2247 Tasting Notes

80

For some reason, I have a full tin of this one. I think I might’ve picked it up during one of B&B’s Boxing Day sales, just out of sheer cheapness? I don’t tend to gravitate toward rooibos-based powders, but I did write a rather positive note for this when I tried it in the matcha advent a few years back. So here we are!

Prepared this with mostly oat milk, but I didn’t quite have enough so I topped it off with whole milk. Unfortunately, I feel like the whole milk is too much, because I’m finding this almost cloyingly creamy. Not sure if it’s the fatty milk, the maca, the flavoring, or a combination of all three. It’s not undrinkable, but it’s richer than I’d prefer. The mint flavor is nice, it reminds me of mint chip ice cream.

But I don’t really want to drink a big tumbler of melted ice cream? Ha ha… Next time I’ll have to try it with just oat milk or even partially water! Once I buy more oat milk… T.T

Leaving the rating as-is for now!

Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Custard, Mint, Peppermint, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Iced 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75
drank Rooibos Poire by Lupicia
2247 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – R

I was inspired by AJRimmer to try this one, since I got some in the group order and still hadn’t tried it yet, even though it was one of the teas I was most excited for. So here we are!

I do get pear, but it hovers somewhere near the realm of green apple candy. It does has a nice crisp and tart flavor to it, though. For some reason I’m getting a roasty flavor though, and it’s almost reminding me of coffee. Strange for green rooibos! There’s something slightly boozy to it as well.

Anyway, it’s tasty enough! Reminds me a bit of an alcoholic apple cider?

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Candy, Coffee, Pear, Roasted, Sweet, Tart

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

I would love if they did their green apple flavoring on a green rooibos!

AJRimmer

Yay! The only thing I have left to finish from the group order is my package of Adagio. It seems like it all disappeared much too quickly!

Cameron B.

@Alita – That’s true, I didn’t even think to compare this to Tsugaru. Although really, I think the combination of the green base and the flavor is why I love that one…

@AJRimmer – Wow, good job you! Most of mine are only getting tried because of this alphabet challenge… (facepalm)

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88

Sipdown! (35 | 239)

I recently ordered 3 Leaf’s new hojicha sampler pack, which comes with plain, banana, chocolate, and their newest honey lemon hojicha powders. I think it’s very limited, so if you’re interested, be sure to grab one!

Anyway, this is a sipdown of the little sample packet of this tea. I also have a full-sized pouch of this one, so it’s not goodbye yet, thankfully!

I really love this one in oat milk. It has the same lovely authentic-tasting banana flavor as their matcha, which goes so perfectly with the mellow toasty hojicha powder. It’s sort of banana bread-esque I suppose, though with the oat milk it reminds me more of a banana smoothie. I generally use a teaspoon for each 8 ounces of liquid, and in this case the liquid was cold extra creamy oat milk from Planet Oat. I added some dark brown sugar syrup as my sweetener, and yum! Just like a ripe banana smoothie with a touch of extra caramel notes from the syrup.

Love it so much, this will definitely be a reorder. I need to try it iced as well, as iced hojicha is always super delicious. I assume I can cold brew it like matcha…? We’ll soon find out!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Banana, Creamy, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toast

Preparation
Iced 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

Sipdown! (34 | 238)

I like this one. Of course, I adore hojicha, so I’m not that surprised. It sort of tastes like if you made cinnamon toast with cinnamon raisin bread. The hojicha adds a nice “burnt crispy edges” sort of note to it. And I do taste the raisiny notes as well, along with plenty of cinnamon.

My only slight complaint would be, it’s almost a bit too sweet? Not overwhelmingly so, but as someone who doesn’t sweeten her tea, I think I would like it more with slightly less sugar. It also has a somewhat thin mouthfeel, but I find that fairly normal for hojicha.

I think I’ll probably still reorder it at some point, just because it’s just a unique flavor profile and it really captures the flavor of cinnamon raisin bread.

Flavors: Burnt, Cinnamon, Raisins, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toast

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

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78

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – Q

It’s funny, I didn’t have any “Q” teas a few days ago. But on my latest trip to the local Japanese market, these adorable little teas caught my eye. The packages are three-dimensional and have cute little kittens in teacups on then, and I think the name means “Cute Tail Tea”? It wasn’t until I checked my spreadsheet earlier today that I realized they start with “Q”! It was meant to be, ha ha…

Anyway! This one is quite pleasant. It reminds me a little bit of those yummy caramel apple lollipops that are half green apple lollipop and half caramel. The flavor isn’t overly intense, which I like. The apple is perhaps a bit sweeter than green apple-flavored candies, closer to other Japanese apple candies I’ve had. The base has a metallic and slightly astringent, but somewhat hay-like and biscuity taste to it.

