2778 Tasting Notes

drank Tangerine Twister by 52teas
2778 tasting notes

Sipdown! (37 | 82)

I was excited for this one, as I love tangerines and citrus in tea, especially green tea.

But to be honest, I had a hard time finding much fruitiness at all in this tea? Mostly I taste the grassy sencha base, with a tiny hint of tartness and banana. I definitely can’t tell that it’s strawberry and tangerine, other than the dried fruit in the leaf.

Oh well, an easy sipdown at least! :)

Flavors: Astringent, Banana, Dry Grass, Grass

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

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68

Sipdown! (35 | 80)

Yay, another advent tin finished! But I still have 14 left… ^^’

I think this was my least favorite of the fruit-flavored teas, which is why I’m sipping it down early. Don’t get be wrong, I love apple and apple-flavored things. But this doesn’t taste like apple, which is very odd. There’s maybe a teeny tiny hint of apple skin if I really search for it, but the other fruit flavors were much more upfront. The base is fine, smooth and woody, but nothing special. So it mostly feels like I’m drinking a rather meh unflavored black tea.

But now it’s done, yay! On to the next mini tin!

Flavors: Apple Skins, Earthy, Hay, Musty, Smooth, Woody

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

I liked this tea well enough, but I got no apple from it.

Cameron B.

Yup, it’s the no-apple apple tea.

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70

Sipdown! (34 | 79)

Hibiscus-y fruit tisanes (and really, fruit tisanes in general) aren’t really my jam, and this is just the holiday version of that, with cinnamon and clove. It’s not bad though, as tart tisanes go. Lots of hibiscus and tart apple, I’m not sure I get any plum… There’s a nice level of spice, and actually I get a little numbing sensation on my tongue from the cloves, and maybe the ginger too. It’s fine, not something I would ever order though.

Sort of working on getting through the rest of my 2021 advent teas from Fortnum, not doing great at it these past few days though. To be fair, I have a lot of different sipdown goals/initiatives going right now so something is bound to get missed. I’ll definitely try to do better at advent leftovers though, since I’m just shy of halfway done with them and I really want to finish them off before this advent season!

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Clove, Hibiscus, Sour, Sweet, Tart

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

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85

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge – “A tea from a US company”

One of three teas I impulse bought from Asheville Tea Co. a couple of years ago, and the only one left in my cupboard. For some reason I thought this was a tisane, but it’s actually a white tea. Good thing I’m not sensitive to caffeine, heh.

This tea is right up my alley. I always love evergreen flavors in tea, and this adds mint and wintergreen to the mix as well. The resulting flavor is soft and refreshing, and really transports me to a winter forest. I mostly taste mint, wintergreen, and the white tea up front, and then the fir sidles its way in at the end of the sip for a lingering fresh aftertaste.

I will say I wish everything were a bit stronger, and I’m not sure how much the white tea is adding here. I feel like this could have easily been an herbal tisane, and focused on all those minty fresh ingredients. But it’s still a lovely, evocative tea as-is, and I’ll have to think about whether I want to reorder it this winter. These Asheville Tea Co. teas tend to be pricey, but this is also a very lightweight tea, which means more volume for the same weight…

Flavors: Earthy, Evergreen, Fir, Hay, Mint, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet, Wintergreen

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Kelmishka

This sounds really nice!

Cameron B.

Lovely, if perhaps a bit too light. :)

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58

Sipdown! (33 | 78)

Not really a fan of this one.

It’s mostly just a slightly coconutty lapsang. And I don’t really tend to buy or drink lapsang much anyway, but if I did I would want something higher quality and more flavorful. This is sort of the bland version of lapsang, and the coconut is making it oily without adding that much flavor.

So sort of just bland all around, I suppose.

Flavors: Coconut, Oily, Smoke

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

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drank Chocolate Pineapple by 52teas
2778 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge – “A pineapple tea”

So I placed an order from 52teas the other day. I don’t remember what led me to look at the website, I think maybe I wanted to try Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha again, even though I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed by it given the hype. But I’ve had the same reaction to similar marshmallow treat-type blends from other tea companies, so there you are. Anyway! I ended up ordering something like 16 samplers because everything sounded amazing… Sipdown, what’s that? XD

This was one of five teas that I got in a mystery grab bag. I love pineapple, so I thought it sounded super interesting, plus there’s a pineapple prompt in Mastress Alita’s July sipdown challenge! Perfect! The pineapple aroma when I opened the pouch was absolutely intoxicating.

The taste is very interesting. I’m not sure if it’s the base tea or the combination of flavors, but something here is really reminding me of rye bread. Needless to say, it’s a bit odd when combined with the pineapple and chocolate. And neither of my fellow reviewers mentioned anything close to rye, so I feel like I might just be crazy ha ha… Sometimes Fujian black teas have a bit of a caraway vibe, but I don’t see any in the base here.

I do taste both pineapple, which is very juicy and sweet, perhaps a tiny bit leaning toward the Haribo side of things, and a fairly creamy-tasting chocolate. Is it the combination of the two that’s giving me this decidedly grainy note? No idea! Regardless, a very interesting tea. I’m honestly a bit flummoxed at how to rate this one…

Flavors: Bread, Candy, Caraway, Chocolate, Creamy, Pineapple, Rye, Savory, Sweet, Wheat

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

I love the mystery grab bags! I never order them anymore now that I have the subscription, but they were always so exciting!

