3513 Tasting Notes

drank Butterfly Jasmine by DAVIDsTEA
3513 tasting notes

Random tea time!

One from my latest round of DT frequent steeper freebies. I buy teaware fairly often from DT, but I’m not a fan of their tea blending style, so I often struggle a bit with what teas to redeem my rewards on. I figured sticking with their Garden to Cup collection is probably my best bet, so I got a few different straight/scented teas this time around.

This is a nice enough jasmine green. I’m always unsure how much to use with balled and shaped teas like this one, I think I ended up going with ten or so pieces for my 16-ounce mug, and it seems about right. The main flavor is the sweet, natural tasting jasmine that has a slight fruitiness to it. I honestly don’t taste a lot of the green tea, which doesn’t surprise me since the little butterflies hadn’t fully unfurled after 3 minutes of steeping.

Definitely a high quality jasmine tea. I certainly wouldn’t pay $25 for it, but it’s a nice option for my frequent steeper redemptions.

Also, I just ate a little kyoho grape jelly pouch, and now I feel like grape and jasmine really needs to be a tea flavor combo! :P

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Nectar, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

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

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Sipdown (21 | 176)

Not a lot to say about this one, it’s a bit bland. I do taste a bit of a sweet baked apple flavor, but there needs to be more IMO. Especially since the black base here is also bland, just a generic “tea-ish” flavor with a hint of earthiness.


Flavors: Apple, Earthy, Sweet, Tea, Watery

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (20 | 175)

I didn’t love this one. To me, it’s not grapey at all, which isn’t a surprise given there is no grape flavor (there are a few raisins, but raisins don’t taste like grape).

The initial color was interesting and bluish when I first poured in the water, either from the blueberries or the mallow, but it was quickly overtaken by the more pinkish hue of the hibiscus. As for the taste… I actually enjoy Deb’s strawberry flavoring in certain teas, but I feel like the addition of the hibiscus here makes it taste like a generic tart-ish fruity tea, and the more syrupy/jammy strawberry doesn’t really go well with it? It ends up a bit weak and a bit vague IMO.

Luckily I have other grape teas to fulfill my grapey cravings! :P

Flavors: Berry, Dry Grass, Fruity, Grassy, Hibiscus, Honey, Jam, Strawberry, Tart, Watery

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (19 | 174)

This one was a bit odd. The description sort of emphasizes the chocolate and berries part, and lists “a touch of mint”. However, to me this has quite a strong menthol note to it, and I don’t really even notice much of the fruit or the chocolate.

I think maybe it’s the combination of peppermint/spearmint and the cardamom that’s giving me menthol? And maybe the coriander as well? It all comes out tasting a bit medicinal to me, and then the black pepper leaves a tingling sensation on my tongue. Really it tastes more like a chai with mint added than anything resembling “gourmet notes”.

Not what I expected, but was interesting to try…

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Medicinal, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Spices, Spicy

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

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Random tea of the day!

Poor neglected tea, lol. I actually bought this one at a Lupicia store in Osaka, Japan in the fall of 2019. So, it’s a bit old, and yet this is my first time writing a note for it, and probably only my second time drinking it. Oops?

It’s essentially a spin on genmaicha that uses kukicha instead of bancha and sobacha instead of genmai. And it does taste quite similar to genmaicha, though the kukicha base is much milder and sweeter than the usual bancha. The roasted buckwheat has such a rich and deep toasty flavor to it, plus the little nuggets are totally adorable. It ends up tasting like an extra toasty genmaicha with a smoother green tea base.

Really lovely and comforting, and I’m sure this would be delicious iced as well. I’ll have to add this one to my sipdown station, so I remember to enjoy it in the evenings. :3

Flavors: Buckwheat, Grassy, Rich, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Toasty

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (18 | 173)

I struggled a bit with this one, the rooibos was quite strong and then I felt like the strawberry flavor on top of it made it taste quite medicinal. I didn’t really get much in the way of vanilla or cream, mostly woody rooibos with a touch of candy strawberry.

I’m not really a fan of most fruity red rooibos blends, so not a favorite for me.

Flavors: Candy, Medicinal, Strawberry, Sweet, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Ume Vert by Lupicia
3513 tasting notes

Random tea!

I have had this one before, but had never written a note. This was actually gifted to me from Mastress Alita, so thank you!

To be honest, I feel like I’m getting more shiso than ume here. And often those flavors are combined, since it’s common to put shiso in umeboshi, for flavor and color. But I’m not really tasting much on the fruity/tart side of things, which is what I would expect. I do taste quite a bit of shiso, which I guess tastes a bit like basil or Thai basil combined with something else. I find it difficult to describe, to be honest. It’s also a touch bitter, but probably just needed a shorter steep. There are some vegetal and pine notes from the sencha base.

An interesting one, I’ll have to see how I feel about it after a few more cups. I’m honestly not a huge fan of shiso, I like it in moderation but it’s quite a strong flavor on its own.

Flavors: Bitter, Grassy, Herbaceous, Pine, Savory, Shiso, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (17 | 172)

This one is cookies & cream flavored, which is interesting. I do get what they were going for, it does have a bit of that dark cocoa cookie note to it, though without the sweetness. It actually reminds me of a cookies & cream Powerbar that I remember eating once LOL. I guess that makes sense since those are both cookies & cream flavored things without actually having actual cookie or milk in them.

Anyway, it’s not terrible, but certainly very artificial in taste. Not one I would order for myself, though I’m not much of a dessert tea lover in general these days.

Flavors: Artificial, Butter, Cocoa

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (16 | 171)

Finished this one off with creamer. It’s honestly almost a bit too much with creamer added, since the flavors are very sweet and rich anyway. But I feel completely exhausted this morning for no apparent reason, so I could use some sugar LOL.

The hazelnut-esque nutty notes are nice with the vanilla and hint of spice. With the creamer, it almost reminds me of a roasted chestnut boba I had recently… I think it’s one of the better CS holiday teas, and I would consider picking up another box if I could find it easily/cheaply near me.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Hazelnut, Nuts, Roasted Nuts, Sweet, Vanilla

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

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Sipdown! (15 | 170)

Still making my way through these cute Moomin teabags! This one is a black tea with bergamot and orange.

The flavors are nice enough, but the base is actually quite earthy-tasting, which I don’t think has been true of the other flavored black teas I’ve had? I recall them having a more generic “tea” sort of base. Maybe it’s just the interaction with one of the flavors that’s making it taste so earthy/mineral to me… Anyway, the bergamot here is quite mild and leans more citrusy than floral, probably due to the sweet orange that it’s paired with.

Pleasant tea. Not one I would go out of my way to order, but I enjoyed my few cups of it.

Flavors: Bergamot, Candy, Citrus, Earthy, Mineral, Musty, Orange, Smooth, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 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… ;)

- May Sipdowns: 33
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 188

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
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
The Chai Box

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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