514 Tasting Notes

drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
514 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking more straight blacks lately, and the more I drink the more I find similar notes in them (chocolate, malty, fried potato, savoury tomato, etc!).

However, as I return to this tea this morning I am picking out notes unique to it! That is exciting to me, because it was one of the first straight black teas I tried, and I thought I could pick out the notes. Now I actually can! The dry smell was so super dark chocolaty that I actually got excited. This is a feat for me at 6:30 in the morning as I zombie shamble around getting ready for work.

Today was not a day to stand on ceremony- I just needed tea to get me through! 2 tsp in the travel mug with boiling water. Meant to steep it for 3 minutes, ended up steeping for 7! Tastes sweet and slightly malty without any additions, while giving me the push I needed to not yawn all morning (although I just yawned when I typed ‘yawn’ – happens all the time. Are you yawning now? ;) )

Today I’m getting waves of flavour starting with brisk and savoury and ending on a sweet honey note.

Happiness is a hot tea. Isn’t that how the song goes? ;)


I’m so glad you like this tea for your own reasons and not those of someone elses review! That’s how the tea becomes yours which I think is the best approach!


:) Thank you Bonnie! You’re so right – that’s how you create a real connection with a tea I think, and that’s what separates the jewels from the collection as well :)


Lol you jerk – I definitely yawned after reading that one sentence…! (it’s also 2am, but I wasn’t yawning previously… here we go again…!)

Cee Long Green

The above comment made me yawn! :P


2 things:

#1. I am a jerk :D

#2. Cee Long Green is a most excellent username! Made my day :D

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Delicious and smooth – the first steep yielded some savoury grain flavours, but the second steep is delivering on a whole other level.

Deep mahogany colour and sweet, brown butter in the scent. The sip is sweet like a loaf of whole wheat honey bread, hot from the oven with a pat of real butter. The smooth texture is almost creamy, with a nutty aftertaste.

Going to add some thick cream and indulge, but I’ll be back later for a proper review ;)


Really good comfort tea!


Oh, I have my eyes on so many verdant teas right now…

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drank Laoshan White by Verdant Tea
514 tasting notes

My goodness, this tea is taking me to heaven on a Thursday. The dry smell reminded me of creamy green oolongs, and that smell to me has a Pavlov’s Dog effect.

The taste though, the taste! First steep is at 175 degrees, water gently introduced and poured out at 20 seconds. The scent is so intoxicating – I could just breath it in all day. Luckily, I also get to taste it – so I take a sip.

So many flavours, like a silky smooth wave. Vegetal with a slight astringency that fades as the cup cools off into a buttery, savoury flavour that has me licking my lips after every sip. Honestly – I just close my eyes with each sip and drift away to a heavenly place where this tea must exist, or else I don’t want to go. I’m done my first steep and my tongue is tingling, with a lingering sweetness that has me going back for more.

The leaves are so gorgeous – vibrant green and curly, waiting for me to steep them again. (And I will, be patient leaves)

This tea is satisfying both my sweet and salty cravings (like a salted caramel would). Or, more specifically, a salted brown butter and honey glaze over fresh green beans straight from the garden. Crisp and crunchy, but juicy at the same time!

This tea is hitting me with waves of emotion – grateful to be sipping this tea that brings tears to my eyes, grateful to be surrounded by an amazing tea community, and especially grateful for all of the events of my life that lead me to this moment, here and now.

Thank you David & Verdant for this amazing offering.

EDIT: After going to heaven for the 2nd steeping, I was naughty like Bonnie and added a teeny tiny bit of honey. It was so good my eyes rolled up in the back of my head. This is the one!

EDIT again: Michael smelled it and tried a sip, all he said was “Porkchops” so, yes. The second steep has the flavours I use to make porkchops, and I totally smell and taste it now too! haha. Seasoning salt and crispy, dark butter!


I know, I know…amazing! Pavlovs dog…yes…it gets you! And you crave it! So bad! Then the feeling you get from it…shush! (we could sell this on a street corner in Beverly Hills!)


ha – I need to get this soon!


Oh no you’re right – I am so going to crave this one… I added a new note to the bottom on how I was naughty like Bonnie ;)


Yes Amy – it is the bomb!