Cameron B.

Yes, such a good deal! And all the teas I got sound yummy, AND there was only one duplicate even though I also ordered about a dozen sampler pouches. Thanks Anne! :D

52Teas

The grab bags were pre-designated, so when you had ordered one that was already in the grab bag, I couldn’t really change it since I had already made all the adjustments to inventory – and to change it would have meant readjustments. I’ve found that whenever I go in and readjust inventory like that is when errors occur in my inventory. But hopefully, you’ll enjoy the one that was duped by your order (it’s really, really good iced) so it won’t matter much that you received the duplicate. :)

Cameron B.

No worries Anne, I was impressed that there was only one duplicate since I ordered so many teas ha ha. And the Ginger Cola is super yummy! :D

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78

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge – “A blueberry tea”

For some reason, I’ve had Simpson & Vail on my mind for the past couple of days. I think I may have watched a tea vlog that mentioned them, and maybe that’s why? I’ve been really wanting some of their National Parks teas that I loved, sadly I don’t have any left. Definitely high priority for a future order, but first I need to drink more tea!

So I pulled this one out for the blueberry prompt, even though it feels odd to drink a green rooibos tisane in the middle of the day (though actually, now that I’m getting around to drinking it, it’s 5 PM so not terribly early). I remember enjoying this blend, but it’s been a while.

Hmm, I do like it, though it is quite subtle (could be the age though). The cinnamon and pastry element is the strongest for me, which is curious because it steeped up a pretty dark coral shade. Looks like it has beetroot in it, so I guess that explains that. The blueberry is there, but I wish there was more of it. It is a pleasant sweet and jammy blueberry, like I would expect to find in a dessert. But there’s blackberry leaf here as well, and overall this tisane is a bit too sweet. There’s nothing to balance that sweetness that’s coming from the cinnamon, beetroot, blackberry leaf, and the blueberry flavor.

So it feels weird to say it, but I almost feel like a touch of hibiscus would improve this one? Those words feel like blasphemy, ha ha… But I really do think it needs just a touch of tartness to add some depth and keep it from being a bit cloying. Still very drinkable, but not a reorder for me. Although I’m getting ahead of myself, I still need to finish the rest of the pouch… :P

Flavors: Blueberry, Cake, Cinnamon, Jam, Pastries, Sugar, Sweet

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

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85

Sipdown! (32 | 77)

I was organizing my Obubu subscription packets by date, as I’ve created a section on my tea nook counter specifically for sipping down Obubu teas, and found that I only had one 5g packet of this tea left for the 2020 harvest. Hooray, easy sipdown! :3

For some reason I never remember this sencha, not sure why that is. It has a lovely light and sweetly creamy vegetal flavor, and also a soft dry grass note that makes me think of tall grass swaying gently in the breeze under the summer sun. A bit specific isn’t it, lol… Creamy edamame fades into a light nuttiness, like a less buttery cashew perhaps. Also getting a fair bit of sakura, especially in the aroma, though the essence also seems to float up from my mouth to my nasal cavity while I’m drinking the tea. There’s a refreshing astringency at the tail end of the sip. Obubu’s description mentions orange and cinnamon, huh? Clearly I’m missing something. :P

A lovely lighter sencha, perfect for a lazy afternoon tea break. Happily, I still have one more batch of this (more, always more :P), from the 2021 harvest. Oddly, Obubu seems to send this tea out at the end of the year, even though it’s a spring harvest. I wonder why that is…

Flavors: Astringent, Cashew, Dry Grass, Floral, Nuts, Peas, Sakura, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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48
drank Mahina by Lupicia
2778 tasting notes

Sipdown! (31 | 76)

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge – “A tea you’ve forgotten about”

I figured for this prompt, I would choose a tea that I’ve had for a while but still haven’t tried yet. This was another tea from the group order early last year.

I think this is supposed to be a banana rooibos, but I’m not really getting much banana. Mostly it just tastes like a pretty medicinal red rooibos… Maybe a hint of candy banana flavor? But only if I really look for it.

Wasn’t planning on this being a sipdown, but I don’t feel obligated to finish the little bit of this that’s left, so it’s getting dumped..

Flavors: Artificial, Banana, Candy, Cherry, Medicinal, Rooibos, Wood

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

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85
drank Grapefruit Green by Lupicia
2778 tasting notes

Sipdown! (30 | 75)

Another one that I had a small amount of, presumably from splitting it for a group order.

I’m not sure why I never order this one from Lupicia, as it’s a very tasty grapefruit green tea with a zingy and authentic grapefruit flavor (from essential oil), and I happen to love grapefruit things. The sencha base is quite savory, with a seaweed-like flavor to it, but citrus goes quite well with that.

Maybe it’s just that there are so many teas I really love and reorder from Lupicia, and this gets lost in the background? We’ll see whether it comes to mind the next time I make an order. :P

Flavors: Citrus, Citrus Zest, Dry Grass, Grapefruit, Seaweed, Smooth, Tangy, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 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… ;)

~ 2022 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
- August Sipdowns: 31
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 128

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
Harney & Sons
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 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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