58 Tasting Notes

First review in…uh…well it says “about a year” on my last tasting note so I guess about a year. I will start by saying salutations to all of my adoring fans. Scratch that. I have no fans. I copped this sample from my old pal Pureleaf and boy am I glad.

I’ve been drinking on this all day but I elected to start some fresh leaves to write this note (twist my arm already).I prepared this in a 120ml gaiwan. I rinsed the leaves, allowed them to cool and ‘rest’, and then steeped for roughly 10 seconds. Initial liquor was a light yellow with a hint of orange. At first sip I was met with a pleasant mix of light smokiness with an appropriate sweetness to accompany it. There was a slight drying effect, though not too much. I didn’t really encounter any bitterness so all in all the astringency factor was low and left a crispness in my mouth.
The after taste is worthy of boasting. I love it when a sheng leaves it’s mark on my palate as this one did. I was especially intrigued by how much this tea was present in the nasal portion of my palate as well. Though I don’t actually do it, I bet this would even be good iced. A great aged sheng in my most humble of opinions. Thank you all of my adoring fa…we covered that already didn’t we?

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Welcome back! We have missed you. You should join our puerh of the day discussion. We are all “learning” with it. Your notes would be great there.


Hey buddy, thanks for the kind words. I really need to spend a quick minute here and there and at least get a few lines in.


Good to see you back!


Hey, you’ve got another fan here, miss your tunes and teas :-)


Thanks for Invite


Hey spicyshade. Glad to see ya around. Even though I’m not active on steepster as Ishould be you should plug in at least for awhile. Lots of GREAT people that will educate you on this heavenly drink we all love.

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I know it’s been a few since I’ve checked in, but I’ll give her my best shot now with this tastey little tea I recieved from Autumn Hearth. Thank you so much.
After consulting the Verdent website I followed the western style instructions. Though it was a generous sample that AH sent I didn’t want to attempt my first gongfu out of fear that there wouldn’t be enough it I would ruin this tea.
I would love to tell you just how complex and vibrant the first cup was, yet I only got a mere sip before my wife confiscated the mug…she seemed quite pleased with it. The second steeping still proved to be delightful, though I can only assume a certain portion of the complexity had been deminished.
What was left was a roasty cup with almost floral notes. Not sure about the elderberry or apricot from the description, but there was a bitter sweet thing that maybe I can associate with citrus.
Though I did enjoy this tea it reminded me of a sample of Tie Kaun Yin I tried, but slightly more astringent. I personally was turned off by the dry feeling in my mouth, especially when the sip I got out of the first infusion was very buttery and smooth.
I hate to leave such a short and less than informative note on this one. Maybe if I woulda had the first infuse it may have been different, but I don’t want to sound like I’m belly-aching over it. It’s a good tea for sure.
tunes-everything from Gotye,The Heavy,Awolnation,Jonah Smith,Tom Waits,Panic!At The Disco,& Jack Whites new one.

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So you have a tea napper in the house!

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I must thank Azz for this fine little sample. I say little, but it appears from the website to be what they send in a sampler. It comes in one of those cute little tins that you can get about a full pot out of and she never even opened it. I can only assume she had drank it somewhere before.
I like this tea alot! There’s one definitive destinction as to why that is for me. It has the perfect balance and delivers the vegetive crispness, yet without crossing the threshold and becoming astringent or bitter. It has the nutty notes I love, yet is still somewhat buttery in the mouthfeel. It’s light and airy with a slight to moderate sweet note as well.
As it cools I find the vegetive notes begin to outweigh the roasty ones, which turns out not to be unpleasant to a roasty prefering drinker such as myself. I steeped this one four times. The latter two steepings the vegetive and roastiness was toned down and what was left was a buttery sweet gulper. I don’t like for my cup to cool, but sometimes you get distracted queing up the next song, which leads me to my musical pairing.
tunes-Im back on a Mumford&Sons kick=White Blank Page/Thistle and Weeds/Dust Bowl Dance/I Gave You All/Sigh No More/To Darkness-Kripa.
Alas I have yet to get the new album, but the portions you can play from the website lets me see I want it.

