Sample Sipdown! (12 | 81)

I had a cozy session with this one today, watching rom-coms and trying out a cheapo kyusu that I bought from Amazon.

To be honest, if this is the regular baked version of this, I can’t imagine what the “deep baked” one is like! This had a strong roast with lots of charcoal flavor.

Really, this was a bit too roasty for me for the majority of the session. It did have a very layered flavor though. The early steeps had deep charcoal and mineral notes, along with a charred wood flavor that reminded me of scotch or bourbon. I found some interesting fennel and dill notes as well, which added an unusual savory element. And there was also sweetness from honey, raisin, and very dark caramel.

About halfway through, the deep roasted notes started to fade a bit, which was very welcome. This allowed me to taste more of the nutty and sweet flavors that were hiding underneath.

The last couple of steeps were somewhat weak but very delicious, with strong sweet honey notes and creamy grain flavors. There was one infusion that reminded me of honey butter dinner rolls. Nom.

Really this was a bit too roasted for me. But I would be very interested in trying more GABA teas in the future.

10g – 200ml – 200°F – rinse/25/30/35/40/45/50/60/75/95/150/300s

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bitter, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Char, Creamy, Dill, Fennel, Floral, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Raisins, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Toast, Whiskey, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 10 g 7 OZ / 200 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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