2895 Tasting Notes

This is a tea sent to me for FREE as part of a FREE tea giveaway offered by Pekko Teas. I’d like to thank them for this generous offer, & for their delicious tea.


I served this tasty tea on Monday to one of my students, & yesterday to 3 out of 4 of my children & a friend, and they all enjoyed it. Today I’m savoring a cup alone.

I closed my eyes & took a whiff of this high quality ceylon tea, & I pictured an orange, laying on a bed of rose petals. There is a very mild citrus aroma, a hint of rose, & a clean & bright tea-scent underlying it all.

I steeped a cup. The color is beautiful, an orange amber liquor. This is not a deep chocolate grogg (which, I admit, I tend to favor), but more of a sophisticated lady, where teas are concerned. The flavor is bright, with a hint of orange, and a little clove to make your tongue tingle. It’s quite nice!


This does sound lovely. And a freebie too! What’s not to like? :o)

Terri HarpLady

:D I like free things!

Terri HarpLady

I think this will make a really nice cold brewed tea too…if I can just remember to start some & put it in the frig :D

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I’ve had students since 3:00, which is when I started steeping this lovely green tea in my Gaiwan. I followed the instructions (3 sec for the first 3 steepings, 6 for the rest):
First off, the dry smell is like green beans (which for wierdos like me means it’s appealing…lol)

The first steeping of this was luscious! It was like creamed baby spinach, with butter melted on top. It really had the mouth feel of melted butter. I don’t mean that in an oily way, but it made the taste buds that would have tasted butter sing.

I combined the next 2 steepings in my small glass teapot (that looks like a miniature koolaid pitcher from the old commercials) & they were like spring peas & butter on a bed of oatmeal. Not as buttery of a mouth feel as the first one, but it’s still there. The color is a beautiful bright yellow green.

With steepings 4 & 5, it’s more of a green bean flavor, a hint of bitterness at the very back of my tongue, & a creaminess.

Steepings 6 & 7: Bitterness fading, a little astringent, but still has a bright green flavor!

This tea has a brightness to it, like a smile on a sunny day! At the end of steeping, I added a few drops each of toasted sesame oil & fish sauce to the leaves, & it was a tasty, mildly bitter but flavorful appetizer before dinner!


Sesame oil! Will wonders never cease - I will have to try that with a veggie-ish green tea.

Terri HarpLady

mathis, the sesame oil was suggested on the verdant page. I’ve never eaten tea leaves before (well, unless you count drinking matcha). The fish sauce was my idea!


Actually, green beans are kind of perfume-y, so can see in a way how that would be appealing. Of course, as I was reading down through your post I started thinking though that the taste of green beans might be better with sesame seeds and soy sauce. Looks like we turned out to be on a similar wave length :o)

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My first tea shipment from 52-teas has arrived! It includes:
Brandied Apricot Upside Down Cake Honeybush
Coconut Cream Pie (Black)
Gooey Butter Cake (black)
Malted ChocoMate

I’m not a big drinker of flavored teas. I’m also not an eater of desserts. So why did I buy these? LOL, I don’t know! It was the brandied apricot upside down cake that caught my eye, I’ll admit. The photo (of the actual dessert) looked so awesome, plus I have a history with brandied apricots.

When I was 15 I had a great babysitting job every Saturday night, & they
always stocked lots of food & encouraged me to eat & enjoy. After a few weeks I noticed this crock on the counter full of wonderful smelling juicy apricots, which I later realized were brandied apricots. I ate a few every week, they were so damn good, sometimes I ate more than a few!

This tea does not taste like those amazing apricots, but it’s a nice diversion. The dry smell is tart & tobacco-like. It brews into a pretty reddish brown. Unsweetened it is so-so. Add a little stevia & it’s pleasant: kind of like yellow cake with apricot preserves spread over the top. I’m sure it would be decadent with heavy cream & real sugar, but those aren’t on my menu. I might try it next time with vanilla almond milk, or coconut milk, but for now, it’s enough. I’m not a big fan of honeybush, but this will be a nice late afternoon tea, for when I want more tea but need to lay off the caffeine.


hahaha I wonder if they knew they were intoxicating the babysitter!


Oh my, you must have had a real sweet tooth the day you made that order. (Not saying I wouldn’t have done similar!)

