3091 Tasting Notes

My confession: I have not been a huge fan on Dancongs. They always seem to get bitter so quickly! I’m not the most coordinated person, & when it comes to steeping something for 2 seconds…well, lets just say that I tend to over steep. I was extra careful with this one.

The dry tea smells of fresh laundry! It has a very ‘clean’ smell, like fresh linens!

I’ve spent the afternoon sipping on this tea, & rather than make extensive notes about each steeping, I’m just going to comment on it as a whole. Things I’ve noticed:
*A floral taste, along the lines of ‘orchid’, but with more of a ‘wood’ influence. There is also a mineral flavor.
*a metallic sensation, especially on the sides of my tongue. It’s a very ‘bright’ sensation,& cooling, which I suppose could be compared to ‘snow’, now that I think of it.

  • The tip of my tongue feels extremely ‘awake’ & bright. I’m thinking the word ‘tantalized’ might fit. Again, this could be compared, in a sense, to what it might feel like if I stuck my tongue into a snow ball for a minute, LOL.
  • There is also a sweet, mouthwatering sensation under the tongue.
    I’ll go back to sipping now…
    Thank you David, for this month’s offerings!

I have that issue too… now sometimes I only steep them for 10 seconds

Terri HarpLady

this one was suppose to be steeped 2 – 3 seconds, LOL! I just don’t seem to be capable of steeping for that short! :D

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I’m having an awesome day! Here’s the teas I drank so far, but don’t really have time to write full on reviews, as I was on the go:
Zhen Qu (butiki)- a little malt, a slightly floral bouquet, next time I think I’ll make it a little stronger.
Mi Xian Black (butiki) – sweet notes of honey!
Imperial Breakfast blend (verdant) I can’t believe I still have some of this! That was the tea in my ‘go’ cup this morning, as I rushed out the door to UMSL, to attend my Harp student’s Jury.
Matcha – with lunch, another stir fry, accompanied by a heaping serving of my newest home made Kimchi! This is a really potent batch too!!

Now I’m home, I’ve eaten, my students will start coming. Time for some serious steeping!

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This is another one of the teas from the Verdant Tea of the Month Reserve Club. I was sort of holding off on reviewing it, waiting to see if someone else wanted to take the lead on this one, so that I’m not being the first to review everything. But I can wait no longer!!

The dry tea has a slightly green smell. I give a quick rinse, & a short steep, emptying the Gaiwan into my cup. The wet leaves smell like almond essence & …banana pudding? I have my face in the Gaiwan, just breathing…in & out…& a miraculous sensation of sugar occurs in the back of my soft palate, I’m smelling sugar! I linger…I’m smelling a bowl of banana pudding with those yummy almond sugar cookies dipping in it.

The tea itself is a beautiful butterscotch color, with a sweet almond essence, along with a floral note & sparkling sensations on the back & undersides of my tongue. I’ve been enjoying it for a few hours now, just steeping & sipping. It’s very nice, but I have to confess that I’m not always the greatest at short steepings, & this one can take on some bitter & drying qualities if you let it go too long. I got sidetracked & that happened with one cup.
Se La Vie
(I’m sure I spelled that wrong, I don’t know French)

Invader Zim

I would love to try this tea and review it. Alas, I received four different teas, but this was not one of them in my package for the Tea of the Month Reserve Club. How many teas, and which ones, did you get in your package?

Terri HarpLady

Huh? We didn’t all get the same teas? Here’s what I got:
*Experimental Pressing Yeu Guang Bai
*Tea Research Alliance Special Commission ’06 Stone-Pressed Sheng
*Xing Ren Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong
*Xue Pian Phoenix Mountain Dancong

What did you get?
Now I’m wondering what Paul, Aiko, Zeks, & whoever else joined got… I just assumed we’d all get the same teas.

David Duckler

Great to see so many people starting to try the first reserve club teas, and some of those rewards samples. Everyone got the same sheng pu’er and Yue Guang Bai, but since this was the first reserve shipment, and I really wanted to pair these lighter more ethereal tastes with suitable Dancongs instead of something darker, we ended up splitting the dancongs into a few groupings. These dancongs were sent in very small quantities (4-5 z each), which I really wanted to share. I opted to split the reserve shipment into several dancong pairings to achieve this goal. The dancongs sent were Xing Ren Xiang, Da Ma Ye, Xue Pian, Red Leaf and White Leaf. Everyone got two of the above.

