Home – 3:00 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 25

Ahhh first tea of the day… Well, besides a matcha milk this morning. I slept in and then went to visit my house-in-progress for a bit. This is one of the teas I chose in my sample order to August Uncommon Tea. I admit, their teas have been extremely hit-or-miss for me. I really enjoy Dots and Loops, Tropic of Capricorn, and Psychocandy though, so hopefully this one is more in that vein.

Hmm. This reminds me vividly of these Japanese plum candies that I once bought at an Asian supermarket. They were almost like smarties in a way, sort of powdery and disc-shaped. But they were plum-flavored and somewhat tart, and they tasted exactly like this! Which is funny because it’s an unusual sort of plum flavor. It’s certainly very candy-like, and I’m not sure I would immediately guess it was plum if I didn’t know what it was meant to be.

I feel like they over-advertise the Earl Grey aspect of this. There is a little bergamot, but it’s very little and I’m not sure I’d notice it if I weren’t expecting it. It’s a bit overwhelmed by the strong, tart candy plum and the floral notes. I don’t get clove at all. Perhaps I missed getting a clove in the steeping basket?

I’m not sure I get this one really. To me it mostly tastes of candy plum with a bit of floral, and not much else. The base tea is very light, so I can’t really taste that either. I would like it better if the bergamot were strong, and the plum weaker.

Is it just me or are their Dark Iris and Arabesque teas chronically out of stock in the sample size…?

Flavors: Artificial, Bergamot, Candy, Floral, Plum, Stonefruit, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 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… ;)

- 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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