2855 Tasting Notes

Hmmmmm….am I the only member of the Verdant Reserve TOMC?
Somebody else write a review, please!

This is one of the selections for July, which I’m just now getting around to trying. I concluded awhile back that although I enjoy all oolongs, even the floral ones, my favorites are without a doubt the roasted Wuyi varieties. There is just something very sensual about them. I love them so much that I recently got a Yixing just for them.

However, this Wuyi is not roasted, so I’m steeping it in my blue lotus porcelain pot, which is a teeny tiny bit bigger than my yixing, but still tiny & adorable. More & more I find myself wanting to drink certain kinds of teas from specific vessels. It just seems to enhance the whole experience (or maybe it’s just my obsessive compulsive nature?).

So…the dry leaf is twisted & lovely & long, like the roasted wuyis that I swoon over, but the coloring is lighter, without the deep reds & blacks that roasted leaves have. The aroma is a gently sweet & floral incense.

The tea brews to a lovely honey colored cup. It’s sweet, with layers of flavors: honey, some kind of greens (I want to say edible chrysanthemums, but I’ve never actually eaten them), & there is a floral taste & aroma that rise into the sinuses like a fine incense. That’s one of the things I love about Wuyi’s…that incense-like sensation. At first it freaked me out a little, but now I love it.

I’ve been sipping cup after cup of this, while cutting & filing my nails in preparation to practice for a few hours. I have no idea how many cups I’ve drank…maybe 6? The taste is still sweet, not as floral, & my tongue is tingling as if I were drinking a lightly peach flavored sparkling mineral water, making me think of a really fresh & pure artesian spring, bubbling up through the rocky earth, somewhere in the Wuyi Mountains. Now I want to go there, to sit & drink from this spring & just breath. I think I’m tea-drunk, LOL.


Haha, I am still getting them but I haven’t been able to get around to them lately! I think this one will be on the docket for this weekend.

Terri HarpLady

Final note: I stepped out back, wandered around my garden, picked a few perfectly ripe peaches from Ellie (my peach tree, named after my Great Dane who passed from this world 4 years ago). The peaches aren’t always pretty, & you have to sometimes carve around some funky spots, but the reward is SO worth it. There is nothing like a homegrown tree ripened peach! The final cup of this tea, after eating the peaches, is mineral with an bit of a cooked grain like taste.


My memory is shot! I had company too which threw me off. Now I’ll have to go back and see what I’ve logged and what’s missing. Hate when I do that!

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I stumbled upon steepster almost a year ago. It was Labor Day weekend. Tony & I were talking about going to the London Tea Room (founded by a couple of chics from London that were nostalgic for a proper cup of english tea). I did a search on one of their teas, to see if they still had it on their menu, but the search led me to a review of that tea, written by our lovely Azzrian! I had never heard of steepster, & although I was drinking large quantities of tea every day & have for years, they were from a fairly small number of vendors. I had no idea there were online tea communities, & I was instantly in love love love!
Within a week I had placed my first order from Verdant, & it was more love love love. My tea collection, which seemed pretty large at 30 or so teas, has blossomed forth each month, as I continue to discover new (to me) companies, make friends with like minded tea freaks, participate in trades, joint purchases, TOMC, teaboxes, etc.

I received this sample in my first Verdant order, or maybe one of the first orders. I can’t believe I haven’t drank it yet! I had a couple of porcelain jars with lids that most of my samples end up in, & this one was in there (with 4 samples of Verdant’s flowering green jasmine…if anybody wants one, please let me know! I’ve already drank several).

Anyway, finally I’m drinking it! Even though it’s a year old, it was well preserved in its foil pouch & it is as tasty as ever. As far as Green teas are concerned, I don’t think anybody can compete with the amazing fresh flavor of these Laoshan greens.

We’re talking freshly steamed edamame…fresh creamy soymilk (I used to make my own), buttery green beans, fresh picked from the garden & steamed. The fresh green taste is so good, & in the 4th steeping my mouth took on a mintiness, a tingling sensation. I’ve now had my green tea for the day, & it’s also a sipdown! 340!


