2501 Tasting Notes


SIpdown! (26 | 435)

Not very impressed by this one. I get an earthy base with some coffee, but that’s about it. Supposedly there’s vanilla in here as well, but I don’t taste it at all. Which is a shame, because I think this could really use some sweetness or creaminess or something.

It’s just coming off as very one-dimensional to me. Meh!

Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Roasted, Smooth

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

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Sipdown! (25 | 434)

Okay, this one is really good. I feel like I’m finally getting the marshmallow notes that I’m always looking for in marshmallow treat-inspired teas, but never finding enough of. This tea is straight up a pile of delicately lemony marshmallow fluff. The white tea base has the perfect light and airy flavor to really complete the vision of marshmallow.

Very scrumptious. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the original green tea version as well…

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Marshmallow, Smooth, Sweet

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

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drank Merci Mille Fois by Lupicia
2501 tasting notes

Sipdown! (24 | 433)

I was reorganizing my tea cupboard a bit yesterday and found a bit of this in a tiny tin, so I figured I’d put it out on the counter to be finished off. One fewer tin to organize, heh heh

I quite like this tea. It has a lovely soft and sweet peach flavor that is delicate yet somewhat creamy-tasting. The raspberry is more of a raspberry jam flavor to me, as it lacks the tartness of fresh raspberries. But it adds a nice richness to the more ethereal white peach flavor. I’m not sure whether I get strawberry?

Anyway, it’s good. For some reason I don’t tend to crave peach teas, so I’m not sure it will be a reorder for me. But would definitely recommend it for peach tea lovers!

Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Jam, Peach, Raspberry, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart

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

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drank Jingle Bells by Lupicia
2501 tasting notes

Sipdown! (23 | 432)

Yay, another oldest tea down! This tin was from November of 2017. I think I only have two more 2017 teas left! Granted, that’s not saying much, but still a nice milestone to see.

This is one of Lupicia’s lovely grape teas. It reminds me of a combination of grape Hi-Chew and Welch’s sparkling red grape juice. I love those sparkling juices at holiday meals, and will definitely be partaking at Thanksgiving time! So to me, this has a rich, almost slightly winey grape flavor with a sweet candy edge to it. I adore Japanese grape candy flavoring, so the somewhat artificial quality of it doesn’t bother me. The base is rather earthy, which I actually like as it cuts the sweetness a bit. Not a hint of bitterness here either, even though the leaf is somewhat fine.

A lovely tea! Happily, I still have a couple of other grape creations from Lupicia in my cupboard. :3

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Earth, Grapes, Red Wine, Smooth, Sweet

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

However did grape take them to jingle bells?

Cameron B.

“Scented with refreshing grapes and fruity sparkling wine. Great for a family get-together during the holiday.”

A bit of a stretch, but at least it’s original. ;)


Because grapes and bells are sort of the same general shape?

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Sipdown! (22 | 431)

Found this one little lonely sample from Rishi Tea, yay easy sipdown!

The chrysanthemum is definitely at the forefront at the beginning of the sip, and it has that interesting soft floral-yet-peppery quality to it. The floral is a bit hard to describe, it does somewhat remind me of chamomile, but with a noticeable musty note that fades to tasting a bit like pollen smells. There’s definitely sweetness as well, and perhaps a hint of dill? The oolong comes forward mid-sip, and dominates the latter half with its sparkling mineral notes and nectarous florals, along with a slight dried fruit note in the aftertaste.

An interesting one to try for sure, probably not something I would reorder just because I would rather have a chrysanthemum blend be caffeine-free for the evening, plus this is rather expensive.

Flavors: Chamomile, Dill, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Hay, Herbs, Mineral, Musty, Nectar, Pepper, Pollen, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Chrysanthemum and oolong seems like an odd combo to me. I am used to it either straight up or with a few goji berries thrown in. Habit—though I may be stuck and in need of change.

Cameron B.

It was a nice enough combo, but I would rather just have the chrysanthemum by itself so it’s caffeine-free for the evening. Goji berry sounds nice too, I think I have a Chinese medicine tea somewhere with those ingredients…

Evol Ving Ness

I’ve been going for acupuncture and other TCM treatments for years. This mix of chrysanthemum blossoms and goji berries was recommended to substitute for drinking water through the day—a clump of dried flowers, about 12 berries to 12 oz. water. Refresh the water throughout the day. I pick them up from an herbalist in Chinatown.

