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163 Tasting Notes


Awhile ago, the gracious Ashmanra gave me a lovely Twinings Rose blend tea.
I adored it.
So, I ordered this tea.
The first time I tried it I was both surprised and slightly disappointed.
I am assuming that the Twinings tea has some added flavoring.
This tea does not.
Which results in it not having that high rose perfume-y odor and taste.
(which tasted like drinking a rose garden on a summer afternoon)
This tea is different.
Its lightly floral with a hint of spice.
It is certainly good quality black tea, with a bit brightness.
For some reason this tea makes me think of the Dowager Countess.
I am not sure why, her name is Violet after all, not Rose.
But, the character of this tea really reminds me of her.
Always ladylike, bright, and a bit of spice and like the grand lady herself…I was not sure if I liked it at first, but it grew on me.
I think I would still like to find a more floral (perfume-y?) rose tea.
But, I will enjoy this while I have it.

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Harmed and Sons is definitely more floral and is a great mix in with other teas!

Hesper June

I was looking at that the other day and wondering.
Will have to order that when this tin gets a little lower:)


China Rose Tea OP by ESP Emporium is really lovely too.

Hesper June

Writing that down.
I have H&S’s on the way, so if it does not meet my expectations, then I will give that one a go:)

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I hope you lovely folks are having a lovely Spring so far.
I am still on a liquid restriction, but this morning I wanted this tea.
Awhile ago (before the great dry period of 2013) I ordered from Upton.
I ordered a bunch of their sample packs, which most are sitting untouched.
But, Hubby and I have tried this tea and really enjoyed it, and today I awoke thinking of it, so I muttered “Screw you, Doctor Mark” and made myself a cup.
And not my tiny amount of tea, an actual mug of this tea.
Its malty, chocolately and some slight figgy fruityness
No milk or sugar in it for me, but I certainly think it would stand up well to some.
This is a tea that seems quite manly to me.(My hubby enjoys it)
It is robust, and full flavored but it also does not have tart tannins.
Just lots of eyelid opening flavor.
Perfect for a brisk spring morning:)

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Drinking this today.
I went to the doctor this week and had a recheck…I am now on even more of a liquid restriction.
Which is truly frustrating to me.
So, this is why I have not been on here much, folks.
I am not drinking much tea (although, I am getting really good at brewing tiny amounts of tea…it looks I am having a tea party for fairies;)
And reading all your delightful reviews makes me feel pouty that I can not drink (which is something I just need to get over)
Still liking this tea. In fact its growing more and more on me.
Although, any tea I enjoy now a days feels almost naughty to be indulging in.
I am hoping that all these health issues clear up soon.
Missing you all and my lovely tea too:(


We miss you too!


Vent here as much as you want and need to! We care about you!


I hope everything is better for you soon!


Aww no I hope you get better soon! Miss you on here Mrs June!


Well, pooh! Hang out anyway, tea or no tea. You’re missed!

Hesper June

Thank you, all! I knew I could get empathy here:)


Also missing you! Health is everything, so focus on getting yours back ASAP :-)
P.S. Really liking the idea of a Fairy tea party!!!

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I had a bit of this tea left and I could not resist the ice cream recipe I found.
(Hubby gave me an awesome ice cream maker for our anniversary)
So, I made Caramel Matcha Ice Cream.
Oh, heavenly days, was it a dream.
I am ashamed to say that Hubby and I ate the whole batch minutes after the ice cream maker finished making it.
It was so creamy and dreamy and green!
I know this is not a tea drinking review, but if you have a chance to make some matcha ice cream, I say do it!
My recipe was custard based.


Moments like this I wish I had an ice cream maker. Sounds delicious.

Hesper June

Oh! I adore mine! I highly recommend getting one.
This is mine:
There is a lot one can do with tea and a ice cream maker, I just spotted a earl grey ice cream recipe too;)


Oh yeah, I was admiring that one a few months back! I’m glad to hear it works. I’m always afraid of investing in something only for it to break or not function properly. Earl Grey ice cream would be fantastic, especially if you put add a little citrus zest in there. Yum.

