300 Tasting Notes

Omm nom nom nom nom. I’m not the biggest genmaicha fan, only had a few, but this is delicious! Super savory and hearty. Second steep is just heaven. The third a brewed a touch too long, but it’s starting to create this really need cooling effect when I breath after a sip, it feels a bit like anise doesn’t quite taste like it, though it comes with a sweetness. Interesting. I want to make soup out of this, but I need a bigger tea budget, sigh. Not feeling much like rating things right now, but this would certainly be in the 90’s.

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Drinking this today as I’m feeling pretty drained, rough night with the toddler not wanting to sleep in his own bed and the husband insisting he did. I must preface this by saying that I haven’t had rose in too many teas and the ones that I have were mostly Victorian tea room type blends. So when the rose came through prominently on the first steep I was a bit confused. Why does this Verdant spa blend taste all Victorian? Sweet, floral, soothing and tasty, but I still have the Victorian connotation. The second infusion I did western style, which may be more effective anyway, and the ginger and tulsi came through more.

I couldn’t resist adding Laoshan Black to the third infusion after reading Bonnie’s tasting note. Mmm chocolaty… reminds me of a zestier version of Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black. Would probably do green when sick but today I need the energy. Yum!

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drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
300 tasting notes

I finally got this tea on Saturday but was very tired that evening and yesterday was spent at the movie theater, literally all day: Lord of the Ring Trilogy Marathon(extended edition). The first thing I noticed about this tea was the oolong not the spices. What an amazing harvest of tieguanyin, I can’t wait to brew it on its own! So smooth and rich a creamy and so well supported by the other notes, that are starting to take on more and more of an exotic quality as I sip and inhale. Soon I notice a feeling building up in my chest, cool at first, then heavy, it feels a bit hard to breath. Hmm drinking frankincense might not be the best thing for me. Still I resteep a couple more times until I am too tired. It is truly sumptuous and I am very grateful for the unique experience. However I can’t tell if the physical effect is normal or perhaps an allergic reaction, I do have so many sensitivities. For that reason it will not be keeping it on hand but I do recommend trying a sample, its worth experiencing.

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Steepster was not cooperating the other day when I drank this and though I have not been posting lately I just had to share how amazing this tea blend is. It is seriously a masterpiece! It was exactly what I wanted and needed with my thai spring rolls and noddles, it stood up to the food and kept its flavor going through nearly a dozen steeps long after the meal.

Many months ago I was a wee bit disappointed by Verdant’s Elderberry Spice Pu’erh only because I was getting more heat than Elderberry. I think its mostly about expectations, because while this one doesn’t have elderberry in the name, it is fully present and well balanced by the licorice, ginger and sichuan. I love what this does to my mouth. It’s sweet and decadent and juicy and spicy and numbing and I can still find the base tea in this, one of my favorite shu.

I seriously could drink this all winter. Except for one problem, I only ordered the sample size. Something that must be remedied very soon. First though I am going to order some of this for my brother’s long time girlfriend and fellow spiced tea lover, along with Verdant’s two chai blends. Plus I need to try the other fall/winter Verdant blends waiting for me. But I will certainly order plenty of this to drink through January and February!

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Terri HarpLady

I absolutely LOVE this blend!!!

Terri HarpLady

In fact, I am missing a 2 oz bag of it. I know it’s around here somewhere, there is no way I could have drank the whole thing already!

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Feels like I haven’t logged a tea in forever, I really haven’t been trying much new, being on a buying hiatus. But I have been drinking, drinking the seasons of Verdant’s non-roasted Tieguanyins and Laoshan Greens. Drinking them simply to drink them and for this reason: http://verdanttea.com/how-to-store-tea/ not for any special occasion, person, comparison or log, simply because they need to be enjoyed. And you know what? That is so much more fulfilling right now than trying to cram in three different kinds of tea to review.

I also probably won’t be posting as frequently here for awhile, our basement flooded last night/this morning, we’ve got guys taking care of it as I type this, nothing majorly damaged as far as I can tell, except the carpet which we wanted to replace anyway, so will probably spending some time outside the house as well as sorting things out to throw away, give away or donate. Gosh I started that note like six hours ago, before everyone descended upon the house, was much more relaxed then, guess I need to make another cup.


Yikes, good luck dealing with the flooded basement! That’s never fun…

Terri HarpLady

Bummer about your basement, Autumn. Good luck with the cleanup, & hang in there!

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drank Pai Mu Tan by Pekko Teas
300 tasting notes

Many thanks to Pekko Teas to their very generously sized sample and offer!* It’s been awhile since I’ve had Bai Mu Dan/White Peony straight, back when I was exploring as many different grades and varieties of white tea mostly from Upton. It’s not something I would have picked out for myself now, but I’m glad for the opportunity all the same. I am always struck by the diversity of color, size and full/brokeness of the leaf. There are a few vibrant unfurled green leaves, many silver buds and lots of brown, olive and grey withered chopped up leaves.