In the future, everything should be pretty consistant across shipments, as I will be able to source the teas specifically for each month based on the number of people enrolled. The upcoming month is going to be a knockout with teas from people like Master Han who wild-picks on a secret mountain plot in Yunnan, processing all his tea personally. We are the first company outside Xishuangbanna that he has worked with because he doesn’t even have roads in to his house.

I am thinking of starting a board or discussion post with the next shipment for people to talk about the teas, and connect as a reserve club community. We are even looking at instant message or video conferencing for a big e-tasting.

Looking forward to future shipments,

Terri HarpLady

That would be awesome, David!!

Invader Zim

I have so many teas from the resrve club, rewards samples, black Friday, and my birthday from last week! I’ve been too excited about the dancongs to try anything else other than that jasmine!

Thank you for clearing that up David! I’m sure a flurry of confusion and messages/emails would have ensued! From the reserve club, the two dancongs I received were the Da Ma Ye and the Red Leaf Dancongs. I think a discussion board would be a nice place to congregate. I really like the idea of a mass e-tasting! Master Hans tea sounds super squirrely secret and I can’t wait to see what it’s like!

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Home from my gig, feeling a little drained, I made a quick lunch stir fry of chicken, bok choi, spring onions, ginger, garlic, toasted sesame oil & fish sauce. My home-made Kimchi & Sauer Kraut are both bubbling nicely, and the Kimchi will be ready tomorrow! So I polished off the last of the jar of Kimchi that was in the frig, drinking the juices that remained in the jar. It was a tasty lunch, & the only tea that felt appropriate was Matcha. Creamy, dreamy, & Green!


wow, you are so domestic!

Terri HarpLady

LOL, Amy, would it surprise you to know that the bok choi & green onions came from my backyard? Once I get the new batch of Kimchi out of the crock & into a jar in the frig (& some in my belly) tomorrow, I’m starting a batch of cultured daikon & ginger. I picked a huge pile of Daikon radishes & turnips yesterday, & there are actually more out there. Pretty much all I do it play & teach music & grow, cook, & eat good food! And drink tea, of course! :D


Sounds like a pretty good life to me!

Terri HarpLady

I love it! :)

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Getting ready to head out the door to play an early morning gig, with a cup of this in hand. I love the body of it, the depth: malt, a little chocolate, spice. A morning cup to enhance my playing, & I’m gonna need a little enhancement, as I bumped my middle finger yesterday (right before my gig) and split the nail, painfully peeling it back a bit. I trimmed it as far back as I could, but it kept catching on a string & ouch! I had a few bandaids in my purse, but they don’t stand up to harp playing very well, so neither lasted very long.

I have a 2 hour gig this morning, & a rehearsal tonight. I have a roll of white bandage tape in my purse, the finger is wrapped to protect the nail, & although it’s throbbing, “the show must go on!”


Yowie! Not a fun occupational hazard.

Butiki Teas

Ouch, that sounds awful. Good luck with your gig, I hope its not too painful.

Terri HarpLady

I survived! Now to make it through tonight’s rehearsal!

Terri HarpLady

It is one of the difficulties of being a musician, any little cut is a major ordeal.

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I wanted something sweet to savor & sip on during my gig, & this was the one. It has a decent tea base, & a decent chocolate flavor, with creamy undertones. I add a little Stevia, and it’s a grown up’s dessert in a cup, & little Terri likes it too!


gosh…you’re a serial drinker tonight :)

Terri HarpLady

LOL, those were all drank throughout the day, I just finally had time to enter them!

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This afternoon I played an xmas concert at a retirement home. I steeped this to drink on my way to my gig. I’ve concluded that I don’t really care for it.

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After we drank a couple of steepings of Laoshan Black, I gave Ari & my student cups of this lovely Shu, their first Puer experience. (Don’t worry, my student also got his harp lesson!). They both thoroughly enjoyed it, as did I, & my student’s comments can be summed up in him saying that clearly he’s never had really good tea before, & sadly, everything in his cupboard will seem lame henceforth.

I’m still sipping re-steeps of this, on & off.

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
3091 tasting notes

Ari wanted something really dark, so I made us some Laoshan Black, I mean, how much darker can you get?? One of my students dropped by at 11:00, & knowing he’s a tea drinker, I poured him a cup too. He took one sip, looked at me with surprise on his face, & said, “Where in the hell did you get this??” He loved it.

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I still think this tastes like cream of wheat with a little milk & vanilla added, maybe a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon. Ari agreed.

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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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