3008 Tasting Notes

Another tea, enjoyed while watering the garden this morning. There is a black swallowtail that has been hanging around my garden a lot lately. Earlier in the summer there were swallowtail caterpillers on the parsley & Parsnips, which some people would be unhappy about, but for me it is a thrill, because I know that caterpillars result in beautiful butterflies!

This is a tasty tea, with a chocolate mouthfeel, & a sweet fruity kind of taste. I went with 1 Tbls in my mug for 3 mins, resteep @ 5mins. Both were delicious, but I’d also like to try a longer single steep, & maybe a gongfu session too.

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First tea of the day, enjoyed hours ago while I was watering my garden!
I went with 3 cones @ 5 minutes. Admittedly, I didn’t watch them bloom, but that didn’t take away from the deliciousness of the resulting cup of tea. Walking around in the garden, watering hose in one hand, cup of tea in the other, butterflies & other insects flying around.
What could be better?

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I finished my tea drinking day off with a nice strong cup of Bengal Spice. It is a tasty chai-like beverage, with the caffeine. I didn’t add any sweetener or any kind of milk, I just enjoyed the spiciness of it as is.

I’m making an effort to curtail my caffeine consumption in the evening, at least for awhile, in hopes of going to bed earlier, although it’s almost midnight & I’m still not in bed. Soon…I’ll go to bed soon…

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I’m trying to make an effort to drink at least one cup of green tea per day, not because it’s good for me or anything like that, but because I have quite a few of them, & I tend to let them sit there, neglected.
I don’t really why, they are delicious. It’s just that there are other teas I love more!

So today it was this one, from 2012. I was teaching while drinking it, so honestly, I didn’t make any notes, but it’s still delicious, still nutty & green, still lovely.

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This is the 3rd tea from the 2012 TOMC offering, which I am re-visiting today. I don’t have the original xingyang Chrysanthemum blend, but I do have chrysanthemum flowers, so I added some of those to the gaiwan.

The first steep featured a rich earthiness, with a sunny flavor of the flowers, & a sinus opening camphor taste. Overall, this cup had a cooling sensation to it.
The 2nd steep reminded me of the flavor of cannabis, & by the way, yesterday I celebrated 30 years ‘clean & serene’. Ironically, I’ve had the song, “Passage to Bankok”, by Rush, stuck in my head for the last 2 weeks.
The 3rd steep was even heavier on the camphor, or maybe more of a Eucalyptus. I felt the Sheng I was drinking on the tip of my tongue, but I felt this Shu more in my sinuses. The Chrysanthemum definitely took on a Cannibus-like taste, & the Shu was sweet & earthy beneath it.
The next couple of steepings were enjoyed, but I was sidetracked with students, so I didn’t take any notes.
The final steepings had a ‘warm’ taste, a little bit of a marine essence, but not fishy or salty. Maybe more mineral-like, & also sweet.

I still have a little of this Shu left, but I think next time I’ll pass on the Chrysanthemums. I do like chrysanthemums as a tea by themselves, & might like them brewed with Shu in a western brewing, but for multiple gongfu steepings I don’t care for them as much.

This was a fun experiment, & a nice trip down memory lane with the Verdant TOMC from my first month of membership!

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God, I love this tea!
This is part II of today’s tea paring, from last year’s TOMC offering for Oct. I think of all the TOMC boxes I’ve had from Verdant, this was probably my favorite one.
I went with short gongfu steepings, using my porcelain blue lotus pot for this tea (I’m sure eventually I’ll have to have a yixing for black teas…). The first steep was rich cocoa, with a hint of Roses. I never notices that before with this tea! The 2nd steep was even richer, & now the chocolate was dark chocolate powder. The 3rd steep was my favorite! The strong dark chocolate was toned down somewhat, leaving a sweet & rich caramel & malt taste, so mouthwatering, so good. Also, near the end of that cup, the taste of toast, spread with butter.
During the later steepings I was sidetracked with students, but I still enjoyed a few more cups as the flavors went through ‘peppery’, to dwindling down.
Have I mentioned that I love this tea?


i bought two ounces of this because of you, lol. still haven’t touched it. 1) is it really that good? what if it’s not? i’ll be so sad! 2) what if it is that good and i run out….



