3828 Tasting Notes


Tea at the White House Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 4

It is what it says – a simple, pepperminty candy cane black tea. No cream or vanilla (sadly), just refreshing mint on a smooth, somewhat earthy black base.

It’s not wow-ing me or anything, but always nice to have a festive cuppa, especially when it has cute little candy cane sprinkles! I still haven’t found a candy cane tea that I’ve really loved, but I do adore B&B’s Peppermint Cream, which is sort of in that same vein. :)

Flavors: Candy, Candy Cane, Earthy, Fresh, Mint, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipology Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 4

And again with the cinnamon! Pralines don’t even have cinnamon normally, do they?!

This one just has way too much flavoring in general – it’s very over-flavored. And mostly it’s cinnamon, which doesn’t even make sense given the name. I do taste something resembling pecan, but there’s not even much of creamy note really. It’s more like candied pecan? There’s also a weird fruity acidity from the quince pieces, which doesn’t fit at all with the other flavors.

Weird tea, and just so much flavoring.

ETA – It occurs to me that Sipology is a Canadian company, and maybe praline means something else there. But I still don’t like it! XP

Flavors: Acidic, Apple, Artificial, Chemical, Cinnamon, Nuts, Pecan, Sweet, Tart

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

Nope, I don’t think cinnamon is associated with pralines here either.

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drank Will by Thésaurus Tea
3828 tasting notes

Thésaurus Tea Fandom Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 4

Okay, now this is interesting. What a pretty tea, a mix of airy bamboo leaves, big pieces of dried lemon, and tiny elderflower blossoms.

I really like it. To be fair, I love lemon and elderflower, separately and especially together. The lemon is quite present and has a nice tartness, and the elderflower has that ethereal, almost effervescent quality to it. What I didn’t expect is the sweetness from the bamboo. I don’t think I’ve ever had bamboo leaf in enough quantity to know what it tastes like, but it’s definitely contributing a sweet quality. I do get a bit of almost grassy freshness as well.

So unusual and tasty, and I think the balance of the ingredients is spot-on.

Flavors: Airy, Clean, Effervescent, Elderflower, Floral, Grassy, Lemon, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Beach House Teas Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 4

Similar to their Starboard Spice, this one is quite subtle on the added flavors. The base is a smooth and earthy/woody black tea, and then there’s a swirl of creamy almond flavor. According to the description, it’s meant to be caramel and almond, but it reminds me of an almond cream, sort of like the filling in an almond croissant. Maybe with a bit of vanilla whipped cream as well.

It’s very nice. The flavoring is a bit decadent, but because the amount is so light, it doesn’t end up being too desserty for me. I’m not sure I would run out and buy it, but I’m enjoying my mugful and I’m glad I have at least one more serving to try. The name is lovely and evocative as well. :)

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Creamy, Earthy, Milk, Nutty, Smooth, Vanilla, Whipped Cream, Woody

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

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Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 4

This one is so interesting. I quite like the mix of berries they have – it has a nice balance of more bright/tart and also quite deep and syrupy notes. Definitely seems like there’s some black currant in there. I do think it leans the tiniest bit medicinal, but maybe that’s because of the herbaceous nettle flavor? It’s almost a bit piney-tasting, and while I do like evergreen and berry together, I think with this particular berry mix, it’s bringing out the more medicinal notes.

Still quite enjoyable, though it’s not one I would go out and buy.

Flavors: Berry, Black Currant, Blueberry, Elderberry, Grassy, Herbaceous, Jam, Medicinal, Pine, Raspberry, Red Fruits, Sweet, Syrupy, Tart

Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Compagnie & Co Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 4

Honestly, Sri Lankan black teas are probably my least favorite, so I was not excited to see this one this morning…

It’s pleasant enough – bready and a touch creamy up front, but then some bitterness and astringency creep in at the back of the mouth in the finish. Quite metallic and acidic, as I would expect from this type of tea.

It’s fine, just not my cuppa tea! :P

Flavors: Acidic, Astringent, Bitter, Bread, Creamy, Metallic, Oats, Tannic

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Beach House Teas Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 3

This one sounds good in theory but… stevia. So much stevia. It mostly tastes like very cloyingly sweet rooibos. Maybe I get a touch of cinnamon?

Nope nope nope!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Rooibos, Stevia, Sweet, Woody

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

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Tea at the White House Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 3

They didn’t seem to have this blend on their website. There was one called Donut but it looked to be a Forever Nuts type tisane. This is also a fruit tisane, but it has a strong cherry smell and no beetroot. (ETA: They did add it to the website after I wrote this!)

It’s quite nice really, especially since I don’t tend to love cherry teas. It does taste a bit like a jelly doughnut, albeit with quite a bit of apple in there. The cherry does taste like a generic cherry candy, but it’s pretty well tempered by the tarter apple and it doesn’t overwhelm the blend. There is a sugary sweetness to it that makes sense for a sugar-dusted doughnut.

Anyway, a pleasant fruity tisane for the evening! Not something I would go out and buy, but I did enjoy my small cupful. Very sweet though.

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Butter, Candy, Cherry, Sugar, Sweet, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Sipology Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 3

I was excited when I saw coffee beans in the little Sipology tin this morning! And I do love tiramisu, so even better.

However… I don’t understand what they were thinking with this blend. There is so much cinnamon, it’s by far the strongest flavor. And unless I’m mistaken, tiramisu doesn’t even have cinnamon in it? So a strange choice IMO.

So it ends up being more of like a cinnamon coffeecake paired with a cup of coffee to me? I do taste the coffee beans, but they’re somewhat subtle compared to the sweet and even the apple.

I do like it, but it’s not tiramisu to me. More of an apple cinnamon tisane with a touch of coffee.

Flavors: Acidic, Apple, Butter, Cinnamon, Coffee, Rooibos, Smooth, Sweet, Woody

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

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DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 3

Ooh another hojicha today! Not complaining, roasted teas are so perfect for this time of year.

Interestingly, I’m actually getting a cardboardy note from this today. Not in a bad way, it’s just a gentle woodiness that leans toward papery and comes out tasting like cardboard. And then of course, there’s the toastiness, those classic crisp autumn leaf notes, and a light savory flavor. I do get a bit of a charcoal minerality as well. It’s interesting that the description mentions citrus, I guess I could see that but I would never have picked it out on my own.

Yummy tea, as always!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cardboard, Char, Charcoal, Dry Leaves, Mineral, Roasted, Round, Savory, Smooth, Toasty, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 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 piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- December Sipdowns: 0
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 413

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I’ll also often 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, oolong, and herbal varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, and honeybush. I love matcha and drink it often! Fruit tisanes are not a favorite, but I’m always willing to try them.

I do not sweeten my teas, and pre-sweetened teas are usually too sweet for me. I also do not enjoy stevia.

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, chamomile, and elderflower. Osmanthus is also a favorite of mine. 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 Companies:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Harney & Sons
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

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 or scent contamination.

Cupboard Spreadsheet:


Austin, Texas



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