3087 Tasting Notes

I lied! This is my last sample from Dinosara, teehee. She included this one as a freebie bonus sample, thanks dear! The leaves are long and twisty, and quite brittle. The color is dark chocolate brown. Dry scent is somewhat sweet with a fruit element. I did my usual “black tea” 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma has very strong honey notes, yum! There’s also a bit of malt and some fruitiness there. Hmm… I’m unsure what to say about the taste. My first thought it “this tastes like black tea”. It reminds me of plain ol’ unsweetened iced tea, and I’m not really sure how to describe that flavor other than just “black tea”. There’s a little bit of a grain element and a touch of honey comes out in the aftertaste, but for the most part it’s tea. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but this one is not impressive to me. :P

Flavors: Grain, Honey, Malt

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hooray! I’m having this tea in celebration of getting my cupboard down to under 100 teas. As of right now, I’m at 99! :D I am expecting a few teas but I will continue to sip down some things, so hopefully I’ll still be under 100 when those get here!

This tea is so yummy. I’m having a really hard time not adding sugar, since I know it would really push the chocolate flavor over the top… It’s an addiction. :P Holding strong though!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

when you say 99 do you include the tea samples ?
If I add my tea samples I should be at 150…oh my God…that’s why I don’t add them to my cupboard ! :)

Cameron B.

Yes, the 99 includes everything except for the Fauchon samples that Dinosara sent me, of which I have 3 or 4 left. :D

carol who

I don’t add all my samples either. It seems that get used up so quickly then I have to remove them. I also don’t want someone to think I have enough for a trade if all I have is a sample size.

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This is the last tea from my ripe puerh sampler from Mandala. Visually, looks similar to the other cake samples. It’s one big chunk and the leaves are dark brown. Dry scent is somewhat sweet and woody with a bit of pond or fishy smell. I did a 15s rinse and then 30/45s steeps. I then went back to 30s, hoping it would change the flavor a bit. I think this one is just not for me. :P

Brewed aroma was quite earthy and leathery with the slightest bit of vanilla sweetness and that characteristic woodiness that I’ve found in the other puerhs as well. Taste-wise, I found this tea to be somewhat less complex (and less enjoyable) than the others in the sampler. It mostly tasted earthy and woody with mineral and smoke notes to me. There was also a heavy leather flavor to it. The vanilla and sweetness poked their heads out a time or two, but not enough to make me want to drink any more. I guess this one is just too robust for me! I’m a sweet gal! ;)

Flavors: Earth, Leather, Mineral, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Boiling 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

try shorter steeps;)


Plenty of leather in this one, for sure. When I made the first pressing of this, David Duckler (Verdant Tea) and I were sitting at one of our “tea summits” and he wanted to name it Ancient Wisdom because it reminded him so much of the place in his college library where the oldest (and leatherbound) books are stacked.

I had another old German guy tear up in the store as he sipped this. He told me that the tea reminded him of his late mother’s very old leather bound bible. He bought a bunch that day.

boychik has a good point with the steeping times. There are definitely many who do shorter steeps on this. This one will definitely kick one in the teeth in stronger steeps. Of course, some people like that kick :)


You ARE a sweet gal!

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Another of my samples from Han Xiang Ecological Tea this morning! I must say, these leaves are very beautiful. They’re long and thin and quite stiff, they almost remind me of pine needles or slender twigs. The color is about half golden and half black. Dry scent is a bit sweet but not much else, which I’m finding a lot with black teas. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

Ooh, the brewed aroma is an interesting combination of sweet honey and dried fruit with savory, almost smoky meat scents. And I find that the taste follows along those lines as well! The beginning of the sip has a lot of dark, syrupy dried fruit flavor, maybe raisins and figs? Then in the middle, the smoked meat savory flavor comes to the forefront, and it stays there for the rest and into the aftertaste. Intermingling between the two are notes of honey and rich molasses which unexpectedly help to bring everything together. Yums. :D

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Meat, Molasses, Raisins, Smoke

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is my very last sample from Dinosara, d’aw! I don’t have a lot of experience with figs, only having had dried ones before, but I did enjoy the experience I had. And this just sounded interesting! Dried fruit is one of my favorite flavors in straight blacks, so I figured one specifically flavored that way would be fantastic. The leaf itself has no visual indication of being flavored, which is actually a nice change of pace after trying so many teas with flower petals in them. Dry scent is very sweet dried fruit with honey, yummmm! I did my usual 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

The brewed tea also smells quite sweet with a syrupy dried fruit aroma. I must admit, I am always hoping that the sweetness in a tea’s aroma will carry over to the taste, though it rarely does. I miss my sugar! :P Anyway, this tea is quite good! The base tea is mellow and somewhat malty, flavorful but unobtrusive. There is a lovely caramelized dried fruit flavor – I’m not sure that I would specifically call it fig, but like I said, I have little experience with the fruit. It’s quite rich and nonspecifically fruity, which seems a good description for dried figs to me. The sweetness is augmented by a lovely mild honey note with the slightest floral edge, like wildflower honey. Overall, this tea is quite delicious and I’ll put it on my list to order. Thanks Dinosara!