Hesper June

Well, I have only had it for 2 weeks, but its works wonderfully so far.
And oh,yes! Earl Grey and citrus zest sounds lovely.
I was also thinking of tea granitas this summer would be delish too;)

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
163 tasting notes

I have waited a really long time to try this tea.
A Big Thank You to SIL for giving me a sample so I can finally try this much loved (at least by Steepster folks) tea.
And I thought this would be a good tea to re-introduce myself back into the tea tasting world.
Yes, I do think I finally beat this horrid upper respiratory flu thing that had me down for nearly 3 weeks now.
I still get horrible coughing attacks that last about 10 minutes, but I believe my full taste and smell has returned.
I could not keep my nose out of the brew basket when I was making this tea.
It smelled SO good brewing!
I smelt chocolate and avocados, some earthiness and something sweet.
Wow! If this tea tastes half as good as it smells, I am really in for a treat.
Then the dreaded wait time till it cools enough that I can sip.
The color is stunning, such a rosy gold, it so lovely to look at sitting in my bodum cup.
Taste is more delicate than I thought it might be, however that does not mean it lacks flavor.
Chocolate and honey.
Avocado and wood.
Floral and creamy.
Baked goods and earth.
This tea has it all, gently unfolding in taste, like a journey where you are not sure what is around the corner.
This tea is a real treat and is well deserved of its Steepster love.
Thank you so much Sil, for giving me the chance to try such a delightful brew.

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YAY! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Also, it’s finally back on Verdan’t site for purchase lol.

I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. I hope you also enjoy golden fleece when you get around to it. (though i think i personally like laoshan black better heh)


That review is just downright poetic. (Well, after the coughing part ;) Glad you’re feeling better!


I hope you feel better soon! That’s horrible that you’ve been sick for so long. I get the same once I start coughing. Seems like if it ever reaches that stage, be prepared to be sick for weeks. Ugh.

Hesper June

Thank you all, I am so glad I am back and feeling better too.
Although, I am still on a liquid restriction by my doctor for another week till I get re-tested (crossing my fingers that the tests turn out that I can drink as much tea as I want;)
Gmathis, LOL, yes the coughing is certainly not poetic.


Lovely review as always, and this was the perfect tea to have after such a long flu, glad you feel better :-)

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drank Genmaicha by Harney & Sons
163 tasting notes

I am feeling better and stronger today and was thinking that this afternoon I would do some long overdue tea tastings.
But, alas when I drank some of this tea with my lunch and it tasted and smelled like hot water…I realized that my smell and taste still have not returned.
But, I am glad I am finally healing and I am not coughing the entire night now.
Someday, I shall return to you all with taste buds and a nose…someday.
Read previous review for how this tea really tastes:)


Awe….I know how you feel! I really hope you are back to your old self soon. Miss your notes!

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I thought I was better, but alas I was fooled.
I did too much too quickly and my nasty flu thing came back with a vengeance.
Not sure why when the throat aches and the nose runs, I reach for this tea.
It just soothes the spirit.
I can’t wait till I smell and taste and get back to reviewing all these delicious teas I have around, but for now, I have a mug of this, a new book and snuggly pets.
See previous notes for more on this tea.

Josie Jade

Hope you feel better soon! :)


That sounds so cozy….a new book and snuggly pets!


Get better soon!

Hesper June

Thank you all! I hope to be back to my old self by the new week.
Till then, sipping familiar teas and lots of snuggling on the sofa:)


Ooooh feel better soon!

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Too much water.
That is what my doctor after numerous visits decided was why I am anemic and lacking iron and other minerals in my body.
And sadly, I have one of those smart doctor’s, who knew that I drank tea and knew that it is not a dehydrating as soda or coffee.
Plus, that I still drink a fair amount of water in a day.
So, he decided that all the minerals were getting flushed out of my body.
He told me to cut back to my total amount of water (tea included) to 3 quarts a day.
Then this last weekend, I finally got that horrid flu thing that has been going around (probably because I have been in the doctor’s office so much)
Which, weirdly enough, the flu did not bother me as much as cutting back on my tea consumption.
I just can’t believe it, most Americans do not drink enough and are constantly dehydrated, but me…no.
Anyway, I really wanted a Chai tea this morning, since I am still drippy, coughy and achy.
Chai always hits the spot.
But, alas, I am totally out of Chai tea!
How did I let this happen!?
I remembered this tea that I received in food basket at Christmas.
I was so surprised when I pulled this out of the basket, especially since its loose leaf. Most gift teas are bags.
But, I was glad!
Anyway, on to the tea.
Orangey black tea is the first aroma, slightly robust smelling.
A real orange smell, not bergomonty.
Then, the spices emerge, cloves and cinnamon.
Taste is orange and spicy.
The black tea taste not as strong as it smelled
This is not a chai. Does not even resemble one, but it is hot and slightly spicy.
I do not consider it a waste of my alloted tea water for the day.
I tried to log on a couple times last week but each time, steepster must have been having some problems.
Glad to see you all are still here:)

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I don’t know what I would do if my water/fluid intake was limited!!!!!! Good luck!

