365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 31

Sample Sipdown! (65)

Yay, I made it through the first month of my challenge! ❤

Trying out my new easy/travel gaiwan that I bought on a whim from Amazon. I really like it except for the fact that the little silicone band around its midsection does not stay cool enough when brewing at this temperature, especially as the steeps grow longer. So I may have to reserve this little guy for lower temperature teas.

This is a lovely little Taiwanese tea. I fully admit to having a soft spot for oxidized Taiwanese teas, both oolong and black varieties. This one is a sort of a hybrid between the two, which is intriguing.

The flavor throughout the session was a lovely and comforting blend of baked bread and raw grain/oat notes, along with a big dollop of cinnamon honey. There was also a light floral flavor and a slight earthy grassiness present in some steeps. I loved the lasting sweet cinnamon honey aftertaste that lingered after each sip!

I did smell some tart stonefruit and dried fruit aromas in the wet leaf and the tea itself, but I didn’t really get a lot of fruitiness in the taste. Perhaps a touch of dried fruit? I was surprised by how tart and plummy the wet leaf smelled compared to the flavor of the tea.

Overall, it was just what I’d hoped for from a Taiwanese black. I really do love that freshly baked bread with cinnamon honey butter flavor!

6g – 130ml – 200°F – 5/15/25/35/50/80/180s


Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Creamy, Earth, Floral, Grain, Grass, Hay, Honey, Malt, Musty, Oats, Smooth, Sweet, Toast, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 130 ML

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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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