2957 Tasting Notes

I don’t know how old this Puerh is, it didn’t come with a pedigree to tell me what year it was grown, or what region it came from, or anything like that. I’m fairly new to Puerh, so maybe that doesn’t matter. So far, I’ve only drank 1 straight puerh, the rest have been in blends. I got an order from The Tea Spot recently, & ordered the sample size.

Smelling the package, it reminds me of a well cooked compost, combined with a salty ocean breeze. The bricks, or tuochas, are cute, dark brown with beige streaks, kind of reminds me of my spring compost pile with a little straw mixed in. I like the Tuochas. They would be great for traveling. At first I was like, “Do I break it apart, or just drop it in the cup?” I dropped it in the cup, it fell apart when the water hit it. Now I know.

I’ve already drank the 1st cup, and it was smooth, with a mineral taste, my bones are saying “This might be really good for us”. It has a dark color, deep reddish brown, & a dark taste, a very mild hint of bitter on the edges of my tongue, but that adds to the package, as the bitter taste is good for the liver & gall bladder.

The 2nd cup has an undercurrent of alfalfa & a mild saltiness to it. I really like the ‘grounding’ feel of it, the earthiness, the solidity. I’m a person who needs to stay grounded, as I’m very ‘airy’ (friends call me Terri the Fairie), & although I’m full of great creative ideas, I’m not always the best at bringing them down to earth. Like the Walt Whitman poem about sand castles…

I like this stuff.

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This is another tea that seemed a little bit ‘scary’ for me, because I’m just not a huge fan of Bergamot & citrus, but I DO love roses! I took a risk because:
1. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve gotten from Verdant so far…
2. The new fall line is coming soon, so I wanted to at least give it a try while I could.
3. Anything with Laoshan Black in it just has to be awesome, right?
4. The picture of the tea is just SO beautiful that I couldn’t resist!

Opening the packet, I stick my hose down in there & breath in…OMG! This is like heavenly aromatherapy! The perfectly blended & heady scents of roses, bergamot, & citrus is like a yummy perfume some classy old lady might wear…it’s like a calgon commercial saying, “Take me away…”. It’s intoxicating, & the bergamot doesn’t take over the show. It’s a supporting player, which I don’t mind!

This is possibly the most beautiful tea I’ve ever seen: Skinny little twisted strands of black tea form a palate for brilliant magenta rose petals to lay upon, with a sprinkle of citrus peel.

Brewed, the tea smells like the chocolate buns that a local bakery used to make. I was addicted to them, years ago…yeasty, crusty, ohhhh…

And the taste? The cocoa depth & maltiness of the Laoshan Black, with a hint of rosewater, & there is a bright note of Grapefruit in the background, just a little edge, just enough to add a sparkle!



Ah darn I almost got a sample of this but didn’t.

Terri HarpLady

Want me to send you some? :)


This sounds soooo good.

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Now I’m in the mood for something dark & rich, & this tea hits the spot!
The idea of this particular tea has both intrigued & freaked me out for awhile now. I’m not a big fan of citrus flavors in tea, there is usually an acidity that I don’t care for, but every time I visit the LTR I feel an urge to try this one. So, with my posse of women at my side the other day, I figured, what the heck! If I didn’t like it, someone would, right?

I liked it! I liked it enough to purchase a few ozs. The Puerh base is deep, satisfying, & earthy. Dry, it has a deep smell of orange peel & really reminds me of those fruitcakes my mom used to make. They were loaded with candied fruit, orange peel, etc. I think she baked them a month before xmas, wrapped them in cheesecloth & proceeded to marinate them in brandy, or rum, or something like that. Then when they were ‘ripe’, she packaged them up & sent them out as xmas gifts. They had a dark rich flavor, a sweet sticky density. This tea smells kind of like that.
Unsweetened the blood orange is there, but not overpowering, with a tangy berry flavor. I can drink it plain, but the addition of sweetness really brings out the juiciness of the fruit. It is tart & mouthwatering, deeply satisfying! Yum!


The blood orange varieties I have had were so tart they made my eyebrows sweat … sounds like the pu-erh whips it into submission :)


I’ve thought for a long time that orange and pu-erh are two things that really suit each other well. There’s an orange flavoured pu-erh from Nothing But Tea which I’m very fond of. :)

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This is a sample sent to me with my last Verdant order! Thank you David!

I’ll be teaching all afternoon, so I’ll be sipping all afternoon. I’m brewing this in my Gaiwan, following the instructions on the Verdant site. The label on the sample says Light Roasted Aged Tieguanyin, so I believe this is the advanced sample of the tea I’ve listed it as. If not, someone feel free to correct me!

