Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

240 Tasting Notes

89

This isn’t too detailed, since I took this with me to work, and drank it over the course of about 9 hours. I was really impressed with the flavor, starting out pretty sweet yet intense, like good dark chocolate, but then it started to develop a lovely spiciness. I would agree that cayenne is one of the flavors, and the mouthfeel later on definitely reminded me of clove. Anyway, expect a substantive review sometime this weekend, but not tomorrow. My company lets out early due to the holiday weekend, and I intend to spend most of it trying out my Golden Fleece. Based on Bonnie and Jim Marks’ reviews, it really is something special. I almost can’t wait.

Bonnie

Perfect timing for new tea wouldn’t you agree! Have a great weekend!

Scott B

Thanks for the review, have been wanting to hear about this tea.

Bonnie

Scott there are three reviews of this tea right now.

Scott B

Thanks, Bonnie. I guess it just got added to the database yesterday.

Joshua Smith

Yeah, I added it when I got my order.

Also, thanks Bonnie! Have a great weekend yourself!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

Just a quick little note: I’m starting my internship tomorrow, so my reviews will be more limited until late August.

Anyway, This tea is delightful, espeically now that I understad why Verdant tea has Linen as one of the flavors. David Duckler had a post about tasting that discussed the other sensations, like touch and smell, and how they impact flavor. If you haven’t read it, you should check it out:

http://verdanttea.com/rebelling-against-the-tyranny-of-flavor/

I finally understand that the linen flavor is really the interesting sensation that you get on your tongue while drinking this tea, not a flavor in the traditional sense. Anyway, time to get back to unpack stuff from college…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I’m glad you read that article too! All the best with the internship!

Joshua Smith

Thanks! I’m actually working at the same company as last year, and I’m friend with a few of my co-workers, so everything should go pretty smoothly. Also, since the HR rep that I need to see doesn’t get in until 9, I get to sleep in an hour!

Bonnie

Great!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

Alright, actually taking some time to properly review this tea. Unfortunately, my allergies are still acting up a bit, so I can’t really smell it (that, and the grass outside was just cut, which certainly doesn’t help). Anyway, the taste is interesting in that it’s both warming and cooling, and it’s actually very “clear.” The other shu that I had was very murky and tasted a bit like lake water. It’s very complex and flavors are all muddled together, but still enjoyable

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

Hope you feel better!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

Alright, after surviving my last two exams and helping a friend move out, I finally have time to actually post a note. This is actually my second cup of tea, as I was really nervous this morning and made myself a cup of fukamushi sencha to calm down. Anyway, I went into this tea with kinda low expectations, as I really didn’t like the last dancong I had, but I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. This one is also juicy, but the flavors present seem better to me. This first cup displays evidence of something woody/spicy, and is a bit sweeter than I expected. I can’t wait to see how it develops.

To clarify, the previous cup was a bit rushed, and was interrupted frequently as my suite mate was moving out. That’s why I was a bit vague. Anyway, the second cup was really, really good. I actually got a chance to check out the aroma while it was still nice and hot, and it was simply astounding. The sandalwood seems to envelop me, making everything seem more peaceful and relaxing (which is amazing, considering I’m in my dorm room in the middle of packing, and there is stuff thrown everywhere). There are some other aromas present, but my allergies are acting up a bit, so they’re hard to catch for me right now. Anyway, the tea’s taste is also wonderful, with a bit more fruitiness than last time, but still retaining the juiciness of the previous cup. There is also a nice spice flavor developing, but it’s still a bit muddled.

Mmm, the third cup displays delightful development for the spice flavors. It tingles on my tongue after each sip. It’s also warming, which is nice since the weather took a turn for the worse and it’s raining right now. Anyway, back to the tea, it’s remarkable that it’s such a “warm” tea, yet is still tastes so juicy. It’s a very pleasant combination.

The forth and final cup was really nice, much like the third but more mellow. The spicy tingling has been reduced to a much weaker sensation. It’s kind of hard to describe, but it’s less and a tingle, but there is still a sensation involved. Anyway, it’s very pleasant, and I’m glad that I had a few hours to really do justice to this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Hooray for you! Done with the tests! Time fore R & R &Tea!

