2219 Tasting Notes

68
drank Irish Stout by Adagio Teas
2219 tasting notes

Sipdown! (20 | 224)

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – I

Another swap tea. Not one I would generally choose for myself, as it’s both an Adagio tea AND a chocolate tea, ha ha…

It’s fine. The Assam-Ceylon base is actually fairly tasty – malty and flavorful but only slightly astringent. The chocolate is very boozy and artificial, it reminds me of these carob-flavored chewable vitamins I used to have as a child.

Overall, it is rather stout-esque, as both the tea and the chocolate are dark, deep flavors. Not something I would ever order, but not bad!

ETA: It just occurred to me, this tastes just like Tootsie Rolls!

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Candy, Chocolate, Malt, Metallic, Smooth, Tannic, Thick

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

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72
drank Pineapple Sage by Plum Deluxe
2219 tasting notes

Sipdown! (19 | 223)

Instagram swap tea! I just had to request this one in a swap, because the combination sounded too interesting to pass up.

However, I don’t really get pineapple here? It’s mostly sage, and there is a vague, slightly fruity sweetness to it, but I would never identify it as pineapple. Apple, maybe?

I’m not a sage lover, but it’s not over-the-top at least. It’s still a fairly mellow sage flavor that seems like it would be pleasant as an herbal tisane before bed.

But I wish there was pineapple! T.T

Flavors: Apple, Herbs, Sage, Savory, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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88

Sipdown! (18 | 222)

Finishing off the last little packet from a Tea Club shipment of this. But I still have an unopened full-size packet, hooray! \o/

What a yummy, well-balanced sencha this is. Sweet, rich, vegetal, grassy, creamy, nutty, umami, hint of fruitiness – all in perfect harmony. Just a touch of bitterness, which really is a necessity for me. It’s very creamy and nutty up front, then transitions a bit to a richer vegetal and umami phase, and finishes with a nice refreshing and clean grass note and hint of pleasant astringency. There’s a little whisper of fruity floral there as well.

Love it. So happy I have another 80 grams!

Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Nuts, Seaweed, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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72
drank Hua Ki by Lupicia
2219 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – H

Another one from the Lupicia group order that I haven’t tried yet! I’m digging this alphabet challenge, it’s a nice way to get a little break from the swap teas and small packets I usually work through.

This tea is decent, but it’s sort of generically tropical. I definitely get some mango, but it’s not very distinct. Overall there’s more of a tropical fruit punch sort of vibe in my opinion, and the flavors are a bit muddled. The base is also more astringent than I would like.

I’m still enjoying the cuppa, but I definitely prefer their Alphonso Mango, which has a nice juicy mango flavor and I think a nicer base? But won’t have any trouble finishing my 25g of this!

Flavors: Fruit Punch, Mango, Sweet, Tannic, Tropical, Wood

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

This was my H tea, too!

My favorite mango Lupicia (of the teas I’ve tried) is Daruma (mango and apricot). I really dig that one.

Cameron B.

I had that one a while ago, but I’m not sure I remember it… My favorite is definitely Ripe Mango Oolong! :D

Mastress Alita

I finally ordered that one in my Lupicia order for my birthday, but with a bazillion old teas to sip down, it’ll probably sit in the still-sealed package for quite some time, hahaha.

Cameron B.

I hope you got a pile of Kotobuki to enjoy! ❤

Mastress Alita

I never order a pile of anything with how long it takes me to work through tea… I did get a fresh, sealed 50g package and then sipped down my old 2018 package. :-)

Lexie Aleah

I still haven’t opened my Ripe Mango Oolong from the group order… been saving the best for last. I should save it for ‘R’ day.

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85

Sipdown! (17 | 221)

Finishing off another tasty Taiwanese black tea sample this morning! This one is actually from Lishan, which is obviously famous for high-mountain oolongs. It’ll be interesting to see how those notes carry over in a black tea!

I can definitely see some similarities to a Lishan oolong. This has a lovely smooth creaminess to it, and the ubiquitous notes of nectarous peach. Happily for me, it’s not quite as floral as I generally find high-mountain oolongs, but there are some lovely light floral notes at the end of the sip. It also has some lower raisiny tones, and another fruity note that reminds me of overripe grapes. The bread and honey that I often find in Taiwanese black teas are there as well, rounding out the middle, as well as a hint of musty hay at the top of my mouth.

Super yummy! I like the extra creamy and peachy flavors here, and it’s definitely on the light end of things.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Floral, Grapes, Hay, Honey, Honeysuckle, Milk, Musty, Nectar, Peach, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Cameron, I was under the impression that you were not a fan of straight black teas. Am I dreaming this up?

Cameron B.

I think so, ha ha. I definitely drink more flavored teas than plain lately, but I love straight black teas!

Martin Bednář

This sounds like a wonderful black tea. Into the wishlist!

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92

Sipdown! (16 | 220)

Yum, this is one of my favorites from Obubu, and possibly my favorite hojicha full-stop.

It has such a light and mellow roasted flavor that’s not overpowering, and a lovely clear sweetness that lingers on the tongue. Notes of roasted nuts and grains, and crispy autumn leaves. And perhaps a hint of fruitiness, like sweet golden raisins.

