3071 Tasting Notes

I haven’t really drank very much tea today. I feel like crap. Mom took me to the health food store (the throbbing of my head increased in the short time we were out, damn allergies) to get some nettles & elderberry. I immediately started brewing strong concoctions of both. My final cup of the day is yet another cup of Bengal Spice (celestial seasonings). Now I’m going to bed.
Tomorrow will be a better day. :)

Stephanie

I’ve been wondering if nettles really work or not. Let us know!

Terri HarpLady

It does Stephanie. I’ve used Nettles for years. The only problem is once I start feeling better I tend to taper off my usage, & then my allergies come back :p
Today I am starting to feel better. I just need to keep it up.

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I don’t travel well. It’s just a fact. It’s not that I don’t like traveling, it’s more that my body is ridiculous. Any movement in any direction results in new allergies, issues with drinking water, etc.
I arrived yesterday & within no time was sneezing, eyes watering,lungs burning, all the classic symptoms. I forgot how crappy bottled water makes me feel. No matter how much I drink, it doesn’t slake my thirst. Luckily my parents got a new water filtration system, & so far, so good. There are 2 cats who know I’m allergic & will do anything to torment me. The air in this house is hot & stale & I feel claustrophobic. Also, due to the time change, overall irritation, & a very late night planning & executing an awesome tea order (YEAH), I stayed up lake, tossed & turned, etc. Enough bitching, thank you for letting me rant!

Otherwise, it is awesome to be here with my folks. Dad & I spent a couple of hours talking about esoteric things (Reiki, crystals, spirit guides…stuff like that). Mom & I are gonna do something today, I’m not sure what yet.

I’ve been sitting here slurping this Assam, from my awesome trade with NofarS, & even though I over-tea-ed it a bit, it is deliciously rich, bold, malty & sweet. All the things I want this morning. Well…all the things I want in a tea, anyway!

Cavocorax

Oh no – that sounds horrible with the allergies, but seeing your parents must be nice!

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Hanging out with my folks watching the All Stars Game, & sipping this tea. I love this tea! I love baseball!

Bonnie

Don’t know why but I like this one too.

Terri HarpLady

I love the gingeriness of it, & it’s bold enough that I feel like I’m getting away with something, plus I enjoy a tea with chicory root, always have, always will. In fact, I have some straight roasted chicory that I want to start adding (a pinch at a time) to all the lame rooibos blends, to see if it improves their flavor. :)

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100

I’m hanging out with my folks. They are both coffee drinkers, but my dad is also interested in learning more about tea & trying some teas out. I served him a cup of this, & he likes it! :)

Cavocorax

That’s exciting! I love it when people are open to trying tea, and then like it. I have trouble getting them to try it.

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No flight would be complete without a venti iced soy chai from Starbucks, although I’m finding it to be much much sweeter than I recall. I’ll slowly sip this all the way to FL, while reading “The Tea Goddess”, a book I dloaded to my Kindle a few months ago.

Sil

Terri……the tea spot is having a 2 day 20% off sale……..

Terri HarpLady

Really? What do WE want besides Bolder Breakfast & The Chocolate O? To hell with my hiatus, I’m on vacay…

Terri HarpLady

Also, a chic that works there offered me a bunch of samples…anything you want to try?

Cavocorax

Wow – you have to buy 3oz? Do you need a third? :P (Oh god, I’m awful at not buying tea)

Sil

I’ll get a pm going when I get home. Yes to those two 100%

Hiatus be damned since they rarely do straight up sales

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Sitting at the airport, eating my banana muffins & sipping this. It’ll do. BTW, there’s way to much tea & paraphernalia in my small suitcase. Hopefully the peeps who go through luggage won’t freak out.

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Road Trip!
After I claimed a sipdown on this tea, I realized I had a secret stash at Tony’s. so this was the first tea of the morning, which I drank on the way to the airport. My mistake was forgetting there is green tea in here, which makes me sick to my stomach if I haven’t eaten. That queasiness started, but luckily I brought my own food: a frittata & paleo banana muffins, so I am saved.

