2559 Tasting Notes


Sipdown! (36 | 488)

Another older sample I had stashed away from TTC. Mine is actually lot 657, but I didn’t want to create a new listing for this one note…

This tea is simple but very tasty. Heavy on those lovely bugbitten honey notes combined with sweet dried fruits and a hint of cinnamon. Some nice fluffy enriched bread notes as well, so it’s a bit like lightly toasted brioche with a touch of fig jam, honey, and cinnamon. There’s a bit of a toasty autumn leaf note at the bottom as well.

I always love bai hao, and this one is no exception. Will definitely need to get some in my cupboard one of these days!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Smooth, Sweet

140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (35 | 487)

This is an interesting one.

It does have a sort of ginger ale or maybe even cola flavor to it. The lime pairs nicely as well, giving it a Moscow Mule kind of feel.

But to me, the ginger is a bit too strong, and this last mug is especially spicy. Also I’m not a fan of the cloying licorice root aftertaste. I bet this would be super interesting as an iced tea though…

Flavors: Citrus, Cola, Ginger, Licorice, Lime, Spicy, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown! (34 | 486)

I quite enjoyed this one. It reminds me of a cereal I used to like when I was younger, called Blueberry Morning. Apparently Post still makes it, I just haven’t seen it at any stores near me in a long time. I’ll have to keep an eye out!

Anyway… I don’t generally like almond flavoring, but I don’t really taste it here. It reads more sweet and jammy blueberry with a little bit of toasted almond. There’s a brown sugar sweetness that’s reminding me of the sweet granola clusters from that cereal. The black base, as usual, is not my favorite and has a slightly tannic character but not much else.

I will say after having several cups, I remain surprised that there’s no blueberry flavoring in this. The blueberry taste has been very present and consistent, which is unusual for something with just dried berries.

My only complaint is it’s a bit too sweet, and because of that it won’t be a reorder for me. I enjoyed my 25g pouch though! :)

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Jam, Maple, Sweet, Tannic, Toasted

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

I think I remember that cereal, too!

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Nope, too much lavender for me. XD

It does have a nice creamiscle-y citrus & cream flavor profile, but there’s also a strong lavender presence. Which makes it a little too soapy for me.

Oh well, into the rehoming box!

Flavors: Creamy, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Soap, Sweet, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

I will take it :D


Lavender is a dangerous ingredient: it’s way too easy to over-lav.

Mastress Alita

I love this tea!

Cameron B.

@gmathis – I’m more sensitive to it than most I think, but I still like to try some lavender teas occasionally just to see. :P

Evol Ving Ness

I love lavender and I seem to like it more and more with time. It’s fascinating to me how different we are in terms of tastes, flavours, preferences, and sensitivities. Gmathis, over-lav—you crack me up.


Over-lav! Love it :D

Lavender used to nauseate me to such a degree as a child that I gave my poor grandma grief (with “swooning” lord) every time we sat out on her patio during the summer (she had the most prolific plant). Now I can’t get enough of it in everything and everywhere (love, love Moondrop Dreams) – so I’m familiar with both of these reactions, lol.

Evol Ving Ness

With swooning yet. Oh dear.

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drank White Pomegranate by Zhi Tea
2559 tasting notes

Sipdown! (33 | 485)

Meh. Not the biggest fan of this one.

The white tea is quite musty and earthy, but then the pomegranate tastes artificial and candy-like to me. I don’t think I would’ve identified it as specifically pomegranate either, more of a generic berry-esque flavor.

So musty hay and mixed berry candy. Not a favorite, ha ha.

Flavors: Artificial, Berry, Candy, Hay, Herbaceous, Musty

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (33 | 485)

Smoked lapsang isn’t a favorite of mine, I find it to be generally overwhelming even though I typically like smoked foods. This one was gifted to me by an Instagram friend in a tea swap.

It’s fine, a mix of dark wood, campfire smoke, savory smoked meat, and earth. Quite a bit of minerality as well, which ties in with the earthy part.

Anyway, not a favorite for me. But it’s the thought that counts! :)

Flavors: Ash, Campfire, Dark Wood, Earth, Meat, Mineral, Savory, Smoke, Smoked, Smooth, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (32 | 484)

I’m not generally a floral person, but I love osmanthus, and this tea is no exception. The baozhong base is light yet creamy, with a silky texture. It has a lovely soft mineral flavor that makes me think of a clear mountain stream. The osmanthus is sweet, nectarous, with a beautiful apricot flavor that melds perfectly with the hints of stonefruit found naturally in the oolong. There’s also an additional floral note here, reminiscent of honeysuckle.

I should really keep an eye out for osmanthus teas, they’re always so lovely…

Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nectar, Osmanthus, Spring Water, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for reminding me. I’ve been meaning to pick up osmanthus something at some point.

Funny that you mention you are not a floral person and you liked the Noel a Pekin by DF. Totally, to my mind, a floral tea once you get past the lovely fruit.

Cameron B.

Jasmine is another exception for me when it comes to florals ha ha. I am not a fan, however, of rose or lavender.

Mastress Alita

And I’m opposite, I love rose and lavender, but rarely like jasmine teas for being too overpoweringly perfumy, which triggers migraines for me (I’m fine with the flavor of gentle jasmine or it blended with other things, though!) The one floral I really don’t jive with is chamomile.

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Sipdown! (31 | 483)

This is a fairly tasty one.

Like most chocolate and mint teas, the mint far outweighs the chocolate for me. The peppermint is the strongest note here, and it has a strong herbaceous quality that’s not quite wet rag-like but in that same area. Next is the rooibos, adding its woody notes. The cacao is quite subtle, though I do taste little hints of dark chocolate. I will say I’m thankful it’s just cacao here and not chocolate flavoring, which I don’t tend to enjoy.

I guess it makes sense for a mint chocolate ice cream sort of profile, with mostly mint and just an accent of dark chocolate. But I would like this much better if the two flavors were more balanced, as it ends up mostly tasting like a plain peppermint tisane.

Flavors: Cacao, Dark Chocolate, Herbaceous, Mint, Musty, Peppermint, Rooibos, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

The only mint/rooibos combo I have ever liked is Adagio’s Foxtrot. They’re just too disparate to play together nicely.

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drank Ginger Peach Oolong by Zhi Tea
2559 tasting notes

Sipdown! (30 | 482)

This one is just bland.

The base is a very generic woody, leafy oxidized oolong with no real personality. As far as the peach, it’s very subtle and actually reminds me of cucumber, the same as in their Fredericksburg Peach black tea. Ginger is very mild too.

So overall, just bland and boring. Meh!

Flavors: Cucumber, Earth, Ginger, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (29 | 481)

Definitely overleafed this one, as I didn’t want to have a weird small amount left. So it’s a little bit stronger on the honeybush woodiness than usual, but still tasty.

This tisane has a nice balance of gentle sweet apple with natural-tasting cinnamon and almost pastry-like notes from the honeybush base. It’s somewhere between apple cider and a cinnamon-heavy apple pie.

Such a pleasant bedtime tisane. I’m certainly not mad that I have another unopened pouch somewhere! :)

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Pastries, Sweet, Tart, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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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 knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

~ November Sipdowns: 36
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 488

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

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, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I love matcha and drink it often!

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Yunnan Sourcing

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.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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