3079 Tasting Notes

A sipdown!

Ashman is a bigger fan of darjeeling than I am and drank an astonishing amount of this tea this morning. I told him that I made separate teas for us today, and that the big pot was a type he has loved in the past.

When he took his first sip, he closed his eyes and said, “It is especially good today.”

I did have one small cup of it at the beginning of breakfast and I had to agree. It was especially fruity, but by the end of my cup, I was tasting the sharpness that some people love but that puts me off a bit. This profile is much better with food according to my tastes, especially food that needs a tea that can “cut through.”

Darjeeling lovers would really love this tea, as Ashman did.

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A friend dropped by with the S&V Holiday sampler today for us to try some of the teas.

This was Ashman’s favorite for drinking as a plain tea, though St. Nick’s won as a blend that would be good plain or as a latte and dessert-like cuppa to top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. He said he is partial to green tea or white tea over black tea generally,
so not a big surprise.

He was a little unsure about the aroma but loved the flavor. They say there is figgy pudding flavor in this, but we have never had figgy pudding so we will take their word for it.

It definitely smells very fruity and I tasted vanilla. I thought I was tasting some clove and Ashman did, too, but there is none here and we decided it was the orange peel mixing with the cinnamon that came across as very mild clove.

This was good, but I don’t know that I need to order it when the cupboard gets lower.

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A friend dropped by with the S&V sampler this morning so I could pick teas to try. There were only three that really caught my interest and Nutcracker Blend has failed to woo me to order.

This one is a different story. Ashman right away was enamored of the aroma. He also liked the flavor. He said this was like drinking hot chocolate to him. We were having it plain, and he said he bet it would make a great latte as well.

He tasted cacao, which he greatly prefers to the artificial chocolate flavoring, and caramel most. The mild almond is nice in this, too.

This is a winner that we would be happy to drink again.

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A friend ordered the S&V Holiday Sampler and dropped by today so I could pick a few to try.

I chose Nutcracker Black tea blend, St. Nick’s Black tea blend, and Figgy Pudding Green Tea blend.

Ashman liked this one more than I did but said it wasn’t one he would want to order. It was definitely nutty but thin and maybe a little wood in the base. It just didn’t have holiday or dessert appeal to me. This was my least favorite of the three.

Cameron B.

Winter Wonderland is my favorite of their holiday blends! Sadly I don’t love any of the others, I wish I did. :|


I already had a whole tin of Winter Wonderland and I also like it very much!

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drank Lavender Lace by Simpson & Vail
3079 tasting notes

September Sipdown Challenge – a tea for which you are grateful

This is not a sipdown. This is a nearly new tin. I forgot what I had ordered from S&V and when I saw this I was really perplexed as to why I ordered it. I am so glad I did. I am mostly grateful to have found teas and tisanes without caffeine now that I have become caffeine sensitive. But I am grateful for this one because most of our caffeine free options are dessert blends or fruity blends and I really needed this for a night like tonight when my clenched jaw has inflamed my TMJ issues and I have a headache.

The others blends were purchased for fun evening tea and cookies or snacks with Ashman, but this one is a cup for quietness by candlelight with the windchime singing just outside my window.

It is lavender forward and the mint is just a slight cooling sensation and doesn’t take over the personality of the whole cup. Mild mint is very soothing and relaxing to me.

Hopefully once I finish this I can go to bed and fall asleep right away.


The tea sounds lovely and I hope your headache went away.


Thank you, Michelle! It did get better, and I fell asleep but woke up at 4 am with terrible reflux. Then Sam woke me up at 6 am to feed him! Ha ha! Now head and neck and hurting and I am hoping for an awesome nap at some point this afternoon.

Martin Bednář

Not much a comfy days, but comfy tea nevertheless!

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I bought some Simpson and Vail caffeine free blends for the upcoming fall and winter evening tea times with Ashman. He loves cookies and this sounded like one that woukd go nicely with desserts.

But first – does anyone else have a weird cupboard situation? For a very long time now, years even, I have noticed that lots of my teas duplicate. I tried taking one out of cupboard and it removes both. When I tried doing a rough count of tea on hand and comparing the numbers, they match pretty well. Then I noticed that some of my teas are not listed, but when I have a sipdown and go to the page and remove a tea from cupboard, the number on the cupboard page does go down by one. i have added the four new S&V teas but they do not show up in the cupboard for me even though when I go to their page, it says “added to cupboard.” Mystery.

Anyway, I made this first as a latte and it was such a hit that I wondered if we would like it plain. I was right about Ashman loving it.

Tonight we had a cookie taste off. Ashman wanted Keebler Pecan Sandies but wouldn’t buy them because they were not on sale and we were in one of the most expensive local grocery stores. Daughter went to another store today and they were on sale as well as there being a store brand, so I had her get both and we had a blind cookie tasting tonight. The store brand won! Ashman is happy because now he can have his cookies more often.

We drank this tea plain tonight. I resteeped it so we would have a huge pot. It was wonderful, nice and strong, and the shortbread flavor in the tea just complimented the shortbread style Sandies. It was excellent even without milk and sugar, and indeed would have been too much sweetness for me latte style while eating cookies, although Ashman wouldn’t have minded with his sweet tooth. The caramel is authentic tasting and the hint of walnut gives it depth.

