2903 Tasting Notes

drank Rooibos by Choice Organics
2903 tasting notes

Sipdown! (41 | 257)

Last one from my September Sips by!

Really, a plain rooibos? Sigh… Needless to say, I was not thrilled to see this in my box this month.

It’s not bad, it’s actually quite pleasant. Smooth, woody, almost a tiny bit creamy? Not medicinal in the slightest, and there are some nice deep caramelized notes and a hint of honey.

It’s fine to have a couple of cups, but not something I would ever crave or buy.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Creamy, Honey, Smooth, Sweet, Woody

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

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Sipdown! (40 | 256)

Another Sips by tea.

This one smells nice enough but is a bit flat-tasting? It’s not bad, not by a long shot, but I feel like the lemon needs a bit of tartness to lift it up. Even though there are multiple flavors, they’re all sort of one note… if that makes any sense. The green base is earthy and mineral, but smooth. Lemon is somewhere between lemon peel and lemon drop.

A pleasant enough tea, but I think a bit of tartness would add some much-needed dimension here.

Flavors: Candy, Earthy, Ginger, Grass, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet

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

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Sipdown! (39 | 255)

Another swap sample from Gabby, who I saw is here on Steepster now. Hi Gabby! o/

This is a tasty tea! I like that it’s an oxidized oolong base instead of black tea, it gives it a bit more smoothness while still having enough body to carry the flavors. There’s apparently some roasted maté here as well, I’m not sure I taste it though.

It’s very sweet, with a strong maple character – makes sense, given its namesake. I’m not picking up on a lot of cream, which is a shame as that would make it taste more like French toast. There’s also (IMO) a bit too much cinnamon for French toast, it’s almost as strong as the maple here. It tastes good, but it veers more into coffee or crumb cake territory for me because of the strong cinnamon presence.

Super tasty, but I think I still prefer my Apple Cinnamon French Toast from S&V because of the addition of the apple! The oolong is a nice idea though.

Also, the name… 10/10

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Cinnamon, Dry Leaves, Maple, Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Woody

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

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Sipdown! (38 | 254)

From my Sips by box this month!

This one is is an interesting combination, though I will say I don’t feel like the name is representative of the flavors. I don’t taste the dandelion (I assume root?) at all, it’s mostly a super mild black tea with elderflower and strawberry jam flavors. The first time I steeped it, I used my normal ratio of 8 ounces of water per sachet, but it was a bit weak. I noticed the wrapper recommends only 200ml per sachet, so I tried that for the second pot, and it’s a bit better. But it’s still a very light/subtle tea. The black tea adds some body, but not much in the way of flavor other than a vague woodiness.

I do like the combination of elderflower with strawberry, but I can’t help but feel it would make a bit more sense on a white, green, or oolong base. And perhaps a hint of lemon would be nice, too! :)

(P.S. – Am I the only one who didn’t realize that elderflower and elderberry are from the same tree? Now I just feel dumb… ^^’)

Flavors: Elderflower, Floral, Hay, Honey, Jam, Pollen, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 OZ / 400 ML

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drank SPORTea by SPORTea
2903 tasting notes

Sipdown! (37 | 253)

I think I heard about this tea on Tea Leaf Project? It sounded interesting and they offer samples for $0.99 so I figured I would give it a try.

I actually had it hot yesterday, and while I enjoyed the flavor, the ginseng made it too sweet for me, so I decided to cold brew the last teabag overnight. The flavor reminds me of that bottled Brisk iced tea with lemon, but with ginseng sweetness instead of sugar. It has a sweet lemony note with a bit of tea in the background (a mix of black, green, and maté). The ginseng adds a licorice root-esque sweetness at the end of the sip, and a refreshing minerality.

I’m glad to have tried it, but it’s still a bit sweet for me, even when diluted to one teabag per 16 ounces of water.