Joshua Smith

Yeah, pretty much. My internship starts on Monday, so I need to make the most of these next few days.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

My first impression of this tea is that it’s really, really good. My first experience with shu went pretty bad, but this is so much better. Unfortunately, I don’t have time for a full review, I have a double-header of exams tomorrow, and I need to review. I’ll reserve judgement until I have some time to really reflect on this tea.

After hours of studying and several (I lost count) cups of tea, I have to say that I do not in any way regret buying this tea. In all honesty, it’s actually a nice break from the Yunnan blacks that I’ve been favoring recently. I’ll try to post a more substantive review later this week, probably Thursday or Friday.

Bonnie

Blessings for your exams!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

It’s been a while since I had this, and I felt like having a green Oolong today, so my choices were fairly limited. Anyway, this tea is great because it’s really buttery, and because the aftertaste lingers for minutes. Some of my tea linger for a minute, maybe two on a really great day, but this Tie Guan Yin lingers for up to five minutes! Since this is the first cup, it’s not that complex yet, mostly grassy and buttery with hints of fruit, but I recall that this tea develops well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Another day of intense study, another black tea, and another delightful piece of music. It’s really crunch time for me, so I’ll keep this brief. Today, I’m pairing this malty black tea with more philosophy (but I don’t agree with the author today, so it’s a bit frustrating…), and I’m listening to Das Rheingold as performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Georg Solti. Not the best recording, but I bought this when I was a little less picky, so if you know of a really good recording. please leave a comment.

Anyway, back to the tea, it’s very malty. Not as much as the Golden Buds that I was drinking yesterday, but it’s still the dominant flavor. The tea is a bit too strong yet to be classified as creamy, but I’d say that it will probably be next steep. Finally, the sweet aftertaste provides a nice smooth finish to complete the experience. It’s worthy to note that the tea is sweeter and a bit weaker than last time I brewed it, but not by a terribly significant margin.

As the forth scene of Das Rheingold draws to a close, so does my second cup of this tea. It must say that this was a singularly unique experience for drinking tea, but that might be due in part to the nasty weather I just had to deal with. Anyway, the malt flavor of the tea has begun to retreat a bit, and a wheat flavor has become evident. Also, the wonderful buttery mouth-feel has started to show itself, which combines with the wheat to give a sensation similar to taking a bite of buttered wheat bread, and letting it sit on the tongue. If you’ve ever done this, you’ll realize that it starts to taste sweeter the longer it sits there, kind of like how this tea has a sweet finish. Of course, you should take what I say with a grain of salt, as campus food leaves me longing for something a bit more flavorful…

As the the second act of Die Walküreplays (with an interlude of Byzantine music, see the comment from Bonnie for more info), the third cup of tea finally reached the right temperature to drink. The big developments of this cup was the malt flavor going dormant, and the beginnings of the peppercorn flavors beginning to show up in the aftertaste, lingering on the hard palate of my mouth. Unfortunately, I think this tea is past it’s prime, and I’ll probably only get one more cup out of these leaves.

Ah, the forth infusion of this tea was delightful in it’s subtleties. Most of the flavors of the tea are in decline, but the peppercorn flavor provides a delightful sensation as it dances across the surfaces of the mouth, and once again lingering on the hard palate. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else left for the flavor, so this is definitely the final cup. Surprisingly, one of the things that has stuck around until the (figuratively) bitter end was the buttery mouthfeel. Usually this little sensation would have been long gone from the tea, but that just goes to show how good this tea really is.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I began to notice on the second steep as it cooled a bit a yam sugar wheat bread flavor, but you’re right that it was not as malty. I did enjoy this tea. I was listening to Russian Chant with it.

Joshua Smith

Oh, I remember when you posted that! That was some wonderful music to listen to, and sparked a bit of n obsession for me. Anyway, as I’m sitting here composing the edit for the second post, I have to agree with you about the wheat bread flavor in the second infusion. Combined with the newly-emerged buttery mouth-feel, it creates a very cozy experience, especially since the weather here has taken a turn for the dreary.

Bonnie

Very good too! Here is something different…tell me what you think. It is in Hagia Sophia (now a museum) so you know what it means to me that it is being sung in this sacred space. http://youtu.be/RwFYUJb03d0
So many people have never heard the more ancient Byzantine Christian music like this. It is still being sung here in the U.S. too.

