556 Tasting Notes

First non-generic pu’erh! First tea using a gaiwan and those itty bitty cups! Mine are so cute! First month (free!) of Verdant’s Tea of the Month club, which I’ll probably be continuing even if I don’t like both pu’erhs that came with this month’s selection. Such cute little packages, good for just about one tasting session.

Anyway, I just poured my first steep after 2 rinses.

1st Steep (5 seconds)
Water is mostly clear and smells like black tea except…more. More earthy, more…something. More pu’erh I guess. I did manage to get water everywhere and burn my fingers again. Third time so far this morning since I burned them on both rinses too. I did not drink the rinses.

Well it’s very…bitter. And…I don’t know how to describe this flavour except I’ve only gotten it from pu’erhs. It’s probably blasphemy but I think I’m going to have to add a tiny bit of sugar to each of these infusions if I’m going to make it through this tasting.

With a tiny bit of sugar added, not enough to make it sweet, just enough to take the edge off, I’m getting less bitter and more actual flavour. Something…composty maybe? Hard to describe. I’ve always been terrible at describing flavours.

Second Steep – 10 seconds
I now understand why a sharing pitcher is necessary. I’ve decided to pour each steep into my gravity infuser before draining it into the cups, if only because I won’t splash everywhere and it’s really the only thing with a wide enough opening to work very well for what I have at my desk.

Still not tasty, quite bitter, a quite ‘sharp’ flavour on the tongue that lingers.

Steep 3 – 15 seconds
Okay it’s much better if I drink it very hot, rather than cooled down a bit, but it’s still not what I would call tasty. The taste is changing but there’s again nothing I can really identify except a sharp bitterness.

I think at this point I’m going to turn in the towel and truly give up on pu’erhs for the time being. If I can’t get through one using the right methods and as high quality as Verdant is known for, I’m obviously not going to like any of them. Thankfully I think that I already have a trade going out that I can slip the other pu’erh from this TOTM into, she likes pu’erh.

Not going to rate because that would be unfair to this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
whatshesaid

good to know! at least you tried :)

Kittenna

Did you try either Western-style? That’s the only way I’ve really tried pu’erh so far. With a normal (1.5 tsp) amount of leaf, and an infusion of 1-3 min or so. Definitely possible that the flavour’s just not for you, though!

Starfevre

I’ve tried pu’erh (not as good as this one, those were from Nature’s Tea Leaf) before Western style and I didn’t like it there either, although I don’t like it MORE with the gaiwan, if that makes sense. Western style I can doctor it up more. But I really think the flavour’s just not for me. I have some pu’erh I’ll have to find good homes for later.

Kittenna

Fair enough. I’m still don’t like it nearly as much as a lot of people, though I am trying. I do prefer sheng to shu, though, and learned that short, western-style infusions make for tastier tea. It’s a good thing my mom likes pu’erh, because I accumulated quite a lot from Verdant thinking I would like it much more than I do…

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92

I’m still the only person who’s left a tasting note for this tea? Travesty. Well, I gave a lot of it up to a swap so there will be at least a couple more people who have tried this on Steepster pretty soon. As soon as it makes it’s way through Canadian Customs and such anyway.

I see I noted last time that this tea is pretty mild at 3 minutes, and that’s still true for this pot. I think I got more chamomile in this pot of tea though because that’s coming through a bit stronger. Not enough to overwhelm anything but definitely enough to give some strength to it’s presence. All in all, can’t complain.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90

Ending the work day with a cup of this! 3 pots of tea (2 shared) and 4 matchas makes my stash go down just a bit further. Someday I will log all the unopened boxes in my entryway. That day is probably not today, but you never know.

Stephanie

OMG I would be WAY over caffeinated :)

Starfevre

Thankfully caffeine doesn’t affect me in the slightest bit, positively or negatively.

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86

3rd matcha of the day! Tasty! Put in 3/4 tsp this time, or thereabouts (it’s hard to judge, was about 2/3, but that 2/3 was heaping?). Nice clean cup that thankfully doesn’t taste too much like soap.

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84

Peachy Keen! I am not a huge fan of strawberry peach flavoured tea, or strawberry peach flavoured anything, but this is pretty good. The peach is up front and present from the very beginning and the strawberry kinda sneaks through the back door at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. I could wish the black tea base were less fade-into-the-background but it’s very generic. Not terrible in a flavoured tea, but it would be nice to get some impact from it. Guess I’m just spoiled.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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76
drank Berry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
556 tasting notes

A little bit of this to drink this afternoon (barely, it’s 12:04pm here) with a bit of mint matcha added to it in a hot latte. Not much to say that hasn’t been said. Isn’t my favourite but tastes good.

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73
drank Mango #2 by Love is Tea (LIT)
556 tasting notes

Got this as a sample (among MANY) from yssah a while ago. Slowly slogging through them (there are a lot). Perfectly cute little baggies they’re in, though there is a bit of scent contamination. Nothing that obstructs the flavours so far.

The flavouring is certainly strong on this one. I’m not sure it shouts ‘Mango’ to me, but it’s definitely fruity. Then again, my sense of what mangos taste like is mostly through other mango flavoured things like Naked Juice bottles and such. And dried mango, I just remembered, I used to buy a lot of that. Anyway, this tea is nicely fruity but I wouldn’t rely on me to say if it’s ‘mango’ fruity.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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86

Tasty this morning. My electric whisk came today, but I forgot to bring it to work so I’m still using a fork today. I had some pretty big clumps in this one, due to no sifter and no whisk, but it turned out okay, except some bitter swallows. I think this may be the first of my matchas that will get drunk down. I seem to favour it as a first choice in the mornings.

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58
drank Cherry by Love is Tea (LIT)
556 tasting notes

Thanks for this sample, yssah. I dumped my whole sample into my teapot and I was impressed with the scent of it, very very cherry, though it reminded me of cough syrup a little. The taste…very cough syrup. The cherry is tasting very artificial to me. It’s also kind of weak so I may have added too much water to this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
yssah - Love is Tea (LIT)

i probably havent had enough cherry flavored cough syrup to be reminded of with this one ^^

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89

Backlogging this from yesterday, don’t know why I waited so long to log it. Tasty but weaker than I’d like, as always. I want to like this so much but the vanilla is just not strong enough for me.

whatshesaid

What strength did you get? I ordered some but maybe next time I will have to ramp it up a notch (I got the cheapest/weakest)

Sil

If you like flavour, try to go with at least distinctive. Imo

Starfevre

I got distinctive. Next time I will go with robust.

whatshesaid

Yeah it’s just hard for me to justify the price.

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Profile

Bio

Single, vegetarian, asexual, 5 cats. Airplane Engineer. I drink most of my tea with a bit of sugar and all the ones with a black tea base with a little bit of milk too. I’m super sensitive to bitterness and spiciness so I tend to avoid those.

I am also a flavoured matcha latte fanatic.

Location

Renton, WA, USA

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