3318 Tasting Notes

80

Okay, so I’ve had this one (and Biscuit Brew, and Bedtime Brew) for a while now, but had never tried any of them. And that kind of tends to happen with newer and/or larger teas in my cupboard, because I’m constantly sipping down which tends to draw my focus more to older and smaller sized teas. But for some reason I decided to try this one today!

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much since it’s a classic-style teabag full of fannings from an inexpensive grocery store company. I don’t tend to like breakfast blend sort of teas as loose leaf, let alone as a teabag.

But this one blew my mind a little bit. The smell of it steeping was scrumptious, and the taste is exactly the same. It completely does taste like toast with raspberry jam. There’s a golden toasted bread note to it, along with sweet jammy raspberry. And then there’s this buttery quality that really makes this tea, IMO. So it’s definitely toast with butter and jam, or perhaps even a thumbprint cookie with raspberry jam.

Now the black tea does have a touch of astringency to it, but overall it’s really a delicious tea. I don’t generally add milk to tea, but I might have to try a drizzle of oat milk in this one to smooth out those tannins. Regardless, super impressed with it. I can’t wait to try the Biscuit Brew too!

Flavors: Astringent, Bread, Butter, Cookie, Jam, Raspberry, Sweet, Toast

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

I had standard Yorkshire Gold this morning, which is one of my favorite teabag breakfast teas. I’ve never seen this and it sounds amazing!

Cameron B.

I’m not sure how commonly available it is, I ordered it from a British import store website. Looks like Amazon has it but it’s pricey. Let me know if you’d like a sample!

gmathis

Did the online store happen to be brits.com? I have friends who have told me that if I ever visited their storefront, I would never leave. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no other reason to travel to that corner of Kansas.

Cameron B.

Looks like it wasn’t a British import store, but a website based in the UK that ships worldwide: britishcornershop.com!

gmathis

(Just peeked at it. How fun!)

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drank Berry Malt Black by white2tea
3318 tasting notes

Sipdown! (6 | 353)

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge (November) – “A tea from a small business”

Another tea from my white2tea order in early 2019.

Honestly, it’s good but nothing about it stands out to me. I definitely get the strong malty notes, it’s quite bready with an undercurrent of damp wood. Very smooth and full in the mouth, with some dark raw cacao and burnt sugar notes on the bottom end. But I’m missing the berry completely? There’s not really any fruitiness going on in general, at least to my palate.

Probably just a symptom of its age. It was still nice and comforting to drink as my first tea of the morning this past week or so! Very thick and full flavor that’s super satisfying.

Flavors: Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Earthy, Malt, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wet Wood, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (5 | 352)

So this one was a gift from an Instagram friend in a swap many moons ago. Thank you, tea friend!

I thought I would really love it based on the name and the description, seems similar to Lady Grey but it has grapefruit. I love grapefruit! However, for some reason the rose is quite strong to me, which is so weird because it doesn’t even mention rose flavor. There are rose petals mixed in for aesthetics, but that shouldn’t really affect the flavor much.

We all know that I don’t like rose. Happily it’s not terribly strong, though it does sort of become the main flavor of this tea. So not something I would ever buy for myself…

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit, Lemon, Rose, Sweet

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

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70
drank Lanikai by Lupicia
3318 tasting notes

Sipdown! (4 | 351)

Not a ton to say about this one really. It has a strong, malty, and somewhat brisk black tea base that I find a bit too much for a flavored tea. The flavoring comes off as peaches & cream to my palate, with a hint of mango. I don’t really taste orange?

It would probably be nice with milk, but without it it just seems very imbalanced to me. Not one I would order for sure.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cjtb3eeud55/

Flavors: Brisk, Creamy, Malt, Mango, Peach, Sweet, Tannic, Woody

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

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85

Sipdown! (3 | 350)

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge (November) – “A Japanese tea”

What a perfect sipdown challenge for me, heh heh… Finishing off the last packet of this from the Spring 2021 batch. Clearly I still have some catching up to do when it comes to my Obubu subscription… ^^’

175°F is a bit higher than I normally go for a sencha, but I’ve been using my Cuisinart kettle lately, and it doesn’t have any settings between 160 and 175, so 175 it is! I did shorten the steep a bit to account for the higher temperature though.

This is a lovely, savory tea with oodles of vegetal flavor. Not the umami kind of savory per se, more like a pan of freshly roasted brussels sprouts and broccoli. It’s comforting and feels restorative to sip on, like you’re drinking a healthy vegetable broth. There’s a fairly strong seaweed note as well, more of a roasted nori than a fresh wakame though. Little baby hint of pine at the end too? Along with some light grassiness that leaves a refreshing taste and slight dryness on the tongue.

So overall very fall or winter appropriate, with its cozy roasted vegetable and pine notes! A nice sencha to sip on while curling up with a book or knitting project by the fireplace.

