2725 Tasting Notes

68

Sipdown! (4 | 45)

I’ve been sipping this one with milk and sugar lately, as a sort of lazy London fog. Having this last cuppa plain though.

Honestly there’s not a lot of flavor to it? Bergamot is mild, vanilla is very mild, base is mild… It’s a bit bland overall. The black base is smooth and softly woody, but lacking in flavor.

It’s not bad per se, just bland. And at this point, I’m not sure how I feel about New Moon anyway after they claim to blend their own teas and yet confirmed that many of them are from a wholesaler after I confronted them about it…

Flavors: Bergamot, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

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

I feel the same! I’m polishing off my New Moon teas, and I just can’t see myself ordering from them again.

Cameron B.

Thankfully there aren’t really teas that I absolutely love from them, so I’m not too sad about it…

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85

Sipdown! (3 | 44)

Finishing off this tasty tea from S&V. This and Almond Sugar Cookie are the first two teas I remember loving from them, and I’ll probably reorder both at some point in the future.

I will say, this doesn’t really taste like French toast to me. It actually reminds me of Quaker instant oatmeal, a combination of the apple cinnamon and maple brown sugar flavors. And I used to loooooove instant oatmeal, so it’s a bit nostalgic for me. It does taste a tad bit artificial on the maple part, but not enough to bother me. Mostly it tastes like syrupy apply cinnamony oaty goodness. :3

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Cinnamon, Maple, Maple Syrup, Oatmeal, Oats, Pancake Syrup, Smooth, Sweet

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

Ahh, that apple cinnamon instant oatmeal flavor is so nostalgic for me, too!

Cameron B.

I used to love all of the flavors, and the fruit & cream ones too! I might have to pick some up the next time I’m at the store ha ha… :P

gmathis

We recently grabbed some fruity oatmeal to have on hand, too! The strawberry is my favorite, I think.

Cameron B.

I remember loving peaches & cream and blueberry & cream!

gmathis

The ones we have a hard time finding (for nostalgia purposes) were my son’s favorite: chocolate chip and cookie dough

Cameron B.

Whaaaaat cookie oatmeal?! I’ve never heard of that but I can totally get behind it. :D

gmathis

Circa 1999-ish. Quaker does have a Sm’res that was around back then, I think. We used to buy a multi pack that was the choco chip, cookie dough, cookies’n’creme, and one other in that flavor category.

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80
drank Lemon Lychee by Paru Tea Bar
2725 tasting notes

Sipdown! (2 | 43)

A sweet Insta friend was nice enough to send me a sample of this (very expensive) tea. I’ve tried one other tea from Paru before, it was a black tea with Okinawan black sugar. It was good but too sweet for me, and not worth the high price IMHO. But I love lychee so I’m excited for this one.

It’s very tasty! The base is a nice blend of earthy, malty, a touch of honeyed sweetness. Very deep and dark and satisfying. And the lychee is present but it’s not over-the-top, quite authentic tasting with a sweet and juicy, slightly floral note. I will say I’m not sure I get much in the way of lemon, a little bit maybe? I would like a bit more I think. Chrysanthemum adds a slightly musty, somewhat floral herbaceous note. It throws me off a bit, I’m not sure I like the combination with the lighter, sweeter fruit notes.

Anyway, I do like it. The base is nice and the lychee tastes fresh and juicy. I don’t think I would pay the high price for it, but I’m thankful I had a chance to try it. :)

Flavors: Caramelized Sugar, Caraway, Chrysanthemum, Earth, Floral, Herbaceous, Honey, Juicy, Lychee, Malt, Musty, Nectar, Rye, Sweet, Wood

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

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82

Sipdown! (1 | 42)

I ordered a t-shirt from Obubu recently, and they included a 5g packet of this tea as a free sample. :3 (Because, you know, I really need MORE Obubu tea… XD)

It’s very smooth and somewhat sweet, with a lovely brothy richness to it. I’m actually getting rather strong notes of sakura, which I didn’t mention at all in my previous note. So that’s interesting. Otherwise it’s all steamed green vegetables, especially bok choy. Very silky and satisfying to sip on, like some kind of tasty vegetable soup. There are some deep umami undertones as well, but they don’t overwhelm the lighter veggie notes. Also I think I’m getting a hint of pine at the very end? Which is an interesting and nice pairing with the sakura.

Now I’m craving gyoza soup with bok choy for dinner…

Flavors: Bok Choy, Broth, Floral, Grass, Hay, Peas, Pine, Sakura, Salt, Savory, Silky, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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78

Sipdown! (41 | 41)

Another sample packet from Teavivre.

The jasmine here is lovely, sweet and creamy with a lush floral flavor. A bit of a juicy, fruity undertone as well. Apricot, perhaps? But I’m not getting a whole lot of flavor from the green tea itself, which is a shame. Apparently even though this is called bi luo chun, it only refers to the snail shape and it’s not the same tea as their plain bi luo chun.

Still yummy, but I wish there was more of a green or vegetal note going on.

