3102 Tasting Notes


Provence d’Antan Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

Another spiced herbal tisane. Cute name though!

It’s not bad, the licorice is actually well-balanced so it adds just a subtle sweetness and anise flavor. There’s also earthy ginger, sweet cinnamon, and just a hint of black pepper heat. I don’t really get any of the citrus though, which would’ve been a nice addition to counter the sweeter flavors.

It’s fine, but nothing special.

Flavors: Anise, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Earthy, Ginger, Licorice, Smooth, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Hibiscus by The Tea Practitioner
3102 tasting notes

The Tea Practitioner Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

So I cold steeped most of this sample in lemonade, because hibiscus lemonade is yummy!

But I kept about a teaspoon to make as a hot cuppa. It’s tasty, tart but not too tart, and with a fruity edge to it. There’s a mustiness that appears at the end of the sip for some reason, but otherwise it tastes a bit like cranberry which is nice!

As for the lemonade, it’s scrumptious. I let it steep all day and it has a beautiful jewel-like red color. In this combination, the fruitiness of the hibiscus reminds me more of raspberry than cranberry, and it adds a lovely sweetness and depth to the lemonade. Nom.

Flavors: Cranberry, Fruity, Musty, Red Fruits, Sweet, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Bancha Masudaen by Nio Teas
3102 tasting notes

Nio Teas Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

I haven’t had a ton of bancha, but I find it to be a very cozy and comforting tea.

This has a lovely soft and mellow dry grass and haylike flavor. It makes me think of the warm summer sun shining on tall grass, maybe with a few wildflowers mixed in there too. There’s a nice nutty, grainy note as well, almost like a genmaicha (but obviously not that strong). I love the lingering soft and sweet hay flavor.

Cozy and yummy!

Flavors: Dry Grass, Grain, Grass, Hay, Nori, Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted, Toasted Rice, Wildflowers

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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Nordqvist Moomin Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

Should’ve named it “Longing for a black tea that tastes like anything other than cardboard”… XD

But actually, I do get a touch of the cookies & cream at the end of the sip. I wish I could taste more of it though, as I love cookies & cream. It does add a nice smooth and creamy finish.

Flavors: Cardboard, Creamy, Metallic, Smooth, Sweet, Tea, White Chocolate

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Cakes On A Plane by BrutaliTeas
3102 tasting notes

BrutaliTeas Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

I feel like I’m missing something with this one, because the other two notes are extremely positive…

To me, there’s not enough cake going on, and the black tea is too strong and tannic, which makes it taste even less cakey. It ends up tasting like strong black tea with a touch of buttercream frosting.

Oh well, can’t love them all I suppose. :P

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Frosting, Sweet, Tannic, Tea

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

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drank Assam Chardwar by Nabo
3102 tasting notes

Nabo Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

This is extremely nondescript. I don’t think I would even know it’s an Assam, versus a Sri Lankan or Kenyan tea. It has that Lipton-esque sort of “tea-ish” metallic flavor, and not much else.

No malt, no raisin, nothing. Womp womp wommmmmmp…

Flavors: Metallic, Smooth, Tea, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Lassi Mango by Dammann Frères
3102 tasting notes

Dammann Frères Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 9

Ooh, I’ve been so excited to try this one! :D

Okay, this is scrumptious. It has such a lovely sweet and creamy mango flavor, just like a mango lassi! It’s perhaps a bit more subdued than the real thing, more of gentle and relaxing tea than a bright and energizing one. But it’s just so smooth and lovely and yum… :3

I kind of wish they had added popped rice to make it a mango sticky rice sort of thing! Maybe I’ll have to order some and experiment myself ha ha.

Flavors: Creamy, Earthy, Mango, Smooth, Sweet, Tropical, Woody

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

Ooo, this sounds so good!

Cameron B.

Definitely one to try if you like mango lassi or mango smoothies! :)


Mmm, love this one.

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Sipdown! (1 | 404)

What, a non-advent note? What is the world coming to?! :P

I often have to wait a bit to start drinking my advent teas, just because I take photos of all of them for my Instagram stories, and often the lighting just isn’t good in the morning (thanks, winter!). So this has been my first tea of the day on those days, steeped Western style with one chonk for a 16-ounce mug.

I wouldn’t say it’s anything to write home about, but it’s a very yummy, malty, and smooth Chinese black tea with just enough heft to be good for the morning. There’s sweetness, woodiness, a bit of brown sugar and dried stonefruit as well.

Very nice as a daily drinker, and if I remember correctly it was very reasonably priced. It looks like this was only made in 2016 though, and hasn’t been produced since. It’s funny how it’s called “choco” and is in the shape of a chocolate bar, but the tea doesn’t taste chocolaty to me at all.

Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malty, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick, Woody

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Re-Cranimator by BrutaliTeas
3102 tasting notes

BrutaliTeas Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 8

I was excited when I saw cran, but it’s a fruit tisane.

This is fairly generic to me, it tastes the same as all of those Mulled whatever fruit tisanes from Bird & Blend. Very tart red fruits combined with spices. This one is perhaps a little heavier on the ginger, but still very similar. I do like the lime, though do we really need lime and hibiscus together?

Anyway, a fine cup but nothing special.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Ginger, Hibiscus, Lime, Red Fruits, Sour, Spices, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Most fruit tisane taste the same to me, too. :(


Yup. I’ve got several samples I’ve been putting off for precisely that reason.


I agree, this was not for me. I always need at least a little caffeine, fruit tisanes = not my thing.

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Nio Teas Advent Calendar 2022 – Day 8

I made it, the last green tea of the day lol! Apparently December 8th is green tea day, I somehow ended up with 5 of them from my 7 advents. Actually super happy to see a regular sencha from Nio today though, there’s been a lot of everything else but. Regular, unshaded, non-deep steamed sencha tends to be my preference.

Steeped it at 160°F because that’s the lowest temperature on my normal kettle and I didn’t feel the need to go lower for this tea. The description calls this sencha light, but I’m not finding that. To me it’s actually somewhat intensely vegetal in flavor, almost like a kabusecha, with plenty of umami. The usual steamed spinach is present and accounted for, plus fresh wheatgrass and perhaps some other leafy greens. It’s very smooth and silky, with almost no bitterness. There’s a hint of floral at the end of the sip.

Subsequent steeps are lighter and grassier, with perhaps even a bit more of the floral finish? Interesting how my experience doesn’t seem to align much with the tea’s description ha ha, I guess I’m doing it wrong! :P Still, a very enjoyable sencha.

Flavors: Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Green, Smooth, Spinach, Thick, Umami, Vegetables, Vegetal, Wheatgrass

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 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 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… ;)

- December Sipdowns: 2
- Total 2022 Sipdowns: 405

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
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
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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