Minnesota Blend

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea, Juniper, Minnesota Wild Rice, Organic Marigold, Organic Vanilla Beans, Saffron
Green Beans, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Nutty, Smooth, Butter, Creamy, Thick, Butternut Squash, Oats, Vegetal
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec 4 g 8 oz / 244 ml

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25 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea (Special)

In May 2014, we worked with Minnesota’s Excel Energy Center to create a custom tea blend just for Lady Gaga, to welcome her back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the St. Paul stop on her artRAVE tour. Thus, the Minnesota Blend was born!

Our goal with this blend was to create something that was distinctly Minnesotan with additions like Minnesota Wild Rice and north woods juniper berries, while still feeling decadent and rich for a tea lover like Lady Gaga. Vanilla bean and generous saffron make the brew rich, full and sweet without overwhelming and heavy-handed cloying artificial sweeteners.

At the base and the heart of the Minnesota Blend is one of our favorite teas: Spring Harvest Laoshan Green. Our good friend QingQing is the He Family’s eldest daughter. We’ve known QingQing since she and David met as classmates at Qingdao University in 2007. QingQing He is a huge fan of Lady Gaga. That’s why, for our original blend, we used first picking Laoshan green tea, picked especially by QingQing and rush shipped – just in time! – directly to Minneapolis from her family’s farm in Laoshan.

This is a special, limited reblend. We do not plan to add the Minnesota Blend to our permanent collection, and are offering it now due to popular demand from fans online and locally here in Minnesota.

About Verdant Tea (Special) View company

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25 Tasting Notes

267 tasting notes

I grabbed a sample of this when it was still available. Brewed in an infuser mug.

The dry leaf smelled like dark chocolate with fruit (hard to pinpoint, but I’d say berries and pomegranate). The aroma of the wet leaf was similar, and had an additional buttery note from the base tea so that it resembled genmaicha. The liquor was light green and full-bodied with a soft texture. The first infusion had sharp notes of juniper and chocolate, and also tasted of fruity chocolate. It sweetened as it cooled (at its best for me). The second infusions was fruitier – mostly the juniper came through.

There was enough in sample for two occasions. I didn’t know what to make of this blend first thing. I didn’t expect anything or knew what to expect, even after reading other tasting notes. It was too new, but I was intrigued. I was more familiar going into the second occasion. I really liked the combination of everything, how the laoshan green, the junipers, and the rice created fruity chocolate flavor. Came to together very nicely, in both the aroma and flavor profile. I was kind of sad there was no more. At least I got a chance to try it. And now I know what junipers taste like without the gin.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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1388 tasting notes

A sample from Roswell Strange, and another first. I can honestly say I’ve never tried a Lady Gaga inspired tea before! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. I crushed the juniper berries a little, as recommended! The scent of those is so good, and as close to gin as I can get on a miserable Tuesday afternoon. At least I have tea!

The dry leaf is an interesting thing to look at. Twists of Laoshan Green, a generous quantity of whole juniper berries, black, white and brown strands of wild rice, marigold petals, and the odd piece of saffron. Really pretty and rustic-looking.

Brewed, the liquor is a bright yellow-green, the scent beautifully vegetal in the way of wet grass. The green tea is definitely the most prominent flavour in the taste, but it’s sweet and grassy in the way fresh spring green teas can be, with a light nuttiness (I’m thinking pine nuts), and a touch of asparagus. It’s so smooth and buttery, it’s almost unreal. The juniper is also recognisable, coming out mainly in the mid sip. It lingers beautifully on my tongue long after the sip is over, with mild gin-like notes, and just a touch of warmth and sharpness. The toasted wild rice adds a certain genmaicha-like flavour, but it’s really mild and mostly just in the background. It really helps to give this tea depth and body, though! There’s a lot to think about when you take a sip, and a lot to taste. It’s so well balanced and blended, though, that that’s a treat more than anything.