Terri HarpLady

LOL, MsW, it’s true. Remind me to send you samples of those…

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drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
2895 tasting notes

I really want to like this tea. The title is cool, the ingredients sound good. I know all of the ingredients are top quality. I followed all the instructions. It smells wonderful, & is visually appealing.

The first steep, which I shared with my son Drew, was nice, with flavors & aromas of Tieguanyin, jasmine, & orange peel, but after I drank it my tummy felt funky. Drew enjoyed it.

The 2nd steeping (a few hours later), which was mostly served to my daughter Arianna & her friend, also gave me a quasi-nausea, even though I only took a few sips. They both loved it, saying things like, “This tea is so mysterious! I taste the jasmine, but I don’t know what these other flavors are.”

The 3rd steeping is when the Frankincense really comes out. I have ‘real’ frankincense resin here, which I burn on occasion (I also burn sweet grass & sage on other occasions), & I love the smell, but the taste isn’t really doing it for me. Also, I think my body is saying “no”, because after a sip, I could feel that Quasi sensation again. Ari & her friend really loved it! They totally grooved on the incense smell & taste.

I will put this away for a few weeks, & then try again… If it doesn’t work for me, I can use it as ‘tea currency’ on a trade.


Haha indeed – I have yet to try mine.

Autumn Hearth

Quasi queezey? I have yet to order mine. Yea currency indeed, though I do hope you have a better reaction next time.


Now I’m torn. I’m always so nervous to try new things. I planned to order some of this with my next order. Bonnie made it sound so good, now I’m nervous. lol

Terri HarpLady

Boxer, want me to send you a sample?

Terri HarpLady

Autumn, I can send you one too

Terri HarpLady

I just have to say this: Everyone else here who tried it loved it. Keep in mind, I have a lot of wierd allergies & sensitivities, so you guys will probably love it. I’m just posting my experience.


I certainly wouldn’t object! I love earl grey, but I have no idea what frankincense is. lol

Terri HarpLady

Frankincense is a resin (sap) of the Boswellia tree, which was basically the first incense people burned, or at least one of them. It’s quite different from stick incense. Anyway, send me a message with your address, & I’ll send you a sample.


I feel the same way about this tea.

Terri HarpLady

Not everybody is going to like everything…


The second steep seemed to overpower me with ginger. It was beautiful to look at and it smelled great though.

Terri HarpLady

The ginger part I love, I grate up ginger & make a to sane with it often. I haven’t given this tea a second chance yet, there are just too many others to try out. I will get back around to it eventually!

Terri HarpLady

hmmm….just realized, the earl doesn’t have any ginger in it. I hope I didn’t mix the labels up on your samples…


Maybe it just reminded me of ginger… lol

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drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
2895 tasting notes

First, thank you SO MUCH to David @ Verdant for sending me this sample!!

I wasn’t on Steepster when this tea emerged, never got to try it, & have always (I say “always”, but I’ve only been on steepster for 29 days, so my “always” is relative to that) wished I could have had the honor. During this last month, I’ve ordered from Verdant ‘several’ times (obsessive compulsive & their tea is awesome), & on the most recent order David sent me this sample, with a hand-written label that said “Original Harvest Golden Fleece Sample – Just for fun!”

Today is a special day for me. I often joke around about 12 step programs & mysterious substances of my youth. Let’s just say that I was very wild & out of control, at one time, & I suppose you could say I was a connoisseur of sorts, at least in the realm of psychotropic & hallucinogenic substances. I’m not going to say it wasn’t fun, because I had a lot of awesome revelatory experiences, some amazing highs, but there were also lows, which I won’t go into here. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “The higher you rise, the farther you fall”.

Today I’m celebrating 29 years clean & serene!
No alcohol, no hallucinogens (believe me, I did enough of those to be able to slip in between realities at will for the rest of my life), no cigarettes, etc, & when you add in food allergies (no dairy, no sugar, no grains (no pastry…sigh…), etc it starts sounding like “No Fun”.
You could say my only vice, my ‘drug of choice’ is tea.
I was contemplating what tea to drink today, & when this sample arrived, I got tears in my eyes, LOL, & gave thanks to the Divine Universe, & to David.

I read the instructions on the website. To brew in the Gaiwan or the basket???? I couldn’t decide…So I asked the leaves, & then I went with a hybrid (I’m sure someone is laughing at this point).

