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342 Tasting Notes


verdant teas, i am concluding, is quite the most staggering company. so much so that i have joined their tea of the month club…

i had a terrible day today. i’ve been in a cast with nerve damage in my right hand for 6 weeks. i don’t do boredom well. a plumbing problem popped up with our bathtub faucet and, after having read the instructions (or destructions as it were) i felt i could adequately play the part of one armed plumber. this was not the case. after a watery version of a fireworks display erupted in our bathroom and i looked like a drowned punk rat (i have a red and black faux hawk) the household water had to be shut off (not great because we have tenants). the problem was eventually resolved, but i still wasn’t happy. i have had this tea on my shopping list for some time and my first order arrived this monday past. i decided to save it for a day just like today. it was a great decision on my part!

this tea has two layers: the palate and the olfactory. both quite separate and at the same time complimentary.

this is the smoothest black tea i have ever had.

the chocolate element is a dark chocolate as opposed to a sickly sweet milk chocolate, the carob blends seamlessly with the cacao. it imbues a warm welcoming feeling to smell it….

now, tasting it is an entirely separate and unexpected experience. while i was smelling chocolate and wildcrafted black tea, i was tasting a very light floral honey flavour. brilliant.

i felt the pick up of caffeine, but i did not feel it the way i usually do…as a stickiness on the tongue. this tea is smooth, aromatic and light but can also be referred to as robust. this tea rounded off my terrible day very nicely!

thank you verdant teas, you have earned both my money and my devotion.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

I think you really needed a good cuppa! Verdant is fabulous, reading this is torture! (I’m out of all verdant supply and anxiously awaiting for my order to arrive!) Both Laoshan green and black are cupboard staples for me.


verdant has made me rethink teas into classifications: western tea and eastern tea. they are so purist in their methods and subtle with their flavourings, their tea translates to priviledge to me, lol. teavana and david’s teas are also excellent…. but definitely not (for the most part) purist. what do you think? you know all the companies involved: is there a differentiation between western and eastern tea? the laoshan chocolate had jasmine rice in it as a baseline! i have never seen that.


Well James, if you get me started, I could probably write a dissertation on the subject! I might PM you later and let you know my very humble opinion, it’s an interesting question, just can’t answer that in 2 words :-)


a perfectly reasonable reply, lol!

Lily Duckler

Thank you so much for your kind words (though very sorry to hear about your hand!!)


ah, there’s a difference between kind words and true words. i am a loyal fan of your brilliant creations….

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much thanks to scribbles for this tea experience!

i really do enjoy puerhs, overall, but this one (to my surprise) was too much for me!

within about 30 seconds of steeping the water in my cup went the colour of coffee and i couldn’t see through the sides of the cup. total steep time was maybe a minute?

very heavy, very dense, heavy stick of caffeine on the tongue. i say this WITH cream in it! as i finished the last few sips i discovered there was an accumulation of syrup about 1/2 centimeter thick at the bottom.

it occurs to me that possibly the cooking process that takes place to form puerh bricks changed the nature of the tea that i usually enjoy so much. this tea company is also very young by my standards, having been established in 2009.

afraid i can’t give much of a taste reference other than the word ‘heavy’…. actually ‘HEAVY’ is more accurate. not sweet. not fruity. no liquor that i could pick up and the nutty flavour that normally accompanies puerhs was also undetectable.

again, not sure if it was the cooking process or the tea quality with one.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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thanks much to scribbles for sending me this lovely sample in our exchange!

when i popped the bag open blueberry mixed with the clean dry smell of tea and the twang of elderberry immediately came to me. i like a tea where i can see the contributing agents, lol— this blend has whole berries in equal amounts to the tea. the stevia add in makes sugar unnecessary depending on your tastes. it’s interesting because this is so mellow for a black tea, a robust flavour overall, but sometimes black teas are difficult to layer with fruits because they can be overbearing. not so in this case!

lovely with cream, lovely on the second steep as well as the first…. a new favourite from david’s for me. once i finish this sample i will absolutely buy more!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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i am very new to green tea so my rating will be rather metaphorical and adjectival!

this tea is both simple and complicated concurrently. before i sip it smells like the ocean, reminding me vaguely of nori from when i make sushi in my kitchen. in my mouth it has light curls of smoke that add layers but don’t overpower. sliding to the back of the tongue caffeine asserts itself, the potential for bitterness is there, but doesn’t develop.

the most surprising element appears at this point…. after i have swallowed sweetness comes up from under my tongue. verdant tea…. how did you manage this?

this tea is outstanding. i added nothing to it and will continue to refrain to (high praise from me). i should also say as someone who has worked in customer service for years that the hand written signed notes thanking me and wishing me well truly meant to world to me. classy company, quality product.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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i did cream and sugar this one. the smell is incredible. the taste (on this first brew)was not what i had hoped it would be. i’m going to chalk that up to possible operator error. i really like a long steep, especially for a robust tea like this one and i think i may have cut off my steep time. thus far i find this to be a god tea, but not a great one as i was expecting…but i hope my mark will be adjusted.

what is interesting about this tea: i have a heavy brown layer visible through my clear tea cup. if i’m judging by bouquet alone then i am absolutely convinced. once it’s steeped: the chestnut has a significant presence! it makes for a very nice, rich, stable base…. an exotic neutral, if you will.

sadly, at the moment i cannot see having this blend without cream and sugar… but that may change. stay tuned!