I find White Peony to be both ugly and beautiful and am admittedly spoiled by whole leaf tea most of the time. This being said I do enjoy the herbaceous and woody personality Bai Mu Dan has compared to delicate Silver Needle. They remind me a bit of Darjeeling (and that’s the exact same reaction my friend had with this, her first White Peony) which also has a wonderful mix of color, but I find the company’s comparison to Keemun interesting, I’ve only had one unblended Keemun before so I can’t really speak to that, but I do get jammy.

I’m going to hold off on rating this one until I’ve had it a second time. I just guess I have a hard time seeing peony as a “luxury” tea and have a hard time justifying the price. but I don’t want to give it a low rating based on my bias. Still nice tea all the same!

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This is my first Pouchong and what a wonderful introduction this one is! I notice the second I open the pouch and smell the dried leaf that I am going to be in for a treat! The smell is so light and floral and airy, white and green tea come to mind before oolong and while I smell orchid it feels truer to its flower form than the notes in oolong. And they are beautiful leaves, long dark green and slightly twisted, like an unrolled green oolong but different. Wet these leaves come alive with a pure rich green dark and cool aroma, I just want to let the steam bathe my face. And the taste, so unique yet still familar.

This tea feels like a cool spring morning, dew still on the flowers in the meadow, just starting to warm up. I feel like a monarch butteryfly sipping milkweed (I’ve never tasted milkweed mind you and perhaps to a human it might seem bitter and this tea is anything but bitter, but that is what this tea evokes to me). More practically, it reminds me a bit of Li Shan, as well as Milk Oolong and Ancient Lily, more floral but still creamy, light, cool and sweet.

I can see why Coconut Pouchong is so highly rated here on Steepster, though I have never tried it myself, it’s not hard to imagine that this kind of tea would lend itself well to rich creamy sweet coconut. I keep on getting lunar images as well, inspired by the coconut tea packaging I’m sure and again I’m back in a meadow, this time a rabbit eating clover, definitely something to the clover.

This may seem silly and fanciful to some, but this tea takes you places, steep after steep. I’m on my third and feeling cool tingles on the center of my tongue which truly feels like it’s been coated in velvet. I shall continue this journey, but knew I had to write in the moment, as if in trance, lest I forget all the imagery. Thank you Nuvola Teas for this wonderful offering!

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My friend Michelle and I tried this flavored version again compliments of Michelle on here, after a few steeps of the unimpresive non-flavored version. This tea smells like peaches! And tastes like peaches & cream! It’s kinda intense and unfortunately a wee bit cloying but still tasty. I have more of this to play around with so we’ll see. But neither were as good as Fong Mong’s Milk Oolong, even though I do think highly of Teavivre.

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I apologize for the abbreviated tasting note on this one, but it was two days ago and I wasn’t terribly impressed. It’s a good green oolong mind you, slightly floral (my friend had a hard time placing it, not orchid, not jasmine, oramanthus, I doubt she’s had oramanthus but I have once), a slight cooling note at the end but creamy? no. buttery? no. I’ve had two other unflavored milk oolongs from Taiwan and this I’m afraid just didn’t measure up, which is unfortunate as I had high hopes for this. Now I suppose there could have been brewing factors or that the sample I got passed on from Michelle, was older or something, but it simply didn’t resemble the other milk oolongs in anyway. ::shrug:: Thanks for letting me try it Michelle

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So I swung by the mall on Wednesday when I was out and about to get a cup of this iced. I’m not much of a rooibos fan no matter how heavily flavored, but when I heard about the juniper berries I had to try it. I decided to let Michelle put in a teaspoon of sugar because one it’s going to be tart and two it’s supposed to be a cocktail. At first I’m unimpressed, tart, hibiscus, but then I close my eyes, breath in and picture the cocktail, yeah okay, I get it. I talk to Michelle about the different notes in it, I say gum, she says a candy from her childhood, I think old fashioned candy. I let her get back to work and muse about it on the way home. Cranberry, yes, orange yes, gin yes, some sort of spice? cinammon? maybe. licorice? not quite clove? perhaps. The word horehound keeps popping up, I’ve seen the old fashioned candies, but I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted them. Horehound is apparently in the mint family and bittersweet, again not sure if I’ve had it, but it reminds me of something. There is cherry, vanilla and carob pieces as well as cinnamon flavoring and “lemon crispies”… okay and I’m sure the roobios comes into play as well, though they don’t say if it is red or green and I didn’t get at the tea but the base seems dark. So anywho, interesting tea, want it to be fizzy iced, probably won’t try it hot. Now I want a gin tea.


It’s a red rooibos, I tried to steep some in cold water today as I drank it, and all the red rooibos bits came out of the infuser of course.

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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