2863 Tasting Notes

I have to confess: I have a tendency to overleaf it with Stacy’s black teas. If she says ‘2 tsp’ I usually go with a loose Tbl, as those teas are so crazy shaped that there really is no way to measure out a tsp with them. If she (or anyone else on any tea…) says ‘a level tsp’, I usually go with a heaping one. On this tea (& the Assam leaf, even more so), I’ve learned to follow instructions, LOL. This is not a wiggly irregular shaped tea, the strands are thinner & shorter, so it is more well behaved.

Anyway, it’s a lovely boldish Assam with a light astringency & a nice malty flavor, with a hint of citrus to it. (Or maybe that came from the lemon pancakes I was eating?). Very rich & delicious. I steeped 4 minutes. Next time I need to remember to go 5, so I can see how it changes.

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I had originally planned to enjoy this yesterday after several steepings of Lao Tong Zhi ‘11 Sheng, but the day got late, dinnertime came, & I decided to wait. So I’m enjoying it now (still listening to the ladies play harp duets). This is a very nice fully flavored Shu, no fish or ammonia, reminding me of vanilla wafers, & also reminding me of the noodle kugle I used to make for my kids a long time ago. That kugel was rich with eggs, vanilla, cinnamon. This Shu has a richness like that, a smooth vanilla mouthfeel, a mouth watering sweetness, & it’s just plain tasty! It’s also rather bold!
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 2min (xingyang workshop method)
Subsequent steeps t 2 min, followed by steeps at 3 mins as needed.

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I haven’t drank this one for awhile.
I have 2 ladies here practicing their Harp duets & I always serve them tea. I served this one, in part because I’m really trying to make it through my entire menu of teas by the end of the month, which won’t actually happen, LOL, but at least I can make it through all the black teas then. Also, I haven’t drank this one for awhile, as ceylon teas tend to not interest me much, they tend to upset my stomach if it’s empty (along with white, green, puers & oolongs), and so I figured it was time to give it a try again. After breakfast!

It is, of course a much more gentle brew that what I tend to go for, very light & ‘clear’, with a taste closer to the ice teas of my youth, but today I’m really noticing a very lovely apricot flavor to it! Perhaps I originally judged this tea unfairly, for today it is quite nice! The ladies are enjoying it too. :)

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First tea of the day! I really enjoyed these pearls this morning, with their essence of malt & chocolate. I needed a black tea that wouldn’t upset my tummy on an empty stomach, because I had a student right away & didn’t have time to eat. This one worked just fine, using 6 pearls & steeped at 4 min, then 5, then 6 minutes. I made it through the first cup during the lesson, drank the 2nd while fixing breakfast, & the 3rd with my meal. A good start to a busy day!

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I feel that I have accomplished very little today, but it’s been a nice relaxing afternoon, just sitting around sipping teas. Sometimes I need a day like this, & it’s been way too long, IMO.

It appears that I’m the only person who has ever reviewed this one, & it’s been quite awhile since I drank it. This is one of those Shengs that is still young, & I always have to remind myself to limit the amount of leaf to 3G, & keep the early steepings short! Otherwise it’s way too intense. I wrote a pretty comprehensive post regarding this Sheng awhile back, so for those who want a full on review, I’ve attached the link.


High Adventure

I had the same kind of day!


I think I may have purchased this one, but left it with my mom. Hopefully I’ll get around to trying it when I’m visiting her one day!

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Once my daughter & grandson left, I knew I wanted some Shu. It’s been awhile since I drank this one, & I thoroughly enjoyed all the steepings. I went with the Xingyang workshop suggestions of 5G + 4oz x 2 min. It does make for a powerful cup, but I love that. Sweet semolina.


Hum, I know I have this somewhere too. Looking at my cupboard, I have a lot of puerh and lots of verdant don’t I. Haven’t swapped in over a year and don’t buy nearly as much tea as I used to. Can’t afford to anymore. We’ve all tightened our belts. Not complaining, I have lots of tea left!

Terri HarpLady

LOL, I’m sure there’s enough tea here to keep me going for a long time!