Cavocorax

Secret stash FTW! :)

Terri HarpLady

LOL! I often take small amounts of some of my favorites & leave them at his house, just in case I want one of them, or if (god forbid) I forget to bring tea for the weekend.

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For those who don’t know me, I have a very deep cynical streak (the title of my first CD was ‘Cynical Serenity’). I also have trust issues, especially when it comes to ‘guru’ types. So, having said that, when I hear people referred to as ‘Master’ this, or whatever, I’m always a little suspicious. Also, when companies give all these amazing descriptions & make things sound so unbelievably good, I secretly roll my eyes with doubt. Even Verdant. Sometimes it just seems a little over the top.

Having said that, where Verdant is concerned, I am almost always impressed, & today is no exception. I don’t know why I should still be skeptical, except that it is just my nature, I guess.

So…I’ve been enjoying this Shu all afternoon, steeped in a Gaiwan, steep after steep. Everything about this tea speaks of quality & craftmanship. From the awesome banana-leaf wrapper, (or whatever it’s made of, your damn right I’ll be buying a brick!), & the dark beauty of the leaf itself, to the bright clean flavor that is fruity, creamy, & slightly tart, this is a lovely Shu! I’m not done with it yet, & next time I’ll use the Xingyang workshop parameters.

Master Han is the Jedi Master of Tea. Thank you David & Lily, for all that you do for us crazy tea drinkers! I love you guys!

TastyBrew

Ha ha. I’m a total secret eye roller. Sometimes not so secret. This tea has one of my most favorite tea descriptions ever, especially this part “The musty and aged quality of this tea is so refined that it moves away from earthy and more towards the satisfying smell of old libraries.” Someday when I finally develop a taste for puerh, maybe that will sound appetizing. Not so much yet :-). But I am sipping on special dark right now. Finally found one I don’t want to just dump down the drain. Ha ha.

JustJames

ah, subtlety is lost on me… i don’t do it in secret, i’ve been known to say ‘prove it’. not rudely, just candidly.

this puerh i would love to try….. august, august, august.

Terri HarpLady

My favorite “old library” shu is xingyang golden leaf ’98. I love that tea, & it just happens to be one of the reserve teas this month too!

Autumn Hearth

Oh lucky! (for both this and the Xiangyang). I need to hold off for financial reasons. I hear you on the skeptical. My mom is often mentioning workshops to me by “one of the great spiritual teachers/leaders of our time” or something similar. And though I may be inclined to what they are giving a workshop about: ancestors, journey work etc, my mom’s phrasing turns me off.

Terri HarpLady

Autumn, I figured out a long time ago that the answers always come from within. Nobody in the world can intercede for me, or do anything to help me connect to the Universe (God, or whatever). If I sit down & ask for guidance, I will receive it. There are a lot of things that nobody can know…the Pope, the Dalai Lama, etc. I’m not saying they may not have some answers, but those same answers are available to me (or you) when we take the time to be quiet & alone, maybe journal a little, & breathe! Nobody can guide my spiritual experience except me!

Rich

You said exactly something that has been on my mind about Verdant. They go so far out there with their over the top selling hype, I find it a real turn off. It makes me want to boycott them because it seems so manipulative. That being said, their teas are generally wonderful. But I can’t help feeling cynical when I try their teas which almost takes some of the joy out of the experience. I hope they read these comments, though I might send them a note as well.

JustJames

mine arrived along with a sheng and a hand picked laoshan in my tea of the month shipment…

on a separate note and playing the part of devil’s advocate: culturally there are chinese tea masters, and in the north america there are tea mastery courses… verdant (in my opinion) creates brilliant products. who does it hurt really if they refer to their tea engineer as master han? why assume it’s a manipulation and not a sign of respect.

i can’t say either way which would be true, and in my experience the middle road is often the most accurate. i suppose i like to err on the side the cup of tea half full.