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Ah Thistle and Weeds.. You should really watch their performance on the iTunes Festival, it’s available to watch until October 31st. It’s the most incredible recorded live show I’ve seen. They are amazing!


I have the audio to the London 2010 performance, as well as some live stuff from the Mumford/Laura Marling Dharohar Project which I love too.


I love Mumford & Sons!!


I said in one of my earlier notes that I think the Black Keys barely nudged out Mumford for being the most talented thing out there. I can listen to either of these or Dave Mathews every day.


Haha who knows, are you sure it had not been opened? Maybe I had another at some point as you said. It sounds delicious! I don’t see that I had reviewed it. Odd…who knows I do strange things sometimes! :) Glad you liked it! I have no regrets sending it your way! xox


I love The Black Keys as well! They can do no wrong in my eyes. I saw them in concert a few months ago. I’m also a huge Florence and the Machine fan. Just saw her last month in concert. She was amazing!

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I have to admit that I was skeptical of this tea since it is A) a green tea, and B) it has jasmine in it. Turns out my skeptisisms were unwarrented.
I brewed me up a large cuppa this golden/green colored drink merely so I could cross it off of my ‘possible teas’ list. As you can see by my opening statement it turns out that is in fact a possible drinker. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but given that I haven’t liked many greens or any of the jasmines I’ve tried it’s still fairing well enough.
First thing that came to mind on the first sip was buttery, real buttery. After that I found myself questioning what was different about the green flavor. Partly it was the addition of the jasmine, though that was pretty tame, yet there was something else difficult to nail down. It’s a kind of malty green hay thing that, again, is difficult to nail down.
There were some sweet notes present as well, but I didn’t get any of the fruity or honey I read others may have found. I steeped this one a few times and found that the distinctly different notes that jumped out in the first cup had all mellowed and melted into a harmony of flavors.
Even though greens aren’t typically my thing I must still comment on the qaulity that Teavivre delivers. The pearls were beautiful and unfurled into delicate slender leaves. Even though it was AZZ that sent me this sample I must add Angel to my gratitude for the opportunity to experience this tea. Azz you were very gracious to send me so many samples to learn from, and Angel you have made it possible for many people to experience your teas and to taste and see what it is that you offer. Thank you both.
tunes-Gactic,albums-From The Corner To The Block/Carnivale Electicos.


Teavivre is AWESOME! This tea is my soul soother.

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I must thank JacquelineM for this sample. I’m not going to write a lengthy note on it because I ended up becoming disappointed. I did not start out as such, but let me explain.
I’ll start by letting you know that there is no tune to be paired with this note. We were watching Snow White and the Huntsman… the film proved to be the undoing of this tea. You see I found it to be delicious from the first sip. I have less to say about the Earl Gray part and much more of the de la Creme portion.
The Earl Gray was smokey but not as bold as I would have guessed, my assumption being that it would take something with kick to be coupled with the sweet vanilla notes that are so prevalent in this tea. The de la Creme part was so creamy and smooth that the only thing I can think to compare it to is actual cream, maybe with honey as well.
Now back to the movie…It starts out a captivating film with wonderful special effects, an intriguing character (evil queen), and an unpredictable twist on a classic tale. And here lies the problem with the drink. I was drinking happily away on this juice when I got pulled in by the movie long enough for my drink to cool just a bit. Before that happened I was sipping on it while it was still plenty hot yet once it cooled it became bitter. I’m talking hard to continue bitter. Tis a shame because it started out so good.

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Wow, what a shame. I’ve had some teas like that, that start out wonderful and full-flavored and then turn into something else as they cool. I wonder what causes that?


I had something grow bitter as it cooled too. Strange, I thought that only happened if you left the tea in it to oversteep. I guess you learn something new everyday.