Flavors: Astringent, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broth, Brussels Sprouts, Evergreen, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Hay, Kale, Nori, Pine, Roasted, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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80
drank Arabesque by August Uncommon Tea
3318 tasting notes

Sipdown! (2 | 349)

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge (November) – “A tea the flavor of a favorite cake”

Okay, so it’s not really a normal cake flavor, but I looooove orange cake! Little Debbie used to make orange-flavored zebra cakes, and I miss them so much. The sweet orange just goes so well with vanilla frosting for those yummy creamsicle vibes.

Anyway, this is a nice enough lovely orange-vanilla tea. The orange is sweet, like those jelly orange slices. A little more zestiness or tartness would be nice, actually. The vanilla is decadent and creamy, while simultaneously reminding me of a marshmallow. I definitely get the aromatic woodiness that I guess is from the jatoba, and it does remind me somewhat of sandalwood (as the description promises).

I think my only issue with this tea is the base is a Chinese sencha, and it just tastes like slightly grassy nothing. It’s not offensive per se, it just makes the flavoring overall taste too strong because it lacks the flavor to support it. So I probably won’t reorder it, but enjoyed my pouch! Also, I could see this making a lovely perfume…

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Floral, Grass, Marshmallow, Orange, Perfume, Sandalwood, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Woody

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

I agree re: the sencha! I was just drinking this one the other day and wishing the base were a little stronger.

tea-sipper

I am a real bad sucker for Little Debbie snacks. Never tried the orange zebras though!

Cameron B.

I wish they were still around! I think Hostess made an orange cupcake at one point, but it wasn’t nearly as good. :(

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Sipdown! (1 | 348)

Oops, never wrote a real note for this one. Sorry, Ippodo!

It’s enjoyable as a latte, but quite different from the Naoki matcha I sipped down previously. The grind seems coarser, it was noticeably harder to sift and I saw some particles sticking to the sides of the jar after shaking it with water. The flavor is also a bit less concentrated, it seems like a lighter matcha overall. It’s fresher and more grassy, versus nutty and rich like some of the others.

Still very enjoyable, just different, and doesn’t hold up quite as well to my extra creamy oat milk. I think I only have one plain matcha left, so I’m starting to look at options for restocking for lattes. Leaning toward the 100g bag of Naoki Superior Ceremonial for just under $40 at the moment. Has anyone tried the “lower” grades from Ippodo, like Hatsu or Wakaki, for lattes? I think those are the only ones from Ippodo that would be cheaper.

Flavors: Astringent, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Smooth, Thin

Preparation
Iced 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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65

Sipdown! (73 | 347)

Hmm, I don’t get this one.

The addition of the black tea is a bit weird to me, it doesn’t really contribute much flavor. Mostly I’m tasting the rooibos, along with the coffee flavor. Cacao… maybe a little? Definitely no orange. So it ends up tasting like a less yummy version of Fairytale of NY, because it lacks the sweetness and creaminess that one has.

Not terrible, but not something I would reorder. Hoping to restock on Fairytale of NY soon though, which is apparently now named Irish Cream.

Flavors: Bitter, Coffee, Roasted, Rooibos, Woody

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78
drank Hoku by Lupicia
3318 tasting notes

Sipdown! (72 | 346)

The lone non-black tea in the Lupicia Hawai’i sampler. Which is weird to me, how are there no green teas at least? Not to mention they make a Hawai’i rooibos blend, but it’s not in the sampler. Odd.

Anyway, this is nice enough. I get piña colada vibes from it, heavier on the pineapple than the coconut. Actually, the description here doesn’t mention anything about coconut, but I mentioned it in my Instagram post. I assume I got that from the description card included with the sampler, but I don’t have it anymore so I can’t confirm. So this may or may not have coconut flavoring?

Either way, it’s a smooth and mellow tropical oolong. The base is a green oolong and it adds a nice mouthfeel, sparkling minerality, and a nice touch of floral to the mix. Overall, enjoyable, and I’m happy to have a full-size tin remaining to sip through.

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

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Floral, Fruity, Mango, Mineral, Pineapple, Sweet, Tropical

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

The tea cup and tea are such a perfect match!

Cameron B.

Aww thank you! I admit I had a bit too much fun coordinating the teaware for these posts ha ha… ^^’

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68
drank Strawberry White by Shanti Tea
3318 tasting notes

Sipdown! (71 | 345)

This one was just okay.

I don’t really get a lot of strawberry, mostly I taste a haylike and very musty white tea accented by some hibiscus and rosehip. I think the hibiscus, even though it’s fairly subtle, is just overpowering whatever strawberry flavoring was used.

It’s inoffensive but not something I want to drink more of. I have another unopened pouch that was sent by mistake, so I guess I’ll set it aside in my rehoming box.

Flavors: Hay, Hibiscus, Musty, Rosehips, Straw, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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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… ;)

~ 2023 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- February Sipdowns: 5
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 41

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
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre

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:
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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