555 Tasting Notes


Smoke, wood, nuts, and burnt desert vegetation.. I think I may be more into puerh teas when the weather is not as nice and I want to transport myself into a place of dry heat. Although, this may have a place during the hot summer evenings too, cicadas abuzz. It’s dry but it’s also strangely refreshing and clean.

I did a really quick rinse and then steeped this western style today for an excessively long period of time (my gongfu is packed up for the move out tomorrow). I don’t think my methods hurt it today, and the more I sip away at this the more flavours I’m finding to fall in love with. There’s a lingering taste of sweet Nutella (roasted hazelnuts) that is freaking amazing. As it cools there is something spicy sweet like apple pie. Maybe I could drink this particular puerh all the time.

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Terri HarpLady

I love this one!


Yes! I was looking for a staple puerh and I think this may be it. I just need to save up all my pennies now. :)

What’s your best prep for this?


Someone wanted to make a Verdant order soon. All I want is the chai spice blend, check the spreadsheet! :)

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drank Lucuma Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
555 tasting notes

This is robust flavoring and I still don’t quite know what “this” is. I think I picked it out for the funny name. It’s jammy and sweet, but not in a fruity way, and it’s slightly buttery. I can see where the “sweet potato” reference comes in. Despite my best whisking efforts this matcha tends to come out clumpy or grainy… I’ve whisked like a champ tonight and I’ve lost count on how many matcha lattes I’ve made myself. Maybe over ten. Not excessive at all. At least it makes the kitchen smell sweet and it helps to make Archer more watchable studying for my last final more enjoyable.

This may not be a keeper but it was, and still is, a neat experience!


Haha hell yeah, Archer! Still haven’t caught up with the last season. When is your last exam? I have mine on Thursday and have been slacking a bit. The overwhelming amount of definitions and info = instant defeat.

Kudos for trying this out. I would have been too chicken to ever get it.


I’m only at the beginning of third season but I probably shouldn’t catch up tonight. My exam is tomorrow evening and I’ve also slacked off.

If everyone is curious, next time we meet I’ll bring samples of my weirder matcha flavours. I have this, mangosteen, hemp, and queen jelly. I would normally be too chicken as well to get flavours like that but I had a ‘first time purchase’ 50% off code from Sil.


I haven’t tried the hemp or jelly ones yet… I ran out of almond milk and haven’t managed to get to Costco to get more!

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It’s been a while since I’ve dedicated a day to a Verdant tea and I’ve built up quite a number of them. I pulled this one out at random. I don’t have my gongfu on me but the shifty measuring glass, strainer, and tea cup method usually work just as well! I’ll add to this throughout the day.

I poured the whole sample package into the palm of my hand and got floral, peanut butter. The first/rinse cup tastes a little greener and savory but is no less creamy. There’s a hint of spicy green tanginess at the finish. It compliments this extremely processed and watery chimichanga that I’m eating right now. I think the oolong may have more pepper to it. I should make my own chimichanga or burrito in the future.

Second Steep, 7 seconds: This smells more buttery and sweet. The peppercorn is increased here and is now prevalently lingers. It’ also has a tangy red sweetness to it that’s very rich and taunts the boundary between fruity and vegetal. The effect makes me feel deceivingly full, like eating a well varied meal.

190 °F / 87 °C

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First cup of the day and it’s a herbal. The liquor is a pinkish red and it smells like citrus laced red berry jam, or strawberry rhubarb pie. Hot, it tastes jam sweet, with a smooth, floral rose bridge, and a tart hibiscus/citrus finish. I’m liking this a lot more than I though I would, particularly for the citrus, but it’s not going to win over those wary of hibiscus. It’s also not distinctly strawberry at this stage.

I’m going to put the rest in the fridge and revisit this note later. This tastes like it would be just the thing iced or cooled.

Update cold cup- now it’s cold and I’m getting the sour and citric lemonade aspect from it. When it comes to teas I’m not a sweetener person, but this is unsweetened lemonade and would probably taste great with some syrup or agave. The flavours are still more berry citrus hibiscus than strawberry but it’s an enjoyable, refreshing cup. I think I prefer it hot though, for the pie jam.

