521 Tasting Notes


Don’t have much time to write notes lately. :( just coming here to say that this tea is awesome! I picked some up along with the gifts I was buying. :)


Hi there! Merry Christmas!

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This tea was a sample from Teavivre that I have taken forever to get around to. :( I did make this tea once with a scoop of spearmint, but I didn’t feel it would be fair to rate this without trying it first on it’s own. Firstly, it did mix very well with the mint. Sweet and refreshing with a vegetal and malty background.

The tea on it’s own tastes very good as well. I love the shiny little pellets of dry leaf. It reminds me a bit of how green oolong looks, only oolongs aren’t usually so shiny. The brewed liquor is a bit darker than other green teas I’m used to. Darker than some oolongs even. The taste is sweet and slightly toasty. To be honest, it’s not a very memorable flavor. The quality is, as always, top notch. This is exactly what a gunpowder tea should be, but not the tea itself is not extraordinary or unique. I do love that it is smooth and without a hint of astringency. I think I will probably continue to add mint to this tea.

On an unrelated note, holiday cookies are making me fat. It doesn’t help that it’s so cold I don’t feel like going out to run lately. argh.

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I got some awesome lip balms in today from momo! I had the hardest time choosing which ones to keep. I need to give three as gifts but I want them all! aaargh. You can buy some here!
I think they would make great holiday gifts. :)

So this tea! I’ve read nothing but praise for this, and today, I am totally understanding why. The dry leaf smells sweet like cookies. The tea tastes like dark cocoa and rock sugar. mmmm… The color is a bit lighter than expected, but the flavor is full on nonetheless. I can also taste some toasted grains. Maybe like the dark crust of some excellent multigrain bread. I’m adding this to the list of black teas to buy again!


Haha I had to help a friend pick which wax tart to use first, let me know if you need any assistance too :D

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Drinking this straight after a cold third steep of Verdant’s Mi Lan Xiang Honey Phoenix.

I’m noticing that this tastes much softer. The flavors blend and meld into each other. The autumnal taste is more like leaf litter while the other is more like the crisp air of a forest. Yet, in both the honeyed note is clear. Clear but so different. Fascinating.

Today’s been an oolong-y day. Had three different teas, all dark oolongs. I suppose it’s just what I’m in the mood for. I hope it helps my tummy because I feel kinda crappy there. Must sleep soon. Tired. blargh. Long day.

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At first I was like, “This thin wiry spinach smelling stuff is supposed to taste like mi dan dancong?” But then the hot water hit the leaves and I was a believer! Smells fantastic!

Steep one: Heavy woody spice. Cinnamon? no…nutmeg? hmm, yeah, more like nutmeg. There’s honey and lychee of course. Autumn forest with a distant fireplace going. …and because I just gave my dogs a treat, I smell faux bacon. yuck.

Just from this first steep, I would say that I prefer Canton Tea’s Mi Lan Dancong. Theirs is less heavy and has more fruity lychee flavor. Not that this isn’t excellent and complex, because it is. It might be even more complex, but I find I like the more joyful flavor of Canton’s version. This one is a bit…moody. Like a ponderous man who’s lost all hope in life. But so complex and dark and mysterious. It’s tastes like cloudy.

Steep 2: Mmm… more honey and lychee in this now. Raisins, a little. yummy. I’m going to cold brew steep 3 overnight. :) It’s gonna be high 60’s tomorrow so a cold drink would probably be quite welcome. :)

Happy Monday!

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Hmm… has the enchantment of black tea love come to an end or have I just been having a series of less than awesome blacks lately? This one tastes a little…not interesting. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t capture my attention in any way. I get a little floral perfume and taste of malt… Some fragrant sweetness. Vaguely stone fruity. My tastebuds are not all that interested.

So far, the black teas I like and plan to get more of are:
Laoshan black – Verdant
Zhu Rong Yunnan black – Verdant
Yun nan Dian Hong Black- Golden Tip – Teavivre
Rose Congou – Upton

Looks like I like Yunnan black teas. The Laoshan black is still my favorite. hmm… I’ll still have try the other Keemuns from Teavivre. I also have some other congou tea from Upton to try. I wonder where congou tea is grown? Is it also Keemun as wikipedia seems to suggest?


As far as I understand it Congou is a grade of Keemun that has small leaves. I also believe that Congou Keemun is a mixture of both Congou and Keemun, in some area’s they have cultivated plants from both to create the one. I keep seeing it set out like a maths question such as ‘Are all Congou Keemun tea’s Congou or Keemun?’ or ‘All Congou Keemun’s are Keemun but not all Keemun’s are Coungou Keemun’s’. lol. Not sure if anyone else can shed some light on this but I am to believe that all three (Congou, Keemun and Congou Keemun) are all separate.


wow, thanks for the info! I’ll just have to drink more of all kinds to learn the taste difference. :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m also hooked on Yunnans. I do enjoy a variety of others, and I try not to compare, but it always comes back to things like Laoshan Black, Yhu Rong…you know…

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Ever try to enjoy a bit of pumpkin custard while your dog cries and looks longingly and pitifully at your food? I felt like the hugest jerk in the world not sharing my my dessert with him. So then I let each pup get a lick. Those darn cute faces get me every time. My dogs own me.

Fortunately, they are not interested in my tea so I don’t have to feel bad while I enjoy a cup. :) I had a terribly stressful day at work today. Called someone early in the morning to get some info. She directed me to someone else. That person directed me to yet another person. And so on. Until about 4pm when the last person I get directed to directs me back to the person I had called in the first place. It’s such a classic failed bureaucracy situation it’s almost funny. Now I’ve been directed to yet another two people whom I will call tomorrow morning. Someone save me.