Terri HarpLady

All in all, in spite of my skepticism, I’ve loved almost every tea I got from them, LOL. I guess that really says it all, right?

JustJames

terri, you are a lovely person.

Terri HarpLady

Why thank you, James!

Ag

Just noticed this thread, bit of a late response here, but I’ll throw in my two cents…

I’m also a bit skeptical of anything/anyone with the title of “master”, but it recently occurred to me that it’s a traditional form of respect in the Chinese culture to call an experienced elder “lao shi”, which basically means “teacher” and I suppose could also be translated to “master”. Considering that Verdant’s relationship with their tea sourcers is one of friendship and respect, I can understand why they would refer to them as “Master so and so”.

I also have some slight issues with Verdant’s fancy descriptions, but after listening to some of the conversations David has with the tea farmers, I’m certain of Verdant’s genuineness. Up until then, I had a slight concern in the back of my mind that some of Verdant’s claims of friendships with tea farmers and sourcers were exaggerated, but his fluency in Mandarin is impressive— I almost couldn’t tell he had an accent (my family is from China so I hear Mandarin and a few other regional dialects being spoken fairly frequently).

Terri HarpLady

Cool, Ag! Thanks for chiming in!
The truth is, I love almost every tea I get from Verdant, & I do feel that they are very genuine in all they share. I also really enjoy the info they share, & the personal way that they deal with the growers, & those of us who purchase the tea.

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Tomorrow morning I’m flying to Orlando, FL to visit my folks, who live in Apopka. It will be a week of no real responsibilities. At least once a day Dad will ask me to show him something on the piano, as I’ve been teaching him theory & improvisation for a few years now. Mom will find reasons to go to the health food store, the book store, or other locations to get some time alone with me. We’ll hang out relaxing. I’m smuggling some Egyptian Walking Onions for their garden. (Last time I smuggled 2 of their amazing aloe plants home, they are very different from the ones I have here). I don’t care much for FL, but I like to go visit my folks each year for their anniversary. Last year we had a family reunion in Springfield, MO to celebrate 60 years. It was the first time all 5 siblings had been in the same place in about 30 years! This year it is back to a nice quiet week of goofing off, watching movies, gardening, & eating. And drinking tea. The hardest decision I have to make today is which teas to bring:
A) My favorites…but there are so many!
B) A sipdown sampler collection
I still haven’t decided, LOL.
Meanwhile, the TOMC bundle came on Saturday, & today I’m working my way through some of the selections.

Don’t think I’m any kind of authority on Sheng, because I’m not, but for a year old Sheng, this seems amazingly smooth, sweet, & even kind of creamy. Most of the other young Shengs I’ve tried have been kind of harsh, especially if I use more than 3G. The chaqi hit me after the first cup, & I’ve been sipping cup after cup, in between doing various things that need to be done before I leave town: a few loads of laundry, water all houseplants, etc. The flavor is rich with a full maltiness, a bright citrus sensation, steam sauteed cabbage, & a lingering herbaceousness & thick tongue. I like it!

Tamm

I hope the trip goes well! It sounds super relaxing.

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I’ve officially designated Monday as “White Tea” day. This started at the beginning of July. I don’t have a huge selection of white teas, as I’m not crazy about them, & tend to find them a little lame, to be honest, but I do enjoy trying them out & am gradually developing an appreciation for them. So every Monday I will drink a white tea, either plain or flavored (I currently have a total of 5 in my collection).

Today, it is this one. Steeped according to Verdant’s suggested gongfu parameters, more or less:
4G + my glass test tube steeper X 5 sec (adding 5 per steep)

This is a pleasant cup that starts out creamy & sweet, with the flavor & texture building with each steep. Gradually an blanched almond flavor emerged, & that was really nice. I am also thinking of a really creamy oatmeal, the kind you make from steel cut oats. The later steepings are more savory, with a bit more vegetal taste, & an almost citrus like sensation. As far as white teas go, this one is really nice!

MsWhatsit

I know what you mean about white teas.

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Bio

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!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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