I’m really impressed with this one, and I’m so pleased I got chance to try it – many thanks again to Roswell Strange for providing the opportunity. I’ve got enough leaf left for another cup, which I’m going to make sure I enjoy thoroughly when I’m not at work!

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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921 tasting notes

I was really excited to see this in the box. I adore Verdant genmaicha blends so have been wanting to try this for quite awhile now. Not sure what I was expecting but this isn’t it. Its slightly vanilla, a little green, but not really toasty/roasty. This is ok but pales compared to some of their other blends.
Really happy I got to try it, but it wasa miss. :(


agreed. :(

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851 tasting notes


I’m glad I got to try this, even if only so I could say I did. How often does a special Lady Gaga tea happen, right?

I can taste the vanilla and the rice in this, and it reminds me of a very toasty, very diluted rice krispie bar. However, I’m drinking this more for the novelty than anything else. There’s a back note to the tea I’m not liking very much, but I can’t put my finger on why.


I had NO idea this blend had anything to do with her!


This tea was so different. I really enjoyed it.

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3227 tasting notes

Not really much to say here. I’ve kind of lost interest in green teas for awhile, although occasionally I enjoy a cup, but there aren’t very many in my collection anymore. I have Teavivre’s beautiful nonpareil cha wang tai ping you kui, some kai matcha in the freezer, some gunpowder green than Steph sent to me awhile back, the last of the meditative mind (teaspot), & this (sent by SIL, of course!). So…it’s ok, but not something I’d ever crave or want. It mostly takes like laoshan green, which is one of my preferred greens when I’m into them, and it makes for a nice afternoon cup, but that’s about it. Sip down.


same here! but this way you get to try the blend without buying!

Terri HarpLady

Thats right, thank you!

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488 tasting notes

Wow, this tea is so different. It’s one of those teas I just want to take out of the box and hog but I’ll leave it in for others to try.

It tastes like a soy milk with vanilla and green bean. I also taste the toasted rice. It really works together nicely. First few sips it was a really strange tasting green tea to me but when I got near the end , I was really missing it. Very tasty!

I really like that this is a blended tea and not a flavoured tea. I didn’t taste any saffron but saffron is so subtle and I find it hard to separate it from the other flavours.

Overall a great tea! I would consider buying this one if they had it in stock.

Flavors: Green Beans, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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291 tasting notes

The first time I brewed this I forgot it was a green blend and treated it like a black! Wasn’t actually that bad, but I figured I’d wait to rate it until I had actually steeped it properly. I decided on western style (too lazy for gaiwan) but relatively heavy leaf (4g) and short steeps (1min), which I think ought to be good for several infusions. First one is very nice – lots of vanilla and toasted rice in the aroma, smooth and buttery green tea base.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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875 tasting notes

Yup, soybeans, vanilla, toasted rice and a wee bit nutty. I often don’t get the same notes that Verdant describes on their site, but this time it was pretty dead on accurate for me.

I think I like this. It’s a bit odd, but good odd. I didn’t realize that this had a green base when I put my kettle on, so I ended up steeping in in 90C water and it was delicious and smooth.

Flavors: Nutty, Smooth, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

This one grew on me a lot in the short time it took for me to finish a sample size!

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3034 tasting notes

My mom picked up some of this in the summer, so I avoided getting it myself and tried hers over Christmas. Oddly, it just tasted like Laoshan Genmaicha, to me. Lovely green beany flavours, toasty rice. Maybe a touch of vanilla. I certainly didn’t pick out any juniper. If this sticks around, I might grab a sample size to try again, because I don’t feel like I got the full experience. Perhaps just a flukey ingredient assortment in my infuser.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

It’s definitely very similar to Laoshan Genmaicha, the vanilla is pretty subtle and I’ve never tasted juniper in it.

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239 tasting notes

I love both verdants laoshan green and laoshan genmaicha, so was pretty sure I’d like this one too. And I do!
It is smooth, buttery and nutty, and everything blends perfectly together for a beautiful and fancy genmaicha type tea.
And, the leaf is visually lovely as well – simply gorgeous!

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