3871 Tasting Notes


Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 11

Ooh, this is one of theirs that I really wanted to try! The crisp pear scent is very promising.

It’s definitely very crisp in flavor as well, perhaps a bit too much so. I feel like it makes it taste a bit artificial and also starts to lean into astringency. I might be crazy, but I taste banana here in addition to the pear? Or I should say, something is reminding me of banana.

It’s quite good overall, with a strong pear flavor and fairly smooth matcha base. It may have been my imagination, but I felt like the matcha here looked greener than some of the others? Maybe because it has no additional ground ingredients. I don’t think I would go order a whole tin of this, but I’m enjoying what I have of it.

Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Banana, Crisp, Fruity, Grassy, Pear, Smooth, Sweet

Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Tea at the White House Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 10

So I thought this was going to be your run-of-the-mill mulled wine sort of fruit tisane, because it has hibiscus and spices and apple.

However, it actually veers more toward the fresh and tangy side, as I mostly taste the apple, orange, and hibiscus, and very little of the spices. A pleasant surprise as I enjoyed this much more than the more spiced versions.

Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Hibiscus, Orange, Red Fruits, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Sipology Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 10

Oh, boy. Ha ha, so this is pretty much one of the worst tea combinations I could think of… At least there’s no stevia. XD

Thankfully, the almond here isn’t super strong. I’m still not a fan, just because the amaretto combined with the rooibos comes off very medicinal to me, similar to cherry and rooibos. But I am thankful that it’s restrained enough to be drinkable. :P

Flavors: Almond, Amaretto, Cherry, Marzipan, Medicinal, Rooibos, Sweet, Woody

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

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DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 10

Not gonna lie, I ate some pickled okra right before this, and the briny taste is lingering at the back of my throat and making it difficult to taste this tea ha ha… ^^’

This is an unshaded spring sencha. I never remember which of Obubu’s sencha is which, as they have so many and for some of them, the only difference is the cultivar. This is saemidori apparently, not that that means anything to me in terms of the flavor ha ha.

Since it’s not shaded, the flavor remains somewhat light but still smooth and rich. It’s quite mineral (makes sense given the name) with notes of cruciferous vegetables, specifically kale and broccoli. The texture is silky but not heavy, and there’s an underlying umami note that lingers into the finish. Definitely on the savory side, without much sweetness to it at all. Tiny touch of balancing bitterness near the end of the sip.

Really a lovely everyday kind of sencha, with classic flavors but perhaps a touch more refined. I think this might be one of their more expensive ones? I always get my teas through their subscription, so I don’t have a good grasp on the shop pricing he he. :P

Flavors: Broccoli, Clean, Earthy, Freshly Cut Grass, Grassy, Kale, Mineral, Savory, Silky, Smooth, Spring Water, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank Cookie Cat by Thésaurus Tea
3871 tasting notes

Thésaurus Tea Fandom Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 10

Ooh, a Steven Universe tea! :D

This is quite nice – it’s mostly a chocolate and peppermint tea, but I almost feel like I’m getting a hint of some kind of fruit? The description is not informative, ha ha. As chocolate and peppermint go, it’s tasty. The chocolate flavor isn’t over-the-top artificial, and the peppermint is balanced and doesn’t take over the blend. The hint of strawberry (maybe?) makes it interesting as well.

I enjoyed it, though I don’t think I would rush out to order it. Also I remember the cookie cat being more of a vanilla/strawberry looking ice cream sandwich, so not sure where the peppermint came from? Not that it matters, just interesting. :P

Flavors: Artificial, Chocolate, Jam, Peppermint, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Compagnie & Co Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 10

I think I may have use a bit too much water with this one, because it’s quite bland. These sachets have been consistently good with 8 ounces of water, but maybe this one had a bit less in it?

So a bit hard to review, but mostly getting watered down black tea with a bit of clove and a whisper of cinnamon.

Sorry, tea! :P

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Thin, Watery

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Beach House Teas Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 10

An interesting one today! This looks to be a coffee alternative, with chicory root and cacao.

Oof, this is so strong on the chicory! It’s basically all I taste, with a bit of black tea in the background. Very strongly acidic with a bitter undertone. I wish I could taste the chocolate, but I don’t see how it could stand up to the overpowering chicory without adding flavoring.

So a bit disappointing, sadly.

Flavors: Acidic, Bitter, Chicory, Earthy, Roasted, Tannic, Woody

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

I wish more coffee alternatives included dandelion root! I find it hefty without being acidic or bitter at all.

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Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar – Day 10

I’m surprised they put this one 10 days into the calendar. If it were me, I would’ve placed it very early since really it’s more of a fall flavor.

It’s quite a nice matcha though, and true to its name, it does taste like pumpkin pie. I prepared mine as an iced latte (as always) so I’m sure that helps to emulate the creamy texture. Tasting the allspice and nutmeg up front, backed by clove and cinnamon. (Actually, clove isn’t in the ingredients, so I guess that’s just the allspice still!) Ginger adds an earthiness which goes well with the already earthy matcha.

Speaking of which, I don’t taste a ton of matcha here, maybe because it’s a bit diluted by the ground spices. Still, it makes for a nice, creamy pumpkin pie sort of latte with a dash of matcha flavor.

Flavors: Allspice, Cinnamon, Clove, Earthy, Ginger, Grassy, Nutmeg, Spices, Sweet

Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I found myself overly exasperated by the Harney and Sons Twelve Days of Christmas advent for sale at Barnes and Noble. They didn’t add ANY of their holiday teas! They could have put Holiday, White Christmas, Nutcracker Blend, and things like their new Salted Caramel black. Everything was so….UN-holiday, winter, or celebration oriented! Hopefully next time, these folks will consult US, CameronB!

Cameron B.

So lame! Maybe they just did their bestsellers? Advents are so much more fun when the teas are festive IMO! :|

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drank Arctic Surf by Beach House Teas
3871 tasting notes

Beach House Teas Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 9

So this is supposed to be a chocolate & white chocolate rooibos, but I don’t really taste either of those things. There were white chocolate chips in the blend, but they don’t seem to have contributed anything other than an oily layer on top of my cup. Apparently it’s also a vanilla-flavored rooibos, but I don’t really notice vanilla either? The only things I taste are woody rooibos and a bit of licorice root.

Not a favorite.

Flavors: Licorice, Licorice Root, Rooibos, Sweet, Woody

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

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drank Zephyr by Thésaurus Tea
3871 tasting notes

Thésaurus Tea Fandom Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 9

This… mostly just tastes like rooibos.

There’s a touch of rose, and a tiny hint of almond maybe? But mostly it’s just rooibos, with a touch of bitterness – I assume from the gynostemma?


Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Rooibos, Rose, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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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 piano, knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, planners, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- December Sipdowns: 0
- Total 2023 Sipdowns: 413

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I steep Western style, and fluctuate between using big mugs or small teapots 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
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Old Barrel Tea Co
Simpson & Vail
Taiwan Tea Crafts

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:


Austin, Texas



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