1528 Tasting Notes

82
drank Acid Drop by 52teas
1528 tasting notes

The first one to be tried from my January sub box! I couldn’t help it, this one smelled fabulous when I opened the pouch…

I really like it! The mix of citrus is very nice – I would say I get a lot of grapefruit and lemon followed by sweet orange. The lemon also tastes very lemon-drop-like, which really helps sell the candy shoppe angle.

The green tea base is somewhat robust, though I think it needs to be in order to keep up with the strong citrus flavors here. It has a bit of mineral and smoke to it that remind me of gunpowder green tea, but aren’t quite that strong.

I do get a tiny bit of bitterness here, and I’m not sure if I perhaps overleafed a bit too much or if it’s from the citrus peel. Either way, it’s pleasant and doesn’t detract from the overall taste.

ETA: Now that it’s cooling more, I am getting some lime flavor as well.

Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Grapefruit, Grass, Lemon, Lime, Mineral, Orange, Smoke, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Kawaii433

Oh man, I just made my first phone order with Lupicia in Hawaii… Thank you again for the info. I ordered the Framboise Chocolat and they said it was selling fast by phone calls so better get it sooner than later because it won’t be available after February. (Again I tried to post that in the forums, it just doesn’t let me post there, it times out.).

Earlier I had 4 Acid Drop in a cart and I decided to wait to pull the trigger because of the Lupicia order. I just know I’m going to like this. I love citrus especially if it’s tart.

Cameron B.

Oh good, how did the phone order go? I’m a citrus lover, too!

Kawaii433

Went well, we chatted quite a bit about the California store closing, how they didn’t know… Etc. I wanted to share this in the discussion, if you can do it for me since I can’t… She said she could fit up to ~12 bags of tea in one USPS flat rate envelope, depending upon what type of tea, and the shipping cost was $8 + $3.75 handling fee.

Kawaii433

Here is a copy and paste from the email:
We do have the Chocolate teas available for sale in our store. They are listed below:

Earl Grey Chocolat in 50gr pack $8.50 or 5TB in limited design mini tin $5.50
Framboise Chocolat in 50gr pack $8.50 or 5TB in limited design mini tin $5.50
Yuzu Chocolat in 50gr pack $8.50 or 5TB in limited design mini tin $5.50
The Au Chocolat in 50gr pack $8.50 or 5TB in limited design mini tin $5.50 or 10TB $8.50 (Regular 10TB package)
Marron Chocolat in 50gr pack $8.50 or 5TB in limited design mini tin $5.50
Orange chocolat in 50gr pack $8.50 or 5TB in limited design mini tin $5.50

Cameron B.

Okay, I posted those in the discussion thread. I wonder if you want less tea, if there’s a non-flat-rate shipping option…

Kawaii433

Thank you! I saw it :D

Kawaii433

She said that they use the smallest box that they can fit your order in and only the flat-rate options.

Kawaii433

I asked so many questions (poor lady) and we talked a long time… If any of you have questions, just ask me. I may have asked it hehe.

Cameron B.

Well that’s good to know, so it’s really not cost-effective to order less then if that shipping is flat rate. Thank you for the info! ❤

Kawaii433

I also asked if there was a price that we could get free shipping, she said no, not at this time.

Kawaii433

You’re very welcome <3

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Sample Sipdown! (12 | 81)

I had a cozy session with this one today, watching rom-coms and trying out a cheapo kyusu that I bought from Amazon.

To be honest, if this is the regular baked version of this, I can’t imagine what the “deep baked” one is like! This had a strong roast with lots of charcoal flavor.

Really, this was a bit too roasty for me for the majority of the session. It did have a very layered flavor though. The early steeps had deep charcoal and mineral notes, along with a charred wood flavor that reminded me of scotch or bourbon. I found some interesting fennel and dill notes as well, which added an unusual savory element. And there was also sweetness from honey, raisin, and very dark caramel.

About halfway through, the deep roasted notes started to fade a bit, which was very welcome. This allowed me to taste more of the nutty and sweet flavors that were hiding underneath.

The last couple of steeps were somewhat weak but very delicious, with strong sweet honey notes and creamy grain flavors. There was one infusion that reminded me of honey butter dinner rolls. Nom.