Dry, I smell a mix of Tobacco & chocolate. The beautiful blond leaves brew into a deep golden honey cup! The flavor is rich & smooth, I think of dark chocolate, but it’s deeper, more earthy. I see an old growth forest, & there is a hint of spice. The 1st 3 steepings were done in my favorite cup with the finnum: 1 min, 2 min, & 3 minutes. There was a sweet undercurrent, which I identified in the 3rd cup as sweet potato. Also, my tongue & throat developed a satisfied sensation as if I’d eaten some really wonderful dark exotic 92% chocolate. The chocolate that isn’t really sweet. All of these steepings were full, dark, & rich!

At this point I switched to the gaiwan, so that I could keep steeping these leaves in a smaller amount of water. Now I’m getting a hint of banana bread pudding! I’ve gone through several steepings of this tea, & it is still flavorful, still caramel honey colored. Still tasty.

“Onward through the fog”


Ohhh you got some coveted golden fleece GO YOU!!! :)


Oh crap I meant to say HUGE congrats on 29 years!!! YAY!!!!

Terri HarpLady

Yeah! Thanks on both counts, Azz!

Autumn Hearth

Congrats! What a wonderful tea to celebrate with!

Donna A

One of my favorite teas. Like you, I really enjoy my blacks (and never knew it until I discovered the good loose ones recommended on Steepster). I started drinking tea partly to get away from Coke Zero. I second Azzrian on the congratulations for 29 years.


Congratulations Terry! Sounds like it was a great tea for a great day. :)


*Terri. I promise I can spell.


Congratulations, Terri! I love that you received this special little gift on such a special day.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks Nik! It was awesome!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks everyone! My life is awesome!I love this community!

Nathaniel Gruber

Love your “sweet potato” description! I was trying this one with David today and someone actually said the same thing. So funny that I ran across your review and you got the same thing – awesome!

Terri HarpLady

I just ordered a bunch more of it!!

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drank Earl of Grey by The Tea Spot
2895 tasting notes

Thank you Bonnie for this sample!

I’m not a fan of bergamot. I enjoy the smell, but the taste tends to be acidic to me, which I don’t really care for. Tony, on the other hand, adores it, so I served this tea to him this morning.

While I was heating the water, I smelled the dry tea: It smells pretty heavenly, I’ll admit. Strongly reminiscent of Lemon Bars. They sell those at all the local coffee shops here, & if you haven’t had them, it’s basically lemon curd on a graham cracker crust, with powdered sugar sprinkled liberally over the top. I can’t eat such things, but one time I did bum a little tiny bite, just so I would get the experience, & let it melt in my mouth for as long as possible. Sheer heavenly decadence.

I also took a few sips of the tea before I delivered it to Tony. It was kind of interesting, a nice twist on the Earl. The bergamot is there, but not unpleasantly so, the vanilla-lemon curd taste is more up front. I handed him his tea & went on to savor my cup of Imperial Breakfast Summer Blend (I can’t wait to see what the winter version will be).

Tony’s comment regarding the tea: “It was ok, but it smelled too much like a pastry.”


You were right, it was like lemon pudding. I didn’t realize that there is something in it that I’m allergic to so I can’t get any more but I liked the lemon bar flavor.

Terri HarpLady

must be the licorice root, eh?


how can anything smell TOO MUCH like a pastry?

Terri HarpLady

That’s exactly what I was thinking! That pastry smell & taste becomes especially important when you’re gluten intolerant!
I find it also ironic that the rare earl grey that actually appeals to me a little doesn’t do it for him. Ah well…to each their own!

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It’s been a beautiful day! The leaves are already turning here, & my drive to Pere Marquette & back was about an hour each way. The wedding was also lovely. I play weddings almost every weekend of the year, which is good money for me, but I also really enjoy being part of the sacredness of it. Regardless of the lifestyle, culture, & spirituality of the event, all weddings are beautiful. I feel that if you can find someone in this life that you truly love, you should go for it!

It’s always so nice to relax when I get home with a cup of tea. I started the day with Yanxin’s 04 puerh, which I really enjoyed. When I got home from the gig, there was a verdant box waiting for me (oh joy!!!). It contains the newest blends & a few refills (Laoshan black). By far the one tea I was most excited to try was the Sichuan Caravan, so before I got out of the black evening gown & into pajamas, I already had a cup going, & it smells like heaven!

Here’s why I’m so excited about this tea: EVERYthing in this blend is something that I LOVE! Ginger, Elderberries, Licorice root!! I’m fairly new to Puerh, but I’m finding it to be a tea that I crave, very grounding, something I really need in my busy Terri the Harp Fairie life.