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Ginseng, Herbaceous, Lemon, Mineral, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet, Tea

Iced 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Brown Rice Tea by Dynasty
2903 tasting notes

Sipdown! (35 | 251)

This is quite tasty for a generic bagged genmaicha. It’s pretty heavy on the rice, and it has a lovely strong nutty tone to it that reminds me of soba cha, with hints of Rice Krispies. I can barely taste the green tea, but it’s very smooth and mellow. There’s a nice long-lasting toasty aftertaste as well. Obviously I already have genmaicha in my cupboard so I don’t feel the need to go out and order this, but I’m enjoying it on this early fall evening. :)

Flavors: Cashew, Dry Grass, Nuts, Popcorn, Rice, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Toast, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

Sounds very nice—that’s a brand that pops up very occasionally at our local specialty markets.

Cameron B.

It’s definitely heavy on the rice, so not well-balanced for a genmaicha ha ha. But tasty!

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drank Victoria Grey by Fortnum & Mason
2903 tasting notes

Sipdown! (34 | 250)

Another swap sample down! I must say, I’m highly impressed by the amount of tea in these sachets. It’s actually enough for at least a 12-ounce mug, if not a 16-ounce. Good job, Fortnum!

Anyway, this tea is nice even if it’s not my favorite flavor combination. The lavender is very apparent, and since I don’t love lavender, it’s a lot for me. But it does have a nice creaminess and nectarous honey flavor to it as well, and the whole combination is just very smooth and cozy.

So not something I would order, but can definitely recommend it for lavender and bergamot lovers! A very nice, multilayered cuppa.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Lavender, Nectar, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

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

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Sipdown! (33 | 249)

This was a tea that I picked up at my local Japanese market on a whim, because I love apple things! When I was filling a ziploc bag with some wrapped teabags to take with me on vacation, I noticed there were only a few of these left, so now I’m finishing them off!

I find it interesting how in these sachets, the flavoring is actually little round beads that are separate from the tea. Bird & Blend does something similar with their flavored matcha (which makes it really annoying to cold brew), but I think this is the first time I’ve seen that in a teabag. Not that it matters one way or the other, just interesting!

This has a strong and crisp green apple flavor that definitely leans into candy territory. The green base is über mellow and smooth, and the matcha adds a bit of sweetness and gives a more substantial texture. I could see this base being tasty on its own or as a foundation for any number of flavors. I’ll have to see what else is available the next time I visit the grocery!

Really a lovely strong apple tea for this time of year. :3

Flavors: Apple, Candy, Creamy, Grassy, Green Apple, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

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

Love finding hidden gems at the grocery!

Cameron B.

They always have some interesting-sounding flavored Japanese teas!


I had a Whittard’s? Rose tea that had the little beads! It was very good. But I love rose tea!

Cameron B.

It makes a lot of sense if they want to use the same base for several flavors, seems like it would simplify manufacturing so they can just add the flavoring separately.

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Sipdown! (32 | 248)

Oof, this is really not my thing at all.

The rose is fairly strong, and the pomegranate is tasting very chalky to me, which is an issue I often have with berry flavorings. So it tastes a bit like one of those powdery violet candies, but rose? Which may sound good to some ha ha, but I’m just thankful I only have one serving of this… ^^’

Nope, nope, nope.

Flavors: Artificial, Berry, Chalk, Floral, Hay, Rose, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Sweet Honeydew by Stash Tea
2903 tasting notes

Sipdown! (31 | 247)

A melon green tea? Sign me up! :P

This is a very pleasant bagged tea. The honeydew tastes like it’s on the underripe side to me, so it has more of a refreshing cucumber-esque note to it, rather than a syrupy and juicy ripe melon like Lupicia’s. The green base is mellow and grassy, which goes well with the lighter, more crisp melon flavor.

Not one I would order, just because I always have Lupicia’s Melon Oolong in my cupboard and I think one melon tea is enough. But if I wanted a convenient bagged version, I would consider picking this up. I bet it would be lovely for cold brew too, and much more cost-effective.

Flavors: Cucumber, Dry Grass, Grass, Hay, Honeydew, Melon, Smooth, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 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… ;)

- September Sipdowns: 41
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 257

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep 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’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
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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