3986 Tasting Notes


Sipology Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 24

Hmm, two puerh in a row, and not really a festive tea… You’re losing points for this, Sipology! XD

This is nice enough, sort of a mellow chocolate caramel puerh. Nothing is overly strong or sweet or artificial. However, there is something that is distinctly reminding me of sesame sticks? Which is sort of a weirdly specific association ha ha, I guess I should say it’s reminding me of sesame in a savory way. Must be some combination of the sea salt and the fenugreek? As I don’t see what else it could be. It’s still good, just maybe a chocolate-covered sesame brittle ha ha.

As far as this advent goes, it was maybe my least favorite of the bunch? A lot of very strongly flavored and artificial-tasting teas, though there were also a few that I enjoyed. Only two stevia teas, so I can’t really ding them for that, since I know they offer many others. Oddly high amount of coffee-themed teas, I think there were 3? Which I don’t personally mind, but seems like an interesting choice. The variety seemed decent though, good amount of different flavors and bases, and many festive blends. I think it mostly comes down to I just don’t vibe with this particular style of flavored tea, in the same way that I don’t vibe with DAVIDsTEA. And to be honest, a bit relieved about it since they seem expensive and also the MLM angle is a bit shady.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Chocolate, Earthy, Milk Chocolate, Nutty, Salt, Savory, Sesame, Smooth, Sweet, Toffee

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

Whoa there are tea MLMs?

Cameron B.

This is the only one I know of…

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Thésaurus Tea Fandom Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 24

Awww Lilo & Stitch tea!

Another one with butterfly pea flower… Thésaurus seems to be a big fan. This actually ends up reminding me of a blue raspberry sno-cone or slush, partly because of the saturated blue color and partly because of the sweet blueberry flavor. Very candy-like for sure, but still nice on the light white base. The description mentions ginger, but I don’t taste it at all. So really just a sweet blueberry white tea.

This advent has 25 days, so overall review will come tomorrow!

Flavors: Artificial, Blue Raspberry, Blueberry, Candy, Hay, Sweet

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

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Tea at the White House Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 24

Another nicely festive tea for Day 24! :D

This is actually really nice, one of my favorites from this advent. It has a bit of that candy cinnamon sort of flavor, but not too much, and there are also some other spices and a bit of a sugar cookie flavor as well. It’s quite light overall, but I like the balance of the sweet cinnamon with the slightly buttery cookie – it makes me think of snickerdoodles, which is pretty on-brand for a spiced cookie around the holiday season.

So this advent overall, was just kind of okay. It definitely was the most festive of my tea advents, which is what drew me to it in the first place. So many of the flavors were holiday-themed and just fun. However, in general the quality of the tea was just so-so. To be honest, I didn’t actually expect it to be amazing because this shop is obviously carrying teas from the major wholesalers, which in my experience aren’t generally outstanding. So I wasn’t too surprised or disappointed. I also found it a bit odd that there were a lot of seasonal and festive teas early in the advent, but then in the middle there was a sort of lull, with more generic dessert-type teas. I’m not saying all the teas need to be holiday-themed, but I do wish they’d been ordered in a way that they were better distributed throughout the month.

Flavors: Butter, Candy, Cinnamon, Cookie, Smooth, Sweet

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

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Compagnie & Co Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 24

Of course, the Christmas Tea! See, this is what I mean about saving a festive tea for the last day, heh heh… :P

So, unfortunately this just isn’t a good match for me, ha ha. It’s almond and cherry together – my two nemeses, joining forces! XD So needless to say, I dun like it. Very candy-sweet and cloying, and also medicinal. Jergens lotion, but make it tea! But I wouldn’t expect to like these flavors, so I’m not mad at it ha ha.

In terms of the advent overall, this was sort of middle of the road for me. I’m never a huge fan of when companies mix in unflavored teas, because they’re never great and I’m always disappointed to see them. I guess I’ve been spoiled by mostly getting my plain teas from specialists, and usually directly from the country of origin. But I do think the variety here was good, in terms of different flavors and types of tea. A good smattering of herbals without being too many, and only a few single-flavor teas like vanilla and caramel (which I don’t typically love). I don’t think there were any teas I was totally in love with, but there were a few that I would consider picking up if I were already making an order. I don’t think it’s a bad advent, but I do enjoy Dammann Frères more, and I think they’re somewhat similar so I would recommend that one over this.

Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Amaretto, Candy, Cherry, Marzipan, Medicinal, Sweet

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

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Bird & Blend Matcha Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 24

What an odd choice for Day 24. I always wonder if companies just don’t think about the ordering of the teas in their advents sometimes, for instance when they put similar teas near each other, or like this when they don’t save a festive or special tea for the end of the advent. I can’t imagine they don’t put a lot of thought into it, but I also can’t imagine why they’d choose a summer matcha for Christmas Eve otherwise. Especially when they had more festive flavors earlier in the month… :P

Anyway, this is probably a weird flavor to make as an iced latte, but I’ve done every other matcha that way and I’m not going to stop now! :P This smells strongly of crisp apple, with just a dash of the mint. As a latte, I also mostly get the apple, and mixed with the oat milk, it sort of reminds me of oatmeal with chopped raw apples mixed in. The mint is more noticeable at the end of the sip, leaving a creamy but refreshing mint finish in my case. Will have to try the remainder of the tin as a sparkling iced matcha at a later date, since it’s probably better suited for that.

As for this advent as a whole, I was really impressed with it. The last time I tried a lot of B&B’s matcha was many years ago, and I’m pleased to see they seem to have moved away from the “tea powders” they used to carry more of, with rooibos or herbal bases, and transitioned to more actual matcha. And their matcha base seems significantly better than what it was originally (I think it had white tea or something?). Definitely considering ordering a few of these flavors, though the price point is a bit high for me. But they have a lot of unique ones, so might be worth a splurge. Would definitely recommend this advent for future years!

Flavors: Apple, Cooling, Crisp, Earthy, Fresh, Grassy, Mint, Peppermint, Smooth, Sweet

Iced 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Brass Dragon by Thésaurus Tea
3986 tasting notes

Thésaurus Tea Fandom Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 23

Another mostly honeybush tisane. Here the honeybush is stronger, with more of a peppery note to it. I do taste a bit of rose, and perhaps a hint of the herbaceous lemon verbena.

Not a favorite, but drinkable.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Pepper, Rose, Smooth, Sweet, Woody

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

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Compagnie & Co Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 22

This is mostly just honeybush and rooibos – there’s linden, but I can’t really taste it much. Mostly it’s mellow and woody with a slight sweetness. Fine, but not something I would reach for.

Flavors: Hay, Smooth, Sweet, Woody

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

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DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 23

Lovely, as always. Classic spring-harvested sencha with dried sakura blossoms and leaves. It has a fresh, grassy flavor with vegetal and umami undertones, and then that light, airy sakura just dances over the top, adding its delicate fruity-floral notes and that quintessential savoriness.

Just wonderful, and even more so during a chilly, rainy winter day. :)

Flavors: Brine, Broth, Cherry Blossom, Clean, Crisp, Floral, Fresh, Freshly Cut Grass, Fruity, Grassy, Green, Light, Sakura, Salty, Savory, Smooth, Umami, Vegetal

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

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drank Lemon Meringue Chai by 52teas
3986 tasting notes

52teas 12 Teas of Christmas 2023 – Day 11

What an interesting idea. I’m not sure I’ve had a lemon chai?

I do like it, though to me there isn’t quite enough spice to make it a chai – it’s more of a lemon black tea with a side of spices. It doesn’t taste like lemon meringue to me at all, more of a classic tart lemon flavor and a bit of an herbal note as well. As for the spices, I think I’m getting cinnamon and cardamom? But it’s a bit tough to place since the spice notes are quite light.

It’s a nice enough lemon black tea, maybe it needs the latte treatment to get those creamy meringue notes.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrus, Lemon, Smooth, Spices, Tart

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

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Sipology Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 23

I may or may not have groaned audibly when I saw this… XD Chocolate teas are already not my favorite, and I also don’t generally love chili in chai, and I’m very hit or miss on flavored puerh, depending on how funky it is… So not a great combo ha ha!

Honestly though, it’s fine. The puerh base is nice enough – mellow, deep, and earthy without any fishy or funky notes. Don’t love the chocolate flavoring, it’s quite strong and has that trademark boozy note that I just can’t get behind. The chili isn’t very noticeable, the only indication really is a slight tingle/warmth at the back of the throat, it doesn’t taste spicy on the tongue. But honestly I don’t get a ton of spice in general here, mostly just chocolate with a touch of cinnamon and the chili.

So I don’t love it obviously, but it’s drinkable. More of a Mexican hot chocolate vibe than a chai IMO, but would probably be enjoyable for someone who loves chocolate teas more than I do. :P

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Chili, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Earthy, Rich, Smooth, Sweet

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

It sounded interesting until you said the chili wasn’t very noticeable. If something has chili in the name and I’m in the mood and prepped for spice, I want to feel the heat of the chili!

Cameron B.

I’m the opposite, I was relieved ha ha! :P

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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, KBeauty, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is “collecting” hobby-related things… ;)

- January Sipdowns: 6
- Total 2024 Sipdowns: 6

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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