2028 Tasting Notes


Sipdown no. 26 of 2023 (no. 684 total).

I’m going to miss this one. I see that when I wrote the original note on this I was skeptical about why I would have ordered it. Since then I’ve developed into a pretty big fan of ginger in tea.

This one has a lovely balance. The ginger isn’t too strong, and leaves a nice, fresh aftertaste. The floral notes are atmospheric rather than definable, but they don’t cloud (or crowd) the tea’s flavor.

Lovely even when old, and I might have to get more of this some day when my cupboard is cleared out.

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Sipdown no. 25 of 2023 (no. 683 total).

I had a humongous bag of this and whenever I have a humongous bag of anything that is a sipdown candidate, it ends up getting mostly used for cold brew.

This was a nice cold brew. Close enough to the standard “tea” flavor you find in good restaurant iced teas to be reminiscent of that, but with other things going on. I didn’t get a lot of berry in the sipdown, probably because of the tea’s age, but I did get something that tasted rounder and deeper and even, I think, somehow greener than a standard.

I think it is the honey note that gives it that depth. It’s not citrus.


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Ooh, I bet this would be tasty on ice—anything with little fruity notes in the background are great cold.


I liked it!

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Sipdown no. 24 of 2023 (no. 682 total).

I sipped this down a couple of weeks ago. Things have been so discombobulating lately I didn’t get around to recording the sipdown. I have been traveling a lot, mostly taking no. 2 for college tours. I am enjoying it but he’s nervous even though his grades couldn’t be better — it is so very hard to get into college these days, especially the University of California, and his frontrunner is UCSD with its 34% acceptance rate.

In any case, this was a lovely take it to work tea. When I don’t have green tea for a while, I forget how much I like it. What I noticed the most with this one at this late date in its shelf-life (when anyone but me, the completionist, would probably just have tossed it) was the lavender, which was mostly what I got from this very old tea, along with a generic, mild fruitiness. Soothing.

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Sipdown no. 23 of 2023 (no. 681 total).

Had the rest of this last week as a take it to work tea, and the melon flavor was still as I remembered it and predominated. Fortunately, the flavor kept the tea from that planty weirdness I don’t like in a lot of white teas.

I still don’t really get white tea. As much as I would like to get it, I don’t. I’ll keep trying, though.

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drank Acte II by THEODOR
2028 tasting notes

Sipdown no.22 of 2023 (no. 680 total).

This was my latest take it to work tea, and while it lost some of its luster due to age, it was a pleasant flavored green. Perhaps be cause of age, the floral and fruit notes didn’t seem separable to me — the flavors were all of a piece, more fruit than floral and not further separable into distinct fruit flavors as it apparently was when I first tried it. But that didn’t bother me.

I just love the way the French blend teas and it takes a lot to ruin a French tea for me.


So sad Theodor is gone!

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drank Jasmine Dream by Tavalon Tea
2028 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 21 of 2023 (no. 679 total).

I recall that I enjoyed this one a lot when I first tasted it, and my earlier note confirms the reason — the jasmine is not a flavor so much as a floral essence that tastes natural rather than artificial.

I had saved this one for a long time because I didn’t want it to go away, and I am sad to see it go.

But on a positive note, I see that Tavalon is still around. I had figured it would go the way of Teavana, but nope — it’s still on the internet. And they have a jasmine green. It’s pearls, not what this one was, but it is still comforting that a blender that does a good jasmine is still around and has one available.

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drank Yunnan Tippy Mao Feng by Andao
2028 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 20 of 2023 (no. 678 total).

I was truly sorry to see this one go. I’m making a point of not revisiting ratings as I sip down unless something is wildly off, and this isn’t as wildly off as it needs to be to change the rating. But there was something brown sugary and rich in this one that makes it among the top, if not the top, of the thousands of teas that congregated around the 85 rating mark.

I’ll miss this one more than the other 85s ;-).

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Sipdown no. 19 of 2023 (no. 677 total).

I should have reread my earlier notes before making this my take it to work tea because for the last little bit of this, I reverted to my old ways and steeped as I would any other green tea. Because I had totally forgotten this one needed to be treated differently to bring out its best.

My prior notes say that even with the special treatment it is a subtle tea, but I could have treated it better.

Oh well.

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Sipdown no. 18 of 2023 (no. 676 total).

The assamy-ness of this, referenced in the original note, is still there, with perhaps the edge taken off from the age of the tea. It tends a bit toward bitterness even at a steeping time of 3.5 minutes, but after that there’s a hint of sweetness and a quintessential “tea” flavor reminiscent of Lipton but much smoother and deeper.

It wasn’t my favorite of the Simple Leaf teas I bought way back when and it still isn’t, but it was sufficient to fulfill the role of a take it to work tea over the past week.

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Sipdown no. 17 of 2023 (no. 675 total).

I just had one of those little Fancy Feast sized cans that Upton sent out samplers in when I bought this, so it took really no time at all to sip down the last little bit.

In looking back at my original note, I expected smokiness but found none back when this was young. The same was true after it had aged. I don’t have a lot to add to the original note. It was a pleasant breakfast tea.


I have never heard of a Russian Caravan tea with no smoke at all!


Me either! It was weird to expect it and not find it.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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