4081 Tasting Notes

80

I don’t know much about oolongs, but this one is definitely oxidized – the leaves are extremely dark brown, almost black. They’re large leaves that are rolled into loose pellets and a few of them are unrolled. There are yellow flower petals (I assume for aesthetics) and little baby cubes of some form of caramel solid. This tea smells fantastic! It reminds me of butter rum lifesavers mixed with Werther’s hard candies. Yum yum yum! I want this as a perfume – I would have to beat them away with a stick! The leaves are fairly bulky so I used a very heaping teaspoon for my 8 ounces of water.

The brewed tea smells so buttery, it just melts you from the inside. The sweet, caramely scent is there too, playing second fiddle. This tea tastes fantastic too! The butter hits first, then the sweet caramel and cream flavors. I don’t know anything about oolong, but I feel like this one must be toasted because there’s this amazing rich, roasty toasty nut flavor in the background. It totally makes this tea! It’s like a sweet, flaky, buttery roasted almond tart with caramel and honey drizzled all over the top. Everyone must try this now! Go go! Oh, and I added a little bit of sugar to this one.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cream, Roasted Nuts

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sami Kelsh

Oh lordy. I am such a sucker for caramel anything. This sounds like something for which I have a MIGHTY NEED.

Cameron B.

Yes, yes you do have a mighty need. Trust me. ;)

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70

The dry leaf of this tea has a lot of interest. The green leaves are long and slightly fluffy, and they appear to have been rolled into little cigarette shapes. I don’t see much white tea in here – there appear to be a few scattered silver needles and some of the smaller leaf pieces could be bai mudan, but I’m not sure. There are pink rose petals and little squares of what looks like almond. There’s a decent amount of dehydrated raspberry that is broken into small pieces, which is a good idea in my opinion. The mini white chocolate chips are few and far between, much to my dismay. It smells strongly of tart raspberry (the exact scent reminds me of some raspberry candy… Jolly Rancher maybe?) with some musty green and hay in the background. I used a heaping teaspoon and brewed for 3 minutes at 175.

The brew smells vegetal with the same tart raspberry scent and little bit of hay. The taste is similar to the smell. I like this raspberry flavor even though it’s not entirely a genuine flavor. It’s tart and pleasing and it doesn’t entirely overpower the vegetal taste of the tea. However, I get zero white chocolate taste out of this, even though I made sure that there were a couple chips included in my teaspoon of tea. This makes me very sad because I was really looking forward to the raspberry and white chocolate combination… This is a fairly tasty raspberry green tea, but even with sugar I don’t taste any chocolate. Shame.

Flavors: Hay, Raspberry, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
drank Cotton Candy by Della Terra Teas
4081 tasting notes

Number two from my Della Terra order! If nothing else, this tea is adorable – I love the sprinkles. Mine has these weird little pastel-colored squishy spheres in it. They’re about peppercorn size and they feel spongy when I squeeze one. I’m not sure what they are, Della Terra’s website says that the add-ins can change due to availability. I didn’t go as far as to eat one… There are also little baby sugar crystals dyed in pastel colors. Cute! The dry tea smells very strongly of rooibos with some kind of weird sour note and maybe a tiny bit of sugar. Very strange. I brewed two teaspoons for 5 minutes because in my last experience, the tea wasn’t strong enough with the recommended amount.

The brewed tea smells like rooibos and… cherry lozenges? This was not a flavor I expected to find. There’s also a quiet note of spun sugar in the background somewhere. When I first tasted the tea, it kind of just tasted like rooibos. So then I added a teaspoon of sugar and I think that really helped the flavoring, because it got extremely sweet (sweeter than I would expect from the amount of sugar). I definitely taste the rooibos, but thank goodness there is no cherry lozenge here. I do get spun sugar from this, but there’s also some kind of vanilla-esque flavor. Then there’s something that reminds me of a mildly fruit flavored hard candy. This is extremely sweet, and anyone who doesn’t enjoy rooibos is certainly not going to like it. I happen to like rooibos, so I am finding it very tasty. I’ll definitely play with steep times just to see how it affects the level of rooibos versus flavor.

Flavors: Candy, Cotton Candy, Rooibos, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

I sent out my first swaps ever today, hooray! Thanks to Arshness and Ost for their friendliness. :D Ladies, I sent your tracking numbers via private messages.

This is my first tea to try from my Della Terra order that arrived today. It was full of shameless dessert teas like this one and cotton candy… Sue me! The dry leaf of this tea smells amazing – mostly butter with brown sugar undertones. It’s black tea mixed with a decent amount of candied pineapple pieces, various flower petals, and the occasional dried cherry. I have to assume the cherries are only there for style, since there were only like five total in my 1 ounce package. This makes sense, considering the maraschino cherries on top of the pineapple upside down cake are only there for show, too.

The first time, I brewed the recommended teaspoon (mine was a bit heaping) for 3 minutes. It came out far too weak for my tastes. So then I did about a teaspoon and a half for 4 minutes and it definitely improved. The brewed tea smells strongly of butter and brown sugar with kind of a toasted nut smell. It reminds me of a really buttery pound cake with some kind of glaze, which is pretty much what pineapple upside down cake is. I don’t get any pineapple in the smell.

