbread, heavy on the molasses, plus then there’s extra dried ginger which gives it a spicy kick. And since this is the last cup, with all the extra ginger bits at the bottom, it’s even spicier ha ha! I don’t taste the chestnut or vanilla outright, but I feel like those sweet and rich flavors are probably contributing to the cookie-esque quality of the gingerbread.

I already have some other gingerbread teas I love, but this one is very nice also. Especially for a slightly spicier take on gingerbread!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Clove, Cookie, Earthy, Ginger, Gingerbread, Molasses, Rich, Spicy, Sweet

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

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Sipdown! (30 | 391)

A classic herbal tisane with a bit of a twist. The chamomile is the primary flavor, but the elderflower lightens it up and adds a more ethereal, effervescent floral note. Then the mint comes in in the second half of the sip and it’s bright and fresh, no wet rag here. It helps keep the chamomile from becoming too musty or heavy, and also gives a clean, refreshing finish.

Very well-balanced and a nice combination of flavors. I’m not sure whether I would reorder it, as I haven’t really been drinking many herbal tisanes lately. But it was definitely very relaxing and enjoyable.

Flavors: Chamomile, Cooling, Effervescent, Elderflower, Floral, Fresh, Honey, Menthol, Peppermint, Pollen, Smooth, Sweet

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

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Next up from the Studio sampler, this Totoro-inspired tisane.

It’s okay? All I taste are some musty dry leafy notes that I assume are coming from the olive leaf, and then the earthy flavor of burdock root. Not sure if the mulberry leaf is coming into play, since I don’t know what that tastes like.

Overall, this tastes like a very earthy and herbaceous tisane. I definitely don’t get the lemon or the pepper. The description mentions cereal milk, which is like… what? It’s not bad, just very musty and grassy, without much else going on.

Flavors: Burdock, Dry Grass, Earthy, Herbaceous, Musty, Roots, Straw, Sweet

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

Sounds like an interesting tisane given the ingredients. Too bad it didn’t fit the description.

Cameron B.

Yeah I was expecting something more, but then again I’m not familiar with the taste of olive leaf or mulberry leaf… Would’ve been nice to taste the lemon and pepper though.

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Sipdown! (29 | 390)

An oldie but a goodie from Deb. This was a 100g tin that I won in a giveaway a couple of years ago. Just now finishing it off!

I don’t love fruity red rooibos teas in general, but this one is really well-balanced IMO. I taste orange, I taste apple, I taste a touch of cinnamon… The hibiscus adds a nice juicy tartness but doesn’t overwhelm, and the woody rooibos is there in the background. There’s a perfect amount of sweetness, just to take the edge off the tart flavors and round it out.

Quite a nice herbal blend, and from back when Deb didn’t use any flavored teas in her blends. I think I might have preferred that era of her teas, but obviously that’s a personal preference. I’m not sure I would order this again, because even though I enjoy it, I didn’t reach for it and mostly finished it because I wanted to sip it down.

Flavors: Acidic, Apple, Cinnamon, Fruity, Hibiscus, Juicy, Orange, Rooibos, Round, Sweet, Tart, Woody

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

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Don’t ask me why I ordered this one, I don’t even like chocolate teas…

I feel like I was drawn in by the guayusa base, as I love all of those holly-based “teas”. Sadly, I feel like I can’t even tell this is guayusa. I guess there’s a hint of earthiness in the finish? Mostly it tastes like a chocolate and strawberry flavored herbal tisane. I don’t get anything from the elderberry or blueberry, I think I’m mostly just tasting the flavoring here. Also, I’m confused why they would add green rooibos to a guayusa tea that they’re calling “energizing”. A bit odd since cutting it with more caffeine-free ingredients would make it less energizing…? There’s also monk fruit in here, but thankfully I can barely taste it. I must not have noticed that ingredient when I made my order.

Anyway, this is going to the rehoming box. Tastes like a somewhat generic chocolate-covered strawberry tea to me. Hopefully someone else will like it more.

Flavors: Artificial, Chocolate, Strawberry, Sweet

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

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Sipdown! (28 | 389)

Another sample from Bitterleaf. I really like their sample packets, they’re this soft, textured white paper but then they’re lined on the inside. The white background just looks so nice with their artistic labels too.

