2725 Tasting Notes

60

Sipdown! (20 | 341)

Another cold brew from the subscription. I didn’t realize this had butterfly pea flower, so the color was a fun surprise when I started pouring the water into the pitcher. It came out a dark red-violet color in the end.

Unfortunately, this one is pretty generic and boring. It’s sort of just tart and vaguely fruity, with a noticeable mustiness from all of the pea flower. There’s maybe a bit of peach, but I certainly wouldn’t guess blueberry.

Meh!

Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Musty, Peach, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 20 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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70

Sipdown! (19 | 340)

I cold brewed this one, and the Blueberry Peach fruit tisane that also came in the May subscription box. After all, the theme was cold brew, plus fruit tisanes are sort of weird hot IMO. The dry leaf, oddly, smelled like banana candy?

This is very interesting. It actually sort of reminds me of their old Elderflower Prosecco, even though there’s no elderflower in it. I wonder if it’s the lime leaves that are giving me that impression? I do get pear, and it’s definitely crisp fresh pear.

There’s something about it, though, that reminds me of artificial sweetener or something. And it sort of ruins it for me. Otherwise, this is a very refreshing and crisp pear tisane!

Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Champagne, Elderflower, Floral, Pear, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 20 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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80

Sipdown! (18 | 339)

Someday I’ll finish off all of these Vahdam advent leftovers, heh heh… Let’s hope it’s before this advent season! XD

Anyway, I actually quite like this one. It’s a light and fragrant black tea, and the dry leaf has a deliciously honeyed aroma. The rose isn’t overpowering (luckily for me) and melds well with the citrusy cardamom. I also get a strong saffron flavor here, which I assume is also the source of what I’m detecting as honey. I suppose it could also be from the nuts, but that seems less likely to me.

Anyway, I find the combination very enchanting. This might be the only one from Vahdam so far that I would consider ordering, just because it’s quite unique. It would make for a lovely afternoon tea break with some small cakes…

Flavors: Cardamom, Citrus, Earth, Floral, Honey, Rose, Saffron, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

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

Ha yep, I’ve been working on two of my advent calendars the past couple of weeks, also with the goal of finishing before next advent season!

Cameron B.

Luckily almost all of mine were single serving, so it’s just Vahdam that’s left over heh.

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82

This is my daily morning tea lately, as I’m working through sipping down these Capital Tea packets. I don’t have a ton of experience with Assam as I tend more toward Chinese and Taiwanese teas.

This is mostly what I would expect though – very malty with tobacco and raisin notes. There’s a lot of depth and richness to the raisin, which is lovely, along with some hints of dark brown sugar. Astringency is present but fairly light.

I will say I can tell even when drinking this that I shouldn’t have it on an empty stomach ha ha, as it’s quite acidic and strong. I’m not really a tea with milk person, but I’ll have to try it with this one as it can definitely take it!

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Malt, Metallic, Molasses, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic, Tobacco

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

Sounds wonderful! I’ll have to look into this one!

Cameron B.

I tried a smattering of Assam and Ceylon teas from Capital Tea Ltd. a few years ago, and I remember being pretty pleased with all of them, especially given their prices.

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75

Sipdown! (17 | 338)

Finishing this off as a cold brew.

If anything, I’m finding even less of the creamy custard flavor than in the hot cuppa. It’s mostly a pleasantly tart strawberry Jello sort of note.

Nothing special to my tastebuds, but still enjoyable!

Flavors: Candy, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dustin

What an intriguing name though!

Cameron B.

Crazy Brits and their desserts, ha ha…

tea-sipper

But you didn’t get a chance to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream…. :D

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80

Sipdown! (16 | 337)

Didn’t expect this one to be a sipdown, but I unfortunately tasted a little bit of rancid coconut in this cuppa.

I was considering getting a 100g tin of this one, but this packet was about six months old and the coconut was already going off. There’s no way I’d make it through a tin in that time… :\

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

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85

Sipdown! (15 | 336)

Finishing off my packet of this from 2020 – I still have the packet left that they sent for this last New Year’s. I did two steeps and combined them in one of my usual teapots, then added a few plums and konbu knots.

I think I underestimated the effect of the plums, because wow! This has quite a noticeable umeboshi-like savory fruity flavor to it. There’s also a touch of bitterness, probably because it sat for a while before I got around to drinking it. Those dastardly particles in the bottom always do that, the jerks…

But it’s still yummy! The base is Sencha of the Wind, which is a kabuse sencha, so it has a nicely concentrated and rich umami flavor and notes of steamed spinach. I’m also getting a piney note that’s very pleasant. And then there’s the salty-tart ume and marine konbu. It’s really almost like drinking a broth!

