268 Tasting Notes

drank White Christmas by Harney & Sons
268 tasting notes

Can’t make up my mind about this one. I’ve been wanting it since last year when I saw it at Chapters as part of a package. I didn’t buy it then because I wasn’t interested in the other teas that would have come along but I’ve been eyeballing it ever since. Well, now I have it.

Smells divine. Taste is decent but not what I expected. A lot of notes say “chocolate”. I’m not getting chocolate at all. I’m getting vanilla and cardamom, but I think I’m getting chamomile at the end of the sip, and that’s what’s turning me off a little. I will try to mask that in later cups, maybe with some almond milk but I’m hesitant to add that to a white tea. So yeah. That’s my take. I’m drinking it out of an blue glass mug so I have no idea what color it brews.

I also wasn’t sure how much water to use for 1 sachet so I went with 8 oz, which is half the mug. 177F, 3 minutes.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I’d like to announce I have had two pu’erh tastings back to back. I am not going to say cups because I resteeped last night so it was more than one cup. Are you impressed? You should be. But maybe you’ll say last night’s won’t count because it was a sheng.

This morning I woke up early despite being still on staycation. Partner goes to work so naturally I hear moving about and wake up. Then had to go out to run an errand and now I’m back but sleepy! Didn’t want coffee, didn’t want tea. So I thought since I am not in the mood for anything, I’ll just make pu’erh. That way I’m fine with whatever it tastes like because I have no expectation, no craving.

I did everything “right”. I warmed the gaiwan, I put the leaves in the empty but warm vessel, I let them get all happy for a bit, then I added 200F ish water over them. 15 second rinse, then their actual bath for a minute.

I have to say a much as I don’t like the taste of shou pu’erh all that much, I love their color. The dark-red clay colour does it for me. Took a sip and it’s not “oh wow” I’m in love but still, not at all unpleasant. I thought about mj ‘s note from her first pu’erh experience and tried to do the same: adjust my senses for what my tastebuds are about to experience. Leather? Sure. Leather. I wish I could have one word to describe the way pu’erh tastes. I don’t like barn, dirt and mushroom. Because really, it’s neither. It sometimes it’s metallic, like blood, although it’s not that either.

This is great pu’erh folks. It really is. I am grateful to have tried it. I have enough for a few more cups, gallons of it if I resteep.

ETA: holy shit! Pu’erh gods forgive me! I added sugar and vanilla to this on the resteep.( I resteeped with half the water, for 1 minute.) Holy crap, this is amazing. It’s like a different tea. Can I still say I like pu’erh even though I … Modified it?

mj

No tea police here! Enjoy it any way you want :)
And I get what you are saying… I liked the puerh I had but not in a YUM way

Nxtdoor

As a chef, if I make a nice steak for someone and they drown it in BBQ sauce I cringe inside. And if it’s a family member, I get vocal about it. I mean, why did I just bother to give you the good stuff? I am sure people feel that way about some tea. I mean, why bother with expensive stuff if you’re just gonna add shit to it to make it taste cheap?!?

mj

You make an excellent point. It is a crime to adulterate good steak! A1 should be banned (and is foul besides)

K S

I taste it both ways. If a tea tastes better to me with an addition then I will drink it that way. I see it as no different than a little salt or other seasonings thrown into your recipe.

Nxtdoor

K S, I wholeheartedly agree with this point. I do the same with shou except I drink the first steep as is. Then, any subsequent steeps get fixed up, as a reward for making it through steep one.

K S

Nxtdoor – yes! Me too when necessary, but must try straight first. Oh, and I used to always drink the rinse, so I don’t even bother anymore.

K S

Try some chocolate mint in you shou sometime. Yum!

Nxtdoor

Oh gosh, yes. I think that would be great. I will :)

mrmopar

I modify and drink it how you prefer it. It is all about your preference. It is your cup so I say drink as you like it. I think I am very proud of you doing puerh 2 days in a row!! Smile Smile :) :)

Nxtdoor

Oh, mrmopar i was so happy with being able to enjoy this finally. Even before the addition. Thanks for the encouragement :)

mrmopar

:) Hope your weekend is good! Rest and relaxation. We are getting poured on with rain forecast for the next 2 days so I am going to kick back and sip along with you.

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95
drank Dragon Lychee Pearls by Tealux
268 tasting notes

I must have forgotten to write about this in past tastings even though I just finished a bag. And not a sample bag either! I love these and I will miss them. I haven’t had a lot of lychee teas but this is a great one. With or without sugar, although I prefer with. I don’t like that I’m running out of a lot of favourites all at the same time because it means I must place a lot of different orders. Hard to do when one tries to adhere to a budget or allow only one order per month. Ha! How’s that for discipline?!?

These pearls are so good though. Great flavour, good base. A tea that makes you think about it even when you’re not with it. The pearls are also very cute to look at. Tiny, black aromatic marbles, not too small either. Perfect size! I don’t like stuff that looks like mouse droppings :)

Skulleigh

LOL, having seen far too many mouse droppings in my day, I can’t say I’ve seen tea that reminds me of them. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad!