My order is due tomorrow. I could live with 3 tea’s in my life. Laoshan Black, Xingyang 1998 Puerh and this Laoshan White. Nothing more.


Lovely – and your life would be full and vibrant with them in your life :)


Wha? Naughty? Moi? Oh yes I am!


You are a naughty girl…vixen DaisyChubb…we have a bevy of naughty tea vixens here I’m sure of it!


Oh most certainly, no doubt of it!


Argh, I badly want this one. August. Please let there still be some left in August.


DaisyChubb and I are going to buy out all the stock…hahahahahaha! I’m mad…crazy…mad! Bowahahahahaha!


O: Bonnie! I thought eet was a seecret!


Are you French now? Eeet Eees a Seecret…Tais-toi!


Also love to go to heaven any day of the week!!!


Oui! le petit chat. en francais.

Today is Friday now – so I will most certainly go to tea heaven all night looong


I will be receiving some today teafairy will get a little with the Laoshan Black…Black and White!


So, are still talking about tea or something else……lol. I think I need to place a Verdant order based on this review alone!


I must say I usually go to a different kind of heaven on Fridays…along with my significant other… we call it «Le Paradis»!!!


Ok! Enough! Poor me! Noone for years! Waaaah!


Is this what’s known as “Immortal Springs Laoshan White” on the website? It has the same photo…

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Had a cup of this iced on the weekend.
We went for a walk and it was HOT out – muggy hot, sweaty hot! haha.
That said, being extremely thirsty and bringing this along on our nature walk was really nice. Being outside surrounded by trees actually helped me appreciate the “herby” taste of the lemon grass and by the end of the walk I was craving it. Of course, there is still a slight medicinal taste, almost reminiscent of alcohol in a way. The more I drank, the more that taste sank to the background and the more I appreciated the very real, fresh, juicy raspberry taste. That raspberry flavour really saves the day with this tea!


I love the word Razzmatazz! :)


It seems this tea’s made of everything people can’t stand on this website minus raspberry.


@Melissa, hahahahaa! What an astute observation. ;)

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drank Chocolate Rocket by DAVIDsTEA
514 tasting notes

Bumping up the rating a little because this tea has a permanent place in my cupboard.
Drinking my giant travel mug full of this is slightly helping cut through the gloom and doom of this foggy, muggy GREY day. I was home sick all day yesterday (one of those whatamIdoingwithmylife days _) and now it’s supposed to be GREY all week. Normally I’m happy to have a huge glass doors so I can see outside, but there is nothing I want to be seeing right now.

I am going to need some tea to try to put a smile on my face!!!
So today, I’m getting a hint of raspberry and a nice dose of chocolate chicory.

Wake me up tea! In all senses of the phrase.

Will Work For Tea

I really, really, REALLY love this offering from DT!!!


<3 this tea. Sad I left it out of my last DT order.


Aww, feel better soon! Don’t let the grey get you down!

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drank Black Dragon Pearl by Teavana
514 tasting notes

Thank you LiberTEAS for the 6 delicious pearls of wonder that I am enjoying this morning!

Wow, I can see why this tea is a favourite to many – it’s so smooth and the quality is definitely there. The smell is sweet with hints of cocoa and the taste is indeed smooth-bodied, a perfect amount of malt and a bit drying. I’m getting no aftertaste after the sip, but this is just the first steep so I’ll have to see what happens on the next.

This tea was really the perfect way to start my day – and after my sample is finished I think i will be seeking out a Black Dragon Pearl to add to my collection. This tea warms me to the bone with it’s gentle chocolate-malty tones, without kicking me in the face with astringency.

Ah I’ve got it! Similar to the way the pearl itself unfurls, this tea is gently waking up my senses. Sometimes that is preferable to a kick in the butt morning assam – especially this Lazy Sunday.

And now for steep #2, with a pinch of sugar!

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drank Tropicalia by DAVIDsTEA
514 tasting notes

Man I wish I still had this cookie dough in the freezer.
Tropicalia Cookies!!!


They seriously taste like a Pina Colada cookie. Really inspires me to keep baking with tea – I haven’t been disappointed yet!


OMG! If I wasn’t going on a diet again starting tomorrow, I would go make these immediately! They sound spectacular!!

Cee Long Green

The concept of tea in baking, and your recipes are blowing my mind! Yum yum yum!

