3059 Tasting Notes

88
drank Yuzu by Lupicia
3059 tasting notes

Sipdown! (39 | 39)

Another oldest tea finished off! This was from August of 2018.

I really like this one, thought perhaps not quite as much as its sister tea, Kumquat. Both are winter exclusive teas from Lupicia. It has a high quality sencha base that’s well-balanced, a nice mix of rich, buttery, vegetal, and umami flavors. There’s actually a hint of mineral smokiness in this last cup, which is unusual.

Yuzu is actually sort of a hit-or-miss flavor for me. I don’t tend to love it in sweet applications, just because it has that sort of piney note that, to me, makes it skew a bit savory, and I find it a bit weird with sweets. But it’s very popular in Japanese confections, so clearly mine is an unpopular opinion. I do love it in savory things though, my favorite ramen that I tried in Japan was actually a yuzu shio variety and it was delicious. And since this is a sencha base, with some nice savory qualities, I really like the yuzu paired with it as well. It adds a nice bright citrusy pop, along with hints of evergreen.

Happily I bought a new tin of this a couple of months ago, so I’m good to go! :)

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Evergreen, Grapefruit, Mineral, Pine, Seaweed, Smoke, Smooth, Umami, Vegetal, Yuzu

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

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Sipdown! (38 | 38)

So this is a swap sample labeled “Taiwanese Roasted Green Oolong” from the company “Taiwanese Tea Store”. I puttered around a bit on Google but didn’t find any promising leads, so decided to put it here rather than creating a new tea entry that would never be used again.

It’s a tasty lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. The roast complements the other flavor notes instead of completely overpowering them, which I feel happens often with more heavily roasted oolong. Here I can still taste the sweet and creamy oolong, with its nectarous floral notes and a touch of ripe peach. But then the roastiness adds a nice comforting grainy note, along with hints of sweet honeyed dried fruits and cozy autumn leaves.

Very yummy overall, and perfect for a somewhat chilly day. :3

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Roasted, Silky, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78
drank Assam Superb by Fortnum & Mason
3059 tasting notes

Sipdown! (37 | 37)

Another one I’ve been enjoying with milk and sugar lately. Apparently I’m on a tea with additions kick?

Anyway, having this last cuppa plain. I’m rather partial to Assam over Ceylon generally, and that’s the case here as well. This has a nice rich yet smooth malty flavor, pops of tart dried fruit and bottom notes of caramelized dark brown sugar. There is a touch of astringency at the tail end, despite my somewhat short steep. But it’s not enough to be distracting.

A pleasant Assam but not necessarily something I would specifically order. Enjoyed it while I had it though. :) I’m only at 5/24 for Fortnum sipdowns, heh…

Flavors: Astringent, Brown Sugar, Caramelized Sugar, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Malt, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic, Tart

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

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78

Sipdown! (36 | 36)

More chrysanthemum! This one had two big, beautiful blossoms with long spidery petals inside. The shape reminds me of some kind of anemone, so pretty.

I was surprised by how savory this one tastes compared to other chrysanthemum tisanes I’ve had from Teavivre. The predominant flavor for me is eucalyptus, with a nice aromatic herbal coolness to it. I get rosemary as well, which is something I don’t remember finding in other versions. There’s also that familiar mellow musty hay with a bit of honeyed sweetness, and a touch of pepper. I usually find chrysanthemum a bit sweet overall, while this one veers more into savory territory with its strong herbal notes.

It does taste a bit medicinal overall, but not necessarily in a bad way. I feel like my sinuses are being cleared as I sip it. Different from other chrysanthemum tisanes I’ve tried, but still yummy. I could imagine it being wonderful for when I’m feeling under the weather as well.

Flavors: Broth, Earthy, Eucalyptus, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Medicinal, Menthol, Musty, Pepper, Pine, Rosemary, Savory, Smooth, Straw

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 OZ / 414 ML
gmathis

My general POV concerning herbal tisanes has always been “regardless of brand, chamomile will always taste like chamomile, peppermint will always taste like peppermint, and chrysanthemums will always taste like lawn clippings.” I’m glad to hear otherwise!

Cameron B.

Ha ha lawn clippings! That’s funny because it doesn’t taste grassy to me at all. :O

gmathis

Of course, what I’ve tried has been leftover tea box samples or less-than-brand-name gift box varieties ;) Yours sounds like quality stuff! A rosemary element sounds really nice!

Cameron B.

If I’m honest, I don’t love rosemary generally… But it was nice enough here. :)

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90

Sipdown! (35 | 35)

Yum, such a tasty genmaicha.

I love genmaicha in general, but there’s definitely a range of quality. A lot of them have too much or too little rice, or the base is just not good. This one has a standard bancha base, yet it’s so tasty with mellow notes of sun-dried grass, hay, and toasted nori. Super smooth and satisfyingly brothy. And of course, the rice adds a rich, toasty, nutty flavor that makes it supremely cozy.

Yum yum yum. Happily I have another full-sized pouch of this to sip through! :D

Flavors: Broth, Butter, Dry Grass, Grain, Hay, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Toasted Rice

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

This post makes me smile. Thank you.

Cameron B.

Ha ha I don’t know why, but you’re welcome? XD

Evol Ving Ness

I love good genmaichas. Here, there’s a balance of all the things and I especially like the toastiness and coziness of the rice.

Cameron B.