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
2863 tasting notes

My daughter Ari came over with her son for lunch. We made deviled eggs, raspberry almond flour muffins (heavenly), & a salad of Mizuna, radishes, & raspberries (all from my garden!) tossed with hazelnut oil & mango vinegar. Ari picked this tea to have with lunch. Perhaps sitting on the shelf for 6 months has done it some good, as it was much better than I remember it being. Ari loved it.


Sometimes heat affects my flavor perception and a tea I didn’t much care for in cooler weather is very good in the hot part of summer.

Terri HarpLady

Maybe that it :)
Also my allergies cause my taste & smell capabilities to be mutes, then I miss subtle undertones.

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drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
2863 tasting notes

Drinking this tea always makes me happy! Just looking at the beautiful leaves makes me smile. It is beautiful, delicious, & I love it.
(still backtracking)


i have some of this on its way…. i am so impatient, lol!

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drank Hong Jing Luo by thepuriTea
2863 tasting notes

Backtracking – this was my first cup of the day, which I thoroughly enjoyed, including a resteep which I drank out in the garden while clipping weeds. My favorite garden tool is a pair of fiskar scissors. I just clip weeds at the surface, then leave them laying there to decompose.

This is a lovely tea, but I can’t really comment on it’s profile, other than maltiness, as that was hours ago!


Harbor Freight—local cut-price hardware—runs a coupon special every so often; a free pair of utility snips (fiskars-type blades with heavy plastic outside) with any purchase. I have them lying all over the house.

Terri HarpLady

I bought my Machete at Harbor Freight. It’s actually a really crappy one, but it was cheap, so that’s no surprise. I haven’t been in there in awhile. While all the other girls are perusing the craft stores (which I occasionally visit), I am that odd chick who likes to walk around in stores like Harbor Freight, Lowes, etc, just looking at tools, rocks, & other things & imagining what I would do with them. :)
I used to use these Fiskars to sew. I’ve had them for years. I bought myself an even better pair of sewing scissors (Gingher), & the fiskars became kitchen scissors (which they still double as). They are fantastic for clipping lettuces, weeds, & pretty much anything tender, plus twine for training plants, etc. I resharpen them from times to time. Of course, I have an entire array of other clippers, with varying thickness capabilities on my garden/yard tool wall, but these are my favorite. I probably should pick up a few of those blades you speak of, so I don’t have to always move this pair around!


My husband dragged me into the Harbor Freight store so he could look at manly things. I ended up finding an “uh oo guh” horn I’m planning to eventually get for my car. Hardware stores are a treasure trove for clowning stuff.


Ditto for kids’ teaching stuff. I use bicycle horns with my church kids as game show buzzers. We used to have a squeaking rubber chicken that was priceless for an attention getter, but it disappeared after a remodeling project :(

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My dear friend BoxerMama informed me the other day on Facebook that I’m neglecting my duties on Steepster because I still haven’t reviewed the June Reserve TOMC teas yet. :D So here I am, & I can’t believe the month is almost over & nobody has reviewed this tea yet! I cringe to be the first, as I’m lousy at comparing 2 teas of the same variety. I can pick out tastes, like honey, musky, malty, bitter, etc, but I’m not so good at comparing teas, especially not 2 teas picked from the same plants.

So what can I say? My main comment is simply that I have concluded that I don’t like using the brewing method that Mrs. Li recommends. I have tried this method several times, including today, & it just isn’t for me. It almost always results in a bitter & astringent brew. I think I came to this conclusion once before, but today I thought I’d try it again. My mistake.

My preferred drinking method for all of these green teas from Verdant is to use 1/2 the amount of leaf & steep it in my glass test tube steeper (which I love). I wish I had done so today.


I did this with the glass tube and I agree it’s best. Almost reviewed this too but thought…I’d better dig into my Nepali Tea Trader’s too! Those little beekers are cool! Holds more than they look like.

Terri HarpLady

It’s perfect for me with green teas that need short steeps, & since I can use half the amount of tea, that’s good too. I can only drink so much green tea or my guts start to hurt, so even with multiple steepings this helps keep the quantity of tea drank down. :) Plus I like the glass!

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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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