Flavors: Apricot, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Jasmine, Juicy, Lychee, Silky, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70

Sipdown! (40 | 40)

This was fine. I’m not a Ceylon fan, so it was never going to be my favorite. It is fairly smooth at least, with hints of wood and bread. Mostly it tastes like Ceylon though, tea-ish (lol) with a metallic edge and some astringency at the end. I found this one didn’t take milk that well either, it tasted a bit bland compared to the other Fortnum black blends I’ve had that way.

Anyway, another one done at least!

Flavors: Astringent, Bread, Hay, Metallic, Tannic, Tea, Wood

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

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88
drank Yuzu by Lupicia
2725 tasting notes

Sipdown! (39 | 39)

Another oldest tea finished off! This was from August of 2018.

I really like this one, thought perhaps not quite as much as its sister tea, Kumquat. Both are winter exclusive teas from Lupicia. It has a high quality sencha base that’s well-balanced, a nice mix of rich, buttery, vegetal, and umami flavors. There’s actually a hint of mineral smokiness in this last cup, which is unusual.

Yuzu is actually sort of a hit-or-miss flavor for me. I don’t tend to love it in sweet applications, just because it has that sort of piney note that, to me, makes it skew a bit savory, and I find it a bit weird with sweets. But it’s very popular in Japanese confections, so clearly mine is an unpopular opinion. I do love it in savory things though, my favorite ramen that I tried in Japan was actually a yuzu shio variety and it was delicious. And since this is a sencha base, with some nice savory qualities, I really like the yuzu paired with it as well. It adds a nice bright citrusy pop, along with hints of evergreen.

Happily I bought a new tin of this a couple of months ago, so I’m good to go! :)

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Evergreen, Grapefruit, Mineral, Pine, Seaweed, Smoke, Smooth, Umami, Vegetal, Yuzu

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (38 | 38)

So this is a swap sample labeled “Taiwanese Roasted Green Oolong” from the company “Taiwanese Tea Store”. I puttered around a bit on Google but didn’t find any promising leads, so decided to put it here rather than creating a new tea entry that would never be used again.

It’s a tasty lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. The roast complements the other flavor notes instead of completely overpowering them, which I feel happens often with more heavily roasted oolong. Here I can still taste the sweet and creamy oolong, with its nectarous floral notes and a touch of ripe peach. But then the roastiness adds a nice comforting grainy note, along with hints of sweet honeyed dried fruits and cozy autumn leaves.

Very yummy overall, and perfect for a somewhat chilly day. :3

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Roasted, Silky, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78
drank Assam Superb by Fortnum & Mason
2725 tasting notes

Sipdown! (37 | 37)

Another one I’ve been enjoying with milk and sugar lately. Apparently I’m on a tea with additions kick?

Anyway, having this last cuppa plain. I’m rather partial to Assam over Ceylon generally, and that’s the case here as well. This has a nice rich yet smooth malty flavor, pops of tart dried fruit and bottom notes of caramelized dark brown sugar. There is a touch of astringency at the tail end, despite my somewhat short steep. But it’s not enough to be distracting.

A pleasant Assam but not necessarily something I would specifically order. Enjoyed it while I had it though. :) I’m only at 5/24 for Fortnum sipdowns, heh…

Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Malt, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78

Sipdown! (36 | 36)

More chrysanthemum! This one had two big, beautiful blossoms with long spidery petals inside. The shape reminds me of some kind of anemone, so pretty.

I was surprised by how savory this one tastes compared to other chrysanthemum tisanes I’ve had from Teavivre. The predominant flavor for me is eucalyptus, with a nice aromatic herbal coolness to it. I get rosemary as well, which is something I don’t remember finding in other versions. There’s also that familiar mellow musty hay with a bit of honeyed sweetness, and a touch of pepper. I usually find chrysanthemum a bit sweet overall, while this one veers more into savory territory with its strong herbal notes.

It does taste a bit medicinal overall, but not necessarily in a bad way. I feel like my sinuses are being cleared as I sip it. Different from other chrysanthemum tisanes I’ve tried, but still yummy. I could imagine it being wonderful for when I’m feeling under the weather as well.

Flavors: Broth, Earthy, Eucalyptus, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Medicinal, Menthol, Musty, Pepper, Pine, Rosemary, Savory, Smooth, Straw

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 OZ / 414 ML
gmathis

My general POV concerning herbal tisanes has always been “regardless of brand, chamomile will always taste like chamomile, peppermint will always taste like peppermint, and chrysanthemums will always taste like lawn clippings.” I’m glad to hear otherwise!

Cameron B.

Ha ha lawn clippings! That’s funny because it doesn’t taste grassy to me at all. :O

gmathis

Of course, what I’ve tried has been leftover tea box samples or less-than-brand-name gift box varieties ;) Yours sounds like quality stuff! A rosemary element sounds really nice!

Cameron B.

If I’m honest, I don’t love rosemary generally… But it was nice enough here. :)

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Profile

Bio

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… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ February Sipdowns: 4
~ Total 2022 Sipdowns: 45

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. 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 Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
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:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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