3013 Tasting Notes

drank Decaf Sakurambo by Lupicia
3013 tasting notes

One of my Mother’s Day teas from Ashman.

It was hot but the humidity was low enough to enjoy dessert and hot tea outside. Texas brownies made by my daughter who lives with us, homemade ice cream, and tea. I adore ice cream with hot tea.

I can hardly believe this is decaf. It tastes so much like regular Sakurambo which I had a sample of a while back. I absolutely love the savory rosemary in this. Maybe that extra flavor helps cover that this is decaf.

I don’t usually like black pepper in tea. I don’t enjoy it in my chai even. But I do enjoy the pink peppercorns in this. The warmth almost sneaks up on you, and just when you think you have it cornered, it ducks and giggles.

This is awesome. It might be a shelf staple because it has satisfied my black tea craving tonight and I can’t say that of tisanes or very many decaf teas.


Ooh, what are Texas brownies?!

Cameron B.

Is that like Texas sheet cake but brownies? :O


It is probably the same thing as Texas Sheet cake! Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting made in a large pan – I believe it calls for 11 by 17 but we don’t have one that big so ours is just a tad thicker. Here is pretty much the same recipe -



That recipe calls for a 15” jellyroll pan, so it is probably the same as ours. We serve it with ice cream and/or strawberries. Chopped pecans only on half because one daughter doesn’t care for nuts in desserts unless it is peanut butter cookies.

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I decided to finish first Mother’s Day with this very appropriately named tea. It was a gift from my bestie. Second Mother’s Day is next weekend when we will also be celebrating a family member’s birthday.

It is funny how the mix of ingredients varies from one sachet to the next. Apparently all it takes is a single butterfly pea flower to make this tea wildly purple. Ashman’s cup is purple purple purple, and mine looks very much like a light cup of black tea. Not golden, brownish, but not unattractive.

In spite of the color variations I note with these sachets the taste is pretty much the same every time. Chamomile and fresh orange. It is okay for night time sipping and I guess it helps me sleep and relax, but still there is nothing quite like a cuppa real TEA, whether it is a favorite daily drinker, a flavored black, or a competition grade oolong. But we have to sleep sometime….

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drank Nostalgia by Czar Nikolas II
3013 tasting notes

A sipdown!

Amazing to see that I received this as a Mother’s Gift and finished it at Mother’s Day breakfast – I think three years have passed? Two?

We had this hot but one reason a 250 gram bag can be polished off so quickly is because it makes really good sweet iced tea in summer. For that reason, I will eventually ask my godson to pick some up at the Russian market he goes to quite a bit. Not now, but when the cupboard gets a bit lower!

It is a very nostalgic tea for me with its berry and currant flavors, reminding me of our trip to Ireland and all the black currant water we drank and black currant in scones and such. I think the price is amazing for this much tea that tastes nice.

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drank Framboise Chocolat by Lupicia
3013 tasting notes

May Sipdown Prompt: National Eat What You Want Day – Drink what you really want!

I started the day with this tea and took the holiday seriously. Waffles instead of oatmeal, then a Stouffer’s frozen “emergency” meal instead of making a smoothie or a sandwich, iced pomegranate oolong from Harney for my lunch drink out on the patio, and got takeout instead of cooking supper.

In addition, I made ice cream this morning flavored with rose black tea and jasmine green tea and had it on my afternoon break and gave the rest to a neighbor and Ashman to have for dessert tonight. It has been a day of culinary decadence and throwing caution to the wind! Ha ha!


Well hello there, Teatotaler!


Hi Ashmanra! I’ve been here lurking in the shadows and still look forward to your notes – The best on Steepster! My sister just left for London and has promised to return with a posh second flush Darjeeling! Still the favorite tea of this Darjeeling dude. Hope all is well with you and yours next door down in the tar heel state. :)

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drank Nostalgia by Czar Nikolas II
3013 tasting notes

May Sipdown Prompt – a flavored black tea

Easy prompt for me, but I am using this one because I had it for breakfast today and then a guest requested it. This was a 250 gram bag but it is getting really close to a sipdown!

I had never had blackcurrant until I tried a sample of Harney’s black currant tea. It was okay but I didn’t know what currants were supposed to taste like. I found the tea a bit one dimensional.

This tea is supposed to be currants and strawberries, and I believe it is red currant rather than black. Either way, this tea evoked strong memories of all the blackcurrant things we had in Ireland. It is a very inexpensive tea for such a large bag, but I really like it. I have used to flavor homemade ice cream as well and it worked wonderfully for that.

I will be sorry to see it go, which will be soon, but I do have a tin of newish Blackcurrant from Elmwood Inn to step in and fill the gap for a currant tea. Would buy again in future.

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drank Thai Tea by Unknown
3013 tasting notes

My godson is home from college where he is working on his PhD and came for a visit today. He and my daughter went out for Thai food and since he has fallen in love with Thai tea, I asked that they bring me one back to try as I have never had one.

Wow. This is…orange. This is sweet. Like major, major sweet. They opted to sit outside to dine because the restaurant was so crowded, so I go out to see them and daughter has an orange smile. I stick out my tongue. Orange.

Verdict – it tastes good I guess? Exotic to this Southern bumpkin. If I made it at home I would use less sugar and no food coloring.

Fun to try something I have never had!


Not a fan of the food coloring either but I’ve searched high and low and have yet to find a traditional Thai tea that doesn’t have it. Pantai tea mix will give you the best results…it tastes exactly like what they serve at the restaurants. I make it at home with less sugar and oat milk.