So, it smells of all those wonderful spices, & the taste is awesome! Perfectly blended, I can taste all the flavors, & yet none are overwhelming. It has the buttery earthiness of the puerh, with its bright tongue tingling sensation, the ginger & hint of pepper are so warming & soothing to my throat & tummy, & sweet licorice root has a strong balancing quality, which again is always helpful to me. I already know that I’ll have to order more, because this is a blend I will enjoy again & again. Thank you David!


I’ve been waiting for someone like you to review this and please drink some more and review it again. I can’t drink this because I’m allergic to licorice so I’m enjoying it through your reviews!!! So glad you love it!

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I played a beautiful wedding last night, & it was especially fun because the 2 girls who are now wives had great taste in music! Normally I play a 30 minute set of classical pieces while the guests are arriving. For this union I played a mix of latin jazz & tunes by Sarah McGochlan. Both brides were stunningly beautiful! Now I’m heading out to play a more traditional wedding at Pere Marquette Lodge in IL.

I chose this sample this morning because I wanted a more grounding tea, & I’m finding puerh to be just that: a tea that brings my airy fairyness down to earth!

Dry it smells kind of like an old barn that hasn’t been used for awhile, a well aged compost (which IS basically what it is, but luckily not the kind one would find in a barn).

Steeping it smells of the ocean, & of butter, with a slight hint of dried plum. It also reminds me of the smell of sheets that have been line dried in the sun.

The finished product? Smooth! Smooth & shiny like a piece of obsidian. There is no bitterness, no astringency, but what there IS is an amazing buttery texture, kind of like the corn tuocha, but it doesn’t taste like corn. The flavor is deep, earthy, & satisfying. Also, there are fun tingling sensations on the tongue that make me smile!

I just re-steeped in my to-go mug so I can enjoy this on my 45 minute drive through IL.


Have a great time today!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! It was a beautiful wedding! I hope you have an awesome weekend!

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It’s been a long & busy day. Lots of black teas in the morning, lots of running around in the afternoon, & then I played for a wedding this evening. I just got home, unloaded my harp & gear, & am ready to settle down, but I wanted something with a little lift, as I don’t plan to sleep for awhile, just to chill.

The description of this tea, & the photo, did not originally appeal to me. It’s a little to happy, confetti, pastel party time looking. I know, that sounds ridiculous…. When I found out the Verdant blends were getting ready to change, a part of me said, “You know, you have to try them all, at least a sample”. “ok”, I said, because I was sort of looking for an excuse to place another verdant order anyway.

I’ve been kind of out of sorts for a few days, so when I opened this tea & took a whiff, it was aromatherapy for me. Sweet, cotton candy marshallow dreams, with jasmine, vanilla, & other yummy flavors. And it is a much more beautiful tea than the photo on the website lets on, very fairy-like (& I like my fairie stuff), very happy looking, which is what I needed this evening.

After steeping, it is a really nice, mildly flavored cup of lightness, like a nice deep relaxed breath. I feel like it’s so well balanced that none of the flavors are really in the forefront, everything is nicely blended. I’m probably going to wish I’d ordered more of this (I think I got 1 oz), but it’s not like I don’t have enough tea around here (if you only knew). I will savor this, probably as a bubble bath time tea, a tea to drink while journaling, & I’ll be sure to have a cup in my sunroom when it snows.


I just bought my first whole cake of puerh from verdant and I was going to get some of this but it will have to wait. I was afraid the new puerh would be all gone!

Terri HarpLady

I only ordered an oz of the new puerh….I was really tempted to order a whole cake for the same reason, (still thinking about it), but I ended up joining the tea club instead! We’re hopeless, Bonnie!

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Dry: it’s kind of perfumy-fruity…not something I’d probably usually go for, but I seem to recall really liking it last spring. We’ll see…

Steeped: not so perfumy, more of a cinnamon & pears aroma, & although it’s not bad, the flavor is kind of bland, lacking a any real ‘tea’ substance to it. Pleasant, but not memorable…a drop of stevia helps it out a little.

Now that I think of it, I believe this is a blend that I brewed extra strong & poured over ice. It seems like that’s what I do with most of Teavana’s teas. The flavored ones seem to all have too many ingredients, & rarely appeal to me hot (except for zingeber ginger & thai tea, those are both pretty good).

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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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