1528 Tasting Notes

drank Bananas and Cream by 52teas
1528 tasting notes

Swap Sample Sipdown! (6 | 75)

From Kawaii433!

Oh no, not another 52teas banana tea that I can’t buy! Anne sure is a cruel mistress…

Luckily, this one doesn’t make my skirt fly up quite as much as the pancake version. Phew…

It is really good though! The banana flavor is somewhat green-tasting, probably from the white tea. And I happen to prefer greener bananas, so I’m all for it! Lovely natural and authentic banana taste, with nary a Runt in sight!

Reminds me of a banana smoothie. It’s not quite rich enough to qualify for milkshake, but I like the fresher territory it’s in!

Flavors: Banana, Creamy, Grass, Hay, Oats, Smooth

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

This was my favorite out of all of them, then Banana Pancakes next. lol@cruel mistress

Cameron B.

I’m a maple lover, so it’s no surprise that I prefer the pancake version. ;)

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drank Clouds and Mist by The Tea Spot
1528 tasting notes

Sample Sipdown! (5 | 74)

I think this may have been left over from a past Sips By box? Unsure though…

Anyway, it’s a very robust Chinese green tea. It has strong vegetal and umami notes that rival sencha, as well as a hint of seaweed. But there’s also the harsher mineral and smoke flavors that are also found in gunpowder green tea. And at the end of the sip, a dry apricot note that I often find among Chinese greens.

It’s a bit too heavy for me, as while I do enjoy vegetal green teas, I don’t often love the ones with smokier flavor profiles.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Mineral, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Stonefruits, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Sticky Rice Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
1528 tasting notes

365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 33

Yum, sticky rice!

Of course, now that I’ve tried What-Cha’s version of this, there’s no comparison. But this is still very tasty and enjoyable, with a lovely strong sticky rice flavor. The base is definitely lacking and has a sort of nondescript grassy flavor with a hint of roast.

So now I’ll most likely sip through the remainder of this pouch as quickly as possible so that I’ll have an excuse to order the What-cha version… XD

But I’ll definitely enjoy this tea while doing so!


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Grass, Rice, Smooth, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

This helps. I was on the fence about trying this. I just stopped looking for a sticky rice oolong once I discovered What-Cha’s. This will save me money. hehe

Cameron B.

Yeah, What-Cha’s version is both better and cheaper…

Evol Ving Ness

Wow, I didn’t know that DT’s brought it back. It is a good one. At least 12 steeps worth!

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (4 | 73)

Finishing off this sample from VariaTEA with a Western steep.

Nom, it’s super delicious this way as well. It’s all warm freshly baked bread spread with creamed cinnamon honey and plum preserves. Nicely malty and satisfying, with a rich and deep brown sugar sweetness. There’s a light floral hint in the aftertaste, alongside a lasting rich and sweet honey note.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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VariaTEA was kind enough to send me a sample of this one, along with several other teabento blacks. I had a nice, relaxed session with it while watching The Office with my boyfriend.

I didn’t take detailed notes, as I didn’t expect the flavor to change much over time, which it didn’t. Honestly I’m not sure which types of red tea are most suitable for gongfu cha, but since I’m enjoying familiarizing myself with the ritual and exploring different steep times, I don’t really mind if the tea tastes similar throughout the steeps.

Anyway, this one was quite delicious. It has amazing brown sugar notes along with rich malt and deep dried fruit flavors. The rather small leaves are so flavorful! I found the sugary notes to be very sweet and decadent in the early steeps, and they became deeper, like dark burnt sugar, in the later ones. There was also a light musty hay flavor that began to crop up towards the end, and it reminded me a bit of white tea. The last steep had a lovely lasting sweet flavor, and I thought that was a perfect cup to end on.

Overall, very yummy. Smooth, malty, sweet, rich, and slightly fruity. Happily, I have a little bit left over, so I can try it as a Western-style cup next time!