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drank Ali Shan by thepuriTea
58 tasting notes

This tea came my to me by way of an amazing hook-up from Dinosara. Thanks!
The drink, coincidentally, has similarities to many of the teas I’ve been trying lately. As it stands, when I see the brew to be a pale yellow liquor, once ready, I start assuming it will have the clean, crisp, and light sweet notes I’m coming to expect.
This tea was no exception. There were light grassy notes but little astringecy. In fact, AWM thought that the tiny bit of bitterness I found was more a noticable-and that was also minimal.
The floral sweet notes are so welcoming to me. I’ve seen through several samples that adding sweetness can be a drinks downfall for me, yet when I find one that has enough sweet notes through natural means then that, for me, is a treat.
Though it doesn’t taste like it per se, I think of sweet corn when considering the sweet and grassy notes combined. And by that I mean the whole cob, husks and all. That’s why I “think of” rather than taste it.
There are floral notes that almost cross into fruity as well.
It’s a refreshing drink that I ended up steeping several time. In fact the most memorable (this is a backlog) was the next morning. Not wanting to be done with it I gave it another try with about half of the water and a little more time; the result was amazing! It seemed to me that all of the sweet notes had continued to break down, or dissolve if you will, and I got a sweet packed cup first thing in the morn.
Sadly that means it is in fact the last cup when this happens (I’ve seen it a few times now). I’m so thankful to the many samples I’ve recieved-I’m discovering many teas that, as it turns out, are becoming favs. I can’t see that I will have a definitive grasp on what exactly I do and don’t like for quite some time.
tunes-Collection of Irish Balads=picked it up from the library over the weekend…along with 25 or so other CDs.

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Irish music – the happy songs always have a touch of wistfulness, and the sad ones always have a touch of hope.


Sounds like a great music/tea pairing

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Wasn’t able to write anything down at work, but ended up with over 20 steepings. Though this tea didn’t start out too complex with western style, nor did it gain complexity, it maintained all that it started with through the 20plus steepings which was very impressive. I will take Autumn’s advice with the remainder of the sample and try my first gongfu brew.
Autumn Hearth sent this to me amongst several wonderful selection that I am most greatful for.
The drink is so smooth and crisp. It actually has a lighter body than I expected, but that could be explained in that the leaves of dense cakes are harder to judge amounts with. That said, I may have added too much water. Whether improper brewing or mistaken expectation this is still a good tea.
Mostly what I get from this is a sweetness. Now I’m not just gonna leave it at that…it’s a…well…kind of a…
OK it has that camphor sort of tingley sweet, as well as an ever so slight honey addition. So a honey flavored lip balm I guess is what I’m saying. Somehow that didn’t come out as eloquently as I had imagined.
I’m really bogged down at this point. There’s an earthiness, though not as apparent as other pu’s I’ve had. On the flip side of that coin though, it lacks much of the bitterness that may help to make up any smokey, malty, or thick wood notes. There is a cedar note, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not overpowering nor is it very bitter.
I read another note or two that said that they had luck steeping it again the next morning so I will try this as well.
To me this is a good tea, though not great. Maybe I need to try brewing again, I was surprised to see three minutes for the brewing time rather than the thirty to forty five seconds I have steeped all other pu’s for.
Maybe my expectations were thrust up after reading David Ducklers beautiful telling of the story behind this tea. That, actually is probably part of it, though I fault Mr Duckler none for this. I surely invite the telling of the tale behind the tea, I should just avoid being caught away by it.
I thank David for making this tea available, and I thank Autumn Hearth even more for putting it into my hands.
tunes-I picked up some CDs from the library and the Orthodox Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu’s Live @ Stubbs was one of them. I’m enjoying it, especially seeing video footage of a man in complete Hasidic attire beatboxing! Wild to say the least.

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very cool


if you’re refering to Matisyahu I agree. I thought it was a publicity thing at first, and it may be, but I wanted to see for myself. Americanized reggae similar to Sublime. It’s just neat to see something less than mainstream.


I love Matisyahu’s first two albums, Youth and Light. Didn’t care for his newest, a bit too hip hop for me. Definitely give Youth a listen if you haven’t before!


I saw Matisyahu with 311 several years back – AMAZING!

Autumn Hearth

Ohh i should have included my own personal instructions. I think Verdant has two sets of instructions gongfu and western and i almost always go with the gongfu. I start between 3-5 sec steeps with small amounts of water and can get a dozen infusions out of this one working up to 30sec steeps. If you can please do try again, the strong elderberry notes didn’t come out for me till around like the 6th infusion :)

Londo Mollari

Matis is amazing, and I think Live at Stubbs was his best work so far. Thank you for reminding me I’m home relaxing, so there should be music playing!