Joshua Smith

Wow. That was some powerful stuff. The best part was the acoustics of of the Hagia Sophia letting the voices echo, giving the music that otherworldly quality. I wish I could get an album that was full of music like that…

Bonnie

I have a bunch of CD’s. Jim Marks can shoot you suggestions. I can shoot you a message with some I have but I need to go to the post office to send some samples off to a guy in Denver. I’ll be back. Uh Look at Sacred Treasures Choral Masterworks from Russia there’s a series (Hearts of Space) but I have others from like St. Catherines on Mt. Sinai and Vaalam in Russia and so on.

Joshua Smith

That would be greatly appreciated. I’ll send Jim Marks a PM to ask him as well. Again, thanks for the recommendations!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

First of all, the music for today is the album Beethoven: The Late String Quartets by The Emerson String Quartet. Anyway, I was generous with the amount of leaves I used, and I let it steep a bit longer than usual, but the result of the first steep was still great. The tea is blacker than my ex’s heart, but very warming when you actually take a sip. The flavor is intensely malty, with some nice cinnamon undertones, which results in a pleasant tingling sensation that lingers on the tongue for about two minutes. It’s a very intense experience, and was perfect for waking me up (I’m barely sentient until I have my caffeine). Anyway, this tea pairs well with my music and my activities (reading a bunch of books and articles to study for finals), so I’m really glad that I picked it for today.

The second infusion is still malty, but the cinnamon as gotten more prominent, the taste has sweetened a great deal, and the overall experience is smoother. The aftertaste has a smooth, almost-mineral quality to it. It’s like the tea is starting to become creamy, but it isn’t quite there yet. This is probably due to how strong I brewed the tea, but I’m certain that the next cup will have the creamy goodness that I remember. In the mean time, I’m going to enjoy the current flavor as much as possible.

The third infusion is malty, creamy, and a touch spicy due to the cinnamon flavor. There’s no linen (not that I’ve ever tasted the illusive linen flavor of this tea before), and the citrus flavors hasn’t made an appearance yet. Regardless, it is a well-balanced cup of tea, where the flavors harmonize quite well. On a side note, I switched my music over to J. S. Bach’s Das Musikalische Opfer, a delightfully complex piece of music to complement the tea’s development. My recording is even better because it is a Historically Informed recording, played on period instruments with a tuning system that Bach preferred. The end result is an astounding. Anyway, the tea is getting more complex, and it’s various flavors mesh together well to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec
Bonnie

There is no tea blacker than an ex’s heart. But I love that phrase! I give you an A+!

Joshua Smith

Bonnie – Thanks! I chuckled a bit when I wrote it, as it is a bit absurd, but then I asked myself what one of my professors would say. He’s an editor for the Washington Post, teaching a course about narrative journalism, so I though he would have said to use it for the emotional impact. Then I realized I was over-thinking the problem, and left it there.

Incidentally, A+ is the grade this professor gave me on a recent paper, so I’m glad you agree with him! XD

Bonnie

The only A+ I ever received was in advanced comp at San Jose State Univ. which knocked me over! It was on the day my ex-(darker than tea..) went into the Vet’s Rehab for alcohol and I had 2 kids to support all of a sudden! I needed that A+! Treasure your A+ and congradulations! (an aside the ex- has cancer and just came to say goodbye to his children 43 and 39 and asked me to forgive him which I had done long ago. Black as tea hearts do change!)

Joshua Smith

The paper I wrote was about the book Hiroshima by John Hersey, a very influential and thought-provoking novella from 1946. It’s interesting because it is told from the point of view of people who were living in the city, and follows them through the immediate aftermath of the explosion. If you ever run out of material to read, you should check this out. Also, this is one of maybe five A+’s I’ve gotten in two years of college (the rest were for programming assignment, so they hardly count). I’m honestly thinking of having it framed…

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement, and hopefully your ex- gets better. I’ve seen a good third of my family get cancer, and I really don’t wish it on anyone, regardless of their past.

