719 Tasting Notes


I’m legitimately sorry to finish this sample. This is the most delicious oolong ever. The rolled up leaves spring open and look so gorgeous.
It’s good Western style with tap water. It’s even better gongfu style with spring water. It stayed fresh for six months without issue.
Roasted, mineral-y, nutty, earthy, with a breadlike mouthfeel. Inviting. Quietly strong. Fortifying. Like an old friend.

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drank Mint Rose by Zhena's Gypsy Tea
719 tasting notes

Normally I’m not a fan of mint teas, but the rose makes this one good. The beauty of this one is its simplicity. Just a soothing, nicely balanced, low maintenance herbal cuppa for a cold winter afternoon.

Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Mint, Rose, Sweet

Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Repose by Steep Echo
719 tasting notes

Although Sips By basically phoned it in this month on my subscription box, I legitimately enjoyed this one. It’d be nice if they hadn’t shorted me one sachet of it, but alas. I’ve never had an olive leaf tea before, and I gotta say, I kinda love it. The gentle olive flavor works surprisingly really well with the rose, while the chamomile and passion flower play supporting roles. This company uses whole flower blossoms, so it’s gorgeous to look at while it steeps in the mesh sachet. Very lyrical, very pleasing, very gentle, very wholesome, and very pretty. It’s like wandering into a fairy forest. I like the story they’re telling here. Perfect medicine for today.

Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Olive Oil, Rose

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drank Chamomile by Tekola Tea
719 tasting notes

I guess I’m feeling a little bratty about this. I opened my Sips By box this month and saw… a plain, bagged chamomile. Seriously?
To be fair, it’s definitely a good quality chamomile. I taste vanilla bean and apple, and it was a nice cuppa to unwind with on a Monday evening. Pleasant, as you would want and expect in chamomile.
But… it’s still just a plain chamomile. I prefer to get more unique teas that I can’t find in a store in my Sips By boxes. Maybe I’m giving it short shrift. Will drink the other three servings, won’t purchase a full container.

Flavors: Apple, Hay, Vanilla

Boiling 8 min or more
Cameron B.

I agree, that’s lame. XD


@Cameron B. Yeah, it made me a little grumpy. I’d maybe be more forgiving if they hadn’t also shorted me one sachet of the other, more interesting herbal in this month’s box. :(

Cameron B.

I’m a little grumpy at them for not doing more holiday-themed teas this month. I guess they want people to buy their seasonal themed boxes…

Mastress Alita

I’d be especially disappointed, I don’t even like chamomile!

Martin Bednář

At least it is a good quality! But I am not fan of chamomile either.

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drank Hojicha by Coalition Tea
719 tasting notes

The packet says to use boiling water, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that to a green tea, even a heavily roasted one like this, so I used 195 degree F water instead.
Oh, so good! Roasty, toasty, earthy, just a slight little bit of smokiness. Very reminiscent of the flavors of toasted sesame oil. Paired really well with my avocado salmon sushi roll. Heaven!!!

Flavors: Mineral, Roasted, Smoke, Toasted, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Darjeeling Earl Grey by Teapigs
719 tasting notes

Just all right. Brewed in a glass mug using a full-leaf sachet at 205 °F for 4 minutes. No milk, sweetener, or lemon used.
Neither the Darjeeling base nor the bergamot came out particularly dominant. It actually smells almost like oregano, which is weird. The Darjeeling doesn’t taste bitter to me; all I can taste is raisins and grapes. Not sure that raisin and bergamot is my favorite flavor profile, especially when the tea overall is weak. I’ve definitely had better and more interesting EGs.

Flavors: Raisins, Spices

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Sipdown! I like gunpowder teas because they’re so fun to watch as they steep, and this zhu cha was no exception— the leaves opened up and looked really pretty and curly in the mesh strainer. I brewed a pot of it in my cast-iron teapot. Flavor is overall mild and mineral-y, a bit musty, and a hint of hay.
I did enjoy this, but it’s not something I would make regularly, so I won’t repurchase.

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Sipdown from an older Sips By box.
This was just OK. Like a slightly sweet Assam. Didn’t re-steep well, which is disappointing in a black tea. Apart from that, it was just another plain black tea. Not really memorable or worth repurchasing.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Earth, Honey, Malt, Tea

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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This is so lovely. The dry leaf has enormous chunks of walnut, slivers of almond, and small cubes of candied fruit. It smells strongly of peanuts, wood, and flour.
Steeps a reddish color. It has a pleasingly oily, thick, satisfying mouthfeel. I definitely taste peanut, almond, and the papaya, as far as detecting the literal ingredients goes. It’s nutty and woodsy, with a tiny bit of sweetness and notes of cinnamon and apple in the aftertaste. It reminds me of apple crisp, actually. It’s a very well-executed blend— delivers exactly what it promises for flavor and feels indulgent.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Cookie, Nuts, Nutty, Oats, Peanut, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Walnut, Wood

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This tea tastes exactly like those Atomic Fireball hard candies I used to get on Halloween when I was a kid. I adore sweet/ spicy flavor combos. It’s sweet without being artificial or cloying and has the perfect little kick of spice without being irritating. My one complaint about it is that I can’t really taste the black tea base a whole lot. I steeped it for longer than I normally would for a black tea, which helped a bit; I can detect a bit of mild malty earthiness characteristic of Ceylon, so I /think/ that’s what the base is. It’s just a tiny bummer because Harney & Sons uses high quality leaf and the spices and added flavor elements like the orange peel in this blend almost totally mask it.

Cameron B.

This tea is like liquid Red Hots to me. And yet I like it anyway, even though I never sweeten my teas… I have the Hot Apple Spice version, which is mostly the same but with a bit of apple.


Ooooo, apple would be nice with these flavors.

Cameron B.

To be honest, the apple is a bit more subtle than I would have preferred. :P


It’s been around for a long time, but this one is suddenly a hot property around the non-teaists at my work…a canister near almost every heating utensil, and I have coworkers who love to share :)


I gave a tin of this to a colleague last year for Christmas, and her entire team loved it, too, even though they aren’t super tea drinkers. I think it’s because you can’t really taste the tea and it’s sweet and cinnamon-y, like candy. Just an all-around good cup of cheer for all.

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Hello! 28, female, American. A total hopeless bookworm— I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in English. I also love dogs, all things that are colored purple, and sarcasm. I work in the Information Technology field at present.

I’m not a swapper, but I hope we can still be friends :)

Favorite tea types: Black, pu’erh, oolong, kombucha, genmaicha, matcha, rooibos, honeybush (recent change of heart there), and floral greens.

Favorite flavor notes: Roasted, fermented, earthy, floral, nutty, bread-y, umami; dessert-inspired flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and maple.

I’m very picky about chai and spice/ spicy blends as well as fruit-flavored teas; they really need to be done right, IMHO. I’m iffy about mate, as well as herbal teas, although there are a few tisanes that I enjoy (roasted dandelion root, chamomile).

Flat-out dislike: White tea, most unflavored green teas, hibiscus in high quantities, plain peppermint.

90-100: Perfection and heaven and magic, all in one cup.

70-89: Good.

50-69: Meh.

49 and below: Blerg.


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