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Azz this sample is being drank with great appreciation towards you. I’m also glad that I did not make the mistake to totally dismiss this tea, for I had made a small amount of a Spring Tieguanyin and found it to be bitter, problem is it was earlier on and I very well may have messed it up. I don’t think I messed it up this time…
A jolly little drink to be sure. Flavors jumped out at me too fast to pen with the first few sips, so I will try to get what I can out of it.
I followed the well written and informative directions to a TEA (yukyuk). At first I noticed a creamy/buttery mouthfeel that was saturated with a floral sweetness. We had honeysuckle growing thickly on a fence so I feel informed enough to agree with the description as to this part. I tasted the orchid note as well.
As the drink cooled the green flavors started to surface, though with such a faint astringency that I, AWM (see comments on Bananas Foster), was able to overlook it. The grassiness was not super strong either.
I’m on the third steep now and surprised at how strong this is still going. It’s changed without deminishing. There’s some kind of mouthfeel that reminds me of chicken noodle soup, though clean and not oily at all. I guess it’s the overall presence being bold, yet light, that impressions me with soup broth/stock.
The quality of this tea is obvious. I would definitely suggest this to others.

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I think you should program a shortcut into your computer so that when you type AWM it types out “Astringency Weenie Man.” I know you can do this because youngest programmed our desktop to change her sister’s name to “Booger.” Sigh. Discovered this on the first day of our homeschool year last year when I was trying to type schedules and I didn’t know how to undo it.


Oh man, Ashmanra, your little guy sounds hilarious! Kids are getting so technologically advanced with their pranks. :D

Invader Zim

Ashmanra I love your kids sense of humor! That’s just too funny!


Hey, Zim! I didn’t know your username was a from a cartoon until I just about gave everyone a stroke when they were going through Netflix. I screamed, “WAIT! GO BACK! That’s my friend in Steepster!” So we watched an episode. Heehee!

Invader Zim

Lol, yes it is! It’s a nickname someone, who liked the show, gave me because of my last name. It is a pretty good cartoon show too, although I do prefer Gir. :)


Mmmmm, this is such an amazing tea. It’s a shame I was only able to purchase an ounce. I may have to go steep some up right now….

Donna A

I like this one-it was one of the 1st that I ever ordered from Verdant-that and the Autumn from last fall.

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Another revision…
My name is Dave. I enjoy shu pu’erhs, but starting to branch toward shengs. I drink darker oolongs daily, though I’ve been finding greener types that have less grassy astringency that I’m very happy with. And finally, some black teas are making it into my cup somewhat regularly.

I still have much to learn and welcome all of the suggestions sent my way. I’m also thankful for the many samples sent to me and without them would not have learned what I have thus far. Now that I’ve had several types of tea to try I’ve came to realize that I’m picky and much prefer traditional teas as opposed to blends, though there are still some that grab me.

I’m a wimp when it comes to astringency so take anything I say about this characteristic with a grain of salt(ASTRINGENCY WEENIE MAN, or AWM for short).

Other ramblings;
About tunes; I, like many, love them. I like adding them to my notes, but I feel like if someone were let’s say knitting or painting or reading a book that it would help the readers to get a better feel for how the writer may be impressioned about his environment toward his tea experience.
I wish I would have paid more attention to the grammer teachers so many years ago and not doodling band insignias. I should revisit the proper use of commas for starters, which I love.
I also love, and probably over use, parenthesis (the use of them may be a second personality coming to surface).
I’m a two finger typer and it may take me over an hour to write a note between my typing and creating a musical environment to write a ‘proper’ note with.
I try to PM everyone who follows/return follows me a hello and an offer of suggestions on what I’ve came across on Steepster. I was a little lost at first and almost quit so I’ve taken it upon myself to help others get through the first day. I plan to write a discussion on this topic.
If you’ve not listened to the enchanting stories about Dave and Morley go to ‘The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart Mclean’ website and listen to a podcast or two. Many of the Canadians on here I’ve asked had, yet surprisingly many had not heard of it.


Indiana,United States

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