Anyway, despite the fact that I know white tea can get me pretty wired sometimes, I really needed something that tastes soothing and delicious. Jasmine tea is perfect for that. And Verdant is guaranteed quality.

First whiff of the dry tea was heavenly. I absolutely love the smell of jasmine. The scent has me practically salivating. It also reminds me of peach. I can just feel the sticky sweet juices from of perfect summer peach. yum. The liquor is a very pale grayish brown. Not the most attractive color, but it’s all about the taste! and the taste here is fantastic! Juicy and floral and exactly what I need. There is a pleasant drying effect here as well.

Did I mention how I love the dry leaves? They are like little fuzzy twigs. Awesome!

There is a funny taste here, but I suspect it’s my kettle because my mom has a kettle that gives a similar taste to her water. Gotta boil some water in a pot and see what happens. Will withhold rating until then.


Endless work loops are funny until you’re the one stuck in one.


I can see this situation working well in a comedy skit. :)

Donna A

I can so identify-going through a similar experience since August with my idiotic health insurance company over a claims processing error due to a glitch in their computer system. They say they are’t given access to see the Explanation of Benefits that they send me, which if they could, my problem would be solved. I’ve been on the phone for hours with them drinking endless cups of tea! Great review-this is one of my two favorite white jasmine teas, the other being from Teavivre.


The reps don’t have access to info that’s sent out to their customers? Whaaa’? Good thing you have tea to give you the energy for these endless repetitive phone conversations. :)

Donna A

Mercuryhime, you can’t make this stuff up!! I’m an RN and know a little more about jumping through the bureaucratic health insurance hoops than a lot of folks. Yes, I’d go crazy if I didn’t have tea. The one representative who had half a brain and was actually giving me some hope is out for surgery. He gave me his private company email address since you can never get the same person twice with this company. By the way, without naming it, this is a large inefficient company whose name starts with U, same name as my country.


Hmm, my health insurance starts with a B. I hope they’re better. :)

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I think my wrist may never heal because I refuse to allow my injury to restrict my activities. Just today I had to heave one of those 5 gallon jugs of water into the water cooler so that I could get hot water for my tea. I guess I could have asked someone to help but I have this weird thing about being independent. Anyway, it was a bit painful. Not smart. But tea!

There are tons of teas with this name and they seem to look the same too. I’d wager it’s all from the same source. That’s good in a way since widely available teas would need to be competitively priced. I’m all for not spending all my monies. It’s not a bad tea, but I find the rooibos taste to be prominent and it’s not as smooth as it could be. Vanilla is bordering on artificial, but that might be the funky rooibos. I wonder if my non-caffeine only colleague would like this… I have a lot since it was cheap and came at a minimum of 4 ounces.

Edit: I just noticed that there is supposed to be cinnamon in this…. What? I don’t taste it at all! And what’s with the random almond flakes? Can’t taste almond either. This just excludes people with allergies for no good reason. Blah

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So I was sipping a cup of tea this morning and somehow managed to drop my iPhone straight into my cup, speaker end first. For now, it has been turned off and placed on top of the heater to dry. Hopefully, it will still work okay. It does smell pretty tasty right now, at least.

Anyway, this tea! I’m a sucker for any tea that naturally has honey notes. Usually, they come in the form of oolong. A black tea with honey notes sounded super interesting. And I’m just delving into the world of black teas too! I do taste sweet apricot honey notes in this tea, but it is not as prominent as I had hoped. It’s also a bit chocolatey, but not very much. Overall, it has all the qualities that I enjoy in tea, but in small amounts. I suppose one might say that it is well balanced and subtly tasty. There is no astringency nor bitterness. It’s a very good tea, but not outstanding. I’d drink it again without hesitation. :D


Oh no! I hope your phone survives the ordeal!


Does the Iphone share the same opinion about the tea ? ;)
hope it works !

Mercuryhime Hopefully the phone hates the tea and spits it all out. :)

Can always try putting your phone into rice….the rice absorbs the water out of the phone. I have a number of friends who have done this when the phone totally wasn’t working and were able to rescue the phone this way


Anyone here watch Elementary? that rice trick was in one of the eps!


rice trick was unnecessary. Phone works like normal. Yay!


Yay! So glad to hear that


Whew, thank goodness for that. I had a similar experience, one time…

One day, I came home and took off my outside clothes and prepared a load of laundry. I started the wash and then had to make a phone call, but couldn’t find my phone. I wasn’t worried—I’m quite absent-minded and this happens frequently. I used the Find my phone application to locate it. The loud beeping enabled me to quickly locate it…inside the running washing machine. =( I hurriedly paused the wash and took out the phone. It worked for a few seconds and died. I tried all the tricks Google gave me for the next 8 days or so, to no avail. Finally, I made an appointment at the Apple store. They asked me what happened and I told them honestly that I had accidentally laundered it. After they stopped laughing, they gave me a new phone, in spite of the fact that water damage isn’t covered by AppleCare. So, I got a happy ending and a good story out of the experience (and a new phone). =) It still makes me laugh to think of the look on my face when I realised the beeping was coming from inside the washing machine.

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I FOUND IT!!! Excitement! I thought I had lost this tea and was contemplating getting a new one. Luckily, I thought to look into my tin of hot chocolate. I had forgotten that I had decided to re-purpose the tin for this tea, thinking that the remaining chocolate aroma could only enhance this puer. So happy! I made a big fuss about it to my husband so I decided to share a celebratory cup with him. :D It’s also perfect for post holiday binging. The puer soothes the stuffed tummy and the desserty flavor helps you eat less actual dessert. Good stuff! It tastes better luke warm than hot.



Wow, it’s funny that you say that, because I recently commented that I didn’t know of many (if any) things that taste good lukewarm. :D

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I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.


NYC / Westchester

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