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I tried to take of a sip of this after eating a bag of frozen blueberries and it was just bitter and awful; I thought I had wrecked this tea sample and would have to dump it. Luckily it was just the contrast of the blueberry sweetness, and rinsing my mouth helped. Yay for half blunders and commonsense! Lesson learned: never eat something sweeter than the thing you are drinking.

Ceylon is a very cutting, bright base as is apparent here. Not my favourite, and I was expecting something smokier, but this cooled off cup does yield a pleasant caramel apple flavour that I enjoy. The Ceylon makes the apple a tart green one but the cinnamon and sweetness rounds it out a bit. It’s actually a little bit like the baked, cinnamon, brown sugar apples my mom would make for dessert every once in a while.

So, not much bonfire from this one, except for a little cinnamon spice. The Toffee caramel is there though, and that’s the important part (for me). Thanks for the sample, Bluebird Tea Co.

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I have a lot of these flowering teas; a whole sample bag full, actually. They boggle my mind a bit and I don’t really know how to describe them. Most seem to be gentle, floral, and jasmine infused, and that’s about it.

This one a bit different from those because the vegetal, grassy tea really comes through strong here. It’s not unpleasant or bitter, and couples nicely with the overall nuttiness of the cup. The smell is in-your-face cut grass but the whole thing still manages to taste delicate and light in it’s own way. It’s a little astringent in a drying way.

The instructions for most of these flowering teas say to pour boiling water on the ball to let it unfurl, but once it’s done that I think it’s best to treat it like a typical green if your attempting a second steep. These guys seem to be two-faced between drooping petals and razor talons.

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The liquor is a light pinky amber and the flavour is as soft like nibbling on a flower. It doesn’t taste like much at first but then the floral honey sweetness creeps in. I barely taste the tea in this one. It’s mostly amaranth and subtle, but sweet, jasmine. It’s a delicate tea. It got a little sour as it cooled.

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I have forgotten how much I love Silver Needle. The subtle floral notes, the juicy sweet finish, the hints of melon and cucumber, the fuzzy little leaves that I want to stuff my pillow with, etc, etc. Yep. I love this kind of tea very much. It’s like embracing your newly cleaned, warm, fuzzy blanket that you’ve had forever right after it comes out from the dryer. Best thing in the world. Pure contemplative comfort.

The flavours are gentle but they are also rich and intoxicating for what they are; this tea actually has a tendency to make my head spin if I drink too much of it. Big overload on crisp, floral sweetness and I’ve only had a few sips. This is the good stuff and reminds me why I love tea so much.

Second steep has sweet citrus notes and it’s creamy, like lemon and butter with a touch of honey.

Third steep tastes like first steep except it’s peppery!

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Just Ahhhh…. for the deliciousness of this tea, and for the blanket coming out of the dryer!

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Just rediscovered TV Tropes. And the sun. It’s a wonderful sunny day in the lower mainland- a perfect day to study for finals inside.

I was worried about this one since it mentioned hibiscus. That particular ingredient tends to overwhelm certain teas for me and, while I don’t dislike tart hibby I do get bored of it quickly. It doesn’t take center stage here, thankfully. It shares the spotlight with the pepper zing, lime, and other fruity notes, much like a well prepared spicy sweet and sour soup manages to balance itself out and keep things afloat.

It’s fruity, floral, spicy, and sour… pretty much everything except bitter and salty. The cup is a fresh, clean-tasting tea, without the mouth-drying puckering that’s usually associated with some of the more citric ingredients included here. A big thanks to Bluebird Tea co. for sending this my way!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I didn’t get a chance to drink much of this sample that Bluebird Tea Co. provided, but what I did taste was right up to par with other chocolate mint rooibos blends I’ve tried. I got sweet peppermint, then rooibos, with a little chocolate mixing throughout. My mother stole the rest of the mug, and she told me “it was delicious” while sipping away, so there’s that recommendation! :)

Edit: upon finishing the cup my mother stated again that it was “a very delicious tea” and asked me if I had more hidden anywhere. Definitely a big fan.

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I can’t wait for my samples to arrive!


I look forward to seeing what you received. It looks like everybody was sent something different. Did you pickup anything else besides the samples?

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.


95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: …


BC, Canada

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