Nxtdoor

Big mouse? :) I know, really,I haven’t either. But some pearls are really small. Not these!

mj

I think pearl teas are cute too :)

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A while back I was facing some personal challenges and just overall had a lot on my plate. So it was back then that I booked this week off so my partner and I can take a short vacation together. Things didn’t turn out as planned and partner is now back to work. I decided to still keep my week off and just relax. Be a tourist in my own city, eat lunch at all the places I never get to go to for lack of time, and mostly indulge.

Part of indulging, however, was allowing myself a day home with tea, books, tv and comfy clothes. (ok, originally it was pyjamas but I find the track pants are cozier). I always envied a little those of you who seemed to lack a rigid schedule and who went on about making and drinking tea, reading books and watching the grass grow. As a chef I don’t get to drink tea at work. There’s no sitting around a desk gazing at a computer screen while sipping a cuppa. I’m also not taking tea to meetings or what have you.

So today I treated myself to a day where I do all the little things. Reading from a good book. Watching the Food Network (yay!). The saturday crossword that I didn’t get to finish because we were at our cottage (that looks like this. http://instagram.com/p/rN4DFgnqXb/?modal=true .I guess I married up) And of course, drinking tea.

This tea, umm.. I will try it again when I’m in the mood for mint. I thankfully get quite a bit of the delicious Laoshan green base but also a lot of mint. There’s something refreshing about this that makes me think of citrus but there’s no citrus in this tea apparently. I admit to not reading the ingredients when I ordered this or I wouldn’t have gotten it. Tulsi? bleah. I think I meant to order Laoshan Green and ended up with this. It’s not a verdant error because I took a shot of my ipad screen prior to ordering.

I can’t say I love this, sorry. Like I said, maybe I’m just not in the mood for mint right now.

Flavors: Green Beans, Mint

TheTeaFairy

Enjoy your time off sweetie, you so deserve it! And indulging does not involve mint…have something more decadent please!!

Nxtdoor

I guess job browsing is also a no-no while on staycation?

TheTeaFairy

NOOOOO!! Totally forbidden…unless it involves working as a chef in the Caribbean islands…with several breaks every day…and a good tea station as benefits :-)

OMGsrsly

Looking for work is a type of work. :) Hope you have a lovely week! (I get to browse the internet a bit while at work, but I’m not allowed food at my desk, so no tea here either!)

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93

Wow. This is the creamiest pure green tea I have ever had. I received the sample from Verdant with my last order. I still don’t swoon over green teas so I opened all the other stuff first. I wanted a new tea today and this is the only thing I have that’s unopened and untried. (Not in the mood for all the pu’ samples I have in a box from a tea friend).

I ripped this open and I sniffed it out right away. The sweet creamy peas are so fragrant! Ok, there’s no peas in here but that’s what you smell. Now that the pouch has been open it is not as strong but man, that first sniff was delicious. If I take some in my palm and keep smelling them, they smell so sweet, and somewhat toasty. But only if you insist on sniffing, it is not apparent at first.

I used a sort of western/gaiwan method for brewing because the verdant site said 4 grams of tea for a “medium” gaiwan. Errr, what’s a medium? I mean, we measure the time, the leaf and temperature, I’d like to measure the water too. So the western instructions said 6-8 oz water. I put it in a gaiwan. And I steeped not 3 seconds like they say (?!?) but 50. I know, I’m all over the place.

I have no idea what their steeping instructions would render but what I made here is so so good. It’s creamy and sweet, like bean sweet, and I’ve never had anything like it. Very pale brew. Drinking it out of tiny cups that came with my glass gaiwan. Pretty. Because, you know, we don’t just gulp this stuff around here! :)

Thanks, Verdant!

TheTeaFairy

I think verdant have some of the best green tea out there…
Lol at “medium gaiwan”, would it be so hard to just say “in a 5oz gaiwan” if that’s what they mean?

yyz

I like 45s start for the first steeps of Green teas. It was what was recommended for gongfu, by a guideline I have had success with. Glad you enjoyed the tea.

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96

This is my one tea I hope to have on me if I ever find myself up stranded on a desert island. It’s almost all I have to write about it. I much prefer this to a green Genmaicha, verdant or otherwise, but maybe that’s because I dig black teas more than greens.

The chocolatey rice is out of this world and oh my god, what’s the biggest quantity I can buy because I’m already looking in my 3-oz tin and thinking that I have to hang on to it but I can’t because all I want to drink is this.

And no, I don’t have to add anything else to this note because there’s a lot of them out there, with stories and everything, which most certainly makes this one dull anyway. So there :) Drink this and stop talking. It’s smooth, it’s rice, it’s chocolate and you too will want to take it on a desert island.

TheTeaFairy

(A shitload is the biggest quantity you can get. Ask me for some if you ever run out.)

Nxtdoor

I would never ask for this! If it’s hard for me to part with, it’d be hard for everyone else too, I’m guessing. Or maybe it’s cause I’m an only child and don’t know how to share.

Sarsonator

LOL. Too funny! Another tea addiction is born!!!