Overall, I’m very happy with it, especially for something I just bought for the cuteness factor. I can’t say whether I would repurchase it if I were able to, but it definitely seems better than other caramel apple teas I’ve tried.

Cutie kitty cats
Held this tasty autumn treat
What a cozy tea!

Flavors: Apple, Candy, Caramel, Cookie, Hay, Malt, Metallic, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
Mastress Alita

I was missing Q! If I had seen tea packaged as kittens in teacups, I would’ve yoinked it, too.

Cameron B.

I’m a sucker for packaging, heh. I think I’m still missing Z, so I’ll have to think of a creative way to handle that…

Mastress Alita

I was missing Z as well.

AJRimmer

I’ll have to check my international grocery store for this one! Sounds tasty and adorable.

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72
drank Palekaiko by Lupicia
2247 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – P

Oops, forgot to do my alphabet tea yesterday!

I figured I would continue with my pattern of trying all of my untasted Lupicia Hawaii teas. This one is a passion fruit and ginger black tea, and I like passion fruit enough that I ordered a whole 50g packet for myself during the group order.

I admit, the dry and steeped scents both worried me as the ginger was coming on strong. Luckily, the taste is much more balanced. I do get a strong sense of ginger, but it doesn’t feel too spicy or overwhelming. I will say, the fruit here doesn’t really taste like passion fruit to me? It’s closer to mango IMO, and also a bit generically tropical, like the other Hawaii black teas have been for me. I do like the ginger with it! The base is a bit too tannic though, which is probably a bit augmented by the ginger.

Anyway, it’s tasty enough! But not passion fruit for me, unfortunately…

Oops, forgot to add a haiku!

Not passion fruit but
It’s a mango paradise
Spicy ginger nips

Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Fruity, Ginger, Mango, Sweet, Tannic, Tropical

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

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72
drank Neptune by Lupicia
2247 tasting notes

Trying this one as a milk tea this evening.

It’s definitely better, the honey flavor comes through more strongly for me. It’s sort of like a honey-fig-lavender combination. But there is still a weird medicinal quality to it that reminds me of throat lozenges…

What an odd tea this is!

Flavors: Fig, Honey, Jam, Lavender, Medicinal, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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62

I’ve been wishing I could try this one, and they brought it back, yay! Plus it was in my subscription box for April!

Honestly though, I’m very underwhelmed. I mostly get the dry, grassy Chinese sencha base. There’s very little jasmine and even less pear…

Hmm… Well, we’ll see if my opinion changes as I sip my way through the 20g pouch.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Grass

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

I am looking forward to try this one. Well, now I hope I got better impression than you. Hopefully you will get other opinion, as it seems so well received overall.

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72
drank Hua Ki by Lupicia
2247 tasting notes

Sipdown! (33 | 237)

Another iced milk tea sipdown!

I figured as I enjoyed Lanikai much better this way, I would give Hua Ki the same send-off. I still have a couple of Lupicia’s Hawaii blends to try, hopefully the others are a bit less generic tropical punch-like.

Anyway, this is scrumptious! Definitely mostly mango, and it’s reminding me of a mango lassi, yum! I do feel like I get a little bit of pineapple or passion fruit or something more tart, and there’s another flavor I can’t quite put my finger on… Papaya maybe? I confess, I’m not really familiar enough with papaya to say definitively, but it does have that sort of musky melon-like quality. I’m also finding more pineapple-like sharpness in the aftertaste, yum.

Bye-bye, tea! So pleased to be able to try these Hawaii-exclusive teas, but I really do prefer Alphonso Mango to these “tropical” black blends so far.

Flavors: Fruity, Mango, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Sweet, Tropical

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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85
drank Framboise Chocolat by Lupicia
2247 tasting notes

Sipdown! (32 | 236)

I just ordered another package of this (along with a couple of sakura teas), so I figured I’d finish off the bit I have left from the group order.

I do really like this one. The raspberry is both sweet and somewhat fresh-tasting, and the chocolate is dark and cocoa-like, so it doesn’t taste artificial to me (thank goodness). The base tea is strong and malty.

I bet this would make a lovely milk tea, I’ll have to try it that way one of these days…

Flavors: Candy, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 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… ;)

~ 2021 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ April Sipdowns: 35
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 239

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.

Current Subscriptions:
Bird & Blend
Dessert by Deb
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

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. 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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