The tea itself is quite tasty. I can taste the base just barely, so it must be a fairly mild variety since I steeped for 4 minutes and with extra tea. The flavor is very buttery and sugary with hints of dark caramelized sugar and cream. I think it equates very well to the actual cake used in the dessert, but I am getting zero pineapple here. Not even a hint of pineapple. And to be honest, that’s okay with me because this does cake very well. This is almost a dead ringer for that terrible-for-you sliced butter cake that you can buy at grocery stores (it’s like a more ridiculous pound cake basically).

I feel like this tea is a little weak, maybe I’ll try 2 full teaspoons next time I make it. Very tasty though!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cake, Cream, Roasted Nuts

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

That sounds so good!! Too bad about the pineapple though…that’s disappointing

Cameron B.

Yeah, I think they probably didn’t add pineapple flavoring and the little pieces of candied pineapple can’t compete with the other flavorings (plus they’re candied so they would mostly taste like sugar anyway). I don’t mind though, I wanted this tea more for the brown sugar glaze and the cake than the pineapple. :P

mj

You can’t go wrong with a brown sugar glaze/cake flavor. Also, I order shameless dessert teas like it’s my job. You are not alone :-)

Cheri

I’ve seen other people say they didn’t get pineapple out of this tea. It makes me want to try it. (I’m not a real pineapple fan.)

Roswell Strange

Ugh, your awesome description makes me feel even more bad for not restocking this one yet…

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90
drank Anastasia by Kusmi Tea
4081 tasting notes

Trying this one again after the French press pre-steep debacle… Steeped for 3 minutes at 205 degrees.

Wow, I am definitely getting a lot more lemon and lime than I did before. Still getting bergamot too and a tad bit of orange and a hint of floral. The lemon/lime (they kind of meld together) is definitely the main event though, and it kind of transforms into bergamot in the middle of the sip. Yum yum. :D

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank St. Petersburg by Kusmi Tea
4081 tasting notes

Oh, boy. I made a boo-boo. So, I brew all of my loose teas in a French press (I just put the loose tea in the bottom, add water, then use the plunger as a strainer instead of actually plunging the tea). I rinse it between uses and just leave it to dry by itself. As it turns out, a lot of the time there ends up being a tiny amount of water in the bottom. And I usually add my dry leaves a couple minutes before I add the water. So… basically a lot of my teas have been sort of “mini-steeping” for a little bit before the actual steep… Uh oh, spaghetti-o’s… And I noticed this completely by accident because of this tea.

This tea tastes completely different when I add the leaves just before the water… The bergamot is no longer strong or in the forefront. I now taste mostly red fruits (!!!!!) and vanilla with a bit of caramel, then the bergamot in the back. So… This means I’m going to need to retry a whole bunch of teas that I already rated. Sorry, guys. XD

Bumping the rating from 78 to 85. Je l’aime!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

That’s great!

Cameron B.

Yay I’m not crazy! The red fruits finally came to me! I wanted to call boychik and tell her… XD

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Yes I noticed you did try to give some love to this tea! Glad it finally worked for you!

boychik

i hear ya!!!

Cameron B.

TheTeaFairy you are like the sweetest person ever… I wish I were that genuinely nice, hah!

boychik thanks for sticking with me on this tea. It was my fault all along! Nooooooooo…

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I just picked up a huge bottle of this, and I thought I’d check and see if it’s on here since it technically has tea in it. I love this stuff! Tastes like a thick, creamy vanilla soymilk with a little spice in it. If you like soymilk, you should definitely try it! Om nom nom.

I don’t think I’ll give it a rating since it’s not really tea.

Flavors: Creamy, Spices, Vanilla

donkeyteaarrrraugh

I take my vitamins with this…. it makes me want to take my vitamins!

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80

I wasn’t really planning on drinking this one hot again after trying it cold, but it just sounded good today. I’m trying my best to get used to drinking tea without sweetener, and this one is very easy to drink. I can’t help but think I would enjoy it just a little bit more with sweetener added, but I’m holding strong! Very refreshing – the mint and the green tea balance out perfectly. I think I might need to try a plain gunpowder green tea at some point.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This one was a little too strong for me (and apparently my nose) last time I made it, so I decided this time I would cut open a silken sachet and measure out a teaspoon. There’s not too much more than a teaspoon in there, probably about one-and-a-half total. Steeped it for 5 minutes as per usual.

I’m finding it even more pleasant this way. I could see it being a tiny bit stronger, I might try a slightly heaping teaspoon in the future. And it’s not making me sneeze!

So now, the fun begins. Cutting open all of those sachets and putting the loose tea back in the tin. XD

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

This tea is way too strong for me! Actually made me nauseated… :-/

Cameron B.

It’s definitely a very strong cinnamon flavor. The sachets I have just have too much tea in them in my opinion. The first time I tried this tea, it was in a traditional paper tea bag and it was nowhere near as strong.

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85
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
4081 tasting notes

I’m having this one chilled today. I cold-brewed it for six hours, and it’s been in the fridge for a couple of days since then. I added some syrup and I’m finding it very refreshing after a short workout (we have a rowing machine). It tastes of vanilla and a little bit of wood in the background. The amount of spice is perfect, it’s definitely there but it’s not a starring role. I could see this being my cold-brewed black tea of choice this summer! Oh Vladimir, how I love thee…

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

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… ;)

~ 2024 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- July Sipdowns: 9
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 75

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
Lupicia
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

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:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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