Cee Long Green

p.s. the nutella cookie cup things. OMG.


These really sound amazing! You are so creative.


WOO Go Riders! Thanks everyone!!! The Nutella Cups are definitely my most popular recipe… especially in this household haha!

@Cha – well definitely try them some time! Make a small batch and freeze the dough, make them one cookie at a time in a toaster oven if you have one :D


Tropicalia cookies?! Nom nom nom.

Also in agreement about cheering on the Riders, although I have no way of watching them this season, really. And they bring back too many memories of the ex-bf, sigh. (But here’s hoping this week is better than last…!)

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I’ve been saving this sample from Butiki (thanks Stacy!) for the perfect day.

Today was the opposite of a perfect tea day. Not in a bad way! Just not ideal haha – I’ve been taking tea to work every day but it’s been a huge travel mug of various black teas. Every day for the past 2 weeks! This morning I had 4 minutes to make tea, and I know I didn’t have time to boil the water all the way to 212 AND wait for it to steep! I searched in my dwindling sample drawer and pulled this one out.

The reason it wasn’t ideal was that I wanted to sit and savour this tea, not throw it in a teasac and run! But throw it in a teasac and run I did! The water was around 170, because the bus ride is a half hour long and I didn’t want to torture the poor tea!

Well now I’m at work and the liquor is a pale gold. The smell is sweet strawberry and buttery green oolong – no mistaking it for anything else imo. The taste echoes that. Wow this is glorious – smooth and savoury, no additions needed. The quality of the oolong is so apparent with every sip – there is not even a hint of bitterness. The strawberry flavour is also expertly blended – it doesn’t overwhelm, instead the flavours mingle together like a perfect match. Instead of chocolate dipped strawberries, it’s strawberry dipped oolong.

I could drink this forever, and in fact – I will be making a Butiki order asap so I can drink it forever – as well as other flavoured oolongs and that watermelon dragonwell, hello!


I know! This is so good! I’m supposed to get the new pineapple oolong in the mail today to review! Hope it’s great too! My other favorite is Rose Violet Calendula Oolong.
I go through the strawberry fast though!


Ohhh I’m sure it will be! Pineapple – how summery!


Your tasting note really made me smile! :)


Thanks Cha! I feel the same about your strawberry lemonade tasting note :D

Butiki Teas

Unfortunately, no watermelon dragonwell but we are still working on another watermelon tea.


Watermelon anything sounds great to me! Thanks for the news :D


No watermelon dragonwell? My heart is broken, that sounded amazing and I’ve never had a dragonwell blend!

Butiki Teas

Krystaleyn-I so wanted to work with dragonwell too. Unfortunately, the dragonwell overpowers the watermelon unless sugar is added. It tastes great with sugar though. Otherwise it just tasted like a sweeter juicier version of dragonwell. If that still sounds good, I could always make a small batch for you. I think the watermelon will be more noticeable with a lighter tea though.


Oh man. That still sounds delicious, but I can’t commit to making another order for at least a little while yet :( I’m sure whatever you come up with will be fantastic though. :) Perhaps if it’s still a possibility when I do make an order…?

Butiki Teas

Krystaleyn-No commitment necessary. As long as all the ingredients are in stock, which they should be it shouldn’t be a problem to make.


Awww, thanks :) I hope I remember (I probably will, since I’ll be ordering some of your yet-to-be-finished other watermelon blend for sure!)

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Granny Smith is my favourite kind of apple! I love how in a candy apple, it peeks out and holds its own with a juicy tartness! The flesh is refreshing and never mushy as with some unnamed Red/yellow varieties. Second only to the Granny Smith is the Crab Apple! Ohhh Crab Apple trees of my past, how I miss you! How is it that each of these flavoured matchas reminds me of my childhood in some way? Haha way to be Matcha, way to be.

When I opened up my matcha package I was greeted with the strong scent of apple! I knew my only challenge with this tea would be making it tart instead of just sweet. It’s easy to sweeten a tea – just add sweetener! Has anyone tried the Hibiscus Matcha from RLT? I am really curious to see if it is tart – because it would be the PERFECT addition to this apple tea!