Bonnie

Great read! I had A ‘s too that meant less. My A+ was for a paper on my work at the Children’s Shelter School in San Mateo County. A one room class K thru 12th with. 1 teacher and myself. Awesome experience! I was allowed to create art, music, field trips, cooking etc on my own and had a ball! I think this is why my daughter is a foster parent today. Frame your A+!

Joshua Smith

That sounds kinda fun, but I don’t have the right personality for it. I’m just not a very patient person, so I get frustrated with children. That, and I have a really hard time explaining things to them. I tried to teach my younger brother some basic calculus once, but things that I take for granted were like magic for him…

Anyway, the stuff that you talked about seems like it was a really great experience. A lot of the stuff that you mentioned is difficult for teachers in Norther Virginia because you need to deal with stingy bureaucracies. My mother (a second grade teacher) needs to do hours of paperwork to get a field trip scheduled. It’s obvious that you were either working during a more ideal time (the 60’s or 70’s?), or your school district was a bit more liberal than mine.

Geoffrey

You have good taste in music, Joshua. Beethoven’s Late String Quartets are among my favorite pieces of music. First you got David’s, now you’ve got mine. I particularly like the recordings the Vermeer Quartet made of this. To date, they give the most moving treatment of the Heiliger Dankgesang (op. 132) I have heard. The third movement, and centerpiece of the whole quartet, is what I use to measure all performances and recordings of these works.

I’ve at times said that if I were facing the prospect of going deaf, and given the choice to listen to one last piece of music, I would choose this. Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart (A Convalescent’s Holy Song of Thanksgiving to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode)… A fitting title for an amazing work of art. It’s final climactic passages especially, when done right, and listened to with the appropriate quality of attention… it’s like hearing the very heart of existence break open and throb.

Joshua Smith

Hm, the Vermeer Quartet recording sounds interesting. I need to do a bit more research, but it’s likely that it will end up on my wishlist. I bought my recording because it was by the same group that did my wonderful recordings of Shostakovich’s string quartets, and in retrospect, it’s one of my least researched purchases…

Anyway, thanks for the recommendation, and if you have any more please feel free to pm me or drop a comment after one of my notes here. I’m always looking for more music, especially classical music.

Daniel Scott

Oh hey, just realized this is a really recent review.

That being the case, do you mind if I ask where you got the specific recording you mention in the last paragraph? I mean, how would I find it?

Joshua Smith

I actually got it on iTunes. The name of the album is “Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue BWV 1080”, and the artist is Musica Antiqua Köln. That should be enough to find it on iTunes. If you want to look for other recordings, I would suggest looking at this site:
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/Drilldown?name_id1=527&name_role1=1&genre=227&bcorder=19&comp_id=103

This is a list of recommended recordings, of which the one I mention is part of.

Daniel Scott

Awesome, thank you! It being on iTunes is very convenient.

Joshua Smith

If you really start to get into classical music, then your going to get very disappointed with iTunes. They just don’t have the selection that can even begin to compare to Arkivmusic.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
240 tasting notes

This tea is great for editing a term paper and listening to Mozart’s Requiem mass (if only I had a better recording…). Anyway, I don’t have time for a full review of the tea, but I can say that the first infusion is a bit sweeter than last time, which results in a fruity flavor is making itself known. The flavor profile claims it’s currant, but I’ve never had currant before, so I don’t have anything to compare to. Regardless, this is delightful to drink, especially when frantically working on a paper.

The second cup was marked by an increase in the sweetness, the development of a floral flavor (Hibiscus? I’m not sure, because, once again, I haven’t had all that much exposure to this flower), and the completion of my paper! I’ve started to read a book You are not a Gadget: A Manifesto, which I need to read by Wednesday for my final in Posthumanist philosophy. I also had a delightful little discussion on classical music recommendations (see the comments, and if you like classical music, check these albums out.).

Anyway, music and philosophical ramblings aside, The tea continues to develop along the same lines as last time, providing a delightful experience. I’m actually kind of sad that my living situation doesn’t really allow for a gongfu tea set, as I would really like to experience this tea’s development in smaller increments. When brewed the western way, the flavor profile changes greatly between your steeps, and I’m sure that smaller steps would provide a more rewarding experience. For example, the first infusion was a delightful mix of dark chocolate, with undertones of fruit, yet the second infusion was much less chocolatey due to the strengthening of the fruit and the emergence of flowery flavors. The flowery taste came out of nowhere, but if I had been brewing gongfu style, it is likely that this flavor would have emerged more gradually.

