2247 Tasting Notes

drank Lanikai by Lupicia
2247 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – L

Yay, caught up! This is another one from the last Lupicia group order that I haven’t tried yet.

Apparently this is supposed to be peach, mango, and orange. Mostly I get a generic tropical flavor, which could be mango-esque. There is also something that reminds me of Peachy-O’s, so I suppose that would be the peach.

Overall, it’s a muddled sweet tropical fruit sort of tea. The base is partially CTC, so it’s a bit too brisk for me. I’ll have to try it as a milk tea though!

Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Tannic, Tropical

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

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drank Karigane by Ujien
2247 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – K

Ughhhh so tired. I started making bento for lunch again this week, and I feel like I’m spending so much time in the kitchen. I guess I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet.

Anyway! This is a tea that I randomly picked up in Osaka. Karigane is essentially just kukicha, but made from gyokuro stems. It has a lovely smooth and sweet flavor, with some nice pops of vegetal intensity that remind me of kabocha. There are also some light grassy notes that are very refreshing.

Overall, very mellow and gentle, but also with elements of gyokuro. And quite lovely for when you want a lower maintenance Japanese green! :)

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Kabocha, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

I read bento and instantly got a sushi craving. Ugh.

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“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – J

I’m a couple of letters behind after totally forgetting to drink my alphabet tea on Saturday, and then only drinking one tea all day yesterday. So time to catch up!

This tea just sounds so fun, I couldn’t help but pick it out of my “J” options… Unfortunately it never quite lives up to my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pleasant to drink. The jasmine is rather light, which I like with the fruit. But I really just need MOAR FRUIT here. There’s a bit of tart apple, a bit of orange, and a touch of hibiscus (which I actually quite like in this blend). But I just want more of everything! It ends up tasting quite thin and almost bland. A pity, because I really like the concept of this one and it’s almost there.

I still need to try this cold brewed though!

Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Mineral, Orange, Sweet, Tart

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

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Sipdown! (24 | 228)

Working through my straight black teas, as I like to have one as my first tea of the day, and I figured I’d get this leftover advent tin out of the way.

This is fine. It has some nice bready and grainy notes to it, and a somewhat interesting herby/peppery sort of note? I’m having difficulty describing it… It almost reminds me of tulsi but a bit harsher and woodier. There’s also a fair bit of astringency here, though that could be my steeping parameters. I do get some grape skin-like muscatel notes as well.

Not bad, but not something I would choose. I’m not sure Darjeeling is for me in general, I think I ordered one from Capital Tea Ltd so I’ll have to see what I think of it!

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Grain, Grape Skin, Hay, Herbs, Pepper, Tannic

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

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Sipdown! (23 | 227)

Just now getting around to drinking this pot of tea that I steeped this morning… I got sidetracked by looking at tea trays and then went to the store and have been cooking all evening. Now I’m so tired and drinking this cold.

It’s delicious though! Very sweet, thick, and fruity. It has some wonderful honey and molasses notes along with soft, malty bread and grains. A tart yet jammy fruitiness that reminds me of dried cherries. The honey aftertaste is amazing, just like licking the leftover honey from a spoon. It’s a richer and creamier honey note, without much floral presence.

Thankful to be sipping on this on the couch, and thankful that I’m not sensitive to caffeine ha ha…

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Honey, Jam, Malt, Oats, Smooth, Sweet, Thick

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

Oh, my goodness … that sounds heavenly.

Cameron B.

So lovely! I adore Taiwanese black teas.

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I picked this one up in my last S&V order because I love passion fruit and fruity oolongs, plus they offer it in a 1-ounce package! I wish that were true for all of their teas…

I was a bit worried about the hibiscus, but it steeped up a pretty pale coral color, so it can’t be too bad. Unfortunately, it’s quite bland. I get a bit of tart fruitiness, but nothing that I would ever describe as passion fruit. Mostly rose hips, I think? The oolong looks green but tastes a touch roasty and also has some mineral notes.

Quite meh! But that’s okay, I’m glad to have tried it. I’ll have to try it as a cold brew as well.

Flavors: Fruity, Mineral, Roasted, Rosehips, Sweet, Tart

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

Ha yeah I have a cart ready to go, but I haven’t ordered it yet because I don’t really want 32 more ounces of tea at one time…

Cameron B.

It doesn’t help that their teas are so inexpensive lol, I always end up with so much!


Exactly! They could definitely charge more and still have me as a customer since I love their teas.

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Sipdown! (22 | 226)

Saturday afternoon gongfu session! This was a sample I got from a countdown box that I participated in on Instagram, and it’s taken me a couple of months to get around to trying it! It’s a Yunnan black tea harvested from ancient wild trees.

I used the whole 8g packet for about 200ml of water and did six steeps – 5s, 8s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s. I obviously could’ve gone longer, but there was Chick-fil-A waiting to be devoured… :O

This tea actually really reminded me of a Fujian black. It had some lovely thick bread and caraway notes to it, as well as malt and wood. There was some musty hay in the first couple of steeps, but that dissipated quickly. Starting at about steep two, there was a lovely deep bitter cocoa note that persisted for the entire session. A couple of steeps after that, I noticed some hints of dried fruit, specifically dried cherries.

Quite lovely, though not what I expected! I will say I would probably just steep this Western-style if I had more of it, just because I didn’t find that much of a change in the flavors over time. Enjoyed the opportunity to use one of my yixing teapots though!


Flavors: Baked Bread, Caraway, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Malt, Musty, Smooth, Thick, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 8 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Sipdown! (21 | 225)

Swap tea! This one was on my wishlist to try from Harney, so I’m thankful to be able to try a bit from a swap.

Honestly, it’s not my favorite. I feel like with each cup I like it less, which is never a good thing ha ha. The maple tastes quite artificial to me, and leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. The base tea is fine, with some woody and earthy notes. A bit thin perhaps?

I even tried it with milk (unusual for me) as it’s a breakfast blend, but I found it didn’t really help with the artificial taste. So not for me, unfortunately! So grateful to tea friends and swaps so I can try things in small quantities. :)

Flavors: Artificial, Earth, Maple, Sweet, Wood

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

What a shame :/


Bummer—it sounds so promising!

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drank Irish Stout by Adagio Teas
2247 tasting notes

Sipdown! (20 | 224)

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – I

Another swap tea. Not one I would generally choose for myself, as it’s both an Adagio tea AND a chocolate tea, ha ha…

It’s fine. The Assam-Ceylon base is actually fairly tasty – malty and flavorful but only slightly astringent. The chocolate is very boozy and artificial, it reminds me of these carob-flavored chewable vitamins I used to have as a child.

Overall, it is rather stout-esque, as both the tea and the chocolate are dark, deep flavors. Not something I would ever order, but not bad!

ETA: It just occurred to me, this tastes just like Tootsie Rolls!

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Candy, Chocolate, Malt, Metallic, Smooth, Tannic, Thick

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

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drank Pineapple Sage by Plum Deluxe
2247 tasting notes

Sipdown! (19 | 223)

Instagram swap tea! I just had to request this one in a swap, because the combination sounded too interesting to pass up.

However, I don’t really get pineapple here? It’s mostly sage, and there is a vague, slightly fruity sweetness to it, but I would never identify it as pineapple. Apple, maybe?

I’m not a sage lover, but it’s not over-the-top at least. It’s still a fairly mellow sage flavor that seems like it would be pleasant as an herbal tisane before bed.

But I wish there was pineapple! T.T

Flavors: Apple, Herbs, Sage, Savory, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 5 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: 35
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 239

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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