I used my usual 175 degree water – ah, perfectly smooth, vibrant green and SO much frothy foam. Of course I’m not surprised by this – I’ve come to expect this level of quality with my Red Leaf Tea orders and, as usual, am not disappointed. The scent is strong (I went with the normal amount of flavouring) and very apple-y. It is akin to an apple candy, but not super sweet like you would expect it to be. Actually, it’s more in between a Granny Smith apple and an apple candy (minus the tartness). I added a bit of sugar and drank it down – my matcha cup is always empty before I can blink it seems!

I would be lying if I said I didn’t buy this solely to mix with the Caramel Matcha. Inspired by the infamous aisling of tea who came before me, the Caramel and Apple matchas were meant to be together. Now Red Leaf Tea has a great system where you can order your own mix of flavours! I’m tempted to make an order of Coca Cola and Cherry – it may just make my summer matcha list ;) That said, I probably still would have ordered these two teas separately. I like the option of playing with my own ratios and finding the perfect combo! I definitely have enough of these teas to play to my heart’s desire. Now if only I could find an easy way to add a tartness to this matcha – that would add the perfect 3rd dimension to the caramel apple matcha mix! You can find this Green Apple matcha here at Red Leaf Tea: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/green-apple-matcha.html

One last note about this tea – as I’ve said before, I’m collecting fruit matchas for all of my smoothie needs. I’ve tried this one in a few different combos. So far it goes really well with both Blueberry and Mango. I can’t wait for my next order, where I will most certainly try out some tropical matchas and find my paradise gateway matcha. Hello vacation in a glass, momma’s coming for you.


You really are the Matcha Queen!

Hesper June

I have never had Matcha tea before, and when I read your reviews it just makes me want to whip out the credit card and start ordering!
This one appeals to me greatly, I love apples and it sounds very summery and fun.
And mixing it with the Caramel….Mmmmm, sounds just heavenly:)


haha it’s dangerous! Well I wish I could have you all over for a matcha party to try before you buy :(

Hesper June

Aw! thanks:)
It would be fun!
Wouldn’t it be so grand if someday Steepster had a giant tea party!

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drank Banana Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
514 tasting notes

Banana!!! I am going to tell you a (probably too long) story about my relationship with Bananas. I think it’s important to see my thought process that lead to choosing this matcha! Haha bear with me.

Bananas and I have a curious relationship. I don’t particularly enjoy them. Or their flavour. But sometimes I do. I crave them! What?! I loooathe those banana marshmallows, and banana runts were my least favourite! But that was when I was a kid – now I crave them! I despise the texture of eating a mushy banana, but I have fond memories of a Banana Curry I once had in Tonga. Sometimes I crave a peanut butter banana sandwich on soft white bread – oh, and I always love banana bread of any kind! I slather it with butter, yes, but I always love it! Bananas Foster in Cuba – that is also on my good list. Banoffee Pie? Yes. Frozen Banana from the fair? Yes. Banana in a smoothie? No. Somewhat strange and phallic cheesecake/phyllo banana dessert? Absolutely.

Phew – there’s my banana history in a nutshell. So I like bananas sometime! That’s the moral. Anyways – I was very curious about Red Leaf Tea’s Banana Matcha. I wondered what the flavouring would taste like – more like a banana-bread or more like a banana candy? Either way – I’ve been on a fruit flavoured matcha kick, and I knew I would prefer throwing some banana matcha into a smoothie as opposed to a real banana. Or even both – maybe I wouldn’t mind a real banana in there if there was some matcha too! A delve into the confusing workings of my mind x_x

Well! I do conclude that it leans more towards the sweet candy side of bananas – and for that I am a very happy camper! It smells so so sweet, just like the banana marshmallows I’ve come to crave – but the genius part is that you are in control of the amount of sweetener you add. Drinking a cup of this won’t have the same effect as eating a giant bag of candy marshmallows – although you will get a different kind of energy from the matcha :D
As always, you can find this matcha at Red Leaf Tea! ( http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/banana-matcha.html )

This matcha is amazing on its own, but I’m a masochist so I like to add just under a tsp of sugar. JK. It’s a perfectly acceptable amount of sugar and I do what I want. ;) As with most matchas, my favourite way to enjoy is in a hot latte. I’m still figuring out the logistics to a perfect iced latte or frappaccino, but when I do rest assured I will take a ton of pictures and blog it immediately :D


Oh, wow. Banana curry? I have a complicated relationship with bananas, similar to yours, but that sounds incredible!