I actually have a powdered ume and konbu “tea” that I picked up at this lovely umeboshi shop in Kyoto, and this is reminding me of a less salty version of that!

Flavors: Broth, Evergreen, Fruity, Marine, Pine, Plum, Salt, Savory, Seaweed, Spinach, Tart, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Mastress Alita

I used to get those powdered Ume Konbucha teas to use as broth for ramen noodles (I an MSG-intolerant due to migraines and can’t use the “flavor packets” that come with ramen). There was an MSG-free one on Yunomi some time ago… but it’s been gone now for ages, leaving a deep hole in my heart. I’ve tried desperately to find another Ume Konbu for my ramen broth, but all the ones I’ve found thus far have MSG in them. (wails)

Cameron B.

That sounds amazing! I’ll have to try it as a noodle broth… I wonder if you could approximate it with an MSG-free konbu dashi powder and ume paste or something?

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75

From the May (?) subscription box.

I’m having this hot now, but put the rest of the packet in the fridge to cold brew, so will leave a sipdown note for that later.

It’s not bad hot. Mostly it tastes like a slightly tart strawberry candy rooibos. There’s just a little bit of creamy custard here as well, though I wish there were more. I think the rooibos base is a good call, as it does meld well with the flavors. I’ll be interested to see if the creaminess fares better in the cold brew, as that’s what B&B intended for me to do with this tisane. To be continued!

Flavors: Candy, Cream, Custard, Hibiscus, Medicinal, Rooibos, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart, Wood

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

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85
drank Troika by Kusmi Tea
2725 tasting notes

Sipdown! (14 | 335)

Okay, only sort of a sipdown. This one has lost almost all of its flavor at this point, so the rest of it is getting dumped. I blame Kusmi for not offering any size other than enormous in loose leaf!

I still get a hint of citrus, and to me it tastes more like the mandarin than the bergamot. But mostly it’s just a plain bland black tea at this point, and I’m not going to force myself to drink the rest of it. Life is too short for old, flavorless tea!

I don’t even see this one on the website anymore since they started transitioning over to organic and re-releasing a lot of the Løv Organic teas. Pity…

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Mandarin, Orange

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

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82
drank Sweet Autumn by Lupicia
2725 tasting notes

Sipdown! (13 | 334)

One of my oldest teas! This was from October of 2017. Mine was actually in a tin with the Japanese name – “Imo Kuri Kabo Cha”. I find it funny that the name is a play on words, instead of the normal spelling of kabocha (かぼちゃ) they replaced the last two hiragana characters with the kanji for tea (which is also “cha”) so it’s still pronounced the same but it’s spelled かぼ茶. So it’s sort of a pun because it does have kabocha in it but it’s also a tea. Anyway, I was amused! And also somewhat proud that I was able to read and understand it, heh heh…

This tisane makes me a bit nostalgic because I remember it being somewhat popular years ago. Sweet potato is such an unusual flavoring for a tea, and the combination of it with chestnut, kabocha, and rooibos is so supremely autumnal. It’s almost like a thick pumpkin soup, so comforting…

I also had this as a milk tea the other day, and let me tell you, it was fantastic. I’ve never made a rooibos that way before, but the creaminess with the flavors was just so tasty. I’m sure it would be completely wonderful as a hot latte in the fall as well. I’ll have to consider ordering some if it shows up on the US website this autumn.

Flavors: Chestnut, Kabocha, Nuts, Pumpkin, Roasted Nuts, Rooibos, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

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

Japanese loves those kind of puns. I think my bag was from 2018 before Cali Lupicia shut down, and it is also written in Japanese. The bag of Ramune I just finished also had a Japanese label (I’ve never seen them carry that one again, and I actually liked it quite a bit after I got my Co2 carbonating machine).

Cameron B.

I remember having Ramune at some point, maybe as a part of some sort of iced tea collection?

Tiffany :)

This one sounds like a nice fall treat, I’ll consider looking out for it for the sweet potato factor even though it’s a rooibos base. :)

Cameron B.

If you don’t like rooibos, I would steer clear. I find it very rooibos-y.

Dustin

They used to have a sweet potato pie black tea and that one was interesting. I recall it having an almost malty flavor. I haven’t seen it in years, but I never get to go into a Lupicia store now that they are only in Hawaii in the states.

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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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