5g – 110ml – 200°F – rinse/10/15/20/30/40/60/120/240s

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Hay, Malt, Musty, Plums, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Cameron, I’ve been trying to post a reply in the Discussions (Lupicia) but I keep timing out… So I’ll post it here: I especially liked the news about Framboise Chocolat. :D Thank you for following up with them and sharing it with us.

Cameron B.

You’re welcome! It was good to get some confirmation that they carry lots of the seasonal teas. :)


Yes, that is so awesome. The first day you posted it, I copied and pasted it on a notepad so I can always have the info available. I tried since that day to thank you for your perseverance to get an answer for us. It was the most clarifying info we’ve received yet. Yay <3


The Office! I loved that show from day one. I feel like they killed all my funny shows that were left this year. In these dark times, I need my funny shows.

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365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 32

I added a canister of this to an Amazon order to reach the $35 free same-day shipping threshold. So I decided to have some today, since it’s been chilly everywhere lately and a cozy latte sounded nice! I actually prepared mine with vanilla oat milk, which I haven’t tried before and bought to try out. (I really don’t enjoy dairy milk, so I like to try different alternatives. But honestly I don’t use milk for anything other than tea and matcha lattes…)

So this is a delicious sugar bomb. But I’m okay with that, because it’s exactly what I was expecting. Plus if I’m going to have a decadent chai latte, I want it to be sweet.

As far as the spices go, I would say there’s definitely cinnamon and clove here, and perhaps also some anise? There’s definitely a rich, creamy vanilla flavor as well.

Overall, it’s exactly what I was expecting – sweet and rich and not too spicy. Definitely hits the spot as a decadent and cozy latte! :)


Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Spices, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla

18 OZ / 532 ML
Evol Ving Ness

hahahaha, boy, am I happy that I am oblivious to same day delivery service.


Chais are definitely my guilty pleasure – the only tea I prefer to drink sweetened and milky. Yum.

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (3 | 72)

From Kawaii433!

This one is a little too mild for me. I really do love the idea, and I think a white base is the perfect foil for it.

But both the base and the added flavors are super light, so overall it just tastes a bit watery. Which is shame because I do really like the sharp, fresh pineapple and sugary cake notes that I can slightly taste…

Flavors: Apricot, Cake, Hay, Pineapple, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Tart

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (2 | 71)

Swap from VariaTEA!

This one is Adagio fandom blend by another name.

It’s not bad. The rooibos isn’t too overpowering, and there’s a somewhat tart lemon flavor. I see that there is cream-flavored black tea in this, but I don’t really pick up on that. It is interesting how the fruit and hibiscus tisane does makes the lemon more realistic. I do taste a bit of strawberry as well, so it sort of reminds me of a strawberry lemonade rooibos.

But it’s definitely nothing special IMO.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Lemon, Strawberry, Tart, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (1 | 70)

From VariaTEA!

Hmm, this is very underwhelming to me.

There’s some sharp orange peel sort of flavor that reminds me of cleaning products. I don’t really get any cranberry or scone.

Flavors: Artificial, Orange Zest

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (69)

This one came from Kawaii433! I actually have a taster pouch of this as well.

I’m following Anne’s advice for this one and steeping it at a lower temperature to try to reduce the pepperiness that honeybush sometimes has.

I will say, it came out pretty tasty! The raspberry is the dominant flavor here for me, and it’s a nice fresh and tart raspberry note. But there is something a little medicinal – I’m not sure if it’s the almond or the honeybush? It’s not terribly strong, and melds somewhat with the raspberry as well.

I do get a little bit of a cookie-esque flavor here. I will say that overall this tea is very mild, I could do with a little bit more of everything!

Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Medicinal, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Wood

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

Next time I will try with your parameters :D. I have one more serving of this.


Hmm, I think I might have this tea as well, and should give a reduced temp a shot. Honeybush usually gets boiling for me.

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers, currently working in the field of Machine Learning. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

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. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

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, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! 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 do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and 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 main 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. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Taiwan Tea Crafts
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.

My profile photo is by inkpug!


Austin, Texas



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