I love this post! Terri, that’s also how I discovered Steepster, by looking up a tea…when I realized that an actual tea community existed, entirely devoted to the experience of sharing knowledge and new discoveries, I was ecstatic ! Still am :-) I remember it felt like I had found a secret society almost, as if one needed special skills to become a member. Then I realized the only requirement is to be what we all are here: tea fanatics!
I’m on the spring Laoshan green at the moment, and this tea is everything you are describing, just beautiful…

Terri HarpLady

Yup! Now that I have steepster, & all my awesome friends here, I can’t imagine how I got by without it! LOL, it’s like a 12 step group, a group hug, an ongoing tea drinking convention/frenzy, & several other things, all rolled into one! :D


Harney actually used to have links to the Steepster pages of their teas on their website! That’s how I found Steepster.


That’s pretty cool. I found Steepster by doing searches for DavidsTea reviews while I was standing in their store. :P I’d been burned before and wanted to get something that was great!


I bought some tea in Canada on a cruise and didn’t know how to brew it so I googled information on the tea and found steepster!

Terri HarpLady

And here we all are! Yay!

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Second cup of the day, though not a sipdown.
This is a decent Keemun, but there are so many others that I enjoy more. I think I have enough to drink this one more time…next month!

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drank Golden Yunnan by thepuriTea
2855 tasting notes

It’s August!
Last night I did my monthly tea inventory. I’m starting the month at 343 teas, a nice palindrome number. This includes samples, trades, & teas I’ve ordered recently…tea hiatus group, I think I need an intervention. You may all have to come to st louis & babysit me for a week to keep me from ordering anything else!

So, I’m starting the month with a plan for many many sipdowns! My son Leif started the ball rolling by polishing off the last of the Earl Gray Moonlight from Adagio. I continued the trend with this Golden Yunnan, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve already reviewed it a few times, & although it may not be as awesome as the Golden Fleece, & it doesn’t really look like the photo, it is still a very drinkable & tasty cup of tea!

Teacount 341.


Soooo begins the count. And we were doing so well for a few months there…

Terri HarpLady

I know! I think you & I are really good for each other, but I think maybe we’re also really bad for each other, LOL.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
2855 tasting notes

I had tea guests for awhile this afternoon, & they like black tea so I served them a pot of this, because it’s just so awesome. Everyone enjoyed it, & I’m finishing of the last cup of the resteep pot.

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The month is over, & nobody has reviewed this tea yet? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only actual member of the TOMC. This is one of the Reserve TOMC selections for July.

When I initially opened the packet, there was initially a stale aroma, like grains that have been sealed in a jar for awhile, but that quickly subsided & was replaced by the smell of sweet lightly roasted stone fruit & a light incense.

Following the suggested steeping parameters, I put 4 Grams in my porcelain jingdezhen wide lotus Gaiwan,
steeped it 5 seconds & strained it into my glass test tube steeper (because my Rishi glass pitcher has a crack in it, whine),
and I’m sipping the tea from a Jingdeshen Red Lotus cup
BTW, verdant has their teaware on sale this week, for those who are interested.

Since this Gaiwan & cup are porcelain, I can drink any teas from them, but I’ve officially dedicated them to Tieguanyins because… well… because I can! It just seems right. The shorter wide Gaiwan gives lots of room for the leaves to expand & they look so pretty & happy swimming around in there.

So this tea is a little incense-like, very savory, but also a little sweet & slightly roasty. There is a fruitiness to it of dried peaches, a little bit of a grassiness to it, & a nice tongue tingling sensation as well. After several steepings the incense taste became a gentle floral, & the sweetness continued, with a creamy texture.

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It’s the last day of July already? Unbelievable!
A few months ago I started using the last day of the month to update my “Tea Collection” database, re-arrange my cupboards as needed, & kind of review what I drank. I have this insane goal to drink a cup of every single tea in my cupboard once a month, & as my cupboard continues to expand, that goal gets harder & harder to accomplish. I didn’t even come close in July, having started the month with 307 teas (including samples) in my cupboard. I only drank 132 of them (some several times, like Zhu Rong), with 36 sipdowns. That’s ok. There’s always August! :)

In looking through my cupboard, I realized I still had a sample from Angel that I hadn’t tried yet. I guess I’m starting to like white tea, or maybe this is just a really tasty one! It’s hard to describe the flavor of it. It started out almost buttery & malty, but then it took on a kind of soymilk flavor, & near the end it reminds me a little of split pea soup, very savory.
Thank you to Angel @ TeaVivre for sending me generous samples of this, & also for allowing me to be part of the sampling program, as I truly enjoy the quality of your teas!


