2304 Tasting Notes

80

Sipdown! (8 | 285)

So I haven’t been around for the past couple of days. On Wednesday I got my second COVID vaccination shot (yay!), and then on Thursday the reaction pretty much knocked me out all day. I was very surprised to feel pretty much totally normal the next day, but it was also the same day that my husband had his wisdom teeth removed, so all of Friday was related to his recovery from that. He’s feeling much better today, so here I am! And yet, I made this tea this morning, and now it’s 11 PM and I’m just now finishing the pot and writing the note… Oops?

Anyway, this was another one that I ordered a sample of because I hadn’t tried it before (a rarity among Teavivre’s black tea. It’s tasty enough but nothing special I guess? Quite savory with thick bread and sweet potato sort of notes, and a slight smoked meat soft of thing going on. A hint of apricot but not much else in the way of fruitiness. Deep undertones of earth and a bit of molasses.

Sorry, not much of a note I guess. Basically it’s tasty but not one I would order as I don’t really find any distinguishing characteristics compared to some of their dian hong teas (even though this isn’t from Yunnan). But glad to have tried!

Here’s hoping I do better with drinking tea tomorrow…

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Earth, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Raisins, Savory, Smoked, Sweet Potatoes, Thick, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Leafhopper

Congratulations on getting your second dose, and I’m glad you’re feeling better!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

60

Meh, not a fan of this one…

Not sure what it is, maybe the combination of the peppermint, nettle, and strawberry? A melon-strawberry-mint green tea sounds appealing to me, yet there’s something here that just doesn’t quite go together. The strawberry is quite candylike, so maybe it’s that combined with the mint/nettle? There’s an almost menthol-like taste to it.

Anyway, I’m going to put the rest of the packet into my rehome box, because it feels like a waste to force myself to drink it when someone else will probably enjoy it more.

I guess this company is not for me, because I’m 0 for 3 with their teas. Oh well, I’m glad to not like everything, heh heh…

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Creamy, Dry Grass, Herbaceous, Melon, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Pine, Strawberry, Sweet

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Sipdown! (7 | 284)

This was one of a few Teavivre black tea samples that I picked up just because I’d never tried them before. Not sure if they’re more recent additions to the lineup or if I just missed them on past orders.

I wasn’t expecting a lot from this, as a lot of the ratings are quite mediocre, but I really like it. It’s very thick and malty with a nice chew to it, like a thick slice of soft wheat bread. Maybe the bread has a sprinkling of oats on top of the loaf as well. There’s a slight savory potato-esque flavor as well. And for sweetness, dark caramelized brown sugar and bittersweet cocoa notes along with some slightly tart dried fruit – prune maybe. It’s supremely smooth, without much earthiness to speak of, which I find a bit unusual for a non-golden Yunnan tea.

Anyway, yummy and satisfying! A bit golden monkey-esque perhaps? And it’s reminding me of French fries on some sips, which I’m not complaining about…

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Dried Fruit, Malt, Oats, Potato, Prune, Savory, Sweet, Tart, Thick, Tobacco, Wheat

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

French fry tea? Love that!

Cameron B.

Ha ha yes! Not super French fry, but some sips definitely gave me that vibe.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

72

Sipdown! (6 | 283)

I’ve really been slacking on these B&B subscription teas from last month…

This one isn’t my favorite, but I didn’t think it would be. I don’t tend to be very into dessert teas lately. I will say, it does remind me of both honeycomb and cookie dough somehow. There’s a sweet honey candy note but also a doughy quality. It’s also a bit butterscotchy, which is reminding me of the somewhat similar Butter Toffee Popcorn.

So meh, not something I would order, but mostly due to personal preference. But the little popped quinoa bits are super cute! :3

Flavors: Alcohol, Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cookie, Honey, Sweet, Wood

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

I haven’t opened mine yet. I received it last year and wasn’t truly impressed either.

Cameron B.

I’m finding that sweet dessert teas like caramel and butterscotch are often too much for me now.

Martin Bednář

I see. Honestly while I enjoy flavoured teas, sometimes it is indeed too much. And I am not even craving for them that often as I was earlier.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Sipdown! (5 | 282)

I just got an order of Teavivre samples today, and it inspired me to finish off some of the older ones that are still hanging around.

This is lovely, especially for spring. Very smooth, creamy, and nutty with notes of spring peas and lima beans. A tiny bit buttery, but nothing too decadent, it’s more like the natural butteriness of a cashew. There’s some fresh grassiness that comes out at the end of the sip, adding a slight astringency.

Very tasty! I’m not sure whether I’d feel the need to keep a Chinese green tea around in my cupboard, but if I did it would be more likely to be a biluochun or long jing. But still happy to have tried this, and the leaves are so pretty!

Flavors: Alfalfa, Astringent, Butter, Cashew, Creamy, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Lima Beans, Nutty, Peas, Smooth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Shae

This gives me hope! I’m waiting on an order from Teavivre, so maybe mine’s not far behind…

Cameron B.