And bonus, because of the maturity of the leaves and the roasting, it’s virtually caffeine-free! Oh-so-comforting and cozy for the evening.

This is the end of my bigger pouch of this, luckily Obubu just sent this out in the March subscription box, so I have a fresh 25 grams!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Grain, Honey, Nectar, Nuts, Raisins, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85

Sipdown! (15 | 219)

So happy to get the chance to try this one via a swap, as I was very interested when I saw it on the Harney website, but wasn’t willing to pay $15 to try it.

This is definitely the best gingerbread tea I’ve had. It really does taste like a cookie, and has oodles of molasses flavor to really sell the gingerbread angle. The spicing is light and sweet, a nice mix of ginger, cinnamon, and a touch of clove.

I’m not sure whether I’ll order it or not… It’s a bit on the expensive side and I honestly don’t really crave spiced teas often. But I could definitely see picking some up once fall and winter come around again!

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Clove, Cookie, Ginger, Molasses, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

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

I’ve never seen this one on their website before! I’ll have to order a sample at some point.

Cameron B.

Unfortunately, it only comes as a tin of 30 sachets at the moment…

ashmanra

I just got a $10 off $30 coupon from them, and you are tempting me….

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82
drank Grand Canyon by Simpson & Vail
2219 tasting notes

Sipdown! (14 | 218)

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – G

Yay, time for another National Park tea! No idea what eleuthero root or pau d’arco should taste like, but I’ve had some prickly pear-flavored things before, and they’re usually sort of vaguely fruity and tart, but tasty! And almost always fuchsia, ha ha…

I’m really liking this tea! So far, most of the National Park teas have been quite good, which I’m pleasantly surprised about. This has a subtle fruity-tart flavor to it that reminds me quite a bit of rhubarb. And I love rhubarb, so that’s a good thing! Not sure about the other herbal-y ingredients, I don’t get much of an herbal/earthy note here. Bit of hay maybe? The base is very mellow with a soft woodiness. Something is adding a nice bit of sweetness, not sure what that is, but I dig it!

Another yummy one from the National Park collection! Not sure that I need it in my cupboard, since I already have a couple of rhubarb teas. But very happy to have tried it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNYa1AnBy_R/

Flavors: Hay, Rhubarb, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Wood

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

This one is quite tasty!

Cameron B.

I liked it! I think I started to get some of the herbaceous/earthy notes more as I finished the cup.

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85
drank Framboise Chocolat by Lupicia
2219 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – F

This is from the group order at the end of last year, and I’m just now getting around to trying it. I don’t have much left, as I split this tea originally and then sent some out in a couple of swaps…

It’s much better than I remember! Although I did recall this being the best of the fruit + chocolate teas. The raspberry is somewhere between fresh and candy, and the chocolate is cocoa-y and adds a nice depth and richness. The base is slightly astringent, but I’m not surprised since it’s a CTC blend, and next time I could knock 30 seconds or so off the steep time.

I bet this would make a scrumptious milk tea also. Glad to have a little of it back in my cupboard again!

Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Raspberry, Sweet, Tannic, Wood

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

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88

Ooh, so excited! I adore sakura sencha, but this is the first time I’ve seen one from Obubu, and they were kind enough to include it in the March subscription box! \o/

I was surprised that the instructions recommend only 120ml of water for the 5g packet. But I suppose maybe it makes sense given there’s less actual tea than usual here, because of the added sakura blossoms and leaves. So I got to use a cute baby teapot!

This is so lovely. The base tea here is their Sencha of the Spring Sun, which is an unshaded spring-harvest sencha. It has some lovely vegetal spinach and umami notes, with a bit of fresh green grass on the side. There is virtually no bitterness, but a touch of astringency on the tail end with this fairly long steep time. It’s an excellent choice to pair with the sakura, as its flavor is mellow enough not to be overpowering. I love the taste of sakura, but I feel like I always have a hard time describing it in other words. There’s definitely some cherry, though it’s more subtle than you would expect from the name “cherry blossom”. It has a wonderful savoriness to it that really sets it apart from other flowers, and the floral presence is soft and light.

Not sure how this compares to my beloved Chasandai sakura sencha, I’d probably need to sip them side-by-side. It’s definitely different, because the Chasandai version has sugared leaves in it, which adds an extra sweetness. Although looking at the Yunomi website, it looks like it might be discontinued now…? T.T

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNV9yT1A4e9/

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Sakura, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML
Mastress Alita

Was this one very salty? I love sakura teas too, but I find the salt preservative off-putting in my teacup.

Mastress Alita

Also, boo about the Chasandai one being discontinued! I prefer that one to all the others I’ve tried because it is sugar-preserved instead of salt-preserved… I wonder what I’ll use now.

Cameron B.

I don’t think there’s any salt or sugar in this one, as far as I can tell the flowers and leaves are just dried.

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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… ;)

~ 2021 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ April Sipdowns: 20
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 224

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.

Current Subscriptions:
Bird & Blend
Dessert by Deb
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

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
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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