2257 Tasting Notes

drank Scots Breakfast by T2
2257 tasting notes

Sipdown! (42 | 246)

Continuing with swap samples today!

Wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, but apparently it’s supposed to be oats, cinnamon, and caramel. I do get a bit of sweet cinnamon and perhaps a bit of grainy flavor from the oats. I also taste the cacao shells.

Overall it’s just a bit muddled and comes out being just okay. I’ve had a similar experience with a lot of T2’s teas…

Flavors: Artificial, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Grain, Sweet, Tea

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

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drank Camomile & Spearmint by Twinings
2257 tasting notes

Sipdown! (41 | 245)

I got a single wrapped teabag of this in my recent swap. Perfect for a late-night sipdown! :D

The chamomile is the strongest flavor here, which I don’t mind as I love chamomile. It’s soft and mellow with a nice honeyed note. The spearmint makes a nice accent and adds a refreshing cleanness to the blend. Apparently there’s lemongrass and linden in this as well. It’s been a while since I’ve had linden in a tisane, but I think I can taste it here? Especially at the end of the sip.

Obviously this doesn’t taste overly fresh or anything, but it’s perfectly lovely for a low-maintenance bedtime brew and I’m happy to be sipping on it. :)

Flavors: Chamomile, Herbaceous, Honey, Linden, Mint, Spearmint, Sweet

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

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drank Houjicha "Hyottoko" by Ujien
2257 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – U

I’m cheating slightly here, because while I don’t have a tea whose name starts with “U”, I do have this one from the company Ujien. I think it counts!

I picked this one up in Osaka randomly. Trying to read the translated description is… interesting ha ha, and of course my packet is in Japanese. It looks like there are a lot of stems though, and the dry leaf has an interesting greenish brown color to it.

Tastes yummy! The roast is very light and has a wonderful almost buttery nuttiness to it. Quite soft for a hojicha, which makes sense given all the stems, which tend to have a lighter flavor when roasted. The gentle toasty flavor is supremely comforting, especially since I’m exhausted and haven’t felt very good today.


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Mineral, Nuts, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Soybean, Squash, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Sipdown! (40 | 244)

Another swap sample. I admit, I was not expecting to like this one given the description of “apple and marzipan flavor”.

But to me, this tastes more like a lightly spiced apple cake, which I am so on board for. It’s very smooth and mellow, with some subtle spicing and a sweet cooked apple flavor. It has a nice cakey taste to it. The black base is very light and smooth, so overall it’s quite a soft tea.

I really enjoyed it! But I don’t think it’s worth the effort of trying to find a way to order it, ha ha…

Flavors: Apple, Cake, Cinnamon, Ginger, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

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

It should taste like baked apples from Bremen. Not sure how Bremen apples are like, but certainly it seems good :)


That sounds wonderful!

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Sipdown! (39 | 243)

Swap sipdown! Rose isn’t my favorite, but I do love lychee and the two do go well together. So I’m cautiously optimistic about this one, hah!

It’s pleasant enough. The rose is definitely present, but it doesn’t taste overly perfumey – it’s more of a lush, fresh rose. The lychee adds a wonderful tropical fruitiness. Lychee is just so darn juicy! The base is mellow and grassy, probably a Chinese sencha.

It’s not bad, given I don’t like rose much. Not something I would buy, but would recommend it for rose aficionados!

Flavors: Dry Grass, Floral, Grass, Lychee, Nectar, Rose, Sweet, Tropical

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Another one that I’m trying from my swap!

I prepared this as an iced latte with oat milk and just a touch of sweetener. I’ve never had a genmaicha latte before, but it’s tasty enough. I will say, I’m surprised at how much bitterness I’m tasting given this is essentially a cold brew. Not sure if the bitterness is from the green tea in the genmaicha powder, or the matcha, but it’s a bit distracting.

I think next time I’ll have to try this cold brewed!

Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Toasted Rice, Umami

Iced 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Kentucky Bourbon by Adagio Teas
2257 tasting notes

Sipdown! (38 | 242)

Swap sample! I’m hoping to power through most of these samples over the next few days, as there are over 30 of them, and adding them all to my cupboard stressed me out a little.

Picked this one at random. I’m not really a whiskey fan, but my husband is, so I’m quite familiar with it. He generally drinks scotch, but also enjoys old fashioneds (which use bourbon). Anyway, this does taste like bourbon to me. It’s woody, boozy, slightly smoky, and has a dark caramel presence. I do get a hint of the apple I think, which is pleasant.

I would say this is a good choice for someone looking for a whiskey tea. But I am not that someone, so while I can appreciate that it seems well-done, it’s not for me. :)

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Oak, Smoke, Sweet, Whiskey, Wood

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

You kinda have to be in a certain mood for this tea, just like drinking actual whiskey. It’s forgiving if you over steep a bit too. Not as authentic as tea stored in a whiskey barrel, but it’s not bad.


Will have to investigate this one!

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Sipdown! (37 | 241)

Finishing off a very generously-sized sample of this one sent to me from Courtney!

This is a lovely and satisfying tea. Well-balanced with thick bread and malt notes, a bit of savory smoke. I’m actually getting a strong fruity note in this last cup, which I don’t remember noticing as much before. It’s sort of strawberry-like? Which is highly unusual, I’m more likely to find stonefruit or raisin notes in a tea like this. Maybe it was the amount of leaf, I dunno, but I like it!

I’m not sure whether this will be a reorder or not, there are too many Chinese black teas that I like… But I have several more bigger packages to work through before it’s time to make that decision, ha ha! Thank you Courtney for the share!

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Caraway, Grain, Hay, Malt, Mineral, Savory, Smoke, Smooth, Strawberry, Thick

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank The Queen's Peach by T2
2257 tasting notes

Sipdown! (36 | 240)

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – T

I got a huge swap package today, so I need to get cracking to sip down all of these samples! Luckily, they’re mostly single servings, so I should be able to get through them quickly enough.

This came out extremely bland given I used more leaf than I normally would’ve just to finish off the sample. It’s sort of a like a very slightly sweet ginger water? I can barely tell it’s peach at all, and that’s with already knowing what’s in it.

Meh. Hot ginger water is not for me, he he.

Flavors: Ginger, Spicy, Sweet

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Tiffany :)

I got some of this in the mail from a tea friend, hopefully it fairs better for me! :)

Cameron B.

I hope so too! I was looking for more peach… :(

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drank Sakura & Berry by Lupicia
2257 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – S

So I forgot to do my alphabet tea yesterday, and a good thing too, because my Lupicia order arrived today, so I get to use this tea for “S”!

I remember enjoying this tea the last time I ordered it, so it was the only repeat sakura tea. I also ordered the hojicha, which I’ve never tried, and the premium green tea, which I’ve never seen before. And several other things, of course!

Anyway, I quite like this one. I like the salted sakura leaves, they add a nice authentic, slightly savory sakura flavor to the black tea. The strawberry flavoring is actually quite subtle for Lupicia, more of an accent flavor, but reminds me of strawberry jam and goes nicely with the more savory sakura. The base is smooth and unobtrusive, but still has decent flavor.

I dig it! Really nice for a mellow afternoon tea break. ❤


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Baked Bread, Jam, Malt, Sakura, Savory, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 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… ;)

~ April Sipdowns: 43
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 247

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
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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