Yes, my relationship with banana is so similar! I don’t particularly like the fruit, even now. It’s OK, but, I mean, if I had an array of different fruit in front of me, it wouldn’t be the one I’d choose. But I MUST have banana in my smoothies. I love the various banana flavored teas I’ve tasted. And I’ve found several different other banana beverages that I’ve loved, including the new banana flavored slurpee from 7-11. (OMG so good!) I love banana milk shakes.

But banana candy … not so much. The banana runts – I hated them. My gramma used to make a banana cake that I really didn’t like (that was probably the only dessert that gramma made that I wasn’t crazy about). But I love banana bread, and I make a killer banana cupcake.

My relationship with banana is just weird.


@Jess – my memories of this Curry are faint (I was young) but my mom and I wax poetic about it all the time. One day I’ll try some recipes and see if I can recreate it! It was savoury, not sweet, and the texture was really unique! Like a thick soup. mm!

@LiberTEAS – Banana slurpee?! Get me to a 7-11 stat! That sound soo good and it’s so hot out today! And a banana milk shake would be lovely. Reminds me that I used to cut up a banana, sprinkle brown sugar over it and pour milk in like cereal. Refreshing!
ps you can feed me your killer banana cupcakes anytime!

Hesper June

I have a love/hate relationship with bananas too.
I actually like the taste, but the texture is what gets to me!
I prefer my bananas on the firm/green side and when they are not as sweet.
Otherwise, in banana bread they go.
This tea sounds intriguing though.


You know I never much cared for banana flavoring. I like real bananas but the texture is a bit odd. I got over it in my crazy work out phase. It was one of the things I could eat to keep from getting so sore. :D


Yes! I do need to eat more bananas for the potassium alone, that’s for sure!

But I agree, the texture gets me too. Blargh. And the weird stringly things on the Banana. Do not like those.


I too am the same way with bananas. The texture really bothers my throat (makes me cough for some reason) if I eat one straight up. And it took me years and years to find out why I hated Dole juice so much. For the longest time, the poor pineapple was thought as the culprit. Nope! Banana juice = blech. Yet give me banana bread or a peanut butter banana sandwich anytime. Or peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies.


I like my bananas underripe and with all stringy things removed. I’m really dodgy about them though, because one time I found… a thing in the butt of my banana. Reminiscent of a seed (but bananas are seedless), so thoughts went to BUG. And now if I eat them, I’m paranoidly tearing them apart to make sure I don’t eat anything icky. I also don’t care for banana bread, but adore banana in smoothies :D Bananas are a weird fruit.

Daniel Scott

I can no longer eat bananas because of allergy issues, but I’ve mostly never liked them. The scent and texture are just unbearable to me. But I’ve never minded banana-flavoured stuff (like candy) and I used to love banana chips (which basically eliminated the scent and texture issues).


In Ecuador there are so many types of banana and it is used in everything… From soups to just eating it raw. There are HUGE bananas and tiny miniature super sweet bananas. Though, I must admit, I have never had banana matcha!


ohhh I’ve had the tiny sweet bananas when I was in… I don’t remember! It was hot and on the other side of the world from me – they were so adorable.

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You can call me Daisy.

I’m a 24 year old (not so budding) thespian – just moved to the Maritimes from the Saskatchewan Prairies. I’m way too polite, aka Proud to be a Canadian. I love it here by the water – it must remind me of tea or something ;)

My favourite tea companies are DavidsTea and Verdant Tea. They please my palette in different ways – and I love them both for it.

My rating system is as follows:
95-100: I will stock it as soon as I can, if I haven’t already! Permanent collection worthy.

86-95: I would stock this tea if I could, but my collection is just too full to warrant it. But it is that good.

76-85: This is a tasty tea and I will have many cups and share with friends, but won’t go out of my way to keep it stocked.

50-75: It was alright! It was… alright! Not horrible, but I might not re-steep.

25-50: Ew. But I will finish the cup.

1-25: Please no, I want to dump it.

The Steepster community is my safe place. Thank you to all my tea friends!

<3 Daisy


Halifax, NS [Canada]



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