Anyway, this tea. It’s very nice, super smooth and soft with a mellow earthy hay flavor and tart dried apricot notes. Based on the name I would expect to find more floral notes, but maybe they just don’t show up with my heathen Western steep ha ha.

A very smooth and easy-drinking white tea for sure, not sure I would choose this one specifically since it doesn’t really stand out to me, but would happily drink it.

Flavors: Apricot, Barnyard, Creamy, Hay, Oats, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart, Thick

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (27 | 388)

So lately I’ve been panicking and trying to get in more sipdowns, because of the amount of tea that has come in lately… Oops? Been on a bit of an Old Barrel Tea Co kick, and then there was the 700g of tea that I got with my Compagnie & Co advent. XP

I purchased this one from Dammann without trying it, and found it quite underwhelming. I love maté, and that part of it is tasty enough, quite smooth with a subtle sweetness and mellow earthy-grassy flavor. But the clementine actually tastes a bit like a Vitamin C chewable to me, it has that very sharp sort of tart orange-y flavor to it. And I guess to me, the two flavors just don’t meld together all that well? It’s not bad per se, just meh?

A shame, because I found out shortly after, in the advent last year, that I actually really love their Maté Citron Cerise, and should’ve gotten that one instead. Oops ha ha. Next time!

Flavors: Acidic, Artificial, Candy, Dry Grass, Earthy, Honey, Orange, Smooth, Sweet, Tangerine, Tangy, Tart

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

Old Barrel is good stuff, they all sound delicious, and most live up to the hype. I wish they had sample sizes though.

Cameron B.

Yeah, it is a bit of an investment, and I find it weird that they don’t even offer refills for the tins. But I’ve loved many of their teas!

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drank Banana Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
3801 tasting notes

Sipdown! (26 | 387)

Another old favorite from 3 Leaf, and possibly my all-time favorite of their flavors. Such a lovely creamy banana flavor that tastes much more like actual bananas than Runts. Maybe we’ll settle on banana-flavored pudding. Prepared iced, shaken with oat milk and a bit of maple syrup, it’s a morning treat that feels a bit decadent but isn’t.

I probably won’t be buying more flavored matcha, at least for a while, as I haven’t been drinking matcha lately, and I also tend to prefer a nicer plain matcha when I do. Tastes change I guess ha ha.

Flavors: Banana, Creamy, Grass, Smooth, Sweet, Umami

Iced 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I love their Banana matcha!!

Autistic Goblin

I was just thinking about matcha.. I’ll have to check out 3 leaf tea now…

Cameron B.

Highly recommend them for flavored matcha! No sweeteners and the matcha is good quality. :D

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Sipdown! (25 | 386)

This one was pretty nice. It’s a mix of Foxtrot (chamomile & mint tisane with vanilla), peppermint, and a decaf vanilla black tea. Plus then there are cute little candy cane pieces!

As you might expect, it has a soft peppermint and vanilla flavor with some mellow herbal notes. I actually like the combination of the more herbaceous peppermint with the sweeter candy cane, and also the gentle pollen notes of the chamomile make it very soothing as an evening tea.

Not sure I would order more of it, since I already have some other candy cane and similar teas. I do like that this one is caffeine-free though. We’ll see!

Flavors: Candy Cane, Chamomile, Creamy, Herbaceous, Mint, Peppermint, Pollen, Sweet, Vanilla

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

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Another Studio sampler blend. This one is inspired by Nausicäa, one of my favorites. Although, to be honest, I feel like I say that about all of them… XD

This one is just a bit meh. Very musty and herbal, and mostly tastes like tulsi with a bit of chrysanthemum pepperiness mixed in. The pea flower makes it steep up a dark, murky blue color. I assume that was added because of the color of Nausicäa’s outfit, but it’s a gimmick I could really do without, as it only adds to the musty notes.

Not a fan. I do like herbal tisanes, and tulsi, and chrysanthemum, but this one just tastes a bit muddled and musty to me.

Flavors: Chrysanthemum, Dry Grass, Herbaceous, Herbal, Musty, Pepper, Tulsi

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

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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… ;)

- November Sipdowns: 9
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 411

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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