Wow. I still think drinking 132 different teas in one month is pretty good! You need to give yourself time to enjoy each cup, and resteep if it’s worthy of the extra attention. :D

I think I’ll be reviewing my collection every month or so, and updating the estimates on how much (in oz) I have, as well as total number! It’s pretty relaxing.

Terri HarpLady

Oh, don’t worry, I enjoy every single sip!! Including re-steeps when they are worthy :)
I know there is no way I can drink through 300 teas a month (or however many I have by now…I’m afraid to count). That would be 10 teas a day, which might be doable if I wasn’t drinking oolongs, puerhs, etc.


yeah…those damn puerhs always slowing me down! and SOMEONE just sent me a zillion of them!

Terri HarpLady


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I’ve been part of a couple of ‘group orders’ recently, including one from TeaVivre, which reminded me that I still have several samples that Angel generously sent me to drink & review. I drank this Tan Yang before, & I think it is the only Tan Yang I’ve had so far…maybe?

The dry leaf is lovely, delicate, & variegated in colors of beige & charcoal, with an amazing aroma that is rich, malty, & floral.
My water kettle & I were temperature challenged this morning. First the water was too hot, so I turned the stove off & walked away for a few minutes, then the temp was too cool, so I turned the kettle back on. Then it was too hot again, so I poured a cup of water & put the thermometer in the cup, blinked & it was too cool again. LOL. BTW, I use a cheap thermometer that I got from target, I think it’s this one.

Right now they are available on Amazon for .98 (plus shipping). They have 7 left in stock. I don’t remember what I paid at Target, but it was very inexpensive & I’ve been very happy with it! I put the stick part of the thermometer right in the hole (the whistler) on my kettle. It works out perfectly!

But I digress (I’ve always wanted to say that, hahaha)
This is an interesting cup of tea, kind of ‘cheesy’ tasting, it kind of reminds me of an aged cheese. I know that sounds weird, but it’s like a rich buttery aged cheese. There’s also a malty yeasty taste too it, & even an almost effervescent beer like feeling in my mouth, with a hops like tingle & slightly bitter undertone. This is an interesting tea, with some interesting taste combination.

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My first cup of the day, enjoyed with breakfast.
Some teas don’t go well with food, especially with a robust breakfast like a bowl of beef, cauliflower, & collards soup (yes, that’s the kind of stuff I eat for breakfast, & my body feels fantastic for doing so).

This is actually everything a breakfast tea should be! The combination of bold Assam, earthy Keemun, & bright & fruity Ceylons gives this a very well rounded out balanced flavor. I’m not usually a fan of Ceylon teas much, especially in the morning as they tend to make my stomach hurt, so I could never drink this on an empty stomach, but with breakfast it is perfect! It really holds its own! I think this just became my favorite ‘breakfast blend’, or at least one of them. :D

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I have a sample of this from Garret, and I’d like to say, “Thank You Garret!”, because he is the epitome of customer service & hospitality.

I drank this during the afternoon & early evening, & that was hours ago, so I don’t really have much to say except that this is probably my favorite shu tuocha ever. A very rich flavor, a lot of depth, & sweet as well. No objectionable tastes, just a smooth chocolaty-ness & almost a coffee-like personality. I will probably need to get some more of these, at some point.


love the name of this! lol.

Dag Wedin

Haha i agree!

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I wanted to try this one for awhile, just because of the name, LOL. These tuochas are big! They are super rich looking too, like a fudge brownie.

I left the leaves in my blue lotus pot last night, gave a quik rinse to heat the back up this morning, & I’m drinking a few more steepings before I move on. Still a very nice sweet flavor, with a bit of a black strap molasses edge.


Mmmmmm will need to try this one. :)

Terri HarpLady

Garret sent me 2 tuochas, Sil. I almost sent one of them to you in the BBBB (LOL, I’ll tell you what it stands for later). Instead I sent you an oz of Zhu Rong, which I’m pretty sure you’ll love. I guess I could have sent 1 tuocha & 1/2 oz Zhu Rong, but…it’s too late! The box is sealed & FINALLY going to the PO today! The other ladies got teas you already have from thepuritea.


haha not to worry terri. No complaints here – there will be other months of having the box come at me from you heh. I can’t wait until i sipdown enough of my cupboard to be able to start digging into the puritea teas you sent. It’s just that they’re sealed at the moment so i can’t bring myself to open them yet..not until my opened teas are more gone. heh

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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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