3311 Tasting Notes

This is one of my samples from the Teavivre VIP program. See, Stoo, I DID choose one or two unfamiliar teas after all! I was bemoaning to you that I thought I had only ordered old favorites!

This was a welcome surprise this morning as I was craving a solid black tea, unflavored, but full bodied.

From the smell of the dry leaf I thought it was not what I was after as I was getting lots of high fruity notes, but the steeped tea was just just what I was looking for. It was strong enough for breakfast, didn’t need additions but could take them if that’s what you like, and would also be a great lunch or afternoon picker-upper tea. Good solid base with beautiful red color and smooth on the tongue, a mix of malty and fruity.

Would definitely reorder.

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drank J.E. Oolong Milky by THEODOR
3311 tasting notes

Rare Tea Company special – glass flask 1/2 price with purchase of two cold steep teas.

June Sipdown Prompt – your oldest oolong


This tea has stayed on shelf bag after bag for years. I received some from Superanna and some from Kawaii and Superanna bought some for her own house, too. And now it is gone!

When I saw the Rare Tea special, I ordered. I loved the flask and I want to try cold steeping and getting away from so much SWEET tea at lunch time. But I was eager to try my hand at cold steeping while I wait for my order!

I decided to try cold steeping the last of my Theodor milk oolong in a JoeMo and it was not a success. I overleafed the first batch, thinking I would need to in order to get enough flavor. Also I had read that some oolong teas need to cold steep up to 48 hours, so I left it for twelve but it was bitter, and this is a smooth and creamy tea usually.

I tried making some hot and putting it in the fridge and it was better, but still not as good as served hot. I tried cold steeping another batch, this time with less leaf and less time, and that was better but this tea really shines as a hot cuppa, and just didn’t appeal to me cold.

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This is a sample sipdown and was in my box of tea from Youngest – many thanks!

As soon as I sipped this I knew I had had something almost exactly like it before. Of course! Cookie by Lupicia! And therefore the slightly fancier Christmas version, White Christmas.

Rich and creamy, almond and bakey goodness. Well worth a try. Very tasty and our big pot at breakfast paired wonderfully with food, as well.

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drank Toffee Banana Honeybush by 52teas
3311 tasting notes

What a surprise this tea is!

I picked it because I like toffee and I like banana and I need some caffeine free options on shelf. I have never had the Chinese dessert Toffee Banana and didn’t know the tea was inspired by that until I read Roswell’s tasting note.

I steeped the tea twice and combined the two steeps. I was a little worried about trying that right off the bat without having sampled it before because not all teas can take that treatment. But this one can!

Wow! I never expected so much banana flavor! I have only had samples of one or two banana teas in the past and they did not have nearly this much banana flavor. And the toffee is so rich, with the nuttiness making the cup really have nice body.

I love this, and would definitely repurchase. I had it hot with nothing added. Paired it with a few squares of Milka Kuhflecken chocolate bar. YUM

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drank Pomegranate Grove by Adagio Teas
3311 tasting notes

This was a sample packet in the box from Nicole – many thanks!

I was in the mood for a hot tea before bed a few days ago and this one sounded promising. It says pomegranate in the name but the first ingredients listed are apple pieces and rose hips.

I was hoping it wasn’t just going to smash me in the face with hibiscus because honestly SO MANY tisanes all taste alike to me because the hibiscus overpowers everything else.

This one was an exception, though. The cinnamon is really front and center here and it is more of a tart apple and tart fruit vibe, but without being super puckery.

I wouldn’t buy it, as I don’t purchase much along these lines, but it was a decent enough evening cuppa.

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drank Happy Dreams by Dammann Frères
3311 tasting notes

June Sipdown Prompt – a refreshing summer tea

We try to keep a pitcher or carafe of caffeined tea and another of either decaf or herbal. My decaf/caffeine free stash for things that taste great iced is a little lower than usual, but my eye fell on this one and I wondered how it would be iced.

It is amazing iced. Ashman poured it for me and when he brought it I thought at first he had misunderstood me when he asked if I wanted something to drink because it looked like he was bringing me water. As he got really close I could see it was pale yellow, but the first sip assured me that the taste was anything but weak. This is a powerhouse of lemongrass and anise and citrus flavor. Love it, and it will be a regular this summer.

This was a gift from Superanna. Many thanks!

Would definitely repurchase.

Ilse Wouters

I make a note of this one, as time has come to enjoy iced teas!

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June Sipdown Prompt – a tea from Africa

I prepared a huge pot to have for breakfast on the patio – bagels with Ashman. It was much as the first note, but I gave it a little extra leaf today so when we combined the two steeps we would have a nice, big STRONG pot.

Man, was it good! I still get those Darjeeling-esque notes from it. I love that it steeps at a low temp for a short steep of two minutes and breakfast is ready that little bit faster.

There was a cup leftover in the pot, and when lunchtime rolled around I poured it over ice with no sweetener at all and took it outside to enjoy with a honey nut chicken salad sandwich. (Copycat recipe of the Sprouts version.) Some leaves had strayed into the pot and though they were few they did lend a bit if briskness and potency since so little tea was left….and it was excellent. This made an awesome unsweet iced tea and I didn’t see that coming.

A definite re-purchase, maybe for Christmas, because the smell if these fine cut leaves says TEA!

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June 18 – Picnic Day: have tea outside


Nicole sent me a taster pack of this and it is one of the teas I was most excited to try. I served it Sunday for Father’s Day, a half gallon iced, and made another half gallon today.

I have had every meal and my snack outside so every tea has been outside today! It is hot but not humid and with the fans going in the shade of the carport in back it is very pleasant to sit and look at the garden.

This has such a fresh and fruity aroma, and I love that I can drink it anytime of the day or night because of the green rooibos base.

This is a sipdown, but does it really count when I have more on the way?

Cameron B.

Of course it counts! XD

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drank Japanese Whisky by Harney & Sons
3311 tasting notes

After an unsatisfying experience with Black Cask Bourbon, which I expected to taste like O’Connor’s Cream was was instead a weak lapsang with a thin body, i decided not to try Japanese Whisky, especially since it seemed that sample sizes were always sold out, but Youngest sent me a number of sachets recently! Many thanks!

I didn’t read the description closely before steeping so once again I was expecting a boozy tasting tea, but this time the non-boozy tea was really tasty.

I like Lapsang, and I like it smoky. I do prefer for it to have a substantial base because otherwise it just tastes like the rinse water from an ashtray to me. It is:also awesome paired with ice cream.

So this one…this is smoky, but the smoke flavor doesn’t rise immediately into the sinuses like some Lapsangs. The smoke stays low, covers the sides and back of the tongue. There is a bit of mineral vibe on the tongue, like licking slate or shale, but not as dry. A briskness lingers after, yet there is a silky feel to the body of the tea as well on the way down, followed by the briskness that makes you want another swallow and another swallow.

Leagues better than Black Cask Bourbon in my opinion. Just keep in mind that this is not a whisky flavored tea, but rather a tea that was smoked over the wood chips of old whisky barrels. The memory of the whisky remains in the wood and flavors the tea in an entirely different way.


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This is actually a sharedown. I have some Harney ceremonial grade and I really prefer it, but for casual drinking the second highest grade they sell is perfectly good. Superanna drinks copious amounts of matcha and after sharing some of this with my neighbor and drinking a bit of it myself, I gave it to Superanna today.

I will work on a sipdown of my Harney matcha and then during the next sale I will get both their top and second tier matcha fresh.

This one is fine for shaking in cold water for morning shots or for lattes. I am just really trying to go for fresh and vibrant because I feel like it is a lot better for you.

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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.

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


North Carolina

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