Really this was a bit too roasted for me. But I would be very interested in trying more GABA teas in the future.

10g – 200ml – 200°F – rinse/25/30/35/40/45/50/60/75/95/150/300s

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bitter, Burnt, Burnt Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Char, Creamy, Dill, Fennel, Floral, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Nuts, Oats, Raisins, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Sweet, Toast, Whiskey, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 10 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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65

Sipdown! (1 | 11)

Trying to finish off these Wicked Teas from Adagio. Actually, I have found the tiny tins to be quite useful for storing small vacuum-packed samples from TeaVivre and Taiwan Tea Sourcing once I’ve opened them. So I’m actually glad I got this sampler – even though the tins are cute, they’re usually impractical, so I’m happy to have a use for them!

Anyway, this one is closer to caramel apple than candy apple. I will say, I find the red sugar crystals to be quite cute, and happily they don’t seem to contribute much sweetness to the tea.

It’s fine, but not great. Happy to have the empty tin for other uses!

Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Sweet

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

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72
drank Bouncing Boars by Lupicia
1528 tasting notes

365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 35

Happy Year of the Pig!

Okay, so technically Lupicia is a Japanese company, so to them it’s the Year of the Boar, and they celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st. But it’s still based on the Chinese zodiac originally, so I decided to save this tea for the Chinese/Lunar New Year!

So this is an osmanthus oolong base with citrus flavors. But actually, I’m surprised by how much it reminds me of some of their wine-flavored teas. It has the same aromatic floral note as Napa Blanc. To be honest, I’m not thrilled by that aspect… But I do understand that they were going for a celebratory tea and it does add a touch of effervescence.

Personally, I could do with a bit more citrus. I feel like the floral flavor sort of overwhelms the tangerine-like citrus notes. But that’s probably mostly because I feel like Lupicia uses the floral wine-like tea flavor too often (and it somewhat reminds me of bubblegum for some reason), and I much prefer citrus to floral. :)

https://www.instagram.com/p/Btd22DolEqT/

Flavors: Candy, Citrus, Floral, Muscatel, Orange, Perfume, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82

365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 34

This tea came from tea-sipper!

I followed TeaVivre’s recommended parameters for this session. The time progression was interesting, I’m wondering if the shorter steeps in the middle are where they expect the dragon ball to unfurl.

Anyway, I wasn’t very impressed with this one… It started off extremely light in flavor. About halfway through the session, I started to help the leaves unfurl a little bit since they were still mostly compacted in a ball and I felt like that was why I wasn’t getting much flavor. It did definitely help a lot!

Overall, this had a very smoky and mineral taste that I wasn’t expecting. There were also some more classic white tea notes of oats and hay, along with a light honey sweetness and some date and golden raisin flavors. I also tasted some apricot notes and a bit of malt. There was very little bitterness, but a slight astringency did develop as the steeps grew longer.

I found it somewhat meh. Happily, I still have one dragon ball to try, so I’m thinking I’ll try Western or grandpa style for that one and see how it compares.

1 piece – 130ml – 200°F – rinse/50/60/70/50/50/30/40/70/90/110s

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtcOe5ElYxS/

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Dates, Dried Fruit, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Oats, Raisins, Smoke, Stonefruits, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 OZ / 130 ML
Leafhopper

Meh was my impression of this tea as well. Those dragon balls just don’t want to fall apart.

Cameron B.

Yeah, that sucker was really stuck together LOL! But it’s only fair to give it another chance with a different steeping method. :)

derk

Fair warming, though likely not the same tea, I had a highly compressed Moonlight White dragon ball from YS that was terribly bitter steeped grandpa.

tea-sipper

Hmm.. I’ll have to steep one of these guys up and see if I still like them. I liked my sample steeped Western, enough that I bought 100g, but maybe the 100 grams I bought weren’t the same as my sample…

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80

Sample Sipdown! (11 | 80)

Yummy!

This really does remind me of a lemon cake. It has a nice buttery, cakey note in the background and a desserty lemon flavor.

I will say, the base is very bland and “tea-ish” tasting. I did a 2.5-minute steep and it’s not bitter, though there is a touch of astringency. So I think this could be improved with a more flavorful base tea.