Dry scent: dehydrated banana & toasted rice
1st steep: the wet leaf smells of toasted seaweed, the tea is a pale apricot, with a mildly essence of banana in the flavor
2nd steep: the color is now light carmel, smell of toasted rice, I can’t define the taste, buy my tongue is tingling around the edges!!
3rd steep: (just burnt my fingers because I filled the gaiwan too full) I’m getting a slightly tropical flavor, & still toasty rice, & the creaminess of rice pudding is starting to rise.
4th: (the wet leaf now smells like Seaweed steaming on charcoal)
now there is a mild sweetness, hinting at roasted carrots
5th: the center of my tongue has a bright metalic sensation, but not in a bad way, it’s like a sparkly tingly magic thing…actually, now I’m feeling that this sensation is like the acidity you feel on your tongue after eating pineapple, from the enzymes in that fruit. I’m not really tasting pineapple so much, just feeling the sensation of it.

I think I’m on #8 now. My mouth is watering!

Rather than drag this on, I will go teach & continue sipping…

Terri HarpLady

This has been a tasty, toasty, pleasant brew! Some of the steepings made me think of Bananas Foster, which I’ve never actually had, but I think it’s a dessert of bananas sprinkled with brown sugar & some form of alcohol, which is served flambee! So it becomes carmelized bananas.

Autumn Hearth

Nope not the right tea, I just created a page for the Aged Traditional Anxi Tieguanyin and am about to write my own tasting note. You should be able to copy and paste your text into a new note and simply delete this one :)

Terri HarpLady

yeah, I realized that when my Verdant order came with the real stuff. I had compared the label of the sample to the site, & I guess it’s a sample from some tea they are no longer offering…

Autumn Hearth

They were both extremely limited batches, the Aged just sold out quicker, before anyone had reviewed or loaded any information up on Steepster. If I don’t see the exact tea I’m looking for I create a page with the info on the merchant’s website. But this one was easy to be confused about ;). Going to reinfuses my leaves some more on it today though, as they are all I have and I really did love it.

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This is the last of my generous sample from Bonnie. Thanks Dear!

Gratefully, I’ve already ordered more from verdanttea.com, & if you like it or want to try it, better order some right away, because it’s being replaced with the Fall blend, any day now!

Smooth, deep, rich, mineralizing, awesome plain or sweet.
A perfect tea for my bubble bath.
Enough said.


I love drinking tea while taking a bubble bath – I think that is as close to Heaven as I have come.

Terri HarpLady

Yup! Add a good book, some background music, & really, what more could I ask for??

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First, thanks to Amanda (the “Be a Fruitloop in a world of Cherrios” Amanda, there are 2 Amandas here) for this tea!!

I’m sitting here, eating breakfast & sipping tea with my left hand, & typing with my right hand. I thought that might occupy little T so I could write this review in peace. This is the 2nd of 3 teas she thought would fit the “talk like a pirate day” theme. (The third one is Buttered Rum, by Davids Tea, which Bonnie sent to me. I already reviewed it last week).

Dry, it has a fruity & buttery aroma. A dark tea with bits of cacao nibs, very enticing. I brewed 1 tsp in 8oz for 3min.

“arrrrrr…tastee! Buttery, creamy, bold, & worthy of a sea-farin’ swag like me…a wee bit of a bite, but not ‘nough to blow a man down. Tastes more like rum than whiskey, to my per-view, & I likes me whiskey, says I, says I. She’s a lovely diversion, a beauty for sure. Takes me back to the beaches of Moroloro, where I sat, stranded for a year, aye, yes it does. ’twould’ve been a miserable one, that, had I not found a treasure in the cave: barrels of black tea, 50 cases of rum, & some food rations. Endless supply o’ coconuts on that Isle…aye,… ’twas a year of wonder…”


Aaarrrr, aye should uv talked like a pirate in my review too….

Terri HarpLady

next year we must remember!!!

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drank Black Pearl by Mandala Tea
2957 tasting notes

Arrrrrrr, me Hearties!!! ‘Tis a lovely morn, & I’m takin’ a float on me Black Dragon Pearl. She’s a beauty of a ship, & pervides a rich & tasty sip, if I say so me self. Rich, robust, with a bit of malt & chocolate, she makes me want to sing, “Yo ho yo ho the pirate’s life for me”. So bring out your whiskey & rum flavored teas, me Lovelies! Lift up your pinkies, me Bonnie tea brewsters, in a salute to Jolly Roger, whilst we swill down our steepings & savor the day! Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

Explanation: Yesterday was “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”. Little Terri was very excited to participate & had lined up 3 teas to review, all with a pirate theme & jargon. We spent the day running around, & we both forgot all about it until about 1:00am. She blathered on about it all night, in my head, & so there you have it.

