Sipdown! (25 | 241)

So my cupboard has just exploded with a bunch of new teas. Not only did I buy quite a few on vacation, but a couple of tea orders also arrived while I was away, plus I got my last Bird & Blend subscription and a large tea swap. All at the end of the month, of course. Sigh… So anyway, now I’m trying to sip through the smaller swap samples as quickly as I can, just to get them out of my cupboard. This was one of those single-cup samples.

I’ve been wanting to try Happy Turtle, so I was glad to see a few teas from them in the package. This one sounds right up my alley, a black tea with dark forest berries and evergreen flavors. But I think there might not have been enough berry in my small sample, as I’m not really getting more than a hint of blueberry. Mostly it actually tastes like sage to me, which isn’t even an ingredient. I guess it must be the eucalyptus combining with the blackberry leaf? I’m not sure I’ve ever had mistletoe in tea, so I can’t place that flavor.

Anyway, it tastes like a sage-forward black tea with a subtle hint of jammy blueberry in the background. It’s not bad, but not quite what I was hoping for either…

Flavors: Blueberry, Jam, Musty, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 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, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- June Sipdowns: 16
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 65

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.

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 do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

I tend to reach for fruitier flavors rather than desserty ones these days, but I do have favorites from both categories. Willing to try anything once! There are a few ingredients/flavors that aren’t generally my jam, such as coconut, rose, lavender, and chocolate flavoring. But I also have teas that I love with some of those things, too! :)

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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