654 Tasting Notes

drank Tikuanyin by Lupicia
654 tasting notes

My Hannukah countdown sipdown might be more effective if I were actually, you know, counting. I may not have immediately grasped the heart of the whole advent concept…

According to Steepster, this is my 6th sipdown of the month. It’s now Dec. 10. So I just need to get 4 more sipdowns in to catch up. Eep.

Admittedly, I always brewed this at work in less than ideal conditions so I can’t speak to its potential. My experience of it was decidedly adequate. It’s good but fairly generic. Roasty aroma, roasty flavor, amber brew. Three solid steeps – four if you overleaf a bit.

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This. Is. EXCEPTIONAL. Somehow the second steep is even better than the first. My guess is that the base tea is inherently buttery. The flavoring is soft cinnamon and cream. It’s maybe more sweet potato than squash but entirely delicious. I love how the flavor is robust and delicate at the same time – it’s substantial but not cloying or overly sweet or artificial. I’m glad that this has held up so well!


I’m glad this one still tastes so good for you. :D I really need to have my Butiki teas more.

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drank Banana Nut Bread by DAVIDsTEA
654 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m two days behind on the Hannukah sipdown countdown, but I haven’t given up.

This blend tastes exactly like banana nut bread. It does. But… it’s got that heavy sweetness that certain DT, Teavana, and T2 blends have, where it’s hot and sweet and flavorful but doesn’t taste anything like actual tea or any traditional tisanes. It’s a pleasant brew but my tastes have mostly shifted away from this.

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Sipdown! This is actually yesterday’s Hannukah countdown sipdown. The leaf is a year old and it shows. I remember the blend actually tasting like french toast with a heavy dose of maple and a hint of cardamom. A year later, though, it tastes like hot cocoa with maple flavor. YUMMY hot maple cocoa, but definitely not the taste that was originally intended. Alas, another object lesson in the importance of not hoarding (unless it’s pu-erh, but I don’t drink that).

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Sipdown! A migraine has knocked me a day behind in my Hannukah sipdown countdown, but I haven’t given up!

This is yummy on its own, but even yummier with a touch of DavidsTea pumpkin agave. I’m sad to see it go. The maple and vanilla flavors are well balanced without overpowering the woodsy rooibos. It doesn’t resteep well, so I just do the first steep for a long time to extract maximum flavor. Perfect for cold winter nights.


Ah that’s right! I heard that its on Christmas Eve this year. Good timing :)


Pretty convenient. I don’t normally get an extra day off on Hannukah :)

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Sipdown! This yummy blend comes to me courtesy of Phi and marks day 2 of my Hannukah sipdown countdown. I drank the first steep yesterday but held onto the leaves for a second steep today. Since that’s confusing, I am counting this as yesterday’s sipdown and will do another one today. On to the tea itself!

This is one of those black teas I have to be careful with lest it hurt my stomach, but it’s delicious. Creamy chocolate caramel goodness. The flavor is just spot on. A touch of rice milk takes it over the top but it is very good without additives too. Thanks Phi!

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drank Chocolate and Mint by Teapigs
654 tasting notes


I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I have never done an advent calendar. BUT. This year, Christmas Eve is also the first night of Hannukah. And I love Hannukah. And countdowns are fun. SO. I have spent the past month getting a bunch of teas to sip-downable levels so I could DIY a Hannukah countdown sipdown bonanza. As an added treat, I picked up a chocolate advent calendar from Trader Joe’s so I could have my own little tea and chocolate ritual each evening. Naturally, I had to start the event by doubling down on the chocolate with this tea.

This reminds me strongly of Andes chocolate mints. It’s just a clean, minty, creamy, chocolate brew. Yummy hot, terrible cold. Would happily drink again.


You know, come to think of it, I haven’t had much luck with chocolate mint teas cold. They all seem to go wonky.


Hmm. I have some thin mints tea that I could experiment with. I think most chocolate teas are just better hot though.


Yeah, it seems like it’s the chocolate that doesn’t translate well in cold tea. Too bad since chocolate mint works so well in ice cream and the like.

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This might actually be more chocolatey than the original Verdant blend. Thanks to Zennenn for including this in my Secret Pumpkin package!

It’s been a long and difficult week so I needed something sweet and comforting. This did hit the spot, but happens to be one of those black teas that hurt my stomach. Call it a bittersweet experience. The flavor is really nice though. More hot cocoa than rice krispy treats. I’m on my second steep and it is still sweet and flavorful. Yum.

Evol Ving Ness

Maybe the key is to have snacks on hand so that you stomach doesn’t suffer.


Eating bread/carbs before drinking black tea does usually reduce the pain but doesn’t preclude it entirely. Thanks for the suggestion though!

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Sipdown! I tricked out the last of my sample with a generous dose of rice milk and some DavidsTea Pumpkin Agave. The result was a gloriously maple, cinnamon, pumpkin, lightly clove, creamy, sweet brew. This is a really great fall tea for rainy days. I know because it started raining as I was sipping this tea and the combination was delightful. Take that with a grain of salt, though – I only like the rain when I don’t have to go outside in it.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Maple Syrup, Pumpkin

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Sipdown! Thanks to Phi for the sample!

I’m not a big wine person, so I was reluctant to try this blend. It turns out to not be very wine-like, though. The brew actually reminds me a lot of Nina’s Paris’s Versailles Rose. The grapefruit tartness is the same, just over a green tea base instead of a black one. I got two enjoyable steeps out of the leaf. The second steep was softer in flavor but sweeter. I let part of the second steep get cold so I could try this as an iced tea. Yum! Sweet grapefruit juiciness over a grassy green base. I can see this being great as a cold steep at the height of summer.

Flavors: Grapefruit, Grass

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