Mine took just over a month to arrive.

Shae

Oh good, I’m not too far over a month either. I ordered March 23rd.

Tiffany :)

I’m waiting for a Teavivre order as well face palm

Cameron B.

Luckily mine was just a bunch of samples that I was curious about, so I wasn’t too impatient for it to get here!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Pear Matcha by 3 Leaf Tea
2304 tasting notes

Tried this one for the first time today so just wanted to drop a little note!

I prepared it “cold brewed”, meaning shaken with water and ice. I will say, the flavoring is a bit lighter than the other fruit flavors I’ve tried (banana, peach, and raspberry). So I’m not sure I would try it as a latte as I feel like the pear would be overpowered by the milk. However, I really enjoyed it cold. It was nice and refreshing, with a smooth, grassy matcha flavor and a sweet, lightly floral pear note.

I don’t know if this is one that I would order every time, as I really like the raspberry for an iced matcha, but I’ll happily drink it when I do have it!

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Pear, Smooth, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
Iced 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

Sipdown! (4 | 281)

This was my grandpa-style tea of choice today after getting a free sample in my Teavivre order. I used a single dragon ball for my ~16-ounce glass tumbler. It might be my imagination, but I feel like this dragon ball was smaller than the others I’ve tried from them (rose and chrysanthemum).

At first I was very confused by the lack of jasmine flavor, but after reading the description it makes more sense. This is not a jasmine-scented black tea, it’s just a mixture of black tea and dried jasmine blossoms. So the jasmine is very subtle, at least to my tastes.

It’s a pleasant enough dian hong, with a strong woody flavor profile. I feel like the “ancient tree” dian hong often tastes quite woody to me, not sure if that’s just characteristic of the older plants. There are some nice rich malt and brown sugar notes as well, and a hint of dark molasses. Perhaps the tiniest wisp of apricot, which I commonly find in Yunnan hongcha.

Overall, it’s nice enough. I didn’t really get jasmine much, it was a bit too subtle for my tastes. Plus I think I enjoyed the rose version more (gasp!) so I would be more likely to choose that one if I were going to buy some of these.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Jasmine, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Smoke, Smooth, Thick, Wood

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 8 min or more 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

68
drank 2017 Turtle Dove by white2tea
2304 tasting notes

Sipdown!

I figured since I tried the 2018 version of this (I think) a few days ago, I would knock this one out as well while it’s still fresh in my mind, for comparison’s sake. Using one coin for a ~16 ounce glass tumbler and steeping grandpa-style.

But really, it’s very similar, unsurprisingly. Not unpleasant, but very generic with a sort of bland hay-straw-wood flavor profile. Hints of dried apricot and a touch of astringency at the end of the sip. Some bitterness also started to come out after it steeped for a few minutes, which I don’t remember experiencing with the 2018 version.

Overall, it’s fine but not something I would purchase. But the good news is, there’s a lot to improve on for the other few white tea coins I have! :P

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Dried Fruit, Hay, Straw, Tart, Wood

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 8 min or more 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Sipdown! (3 | 280)

So earlier, I steeped up my sample packet of Gokou Gyokuro from Kyoto Obubu, and I figured I’ll just leave a note for it here, under Random Steepings. I think it was a tea club exclusive as it’s not offered on the website, and I don’t really want to make a whole new tea entry just for my one lonely note…

But my, it was so delicious! It started out very sweet and buttery with some lovely rich and creamy kabocha notes that made me feel like I was sipping on some pumpkin soup. Then the umami started to build on the sides of my tongue and by the middle of the sip, took over, bringing with it an intense spinachy vegetal flavor. The end brought a fresher grassy note and a subtle floral note reminiscent of wildflowers.

I really enjoyed it, and I felt an almost instant burst of energy after drinking the first steeping. This tea was actually part of a tasting set with three different cultivars, so it’ll be interesting to try the other two and compare!

Rating: 88

https://www.instagram.com/p/COYyQMZAvg0/

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Kabocha, Pumpkin, Savory, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank Stone Sparrow by white2tea
2304 tasting notes

Sipdown! (2 | 279)

Grandpa-style tea of the day! This was a swap sample from an Instagram tea friend.

Very enjoyable! I admit, I have little experience with yancha, so I don’t really have a good palate for it. But I found this to be quite pleasant – smooth, woody, and roasty with a sparkling minerality and a floral uptick at the end of the sip, and a delicate fruitiness. I see the description mentions red fruits, I’m not sure I can identify that specifically. There is definitely a tartness to it that could be strawberry or red currant, or perhaps an underripe stonefruit. But it’s quite subtle to my palate.

Anyway, tasty! And took very well to grandpa-style, even though I forgot about it a couple of times.

Flavors: Apricot, Floral, Fruity, Mineral, Roasted, Smooth, Spring Water, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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! ~
~ May Sipdowns: 8
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 285

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...

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer