3048 Tasting Notes

It’s snowing in St. Louis, which was totally unexpected, but beautiful!

Sometimes it’s enough to drink a tea with nuances of chocolate.

Sometimes you just want chocolate! This is one of those times!

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This is Josie Jade’s pick to read with the book, Anna Karenina.
It’s also really nice! It’s smokey, with a rose aftertaste. I thought I would want to sweeten it, but actually I like it straight.

Again, I’d like to commend & thank both Josie & Serenity for this wonderful idea, & for sending out the tea samples to everyone!

And now, I’m taking my cups of tea to the bubble bath, as I’m still only at 75% on the book. Time to soak, sip, and read!

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For those of you who don’t know, a group of us have been reading Anna Karenina, thanks to Serenity & Josie Jade. Thanks girls!
This is a tea sample, which Serenity picked to go with the book. I’m not usually a fan of flavored green teas, but it’s really quite pleasant!

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Some time ago KaiMatcha offered a “buy one get one free” promo on Steepster, and I did. But I still had some of the Teavana matcha, which I felt I should finish drinking before I opened anything new, so the Kai went into the freezer. I kind of wish I’d made my last cup of teavana & this at the same time, so that I could really compare them, but I didn’t. Oh well…

Could this possibly be greener? Could it possibly be greener than any matcha I’ve ever had? This is so green, so joyful, so heart opening! The aroma is so ‘fresh’, that’s the only word I can think of to describe it. I don’t sift my Matcha. This foamed up beautifully, & the flavor is heavenly! It’s like the freshest greenest sweetest greens you’ll ever eat, & in the background, sunflower seed butter! No, it’s sunflower seed sprouts, that’s what it is! I haven’t grown those for awhile. Usually I grow them in my sunroom, especially in late winter, & they are so cute & tasty!
Anyway, the mouth-feel is very creamy, & as it cools I feel like I’m drinking cream, & it is lovely & sweet. I take the last sip, and there are NO clumps in the bottom of the cup at all! Wait…I feel it…another Haiku!
Dreary Winter day
Early morning reverie
Sipping cup of Spring


Well said.

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Another Sip Down!

It’s been a little while since I had a cup of Matcha with breakfast, & honestly, I don’t know why! It’s so perfect, so delightful, so beautifully green! My first Matcha posting on steepster included a Haiku, here it is, for your reading pleasure (if you so desire).

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This is my first Mandala Tea!
The Aroma of the dry leaf is very mushroomy, very savory, with a chocolate background & a hint of ammonia.
My formula: 5G + 4oz (rinse)
1. 10 sec = a very dark brew with a savory earthy flavor, definitely mushroomy!
2. 20 sec = The flavor of shroom is still present, but a creamy vanilla sweetness begins to rise
3. 30 sec = creamy & mildly sweet, with a lite milk chocolate at the very back of the tongue as I swallow
4. 40 sec = Chaqi sensations are creeping up on me! The flavor is the essence of vanilla pastry.
5 – 8 were combined in a pitcher. This tea kind of reminds me of Yanxin’s Reserve, at least in some ways.
9 was allowed to steep for 2 or 3 minutes…and it was nice too!

Next time I think I’ll try it with more leaf.
It will be interesting to see how this one ages.


Terri! I am glad you are enjoying this tea. I had it late last night before bed and it made me dream of temples high in the Himalayas! Great dreams!

Since I’ve been a bit obsessed with this tea for weeks, I’ve brewed it up a gazillion ways. A little trick… pour boiling water into your empty pot and let it completely heat up. Dump the water off and add your tea leaf into the now heated pot and let the dry leaf warm up for 15 seconds or so and then smell the leaf! Nice, eh? Then do your rinse (5 to 10 seconds) of the leaf with the boiling water and pour off and smell of the leaf again. Pay attention as it cools a bit. Now, my dear, make your first infusion. You may already do this, but I absolutely love bringing the various levels of aroma into the experience.

Thanks for taking the time to write the review, my friend!! Nice!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks For your recommendations Garret! I’m still really a puer newby, so I’m always open to suggestions regarding brew times, the overall experience, etc.. Beginners mind…
Just out go curiosity, how much tea do you usually put in your cup?
I’ve been starting my shu’s out with 5 G, my shengs at 3. When it comes to shu, I find I want a rich & robust brew. With sheng, I don’t want it to be harsh, but I want to feel the energy/chaqi. Enjoy the day!