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, when the zombie apocalypse arrives, you’ll find me in an underground bunker somewhere in the woods near Emminence, Mo, by the Jacks Fork spring fed river (one of my favorite float trip rivers)
https://www.google.com/search?q=jacks+fork+river&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=E97LU9_TOYW0yATO0oCAAQ&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=615

You’ll find me somewhere down there, with a survival kit of knives, fishing gear, a few cast iron skillets, a canoe, sleeping bag, tea kettle, & a lifetime supply of hoarded teas, including this one. You’re welcome to join me, people, but please BYOT
LOL

Sarsonator

Terri! Bring me! I can make alcohol, for those interested, and I’m a great gardener and forager! I’m building an impressive supply of shengs, too. :p

Terri HarpLady

If I actually had the money, I’d buy a place down around Emminence, & go there as often as I could. I love it there :)

Nxtdoor

I’m a chef. Surely to god people want a good cook around. Although, I don’t know, Terri can probably survive on those pancakes of hers.

Terri HarpLady

We could all go in on a place down there, as a group vacation home, & ‘just in case’ place. ;)

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60
drank Campfire Blend by Verdant Tea
268 tasting notes

Aah, the things we buy when we’re trying to meet shipping minimums. I got a sample 1 oz pack of this after reviewing all other options and deciding against. I should have just gotten more Laoshan Black Chocolate Genmaicha. BUT I wanted to try it. 1 oz is not a lot so no harm done.

I’m not sure about this tea. I definitely don’t love it, I’ll tell you that. It’s got chai spices with some orange peel. I do like the scent of the dry “leaf” but as much as I can smell the orange in dry form, I can’t pick it up past the ginger and Cinammon once brewed. I steeped using spring water which I seldom do (I bought two large jugs for camping and we didn’t use it all then so it’s for tea!) and I only infused for 2 minutes or so. It seemed what most people on here were doing. Maybe it would get too spicy if kept longer? Maybe I’ll try longer steep with what I have left…

It tastes like a spicy, dessert bread of sorts. Not banana loaf but maybe carrot? A a carrot muffin I think. I’m going to share my 1 oz so that leaves me with another 16 oz mug worth, surely I can manage downing it.

Cavocorax

Oh no! I hope I enjoy mine a little more as I bought it for the EXACT SAME REASON!

Nxtdoor

It’s not bad but I don’t love it. If I don’t love it I will avoid it and it will drag around my cupboard. Kinda like mulberry magic. It’s ok but I rarely reach for it.

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60
drank Campfire Blend by Verdant Tea
268 tasting notes

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93

This is back in my cupboard, yay! About a year ago I had this as my first chai and it came from Dexter3657 . I vowed then that it was going to be a purchase and thought this was the best chai ever. It was a no brainer that I would order this once I placed my verdant order. That order is finally here and oh, there is so much love in these packages waiting for me.

Still remains my favourite chai. I love the way the spices are all there, not too overpowering, not “spicy” at all in that sense. I usually don’t care for ginger in teas but I like this one here, the tingle from it and what must be the peppercorns. I loooove the look of the gojiberries in it too, the red pop against the cardamom green and the black beautiful Laoshan, against the fennel seeds and whatever else.

I tried it without the almond coconut milk at first and it is good that way but with the almond milk it’s all I can do not to down this cup in two big mouthfuls.

So I think next time I will sweeten with chocolate syrup. I mean, I can’t really taste the Laoshan behind all this anyway so I don’t feel too guilty about the sacrilege.

I don’t know what else I can say that hasn’t already been said. This is a classic!

TheTeaFairy

Always fun to restock on favourites :-)

KiwiDelight

I love this brewed on the stove top with milk and sugar. Roasted goodness x3

Nxtdoor

Kiwi, I was too lazy to do it this evening but I was pretty close. Next time for sure.

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Profile

Bio

Im a fairly recent follower of the loose leaf tea drinking cult. March 2013 to be exact. Never been much into tea before. Growing up in Romania, tea was something mom made for you when you were sick. As an adult, my hot beverage of choice has been coffee, both flavoured and regular. I’ve recently stumbled upon Teavana and DAVIDs TEA and quickly got addicted to the latter. Then came steepster and all else followed.

Formerly a mathematician and insurance adjuster, I gave up the corporate world and am now a professional chef. I drink wine and sometimes cheat on it with tea.

I prefer flavoured teas. It’s probably the newbie in me. I just don’t get cravings for a straight black tea. If I end up having one, I drop in a slice of lemon and artificial rum flavouring (ugh, what moron admits to this?). A black tea fixed this way reminds me of skating at an outdoor rink as a young one, with a thermos full of tea made just as I described..

Im learning so I drink them all. everything! Am even introducing myself to pu’erh. So far I can do fine with the sheng cause frankly, they don’t taste like pu’erh to me. The shou is another story.

NOTE: The virtual cupboard does NOT contain any of the samples I hold since most of them are one-cup quantity. Home improvements, mortgage, travel, wine and food have budget priority over tea.

Location

Toronto Canada

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