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Floral, Honey

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Having conquered the Fauchon samples sent to me by Dinosara, I am now moving on to the two Dammann Freres teas that she also sent samples of. Isn’t she so generous?! :D The dry leaf is mostly just black tea with a few scant pieces of flower petal mixed in, I assume for aesthetic effect. Yum, dry scent is mouthwatering! It smells just like almond paste or marzipan, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I did a 3 minute brew at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is still marzipan, though it’s a bit less full than it was in the dry leaves. Hmm… The base tea is quite nice, mellow but flavorful in a somewhat woody kind of way? I don’t taste a lot of flavoring in the beginning, but as I near the end of the sip, I can definitely taste the marzipan. I can imagine that adding some sugar would amplify the sweet almond taste, and adding milk would make it lovely and creamy. However, I did neither, as I’m trying to get out of the habit of adding sugar to my flavored teas. :P

I don’t think this has quite enough flavor to be my perfect almond tea, but it’s the best contender I’ve tried so far.

Flavors: Almond, Marzipan, Smooth

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Aw, this is my last Fauchon sample from Dinosara… Sad day! I put off trying this tea yesterday because dry, it smells insanely floral. The leaf itself is mostly small black tea leaves with quite a few rose petals mixed in. Dry scent is powerful rose with a sweetness that reminds me of powdered sugar or candy. I brewed for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

I wasn’t very excited to try this one, but the aroma started to get me there. It’s mostly vanilla, surprisingly! There is also some floral there and a bit of citrus. Unfortunately for me, that strong vanilla aroma doesn’t really carry over to the taste side. The beginning of the sip is mostly citrus with a bit of vanilla in there, while the middle and end are dominated by the rose flavor (blegh). Aww, I was so excited too… :(

Flavors: Orange, Rose, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Boo, I like this one :)

Cameron B.

To each her own! I just tend to not love floral, especially rose. :P


Yup, that’s the beauty of sharing samples! It’s true, if you love rose, you are in a good place to love many of Fauchon’s teas. :D

Cameron B.

Thanks again for sending me samples! Whether I liked all of them or not, it’s a positive experience and it helps me narrow down what I want next time they’re up for sale. :D

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I wanted a nice straight black tea after trying so many Fauchon offerings in the past two days, and this was the jinjunmei from Han Xiang that I hadn’t tried yet. The leaves are thin and twisty, and mostly dark with some golden strands. I must say, the name doesn’t seem accurate at all – this smells nothing like any kind of flower. Dry, I smell smoked meat and beef jerky. I’m not sure it could be further away from orchid, lol! I brewed a generous teaspoon for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is also quite smoky and savory. Sipping this tea, I am absolutely reminded of smoked beef jerky. Obviously the salt element isn’t there, but there is an obvious smoked note here and a savory quality that makes me think of smoked meats. There is also some malt and a touch of richness reminiscent of molasses. Overall, this is quite delicious, but the name is definitely misleading! And there’s no way I’m mistaken about which tea this is since it’s one that comes in a colored presealed packet… Odd!

Flavors: Malt, Meat, Molasses, Smoked

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML


Cameron B.

Total yummers! :)

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I only have two Fauchon teas from Dinosara left to try, and this one smelled much less floral than the other choice, so I decided to have it. There are many flower petals mixed in with the small black tea leaves, which is somewhat discouraging, but luckily it smells more like some kind of citrus candy. I’m finding that all of these Fauchon teas have that odd candylike smell that I can’t quite put my finger on, maybe powdered sugar or something? I guess it must be a side effect of their flavorings.

Brewed, the tea still has that same candy smell, and it’s mildly citrus. I can definitely taste orange, although it seems a bit peppier than a normal orange. After reading the description for it, I can say it’s probably the blood orange that adds that extra intensity. The apricot is there too, but it’s quite mild and is overshadowed a bit by the citrus. Overall, still a nice enough orange black tea with (hooray) no floral! :)

Flavors: Apricot, Blood Orange, Candy, Orange

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

OOooh this sounds fun!


I equate floral with French teas.

Cameron B.

Marz, Fauchon certainly tends to lean that way in most of their teas. :(

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drank Le Printemps à Paris by Fauchon
3087 tasting notes

Another sample from Dinosara. The dry leaf looks like sencha – long, flat-steamed leaves. The dry scent is raspberry candy with a hint of citrus yumminess. I did a 3 minute steep at 175 degrees.

The brewed tea itself smells quite vegetal but sweet from the vanilla. Yum, I really like this one. The main flavor I get is a lovely combination of the grapefruit and raspberry, fresh and fruity with a little bit of tartness. The vanilla comes in more toward the end of the sip, and that’s when I can taste the lovely vegetal green tea base the most. I can see this being delightful with a bit of sugar, but I’m trying not to add sugar to any of my teas lately. It would also make a lovely iced tea, I’m sure! :)

Flavors: Floral, Grapefruit, Raspberry, Vanilla, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I have never had a Fauchon green! Jelly!!!

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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… ;)

- December Sipdowns: 0
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 403

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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