We both loved it and I am really happy with the blends I bought to enjoy this winter. This is one I would definitely repurchase.

ETA: Now that I have logged a tasting note on this one, all my new teas now show up in my cupboard three days after I added them, but the number of teas is unchanged.
It also says that I have made no tasting notes for any of them in spite of this one being written today. Maybe it takes a long time to catch up.

Martin Bednář

As of cupboard — I think that if you have sorted them by “most drank”; there are “moving” if they have same number of times drank. That’s why I sort it by “Recently added”, as that is pretty clear when they were added to the cupboard (and database of your cupboard).
But why it took that long, no idea. Hopefully all Steepster issues will be solved and quickly, if possible.


I will switch it around and see if it helps much!

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September Sipdown Prompt – a tea you regret buying

A true sipdown!

Not a repurchase, although it is fine as a sweet iced tea, of which we need plenty. More hibicus flavor than I prefer and I feel that it competes with the rose instead of complimenting it. I suppose it was just put there to make it pink for Valentine’s Day.

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September Sipdown Prompt – your hardest to reach tea

I love this tea, and yet here it is still on shelf with a September 2023 best by date. This is probably because the Lupicia pouch was put into a pretty copper colored tea tin that Ashman loves and placed on the highest shelf where I promptly forgot about it. Yes, I am a shortie and have to stand on tiptoe and strain to get some of my tea. I could fetch the step-stool but who can be bothered with that?

This tea has chocolate flavor that doesn’t seem to offend Ashman. Many of them “smell like mildew” to him and I completely get that. We both prefer the ones with cacao nibs or real chocolate. The strawberry flavor is just the icing on the cake. The puer base is earthy and woodsy, not fishy, but it is definitely puer and not one of those you can mistake for black tea.

I will be having this one a couple more times and then it will be a sipdown.

The fact that I just re-ordered a tea to keep it from being out of stock in the household even though I am trying to get my cupboard down to 75 teas makes me want to make a master list of what I really, truly love and do not want to be without. I am thinking of listing about 25 teas with some entries being less specific, like “have two excellent green teas on hand”. This will leave room for teas I just want to try or teas I want to have occasionally on rotation but that don’t have to be on shelf at all times for my happiness to be complete.

ETA: Sipdown three days later!

Cameron B.

First, I am also a shortie! Which is why my tea lives in the bottom cabinet of my tea nook and teaware lives in the top he he.

Also, I remember trying the “essentials list” idea once and it quickly got out of hand, LOL! On the plus side, I guess it helped me remember how many teas I have that I love. :P

Martin Bednář

I am normal size and yet my tea is on the floor in various boxes sorted by types. But they are accessible by my chair easily :P


Most of my tea is on shelves but there are four of them on a narrow wall. The top shelf is definitely tiptoe territory for me. I have a few tins in the living room, usually 8-10, and puer teas are kept in an easily accessible drawer. There is a bookcase under those shelves and they hold boxes for teas that are not in tins. Those are really easy to reach.


CameronB – I will let you know how my essentials list goes! I can see how easily it could get out of hand! One problem is ordering from other countries and trying to get our money’s worth on shipping so we keep adding to cart! That’s why Harney’s free shipping is so enticing. I know I can always get something later and I don’t worry about trying to hit a free shipping threshold.


Have any of you added furniture to your homes just for tea? I find myself wondering if I should get a freestanding cupboard just to wrangle all of the tea and teaware so that it doesn’t infiltrate the rest of my kitchen. The tea mostly stays in one place, but I’m always finding mugs and steepers where they don’t belong…

Mastress Alita

I got one of those “foldable cube” organizer shelves which sits just outside the kitchen. I use different cube compartments for different types of tea, and when I need one, I can pull the whole cube out and go through it at the table rather than stand in tiptoe or squat on bad knees and ankles. I have a small area right next to the kettle in the kitchen where I keep no more than 5 or so teas I’m currently working on, so my kitchen space is at a minimum for tea storage (although one whole cupboard of kitchen space holds all the teaware, eep.)


I… honestly just have less kitchen stuff than we otherwise would because my tea takes up four drawers and most of the cabinet above them, and my teaware takes up two cabinets and then some. And we live in an apartment, so space is at a premium! Truly, pity my long-suffering partner who actually does all of our cooking and never has enough room for actual kitchen things. I’m considering getting one of those narrow little kitchen carts to create some additional storage space.

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drank Hojicha Powder by 3 Leaf Tea
3079 tasting notes


This was the hojicha that made me get interested in hojicha. I finished it today in a smoothie. For smoothies, I especially love the banana flavor hojicha and that is the one I would be mostly likely to re-order someday. Good stuff! I still have some of the honey lemon flavor left from this company as well as an unopened pack from Den’s Tea of plain powdered hojicha, PLUS a bag of whole leaf that derk sent that is our go-to for evening cups of hojicha – i.e. not in a smoothie.

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Making up for the fact that I have already ordered a replacement for the Carrot Cake Cupcake rooibos we emptied tonight, I am pushing a few sipdowns through.

This is not at all like drinking a decaf black tea which was what I was hoping for, but it was very much like having an interesting decaf white tea that we could drink with evening Asian food. I would consider reordering someday.

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I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about fourteen years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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