3281 Tasting Notes

drank Damask Rose by Lupicia
3281 tasting notes

A Mother’s Day gift from Superanna! Many thanks! <3

I enjoy rose in tea, and not so long ago had a lot of rose teas on shelf. Right now I just have this one and St Valentine’s Blend from Czar Nikolas II. I finished Harney’s Rose Scented and Fortnum’s Rose Pouchong. I do have a couple of blends, like Yume, that are “rose and…”.

Of my rose teas, this one was really on point today. I wanted a good plain black tea and I don’t have any with heft on shelf right now, at least not the kind of heft I was thinking of. I didn’t want a ton of flavoring this time with my lunch and this one seemed to be a good choice.

The rose is a deep, dusky one with a little peppery note. The black tea base was so wonderful and was a really solid foundation with lots of low notes. I would compare it this way – Rose Scented and St Valentine’s would be like a bottle of essential oil was spilled right by you. This one is more like drinking black tea near a bouquet of luscious, fresh roses.

It isn’t that there isn’t enough rose flavor. Rather it is an aroma you get when you sniff the tea cup, not when you walk in the room. I do like the other teas (Harney and Czar) but this one seems more refined. Ranking the rose teas I would probably go with this on top, the Fortnum Rose Pouchong, then Rose Scented by Harney, and then Czar Nikolas St Valentine’s, although the Czar is much cheaper and makes a wonderful base for black tea and rose ice cream. All are good!


I’m a big fan of Rose Tea so I totally get it !
This sounds delicious !

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Another tea shared by Nicole. Thank you!

I did not expect to love this way as much as I do. I didn’t expect to dislike it, I just didn’t know how true the name was.

Velvety is so apt here because this tea is a caress from sniff to sip. I love the aroma. It is soft and enticing, and there is a little candy-esque vibe. Ashman does not like oear flavor in teas but he really liked this one. It resteeps well so we got two small pots and one fairly large pot from the taster pack.

Good enough to have you looking forward to getting up for breakfast. Lovely.

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This was in my box from Nicole. Many thanks!

We are not coffee drinkers, but we have begun to enjoy some of these coffee substitute beverages.

This is supposed to be just reminiscent of coffee and doesn’t have all the flavoring of the Teeccino (Hazelnut, Vanilla Nut, etc.) we bought. I am keeping that in mind as I can’t help but compare it to Teeccino. Now I am tempted to try a blend like their French Roast one day.

This calls for 2-3 tablespoons of mix per 8-10 ounces of boiling water in a French press. I no longer have a French press as I have given away both of mine to my kids and I haven’t bothered to buy another since I only had it for making coffee for them. So I put it in an infuser basket and poured the water over as if I were steeping tea.

The water wouldn’t go through! I had to stir the mix in the infuser basket to keep adding water. Some of the ingredients dissolve because when you are done there is far less in the infuser than when you started.

We added milk and sugar just as we do with Teeccino. It was very good. I wish I knew whether the ashwaganda was doing anything. Do I feel calmer? I don’t know.

I think Teeccino may have more coffee aroma and flavor than this, but we still enjoyed it with our lunch, which was chicken pot pie soup and fresh biscuits. We usually have chocolate milk with chicken soup but we have come to enjoy the coffee substitute drinks just as much with it.

This is supposed to be good for you, and certainly doesn’t set off our reflux the way I suspect coffee would, plus with no caffeine we can enjoy it any time of day or night.


I’ve been sipping on a similar coffee substitute from San Fran Herb lately, a good reminder to do a tea note!

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drank J.E. Oolong Milky by THEODOR
3281 tasting notes

May Sipdown Prompt – a bowl or grandpa style tea

This is my first time trying bowl steeping unless I have forgotten a long ago attempt. I chose a tea that is sweet and mild and I thought would be unlikely to become bitter. I mY have gone about it all wrong, but it wasn’t bad.

I didn’t do a rinse and I only used 175F water. I also slightly underleafed because, again, I wanted to control bitterness.

The first bowl was initially much like drinkong it prepared western, but toward the end of the bowl I was picking up a rich scent with a sharp edge from the saturated leaves that were now unfurled completely.

The second fill was stronger than this tea usually gets in western steeping, but not unpleasant. The aftertaste is decidedly more akin to tender greens and lasts longer than a western steep’s aftertaste does.

I have very little of this tea left and once it is gone, it is gone. So sad Theodor closed! Premium Silky Green from Bird Pick would probably be the closest substitute I could get.

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drank Peppermint Herbal by Harney & Sons
3281 tasting notes

May Sipdown Prompt – your oldest non-puerh

This tea really should have been my “tea farthest from sipdown” this month. This and the Super Blue lavender are about the same age and were possibly ordered together, but I have more of this left even though I have given a good bit of it away.

I did the same thing as last summer (and thought I would do it often and be rid of it by now) and I made a syrup for tea pop. This time I had the bright idea to add a little butterfly pea flower and get a pretty blue soda.