Hesper June

Thank you! I am going to need it!


Wow! I am constantly anemic, and it runs in the family. My doctor thinks it is some sort of genetic problem, possibly an atypical celiac disease in which the only symptom is malabsorption of minerals. Ah well. I keep taking that iron pill, and it makes hubby really eager to buy me steak! :)

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This tea experience was provided by the gracious Ashmanra
All these teas that she sent me, make me hungry for some European pastry that I have never had.
Which I know makes no sense, but seriously they make me think of some delightful decadent morsel.
I read about this tea before I brewed up a cup, so I knew what it was supposed to smell/taste like, but was still surprised when I stuck my nose close and inhaled…Figgy goodness galore!
It brought an immediate memory to mind.
A few years ago, before I got married, I cared for a 90 year old blind woman named Mary.
She was originally a teacher from California, but after she went blind she moved to Idaho to be closer to her daughter.
Her son still lived in California, and he had a Fig Tree in his yard, and would send her fresh figs.
Opening that box for her was always a delight, the smell that hit your face was like sugar and sunshine.
This tea has that same delightful odor.
There is a definite floral note to this as well, but nothing overpowers the other.
It really feels like I am sitting in a Californian garden…although I can’t say for sure, since that is something I have never done.
This tea is fairly dark in color.
I just brewed it for 3 minutes, but it is a dark burgundy.
First taste is actually lavender, which was weird, because my nose kept smelling fig, but it was unmistakably lavender in taste.
After that first sip, I could taste the Yunnan tea and then floral notes, as well, as citrus mixed in with the sweet figgy-ness of it all.
What a beautiful tea, and for some reason I keep associating it with California.
Maybe they should have a State Tea?
Thank you again, Ashmanra for sharing with me!

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do they have any cicada in California ?

Hesper June

Yes! they do:)


so Thé des cigales is definitively a californian tea :) (shhh don’t tell Provence I said that !!!)

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I love when a tea renders me speechless, or at least at a loss of words.
When I smelled this tea I just kept saying “Oh!” and “Mmmm!” and a few “ahhhss” were thrown in for good measure.
And this was all before I even had tasted it yet.
There was something so delightful yet familiar about the odor of this tea, although, I had never had it before, in fact this is my very first Verdant Tea, A huge thank you to Sil for giving me this to try!
So, since I was savoring its odor and had to wait for it to cool some before sipping I decided to read some reviews.
I think I am getting the cacao nib smell, and the malted milk too.
I think that is why this tea seemed familiar, comforting in fact.
This is a tea that hugs you back.
I do get the hints of avocado and jasmine too, which are both things that I just adore.
On first sip, I thought “Oh! Avocado for sure”
But then the second sip, I tasted cacao nibs.
More sips brought out all sorts of flavors from malt to floral.
Wow! What a tea.
I see from past reviewers that more steeps bring out more flavors as well.
What a delicious and delightful tea.
And since others have said it better than me, I think I will just go and enjoy this wonderful brew.
But…I am going to leave you all with two things…buy this tea because its the bomb, and thank you again Sil for sharing!

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YAY!!!! I’m so glad that you liked it and that I had some left to share :) I hope you have a wonderful time re-steeping this one and enjoying the flavours that emerge.

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A Farmer’s Wife who drinks her tea to forget the din of the world.
Love all tea, from black to herbal concoctions.
Usually start my day with black tea and then move on to Oolong or Green in the afternoon, then finish the day with a tisane.
Loose Leaf teas are my preference, I say “Free the Leaves!” :)
When I am not drinking tea, I enjoy knitting, baking, reading, playing with one of our rescue animals or working along side my husband on our farm.

My rating system is rather relaxed:
50’s or under- Um, is this tea or did I get this from the slop bucket?
60’s- Not really my thing, certainly will not be purchasing again.
70’s- I will give this tea a few more tries to see if it grows on me , right now it is okay but not thrilling me.
80’s- Like this tea a lot. It might be a tea that I have to be in a certain mood for and therefore not a daily drinker, but try to have on hand for those “moods”
90’s and higher- ADORE! Will never be without!

I most always drink my tea plain.
No sweeteners or milk/cream.



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