But still tasty! I love lemon cake. ❤

Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Cake, Lemon, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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72

Sample Sipdown! (10 | 79)

This one is a bit underwhelming, which is a shame because it was one that I was quite excited for.

That’s not to say it’s bad. It has a nice earthy Yunnan base, and I happen to be quite partial to Chinese blacks. It’s also smooth, with nice malt and bread-ish notes.

But the peach flavor just sort of tastes like it’s sitting on top, without really blending well with the base tea. It’s somewhere between fresh and candy peach, with some sips reminding me of Peachie-O’s or Jolly Ranchers. It definitely doesn’t remind me of peach crostata at all.

So it won’t be a reorder for me!

Flavors: Artificial, Baked Bread, Candy, Earth, Malt, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits

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

Often I find QTT’s blends taste better on the second, third, or fourth steep when the flavours aren’t quite the first time around.

Kittenna

I have no clue what a peach crostata is, but I do love this tea. One of the best peach flavours I’ve encountered, and the star anise gives it something special (and, I love the base).

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75
drank Apple Cider by Zhi Tea
1528 tasting notes

Swap Sample Sipdown! (9 | 78)

Courtesy of VariaTEA!

I think I made this with a little too much water, but it’s still quite tasty. The honeybush taste is very pastry-like, so to me this is closer to an apple crumble than apple cider. The spicing is fairly light, mostly cinnamon with a bit of clove over a base of sweet apple and a touch of creamy vanilla.

So in my opinion, it’s a bit like apple crumble with a side of ice cream! Much tastier than I expected. :)

Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Pastries, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Yay, I finally got my order with this tea in it! In reality, it only took about 10 days to get here, but it feels like forever when I don’t have any tracking…

This is super yummy! It’s like some sort of delicious, sweet coconut and cinnamon confection. The jasmine is very light and adds a nice complimentary flavor that keeps it from being too sweet overall. There’s also a lovely rich and buttery note that really sells the coconut dessert aspect, along with the oat-y flavor of the white base.

Wow, this is exactly what I hoped it’d be! Now I have to decide whether to order a bunch, because you know how teas with fresh coconut are… Hmm…

Flavors: Butter, Candy, Cinnamon, Coconut, Cookie, Cream, Creamy, Custard, Jasmine, Oats, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Evol Ving Ness

I love the name. Every day here is duvet day and will be till April.

Cameron B.

It’s a perfect name for a white & fluffy tea, perfect for lazing about with! ;)

Kittenna

Ooh. Definitely don’t order a bunch if there’s coconut. Nothing sadder than tea going vomit-flavoured due to coconut.

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55

Sample Sipdown! (8 | 77)

Nope, this pretty much tastes exactly the same as the sample VariaTEA sent.

Still tastes like artificial coconut to me, with a bit of a weird savory herbal flavor that reminds me of fennel.

Strange, and not for me. Oh well!

Flavors: Artificial, Coconut, Fennel

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
VariaTEA

I gotta say I am relieved that I didnt send you a bunch of weird, messed up teas. If the sample also tasted off, then it’s just the tea doesnt work for you lol

Cameron B.

Yeah, it’s definitely just the tea for this one! :P

Kittenna

I really tried to like this one, but it tasted too artificial for me, IIRC. I’ve only ever purchased a sample because of that.

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Profile

Bio

Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 29 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers, currently working in the field of Machine Learning. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

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. I have recently started to brew gongfu cha style!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms, including black, green, oolong, and white teas, as well as maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes. I am open to more exploration of puerh, but it’s not generally one of my favorites. I am not often a fan of fruit-based tisanes.

My very favorite straight teas tend to be from China, Japan, or Taiwan. I also enjoy matcha!

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, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially mango and pineapple.

Dessert: Again, all the things! 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 do very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose and 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 main 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. Smoke can be tasty when it’s not heavy-handed.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Lupicia
Taiwan Tea Crafts
TeaVivre
Yunnan Sourcing
Yunomi

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.

My profile photo is by inkpug!

Location

Austin, Texas

Website

https://www.instagram.com/cam...

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