HI Terri!!! I’ve been into pu’er tea for 15 years and I’m still a newbie, my friend :) That’s why I go to tea school in China!! With shu, I typically don’t weigh my tea, because like you, I prefer a bold, rich and robust cup… And my mood varies with just how strong I like it so I just eyeball it. When I’m getting to know a new sheng, I do weigh – typically 3 to 5 grams for a 5 ounce gaiwan. This will depend on the age of the tea and also what I am going for (am I using it at 175 temp, 195, full-boil?). all depends on the session and my mood.
I am a huge proponent of experimenting session to session, day to day… so many variables – attitude, atmosphere, water – everyday things changing and different than the day before. Above all, I like to practice joy with the experience. Which, I am sure, you already do :)

Terri HarpLady

yes, I do! I try to keep Creativity, Mindfulness, Joy, & Gratitude in the forefront of my day, & my tea drinking is a big part of that. I’m so grateful to be self-employed & to be making a living playing music & doing the things I love! I’ve been keeping a tea journal for awhile, & it’s nice to be able to refer back on my previous experiments as I’m embarking on new ones! :D

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Verdant Tea of the Month Reserve Club – January

I opened this package thinking I’d see something along the lines of Silver Buds Yabao, but this tea doesn’t look anything like that! Instead it is beautiful roasty looking leaves in shades of mahogany, olive, & cocao. I can’t quite describe the aroma. I want to say vanilla, but it is not vanilla. It is almost a ‘cereal’ kind of scent.

I followed the verdant instructions: 5G + 4oz (rinse) X 3-4 secs.

It kind of reminds of of cream of buckwheat cereal. A creamy vanilla like texture, a mild sweetness. Not something I would get excited about, but a pleasant departure from the norm.

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drank Chai Spice by Verdant Tea
3048 tasting notes

This is not the exact Chai Spice recipe from the Chai Spice that came in our January Tea of the Month package, however it has many of the same ingredients, with the addition of goji berries, so I’m just going to use it, because they have the same name. So there!

I just enjoyed a lunch of Greek sliders, baked sweet potato with cinnamon, & cukes. I wanted to follow that with something sweet & spicey. I combined 2 t of the chai spices with 8oz water, simmered for 5 minutes (really probably 6), added 1 t of Yu Lu, steeped for 3 minutes, meanwhile I heated up a cup of almond milk, then added it at the end.

Unsweetened: ginger & a touch of salt

With Stevia: oh baby! It really tastes reminiscent of a ginger snap cookie.

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Sometimes when I’m sampling teas, I like to talk about each round of steepings, noticing how the tea changes as I go along.
I’m not in the mood for that kind of left brain tea drinking today. Luckily, I have several samples of this varietal, so there will be time to drink it that way. Today, I’m more in a right brain mood, & have other things to do (while I drink tea). So I’ll just give my overall impressions here.
Per David’s instructions: 5G + 4oz water (rinse) X 4 – 6 sec

I drank the rinse water, as I often do, LOL. Not bad!

The first steeping I drank alone & the immediate impression was German chocolate cake accompanied by a cup of coffee, no doubt about it! It is a deep flavor, a very earthy taste, roasted & malty, a rocky essence, but with a sweetness & a sense of buttery-ness as well.

Then I combined several steepings in my pitcher, because I just can’t keep returning to the kitchen over & over again. I have things to do!
I’ve refilled the pitcher & am sipping that now, taking a break. The buttery sensation has somehow worked it’s way into my sinuses, & this is one of those mouth watering teas, giving my tongue a bit of a thick feeling.
Steeping 8 or 9 (lost count) I’m drinking this one separately from the others. Now the chocolate & malt are mostly gone. Very mouth watering, very tongue tingling, there is a sweet creamy taste.
10. (more or less, which I allowed to brew for 1 minute) Rock, chocolate, & a really interesting aftertaste…

I wasn’t as mindful during this tasting as I like to be. Before I sample this one again, I think I’ll drink some Big Red Robe & other Oolongs, & then come back to this one.

On to lunch…


You’re one of the only people here who talk about tasting in the sinus’s…I get the ouch in the sinus from the first burst of tea sometimes…and great tea can travel (flavorwise) all the way up and around (what you call your third eye and beyond). Doesn’t everyone taste this way?! If not, then why not? I learned to do it as a wine taster, tea is the same really.

Terri HarpLady

A big part of the taste of anything is the aroma, which is why we don’t taste things so well when we’re stuff up. That, of course, doesn’t explain all the crazy sensations we get, but really, who needs an explanation. Savor the moment!

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The Verdant Tea of the Month Club package arrived, & as always, I was very excited! I already knew that there would be a sample of Anxi Fo Shou Black, as we were given a heads up via email. I kind of assumed (wishful thinking) that the 2nd tea would be Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan, since it was also being newly unveiled. Imagine my disappointment at the 2nd tea being Yu Lu, which I have not really cared much for & already still had some of. Oh well…

Not to be unwilling, I gave it a go, per David’s instructions. To avoid muddying the waters, this was my first tea of the day. M
5G + 4oz (rinse) X 4 sec = a pleasant malty taste & creamy texture.

I resteeped several times, keeping all of the steepings short, & at one point the taste I don’t care for (see previous reviews) waved at me from a distance, but it wasn’t in my face. So now I know that this one only goes in the Gaiwan (no western brewing), & I can live with it.


hmmm i really need to make time to sit with these teas ASAP


I loved this tea but it’s better brewed in a Gaiwan.

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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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