I didn’t realize there was a mix available, that’s handy.

Someone posted not long ago with a more natural version, colored with beets, which intrigued me.


Wow, thank you both! His mom was looking for a good mix since he loves it so much!

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drank Glazed Lemon Loaf by Tazo
3013 tasting notes

May Sipdown Challenge Prompt – a tea available almost anywhere

A true sipdown!

Why does this last bag have to taste so good that I want to go straight to Publix and buy a new box? Green rooibos makes an awesome base for these lemon and vanilla flavors. I didn’t know I had any left, but found this while rootling around in the no caf box. Perfect tea for relief drinking tonight. A friend asked what makes it taste like cake but I have no idea how they accomplish it.mit can’t be just the vanilla. This is redolent of the lemon, vanilla, and cake, and is very satisfying with no milk and sugar. For me, it needs no additions. It might be really extra- desserty with them, though.

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I got a big envelope in the mail from gmathis right before my biopsy results appointment.
First thing the doctor said was, “I have good-ish news.” I’ll take that! Spot precancerous and burning it off when biopsy heals. Yay!

Came home and smelled the tea gmathis sent and almost had a conniption. Oh my goodness. The aroma reminded me a bit of Lemon Swirl from Cuppageek. This is sooooo lemony and creamy smelling.

I made a big pot of it and cut up some fresh strawberries, drizzled them with chocolate sauce, popped in fridge to harden the sauce into a shell, and served with a shortbread cookie on the side.

Lemony and creamy just like the aroma, decadence in a cup. No cream or sugar but I bet it would totally be a full on dessert replacement that way.

This is going on my wishlist. What a tea.

Thank you, gmathis!

Maddy Barone

Hugs to you! I had a lesion on my liver microwaved. It’s called ablation. Sounds funny, but it was easy peasy, didn’t feel a thing. And the lemon tea sounds amazing!


Wow, Maddie, that sounds leagues harder! Mine is surface but in the area where I had radiation, so I concerned about how fast it might change. It was caught early, though! Whew! Hugs back at you!


Told ya ;)


Certainly better than bad-ish news!

Martin Bednář

Yay, good news!


Thank you! I am really glad. Have to hone my lymphatic drainage massage skills for June!


Oh I’m so glad to hear that!

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drank Carol by Lupicia
3013 tasting notes

May Sipdown Prompt – National Coconut Cream Pie Day – drink a tea with coconut!

I confess I do not look at my own cupboard when making prompts, and thought I had made several I couldn’t fulfill. Then I remembered that Carol has coconut! I don’t believe coconut is the only different between Fraiser, Strawberry Black, and Carol, though. I prefer the base for Carol, and also the strawberry flavor in Carol either lacks the odd smell I find on many strawberry teas or is it covered up by the coconut or the base. Since the coconut lends only a bit of sweetness to this and not enough coconut flavor to be noticeable, I believe it may be a different strawberry flavoring used, with less butyric acid.

A favorite tea, a seasonal tea, and the last pouch! Not quite a sipdown, though.

Cameron B.

Maybe the vanilla also helps smooth out some of the strawberry’s acidity?


Entirely possible, but it isn’t acidity I smell in the strawberry of some teas. It is a bad odor. I also smell it in some raspberry tea. None in Framboise Chocolat but lots in 3 Leaf Raspberry Matcha.

Cameron B.

That’s so interesting, but also unfortunate that you don’t enjoy some teas because of it. :(

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May Sipdown Prompt – a limited edition or seasonal tea

A few weeks ago a friend stopped by and gave me this tin. Apparently Harney and Sons had a special promotion where you got a free tin of this with a $50 order or some such. I assumed it was actually their 30th anniversary but I see that there are reviews 9 years old, so this is a special reblend. It is no longer showing on their website and apparently the only way to get it was a free gift this time.

The tin is gorgeous. The front has the classic black and gold label style but there is no paper label. Instead it is embossed and highlighted in gold paint. The back is embossed with their logo, no gold paint, and just says Harney and Sons black tea, so I will definitely keep this and refill it with other teas. I have a small, wall mounted Chippendale shelf that can hold ten 4 ounce Harney tins and tea cups and saucers. Right now with all my sipdowns, this tin is all alone on the top shelf. (I only use their black and gold tins on that shelf) There is still room to add two small tins on each side, and when I begin to restock my Harney teas after enough sipdowns, I will be buying smaller amounts. One thing that gets me in cupboard-trouble is thinking I HAVE to have the biggest tin of something I love, and I just can’t drink it all.

As for tea inside the gorgeous tin – Ashman really, really likes it. He baffles me. I will think a tea is fairly smooth and he will want milk and sugar with it. Another that I think needs milk and sugar, he says he likes without, and he likes this one without.

I like this tea, but I would not purchase it myself. The combination of teas here really is classic taste that screams TEA. But there is an edge to it like darjeeling has, and that is something I enjoy when I am in the mood for it, but I am rarely in the mood for it. Assam usually hurts my tummy unless it is all golden tip or has a bit of milk, but this one doesn’t bother me. The high Ceylon silver tip notes are probably what make me think of darjeeling.

It is a fine, well made tea of quality ingredients, it just isn’t my favorite type of tea. It is one that, on the right day and in the right mood, would make me sigh and say, “Now this is a cuppa tea!”

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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.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

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


North Carolina

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