Genmaicha is the epitome of cozy tea to me! Also hojicha. ❤

tea-sipper

Agreed – genmaicha is the coziest tea. :D

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68

Sipdown! (34 | 34)

So for some reason, I’ve been drinking a lot of breakfast black teas with milk and sugar lately, which is extremely unlike me. I think it started because I was craving some comfort with the onset of cooler weather recently, and then I just kept doing it. So that was the case for most of this mini tin, as Ceylon isn’t my favorite and lends itself well to additions.

Having this last cuppa plain though, and it’s fairly tasty this way. Getting a lot more sticky dried fruit notes than I remember, particularly golden raisin. Also tastes a bit like generic iced tea. Fairly smooth, though I did keep the steep a bit short because of the dusty bits at the bottom of the tin.

4 down, 20 to go! x.x

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Hay, Metallic, Raisins, Smooth, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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95
drank Ripe Mango Oolong by Lupicia
3059 tasting notes

Sipdown! (33 | 33)

Another one that I noticed was low after packing up a tea package!

Still one of my favorites from Lupicia, I actually like it better than both Melon and Momo oolongs even though those tend to be more popular (IMO). Such a lovely sweet, luscious mango flavor on a silky smooth green oolong base. The light floral notes from the base really melds perfectly with the mango, making it a touch more aromatic.

So yummy! Happily, I have another unopened package somewhere, and also this is a permanent tea so I can restock it whenever I please. :3

Flavors: Floral, Mango, Mineral, Nectar, Peach, Silky, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kittenna

Ohhh, craving this now! I don’t know that I’ve had a better mango tea. It’s my fave of the three you mentioned, although I believe I adore all of them.

Cameron B.

Their Alphonso Mango black tea is also wonderful. ❤

Kittenna

Haven’t ever tried that one, but I believe you!

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90

Sipdown! (26 | 26)

I sent out a packet of this with a recent sample package for a new Instagram tea friend. And since that left me with only a single 5g sample left, I figured I’d finish it off! But never fear, I still have a couple of unopened 25g packages of this one… ;)

I love sakura… It has such an unusual but delicious flavor – light and floral, sweet and fruity, yet herbaceous and savory as well. Unlike anything else, really. This one doesn’t actually have any salt added to the sakura, but it still has that slight salinity to it. The sencha base is scrumptious as well, über smooth with a wonderful blend of vegetal sweetness, refreshing grassiness, and complex umami notes.

Such a well-balanced tea, and one I’ll have to stock up on each year while it’s available! I also have a sakura and mint tisane from Obubu that I’m excited to try. :D

Flavors: Broth, Cherry, Cut Grass, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Herbaceous, Mineral, Round, Sakura, Salt, Savory, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal, Viscous

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Mastress Alita

Ooo, sakura and mint sounds interesting!

CrowKettle

Love this tea farm already; this one sounds neat.

Lexie Aleah

I’ve been eyeing the Obubu subscription since reading your tasting notes. It looks really nice.

Cameron B.

I love Obubu and am happy to support them, but the subscription is definitely not cost effective. It’s around $27 per month and you get four shipments per year, so it’s over $80 per shipment. Each one is usually 25g of 6 different teas, so 150g total.

Lexie Aleah

Yikes, I didn’t realize that.

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80

So a couple of weeks ago, I somehow found myself on the Andrews & Dunham website. I don’t recall how, maybe I saw something on Steepster that made me curious to see what teas they had in stock. Regardless, I found this tea in stock and promptly ordered a tin. I have four of their other teas and they’re always enjoyable, if slightly neglected in my cupboard. I then promptly forgot about the purchase.

So fast forward to two days ago, this tea showed up at my doorstep and ooh, what a lovely surprise gift from my (slightly) past self! XD

I admit, I was slightly nervous when I smelled the dry leaf, as the smoke dominates the aroma. I don’t dislike smoked teas, in fact I often quite enjoy them, but it’s not something I drink often, and sometimes I do find them a bit too smoky. But I needn’t have worried, this is very well-balanced. The smokiness is obvious, but it’s not the only thing I taste, and it has a lovely savory meaty flavor as opposed to a charred or ashy one. Underneath is a lovely sweetness, an earthy woodiness, and also a satisfyingly chewy bread note. Perhaps a touch of dark dried fruit as well?

Very yummy, and I certainly don’t regret ordering it on a whim. I haven’t been disappointed by A&D yet! :)

Flavors: Bread, Charcoal, Dried Fruit, Earthy, Malt, Meat, Savory, Smoke, Smoked, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Sipdown! (25 | 25)

Warm, cozy chrysanthemum tisane. The little sample packets were stuffed to the brim with small white blossoms.

The main flavor note for me is somewhere between chamomile and musty hay. It has a very soothing gentle and sweet herbaceous flavor. There’s a touch of sweetness that reminds me of licorice root as well. And of course, that signature pepperiness that I always find in chrysanthemum. Perhaps a touch of cooling, menthol-like flavor at the end of the sip?

It sounds like an odd combination, but it comes together in a somewhat complex yet easy-drinking tisane. There’s a brothiness to it that just feels so restorative to me, perfect for winding down at the end of the night.

Flavors: Anise, Broth, Chamomile, Grain, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Licorice Root, Menthol, Musty, Pepper, Savory, Straw, Sweet, Thick, Viscous

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 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… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- 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
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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