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Sipdown! (21 | 430)

This one sounds so good in name, but doesn’t deliver on the taste. The rooibos ends up being the main flavor, with just a bit of an herbaceous lemon note in the background. So really it’s sort of a boozy rooibos with a bit of sweetness and not much else.


Flavors: Alcohol, Herbaceous, Lemon, Rooibos, Sweet, Wood

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

Such promise. Again.

Cameron B.

I know, right? I don’t think I have any creamy lemon dessert teas currently, but I remember the one from Dammann being good. I’ll have to order some one of these days…


Yeah, this didn’t do it for me either :(


Dammann’s Noel a Venise is so delicious, you’re right.

Cameron B.

Yes, that’s the one! Many of their Noël teas are great. It’s too bad they only sell 100g portions… :(

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Sipdown! (20 | 429)

Lost the note that I had written to an accidental “back” button, and too lazy to rewrite it all, so here’s the Cliffs Notes version… :(

The banana here is lovely, as it always is in Anne’s teas. However, the base is exceedingly earthy and mineral, which is a rather strange combination with the banana IMO. It sort of fights against the banana’s natural creaminess. Also the cinnamon is quite barky/woody, which is another rather harsh note against the banana…

So not a bad tea, but not a winner for me.

Flavors: Banana, Bark, Cinnamon, Creamy, Earth, Mineral, Smoke, Sweet, Wood

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

Barky/woody.. yes, that’s why I don’t like the cinnamon. Good way of putting it!

Cameron B.

Sometimes the barkier cinnamon can be okay, but it just doesn’t work for me here ha ha. It needed more of a soft/sweet cinnamon note to pair with the banana.


I’ll be trying this one out next week, sad it doesn’t sound like it will be a winner! I’m pretty picky on my cinnamon too, although not quite clear on how to describe my preference.


There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon & Cassia. Both have similar health benefits and a similar flavor. The Ceylon type has a softer flavor – Cassia is stronger in flavor – so therefore the flavor of the Ceylon cinnamon (also known as true cinnamon) tends to taste a little woodier or barky. Cassia is what most people have in their spice pantry that’s labeled “cinnamon”. It’s also what most tea companies use. I do not. I made the decision to stop using Cassia because Cassia also contains large quantities of coumarin which studies have shown to be moderately toxic to the kidneys and the liver.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Anne, for weighing in on this. And especially a big thank you for being tuned in to and responsible wrt our tea community and what we put into our bodies. (And those of us with health concerns already value that something that brings joy and comfort is not making us even weaker and sicker).


Second what Evol Ving Ness wrote. Thank you, Anne!

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Sipdown! (19 | 428)

Over the few cups I had, I just couldn’t get this one to work for me.

I can smell a hint of something butterscotch-caramelly, and I can see the blood orange pieces, but I can’t taste much of anything. It sort of tastes like “flavoring” to me, and a decent black base. I don’t get anything remotely resembling butterscotch or citrus…

I’m perplexed, did this maybe need to settle longer before I drank it? But I think it was from a couple of months ago, so that doesn’t seem right… :(

Flavors: Artificial, Green Beans, Malt, Smooth

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

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Sipdown! (18 | 427)

Not my favorite, but it’s not a bad tea. I’m mostly getting a butter rum sort of note along with the toasted rice in this last cup, and there’s less sugar which is an improvement. Still not something I would order but I’m glad to finish it off on a high note.

Flavors: Butter, Butterscotch, Grain, Rum, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Wood

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

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I really like this one! It totally does remind me of a mixed berry crisp with a gingery spiced topping. It’s maybe blueberry-esque from the elderberry? But the slight tartness from the hibiscus gives a bit more dimension. It is sweet, but not overly so, and it doesn’t taste flat like a lot of the other maple-heavy teas tend to.

A shame that this is no longer around… :(

Flavors: Berry, Blueberry, Cinnamon, Elderberry, Ginger, Jam, Pastries, Spices, Sugar, Sweet, Tart

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 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… ;)

~ October Sipdowns: 26
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 435

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. 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
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Taiwan Tea Crafts
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:


Austin, Texas



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