This tea was provided by the lovely Azzrian. I’ve had Black Dragon Pearl from Teavana & have loved it ever since they started carrying it. I tend to use 5 or 6 pearls in 8 oz cup & brew 3 minutes, re-steeping 2 or 3 times. I’m thinking that Mandala’s pearls may be a little stronger than Teavana’s, but, on a pirately day such as this, I’m liking it! Excellent straight, sweetened, & also with the addition of the milk of your choice, it’s a great breakfast tea.

Autumn Hearth

I was looking to see if anyone would write their notes in pirate dialect, yar! (which is apparently a regional Welsh slang word for “yeah”)


Seriously loving your pirate reviews. Maybe next year I’ll do the same.


this stuff is good!!!

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I just got home from the grocery store. I didn’t really want to go, but I’ve been avoiding it for a week, the meals were starting to be odd, & I ran out of stevia! So I made a deal with myself: Give the Caramel Matcha a 2nd chance by making a smoothie & I could drink it on my way to the store!

If you read my first caramel matcha tasting notes, you’ll know that I made a hot latte & wasn’t that thrilled with it. Several people mentioned to me that they liked it cold, and as it turns out, the good news is that it was YUM in the cold smoothie!! Here’s my recipe:

In the blender (preferably a vitamix if you have one, I’ve destroyed innumerable blenders by dropping chunks of frozen fruit in them):
1 C almond milk (I like Blue Diamond unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze)
1 tsp caramel matcha
the sweetener of your choice: I used a few drops of stevia

Blend, then gradually add:
1 frozen banana, broken into pieces

Blend some more!
Yum, it was delicious!
So now I know why everyone keeps ranting & raving about this stuff!

Thanks to everyone who offered their suggestions!

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I got a sample tin of this from the Tea Spot because I like the pretty picture of teeny tiny little yellow flowers mixed with green tea! It’s not a tea that will make my top ten list, just something to slip in between all the dark teas, to cleanse the palate!

Dry it smells lightly of carmel & vanilla.
Wet, add a hint of lemon peel.

The taste is pretty mellow, mildly tinged with vanilla & carmel & a slight toasty flavor. I play at a lot of weddings & receptions, but I’ve never actually eaten wedding cake, so who knows?

I added a pinch of stevia. I’ve been doing that more & more lately, these flavored teas require it to really bring out their best. So now I’m drinking a twinky! I haven’t one of those in about 45 years, & you- know-who likes it!

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First, thank you Bonnie, for this tea!

I’ve had 3 lattes today, & my son Drew & I split a small chocolate from Kakao. It was the size of a quarter & had cacao nibs & matcha in & on it. It was just a small piece of very dark chocolate, which I allowed to melt in my mouth until it was just the nibs. Now I need something grounding & this puerh sounded like it might be just right.

I am a gardener. In my backyard you will found 6 compost piles. Two of them are strictly for leaves (I have 3 pin oaks & various smaller trees). It takes 18 months to break down oak leaves, so the leaves I rake into a retaining area this fall won’t be used until the spring of 2014. They are an awesome addition to the clay-like soil we have here. The other 4 piles are for yard & kitchen waste. Everything starts in the first pile, gradually getting turned to the next pile in the row, hopefully by the time it gets to the last enclosure the compost is ready, thanks to the actions of various factors that cook the contents.

I mention this because Shu Puerh is basically compost, made from tea.
This does not bother me, as I also make sauerkraut & other cultured products at home, which are also ‘cooked’, or predigested by various bacteria, etc. I’m fairly new to puerh, but I understand the science!

So, dry there was an oceanic smell, wet the leaves smell like sea veggies. The tea itself was deeply grounding, mineral tasting, with a color that I can only describe as blood orange.
I steeped per Ms. Bonnie’s instructions, & although I enjoyed each steeping, I’ll say that the latter ones were my favorite, as the flavor got more mineral, more grounding. Just what I needed. Nothing frilly, no sweetener, just an earthy cup & me.


I know, comfort puerh. Good for the tummy. Try one with a little sweetening and you’ll be surprised at the caramel (if the puerh is a bit on the salty side) I use real milk for latte’s sometimes but try your kind of milk (just not rice…blech…).

Terri HarpLady

LOL, I agree, rice milk…yuck! What were they thinking?
I use either coconut milk or almond milk.
I drank it plain this time, because I’d had some sugar & felt the need for an earthy taste, & also because I’m out of Stevia! In fact, right now I’m trying to motivate myself to go to the grocery store…I’ve been avoiding it all week…might as well get it over with (now that I’m out of Stevia! With Stevia I can almost live on tea)

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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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