1528 Tasting Notes


Sample Sipdown! (53)


I admit, this one is disappointing to me. I expected more pumpkin and more pancake.

This mostly seems like a mild chai. The base tea is very light in flavor, and the majority of the flavor is the spices. There’s a heap of cinnamon, and I feel like I taste clove and anise as well, though they’re not listed in the ingredients. Perhaps there’s added spice flavoring?

The spices here actually remind me of cinnamon-scented potpourri. That sounds worse than I meant it to, it’s just a rather distinct aromatic cinnamon flavor.

It’s a shame, because really the pancake aspect what was excited me most about this tea, and I don’t get maple at all. To me, this is perhaps closer to a crisp cinnamon cookie?

But mostly, it’s cinnamon.

Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Smooth, Spices

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

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Sample Sipdown! (52)

Continuing with more AQ2T samples! This one is a bai mudan with cherry and apple. I certainly wouldn’t think of those flavors in reference to Wisconsin, but I admit to being woefully ignorant on the subject.

I agree with Kittenna that this has some nice melon notes. I assume they’re coming from the base tea, since melon isn’t mentioned in the description. The white tea is light with characteristic oat-y flavor and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. There’s also a bit of cucumber alongside the cantaloupe notes.

I am not a fan of the added flavoring though. I have the same issue with it that I do with Paris from Harney & Sons – it tastes a bit chalky and reminds me of mixed berry Tums chewables. I’m not sure why I always have this odd reaction to berry flavoring… It’s unfortunate because I really do like the concept of this tea.

I think I’ll withhold a rating, because I seem to have a strange reaction and association when it comes to certain berry flavorings…

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Berry, Cantaloupe, Creamy, Cucumber, Hay, Oats, Smooth, Sweet

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

I wasn’t crazy, tasting melon! The thought crossed my mind that the tea had been contaminated, but usually contamination isn’t so persistent and delicious. Haha. And cherry makes sense (I didn’t read the description when I wrote the note, silly me).

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Sample Sipdown! (51)

This one sounded too interesting to pass up – bergamot and blueberry with eucalyptus? I like all of those flavors, I’m just not sure how well they’ll mesh together.

Personally, I don’t think the flavors work together. I do enjoy the combination of the bergamot and the blueberry. And really, the blueberry and eucalyptus could be a nice pairing as well.

But for me, the eucalyptus and bergamot together makes it too bitter and sharp. It’s almost a bit like drinking cologne. Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but I’m definitely not a fan of this one.

But that’s what sample sizes are for! :D

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Blueberry, Eucalyptus, Menthol, Perfume, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Pop Corn by Dammann Freres
1528 tasting notes

Swap Sample Sipdown! (50)

This is the last of the DF teas that VariaTEA was kind enough to send my way.

The base tea here looks quite unusual for DF – the leaves are quite large and twisty. I’m more used to seeing the smaller generic Ceylon base from them. There are kernels of toasted rice and small pieces of popcorn mixed in, yum! It smells buttery and very much like popcorn.

The popcorn flavor here actually reminds me a bit of a sticky rice oolong – it has that same sort of buttery, rich, toasty carbohydrate vibe to it. I really enjoy that flavor!

But the base used here is quite odd. It has a very musty flavor, almost like a low quality white tea. There’s some malt as well, and it is quite smooth with no bitterness or astringency. But that musty note really overpowers the other elements.

It’s unfortunate, because the flavoring is very tasty here, but the base really hurts the overall taste. But I’m not too upset, since I can get my buttery carb fix from a yummy sticky-rice-scented oolong! :D

Flavors: Butter, Malt, Musty, Popcorn, Rice, Smooth, Toasted Rice

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

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drank Kumquat by Lupicia
1528 tasting notes

365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 23

One of my very favorites from Lupicia! Unfortunately, this one is a seasonal tea that’s only available in the winter, and sells out quickly.

I have two different tins of this, one from 2017 and one from 2018. This is the older tin, as I want to sip it down first. This tea and its sister, Yuzu, lose flavor quickly and even have special notes on Lupicia’s website saying they should be consumed within six months for best flavor. So obviously this is a bit past its prime.

Still delicious though, there’s just less potency to the kumquat flavoring. It almost tastes like a natural note of the tea. I really enjoy the base tea here – I can tell it’s Indian by its brisk flavor and slight astringency. But there’s also a slight earthiness that reminds me of Chinese black teas, so I’m not sure if it’s a blend or if it’s a note coming from the Nilgiri tea. The briskness goes perfectly with citrus to make a refreshing black tea. The kumquat is a sharper citrus, and this has a nice zinginess to it that seems true to the fruit.

Still tasty, even though it’s on the older side!


Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Earth, Malt, Raisins, Tangy, Tannic

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I hoarded this one o.O. I got a few tins when it became available (for like 1 day). #HoardCity

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Sample Sipdown! (49)

I picked this up with my AQ2T sample order because I really love blueberry and it sounded like an interesting addition to a bedtime tisane.

Unfortunately this has a very musty flavor. I think maybe it’s from the high proportion of butterfly pea flower? Chamomile can be somewhat musty, but this tastes different from how I’ve experienced that in the past. I’m not even sure how to describe it really… Not very pleasant though.

So not for me. It’s also very dark blue from the pea flower, and saturated enough that I wonder if it’s going to dye my tongue blue, ha ha!

Flavors: Blueberry, Honey, Musty, Sweet

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Lauren | A Quarter to Tea

99 to 1 the musty you’re referencing is valerian root! It’s a great sleepy time remedy, but it’s definitely devisive!

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (48)

This one came from VariaTEA!

For some reason, I expected this to be a chocolaty Golden Monkey. Obviously that’s not the case, though I wasn’t too disappointed, as I also love banana.

Unfortunately, this tea is super banana Runts. And to me, that’s so much less enjoyable than more natural-tasting banana flavor.

I think there’s chocolate there, but I can’t really taste it under the strong artificial banana flavor.

Nope nope nope!

Flavors: Artificial, Banana, Candy, Chocolate

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

I could never get this to work for me. There used to be a stir fry place my mom took me and my siblings to when we were little and she used to get us chocolate monkeys which were basically chocolate milkshakes with banana syrup. I wanted that. That wasnt what I got.

Cameron B.

Clearly Anne needs to make a chocolate banana tea, since she has the best banana! ;)

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drank Grapefruit Green Tea by 52teas
1528 tasting notes

Swap Sample Sipdown! (47)

Thank you Kawaii433 for the sample!

I tend to enjoy citrus in tea, so I’m happy to have the opportunity to try this one. The curly little green tea leaves are quite adorable, and there are nice chunks of dried grapefruit mixed in.

This is a lovely combination of base tea and added flavor. The Chinese green tea blend here is well-balanced, with tasty apricot notes along with subdued sweetness and more robust mineral and smoke flavors. It would perhaps be too robust for me to drink on its own, but the added citrus really brightens and lifts the whole blend. It’s not overpoweringly grapefruit, I think I could pick it out if I didn’t know which citrus it was, but it is quite close to tangerine as well. In either case, tasty zingy citrus goodness.

A lovely tea! But I do have Lupicia’s Yuzu green tea in my cupboard already, and I’m not sure I need a grapefruit green tea as well. Hmm…

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Grapefruit, Mineral, Smoke, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vegetal

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

I have the Lupicia’s Grapefruit Green and was thinking along the same lines but I’m always looking for a replacement since the Lupicia news. I liked this one :D, glad you liked it too.

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Swap Sample Sipdown! (46)

Yet another 52teas sample from Kawaii433!

This is another genmaicha blend. I must say, I haven’t been terribly impressed with the other 52teas genmaichas I’ve tried. Although I do still intend to order a fresh taster of Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha… I love the concept too much to not give it a fair chance!

I will say, this one is better than the others I’ve tried. That may be partially because I only steeped it for 2 minutes, so I need to keep that in mind in the future. It has a great chocolatey cake aroma to it, which is surprising.

I can taste some chocolate cake in the flavor as well, though it’s less prominent than the smell. There is a nice hint of sweetness, perhaps from the chocolate chips? I like the comforting toasty flavor of the rice, and it does help convey the cakey flavor a little bit.

It actually does give me a slight impression of a lighter Hostess cupcake, which is unexpected. I’m often disappointed by chocolate in tea, but I feel like the toasted rice here helps accent the cacao nibs and shell.

Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Cream, Frosting, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Tea and Scones by 52teas
1528 tasting notes

Swap Sample Sipdown! (45)

From Kawaii433!

This is a very interesting one. The steeped tea has a somewhat grapey aroma, which worried me a little bit.

Luckily, it tastes much closer to raisin than grape. This makes perfect sense to me, since my favorite scones from my local tea house are currant scones. There is also a soft and sweet orange zest flavor that goes quite well with the raisin, which is rather sweet and rich-tasting. I also get a nice pastry sort of note that really sells the scone angle.

I like this much better than I expected… The raisin is very enjoyable, with its dark, almost molasses-y notes. I dig it.

Looks like there are still some tasters in stock… :P

Flavors: Butter, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Molasses, Orange, Pastries, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

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

I love scones so I look forward to trying this too. I may not taste all those notes but I hope it’s in the “Yum” column! hehe

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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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