The resulting liquid was the color of the water after you hand wash a brand new black t- shirt. Murky. Ugh.

After a bit of time in the fridge it has turned a grayish color with a slight tinge of purple if you use your imagination.

I made a tea pop to sip on the porch since we are having an unusually fine morning with low humidity and decent temps. It was…minty and sweet. Just okay. But dilutes like this I just have a pretty yellow soda.

I prefer the lavender syrup. When the lavender is all gone, I will repurchase a small tin. When this is gone, it is bye bye.

It is not bad mint. I just never reach for mint. Maybe it will grow on me. Meanwhile I will probably give a whole lot of this away again. Superanna took a bunch home already and might enjoy it as she loves mint.

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May Sipdown Prompt – your tea farthest from sipdown

Over a decade ago, I bought a pound of this tea. I thought I was not only going to drink it, but also make sachets with it. I never got around to making sachets and I forget to drink it! I blame the fact that I haven’t tried it out on Ashman yet and he is picky about florals. He loves jasmine but not rose in tea, so I haven’t had him try this.

I like to make lavender syrup with it and make a tea pop. Ice cold Perrier in a fancy glass with a dollop of the syrup stirred in makes a lovely treat, and even Ashman likes it! I found some borosilicate glass straws with little lavender flowers on them from 123 Farm at a local apothecary/curio shop and naturally I use those to drink my tea pops.

I had a bit of a brain storm today as I was choosing tea for two young ladies who were coming for lessons. They have very different taste in tea and I have a hard time choosing what to make. One loves rose black tea so that was easy, and I decided to give this plain lavender a try for the other young lady. The twist was – instead of having cream and sugar on the table, I filled the creamer with lavender syrup.

We tried both the rose black tea (St. Valentine’s by Czar Nicolas II) and this one with lavender syrup as the sweetener. It was wonderful! The lavender was so lovely with rose, and it sweetened and intensified the plain lavender tea, which I had both unsweetened and with the lavender syrup.

I have kept this tea in a dark cabinet in a swing top and rubber gasket sealed glass jar that seals very well, so it still has lots of flavor, but man oh man is it old. In spite of how long it is taking me to get through it – which should be faster now that I have moved it to an easy to see and reach spot – I will definitely reorder when this runs out. It will definitely be a smaller amount next time, though, unless I get my act together and start using it for all the things I bought it for.

Cameron B.

I’m with Ashman, I like jasmine and some other florals, but rose is a no-go ha ha…

Mastress Alita

Lavender syrup or simply coldbrewing a few sachets in lemonade is lovely.


I haven’t tried cold brewing in lemonade, Mastress Alita. I need to try that!


I have a jar of bulk lavender that I’m having trouble using up. Both of you have, I believe, solved the problem!

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drank Pumpkin Patch Black Tea by 52teas
3281 tasting notes

Just adding a quick note to say I tried this as a sweet iced tea and it was marvelous. The spices were perfect for me. I did also try it with milk but preferred it without as the milk tones down some of the spices and the tea has a lovely clarity (in taste and appearance) that I preferred unmuddled. Delicious!

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drank Pumpkin Patch Black Tea by 52teas
3281 tasting notes

This reminds me of a chai blend without black pepper, which is how I prefer chai, to be honest. I do not do many spicy foods or drinks and when I do they are mild.

We drank this without milk and sugar but I think it would make a very good latte. As it cools, the allspice definitely becomes more noticeable and lends a clove note.

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drank Ratatam by Lupicia
3281 tasting notes

This is a sample sipdown. I have received – and had – Ratatam before so I don’t know why there is no note on it from me. This time I had two samples sitting around so I made it for breakfast for me and the Ashman to share.

It is a decent black breakfast tea, a little brisk but not too much, and sometimes you need some briskness with food to clear the palate. But the vanilla is pretty subtle. It is so subtle that if I hadn’t read that it was there I would not have known that it was there.

Maybe drinking it as a stand alone cup or adding milk would make the vanilla more noticeable, but it made an acceptable breakfast tea. If you are looking for a good vanilla black where you really taste vanilla without searching, there are better ones out there. Expect a decent breakfast tea with faint vanilla notes and you will be happy.

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Ashman and I have been drinking this one at breakfast on the past couple of weekends. We do not add milk or sugar and for us this tea doesn’t need it. Some Assams are super brisk and might need that smoothing but this one is just right.

The vanilla is present but light. It really does present as a breakfast tea rather than a stand alone dessert cup to me, because it isn’t super sweet and cloying and it is not heavily flavored. It does have enough briskness to pair with food and clear the palate. The briskness comes as that fruity/raisiny end of sip aftertaste.

If you like your tea with milk and sugar this can certainly take it without any loss of its character, but we consume more sugar than we should already so we leave it out where we can.

If you enjoy Assam tea, this is definitely one to treat yourself to one day.

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about fourteen years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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