The third infusion hasn’t really gotten malty, but the cinnamon is definitely present. It isn’t very strong yet, but it strong enough to be distinct. This steep is really complex, which means that I’m in the latter half of this session (which is kinda sad, but that’s how western-style breweing works. I really need to put some effort into getting a gonfu set…), and I can certainly expect the tea to gain complexity over the next two infusions. If I end up getting more than five, I’ll be surprised.

This is the forth and final infusion, mostly because if I wait longer, I’m going to have too much caffeine in my system to go to sleep at 1. Anyway, the cinnamon has developed nicely, but the chocolate is now gone. It is also interesting to note that the fruit flavors have changed. Again, the flavor profile claims it’s the appearance of raisin flavors, but I haven’t had raisins by themselves in years, and I certainly don’t remember what they taste like. Hmm, actually, that might make a good snack right about now…

Anyway, it’s still delicious, and I’m glad that I’m ending my day with this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Geoffrey

Re: Mozart’s Requiem – Try the recording conducted by John Elliot Gardiner. David says that’s the best one, and it’s his favorite piece of music. I’m sure he’ll be quite pleased to read that this tea is being enjoyed in the company of Mozart’s Requiem.

Joshua Smith

Thanks for the recommendation! I find that the hardest part about being a fan of classical music is the amount of research I need to do before buying a recording. If you have any other recommendations, I’d love to hear them. Actually, that might be an interesting

Also, to return the favor, you should check out recording of Don Giovanni featuring Anton Dermota, Cesare Siepi, and conducted by Josef Krips. The recording is from 1955, but the remastered version (There are several of these floating about, but I have the one from 2009) is amazing.

David Duckler

Hi! Thanks for the recommendation, and for the excellent music pairing. I just have to correct the Requiem recommendation. REquiem is my absolute favorite piece of music. I have listened to just about every recording available. My favorite is actually Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra conducted by Morten Schuldt-Jensen. There are none like it. Usually Requiem is so sombre in its performance that it drags its heels. I actually used this recording to teach a lecture series at Qingdao University on the Western Philosophies of Death. (Sorry- kind of dark, but it was a really interesting class). This recording makes Mozart make sense, especially the Kyrie which usually falls short, but in this case it is perhaps the most powerful part. Here is a link to the amazon page for previewing purposes: http://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Mozart/dp/B000B6N6AE/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1336339253&sr=1-2

I hope you fall in love with this recording like I have. I am not usually one to comment on non-tea related subjects here, but you found my true weakness here. Very pleased indeed.

Joshua Smith

Thanks for the link. The way you describe it sounds great, especially compared to the Herbert von Karajan recording that I have. Karajan is very good, but he’s just so…rigid. Anyway, I’ll get this at some point, seeing as good classical should never be passed up, and I’ll leave you a link to the Don Giovanni I mentioned: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Don-Giovanni-Wolfgang-Amadeus/dp/B001Q2RVQW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336341042&sr=8-1

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

Backlogging. See previous notes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I am a university student, studying Computer Science, who found that I really enjoy a nice cup of tea. I finally got into loose-leaf tea in August of 2011. I am currently in the process of expanding my horizons, and have found that I have a particular fondness for Oolongs in general, and Wuyi Yanchas in particular. The unique mineral taste is very appealing to me, as well as a nice Sencha. More recently, I’ve developed a taste for Sheng puerh, white tea, and black teas. The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t like was Shu puerh, but that might have been because it was quite young. Regardless, I’ve been slowly expanding my horizons, so if you have any recommendations, please feel free to send me a PM.

Just for the heck of it, my other interests include classical musics (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Debussy, Shostakovitch, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, and Wagner, to name a few composers). I also have a fondness for a bit more modern music, like The Beatles, all Jazz (by all, I really do mean all), Gorillaz (I love Demon Days), and a couple of Indie artists you will never run across unless you play a lot of semi obscure Indie games. Also, I love cats.

Location

Fairfax, VA

Following These People