UPDATE: for reasons i cannot fathom this tea was loads better on the second steep?!! i have no idea what toned down or how i managed it, but the second steep makes aaaaaall the difference. happily, i am increasing my initial rating! again, the chestnut base in this blend is divine.

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Weight To Go! by Teavana
342 tasting notes
thank you again BETH at the mayfair location for this great recommendation! the oolong gives it a caffeine punch and the puerh component tones down stickiness on the tongue from the tannic acid in adition to adding low tones of nuttiness.

this tea is light with a beautiful combination of fruit and flower notes, though none of them overpowering. although i haven’t tried it, i have every expectation that it will be brilliant iced. (i had waaaay too much fun today at teavana….. i need to seriously consider putting myself on a stricter tea budget!)

i just add a bit of sugar to this one, no need for cream because it’s so lovely clear. i have a single grouchy caveat: i dislike the name. if beth didn’t know me and what i like i wouldn’t have given this tea a second thought because the title rubs me the wrong way….. but in the grand scheme of things that is a very small gripe. head of the class teavana!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

Sounds lovely!
P.S. Reality is, tea and budget don’t agree much with one another. Believe me, I’ve tried MANY times, haha!

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drank Pink Passionfruit by DAVIDsTEA
342 tasting notes

this.is.a.brilliant.tea. the smell you get in the store is exactly how it tastes once it’s steeped. the blend is absolutely honest in its bouquet representation.

the colour is warmly pink. the taste genuinely passionfruit— not a citrus approximation. just enough flowers for it to be a tea and not just a fruit blend. adjectives: robust, elegant, balanced…

beautifully done, david’s teas! i can only hope that i can get this tea in the fall (please?).

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

Is there any tartness in this one? I’m considering picking this up, but I’m not sure about the hibiscus


not a hint. it’s really well put together. but you can always ask for a sample in the store, they’re really good for that. :-)


good idea, I’ll have to bear this one in mind next time I go to David’s Tea

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drank Chocolate Rocket by DAVIDsTEA
342 tasting notes

i prefer this tea from the first steep versus the second because i enjoy robust flavour. to be honest i didn’t much taste almonds, the strongest flavours in the first steep were chocolate and raspberry, in the second steep raspberry and mate. both times a very fruity tea.

quite nice, overall. it will do nicely as dessert!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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drank Lychee Peach by Tealux
342 tasting notes

okay, honestly, the first time i tried this tea it fell very flat and i was unimpressed. however, i figured i would give it another go seeing as it’s sitting in my cupboard.

tealux’s lychee raspberry is brilliant… but i’m afraid that my second go round with their lychee peach has not improved my opinion.

i love lychee and peach,but i taste neither in this blend. what i do taste is a creamy tobacco flavour. not like the smell of expensive pipe tobacco which can be nice, but something more acrid.

not more than a marginal grade from me…

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Time For A ReWrite!

A good friend of mine on here kindly asked me to do the Steepster world a favour and list my allergies front and center (fair enough, lol):

-COFFEE … rare, nasty, not even a bit funny if i’m exposed. (call me original)

-ROOIBOOS … is a new appearance. under certain circumstances i’m okay with it (ie if it’s GREEN and paired with mate) but because i have an auto immune disease i try not to poke at things.

*NOT an allergy, but an abnormality that drives my tea buddies bananas, i AM INCAPABLE OF TASTING CARAMEL AND TOFFEE. so i thought i’d list it at the top too. it’s very annoying. they smell great!!?

Hi! I’m James!

I’m a student: double major of human geography and psychology with the intention of chasing a double doctorate. (reading that over it occurs to me again that i must be crazy).

i’m a live and let live sort. i look and see alot of silver linings. my discovery of tea has only served to further that viewpoint. for me tea is art and nuance, watercolours and bold brushstrokes….

swaps are grand things! the element of surprise in a tea swap completely trumps forrest gump’s chocolate box life metaphor, lol.

favourites: french teas dammann freres, mariage freres and nina’s paris especially.

i have recently discovered a german tea company that has romanced me: tea gschwendner (sp?)

mandala teas is brilliant and a company i count on.

justea and tealet are companies i study because of both their exceptional products and and business models, as well as their work with farmers who are TOO POOR for fair trade certification. this is highly relevant to my studies.

90-100 i need more
80-90 i might need more, or it might be a respect vote
below 75? it was likely an oops buy. my evolution into french teas has vastly focused what i like!!

however, i’m always open to trying things.

dislikes so far: guayasa, darjeeling, most peach teas.


Victoria, BC

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