68
drank Shenandoah by Simpson & Vail
2586 tasting notes

I was feeling a green tea this evening, and there weren’t any in my box of oldest teas. This pouch happened to be the first green tea I clapped eyes on when I pulled open a drawer, so here it is! I’ve been really pleasantly surprised by this National Park collection in general, so I’m excited to try this one out.

I will say this is bit less unique than some of the other teas in the collection, as it’s mostly just a ginger lemon green tea. That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable, because it is. There’s a nice balance between the lemon and the ginger, with just enough spiciness paired with a sweet lemon drop-esque sort of note. The base is quite grassy, but in a dry way, and it gives the tea an almost herbal character. Paired together with the classic lemon and ginger, it’s a very comforting flavor.

I do actually notice the elderberry peeping in at the end of the sip, though I admit I probably wouldn’t have identified it if I hadn’t read the description. I really like the combination of the elderberry and the lemon, and it also gives a nice syrupy depth. I will say there’s no elderberry flavoring mentioned in the ingredients, which makes me wonder what else they’ve left out… :P

Anyway, it’s definitely a cozy sort of tea, and I’m sure it would really hit the spot if I were feeling under the weather, or even just on a rainy day.

Flavors: Berry, Candy, Dry Grass, Elderberry, Ginger, Herbaceous, Lemon, Smooth, Sweet

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

I’ve never tried elderberry and lemon together, though I will likely be trotting it out with cold and flu season around the corner. (I know I like it with cinnamon.)

Cameron B.

This was my first time trying it too, I think it’s fairly similar to blueberry and lemon, which I also love together.

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gmathis

I’ve never tried elderberry and lemon together, though I will likely be trotting it out with cold and flu season around the corner. (I know I like it with cinnamon.)

Cameron B.

This was my first time trying it too, I think it’s fairly similar to blueberry and lemon, which I also love together.

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Bio

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… ;)

~ 2021 SIPDOWN CHALLENGE! ~
~ December Sipdowns: 3
~ Total 2021 Sipdowns: 492

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. 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 Purveyors:
3 Leaf
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kusmi
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
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:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZEuKf1-ppR-VXajO4vV39zU1N3zjFJteEPAynqD2yl0/edit?usp=sharing

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/tea...

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