Yunnan Sourcing’s Yixings are the best that I have for a reasonable price, if you are looking to get a black tea yixing. I wonder if it wouldn’t be wise to have one for Chinese blacks and one for “other” blacks, since the Chinese blacks seem to me to be more subtle than their Indian/Kenyan/Sri Lankan counterparts

Terri HarpLady

James: you’ll love it! If not, send it to me! :) Be sure to try it both gongfu & western!
Nofar: I already have 3 yixings (sheng, shu, & wuyi oolongs), & a yixing size little porcelain pot for everything else, LOL.
I’ve been hovering around Yunnan Sourcing a lot lately, including peeking at their pots. AND yes, I agree, I’ll have to have a yixing just for the Yunnan & Fujian blacks. Most of the ‘other’ blacks I just brew western style, or I could use the porcelain for them, since it’s my ‘anything goes’ teapot.

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It’s been a year since I joined the Steepster TOMC, so today I though it would be fun to sample the 3 teas from last October’s box. They are:
This Sheng
Zhu Rong Yunnan – I drank up all of last years, but luckily I have the newer rendition.
Xingyang Chrysanthemum blend – I no longer have this one either, but I still have some of the xingyang ‘07 Shu, so I added some chrysanthemum flowers to my cup. That blend also included coriander (which I could have added, but was being lazy), as well as burdock & juniper, which I don’t have at this time.

I followed the brewing suggestions & steeped all 3 teas, in side by side setups, so that I could get the full experience of the suggested pairing.

This is a gentle Sheng, with a sticky rice flavor to it. Around the 3rd steeping a strong numbing camphor sensation hit the tip of my tongue, by steep number 5 the rice taste had subsided, leaving a slightly metallic taste, along with the flavor of fresh straw & a pinch of salt. At this point the Chaqi was outrageous!
This is a pleasant gentle Sheng, & luckily I have enough to drink it a few more times.

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Some of us have been talking about comparing all the ‘pearl’ teas to one another. This one is nice, bold enough, but with sweet fruity nuance. I steep 6 pearls in 12oz for 3 minutes, resteep for 5. The first steeping is sweet & malty, the second holds just a little bitterness but is still very drinkable. I think maybe last time I drank them I said I was gonna try a single steeping of 4 minutes, & I forgot to do that. Maybe next time…


I was actually wondering about pearl tea and why that method of rolling is used… to maintain flavor perhaps?

Terri HarpLady

I always just figured it was either for novelty, or to make it easier to carry the tea around, lol.



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Yeah, I’ve realized that I love Fujian Blacks (& Oolongs).
This is thick, malty, a little peppery, & I love it!
’nuf said.


I was wondering about this tea, particularly in comparison with Verdant’s reserve Jin Jun Mei. Is it worth a try?

Terri HarpLady

I haven’t actually compared them, although I enjoyed both of them. My favorite Jin Jun Mai to date was still the Verdant Wild Picked Jin Jun Mai, which is no longer available (at least for now). I have also ordered some of the other Jin Jun Mei’s from the Yunnan Sourcing page, & when they come I’ll have to compare them all, I guess! Or maybe just enjoy each one & not worry about it? Or both! Yeah, both!


Sounds like a great plan :)

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I woke up with a bit of a headache, so I brewed a cup of this tea & crawled into the bathtub. It is one of the teas from the first round of the BBBB, contributed by Tasty Brew, & although I’m not in love with it, it’s a pleasant cup, perhaps a little on the floral side today. I’ve written a better review of it previously, I’m sure.


Hope that you feel better

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! It’s what I call a ‘hollow’ headache, meaning I feel as if my skull were hollow, with photo-sensitivity too. It doesn’t really hurt that bad, it’s just ‘there’, if you know what I mean. A good day to drink tea & sit around listening to harp music as my various students come for their lessons.

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I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!


St. Louis, MO



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