676 Tasting Notes


Good News Mi Lan Dancong Black is now available on the Verdant Website

Pre-release Preview Review Thank you David Duckler for this Sample

Last week I received my order of Laoshan White Tea…so happy to open the Verdant box. There was a note from David Duckler and 2 pouches of samples with handwritten labels that both said ‘Pre-release Preview’ and the name of the tea!
I’ve waited days to try the first tea. No distractions. I wanted to do a proper job of being quiet and still. Sometimes I tell a story with a tea review. A vision will come easily. Today, I had many visions of moonless phosphorescent lagoons and tropical flora. An Island lived on and others traveled to. The visions were many and mine alone. I don’t know why.
The flavors and tastes I am able to share with more ease.

Here are the directions:
4 tsp. tea leaves, 4oz. boiling water
rinse 1 second
steep 3 seconds and add 1 second for each additional steeping
(I followed this method for 3 steepings then switched to Geoffrey’s method of 6 oz water and 8 seconds on the 4th steeping)

The wet leaves smelled initially roasty and vegital, then more and more like tobacco.

The color of the liquor began as a light gold then changed and remained vibrant golden ocre and clear.

Flavor discriptions:

1. Shock! Is this a Black tea or a Dragonwell?
The first taste was such a surprise of sweet, succulent juiciness.
I was caught up in a rush, cream and floral smashing at full force then zoom…all the way to roasted pork loin with crispy skin and the scent of sugared stone fruit at the bottom of my cup. Wow! That was fast! Like the first Star Wars hyperspeed to warp speed…then jump to Lightspeed!


2. I experienced a little tannin and bitterness for a split second up front. Then, it was all gone. A sweetness swooshed around me like a golden cape of perfect burre blanc sauce with salted yellow plantain. Thick, sweet… ending with freshly sliced mango dripping with fruit sugar. Impossible! This was so tropical for a black tea!

I had to stop and catch my breath!

3. The tea smelled like risotto with a hint of saffron. This was the best flavor. There was no bitterness and the tannin was way back on the tongue. Sweet, honey, creamy with the mango lighty coupled with D’anjou pear. Um um um lick your lips good!

4. Following Geoffrey’s (Business Manager at Verdant) sensibility, I steeped the leaves a little longer to see what would happen.
This was the first time I could absolutely tell this was truly a black tea. (I thought there was a mystery involved earlier. A cloak was disguising this Black Dancong.)
Now I remembered some black teas from Napal. Those lavish border blacks that have fruity lightness and are deeply rich that I adore.
The sugar noted in earlier steepings had become wildflower honey and there was a new nutty, salty, pecan flavor in the background that was so light and delicious. The previous fruit and a new floral softness was playfully dancing in my cup as if they had always been present together.

At that moment, all of it came together. The swirl of all three previous tastings and this final one ended with clarity…. of settling down.

I have never experienced a Black Tea like this one. It was like an oolong, a darjeeling or dragonwell and then not. Then again a Black Tea!

Some tea’s are exquisitly Beautiful! Full of private visions!
Some Sparkle!

This Mi Lan Dancong is one of those special tea’s filled with Radiance.


Wow, this review leaves me speechless Bonnie…amazing!


the stories you weave Bonnie! I am in Puerto Rico now… *sighs


Thank you, I took out the Puerto Rico part. I was talking about the water (at Fajardo, the phosphorescent bay) glistening on a moonless night and a bucket of water splayed over the deck of the boat and then splashed on my skin so that it glowed. Just water, but with B12 from the Red Mangrove trees rimming the lagoon. Then how tea is able to Sparkle because of weather, root development, the treatment of the leaves. BUT, I have so much trouble knowing what to do, what to say. My mind goes all over the place and as I said my visions were so many that I retracted…erased that part… and just said that I had many visions which was true. So, thank you! Between living there and Kauai, my mind spinning with this fabulous tea! I wish I could honor it better.


you honour tea like a valedictorian Bonnie, with an ode everyone looks forward to! (cuz they got honour grades heh heh!)

Autumn Hearth

A black Dan Cong? Interesting… My taste buds don’t appreciate the Mi Lan oolong, but may have to try this eventually.


Yes exactly so! The handwritten label says Black quite distinctly! David refers to this as Black.


My latest Verdant order is waiting for me at home, just a half hour or so more to go. I had written David an email about a month ago and in his response he told me about this tea. I am really hoping that I may get a sample, this dang cong black really sounds intriguing to me! If I don’t get a sample of this tea at least I’ll have 8oz of da hong pao and 4oz of golden fleece…so there’s no way to lose!


You are so right. A new tea shipment is coming in this next week so…this one will go up on the site and another one that I’m reviewing tomorrow. A pu’er.


Love the Golden Fleece! I really dont have the experience to make a detailed tasting note like you and so many others are able to do unfortunately…all i know is that i love the tea! I have tried all of the dan cong teas available from Verdant, and other than the brr they are my favorite type of oolong…Lately i have been taken in by black tea…I am hoping this dan cong black melds the best of both worlds! In my mind it has a chance of becoming my favorite tea! Unfortunately it didnt come as my sample, but as soon as i see it on the site i will order immediately!

Its kind of funny…Ive basically been looking at steepster every day for the past 3 or so months, and finally figured i would start an account :)


A doubter, a cynic or just checking out to see if we’re a bunch of nuts. Well, we’re a bunch of cool nuts…and I do love the people here. Being the grand old lady grandma of the place, I can vouch for how nice everyone is and how caring. Even the owners of many of the companies show kindness that blows my mind!


Have you tried any Pu’er’s?


Lol, no it had nothing to do with thinking anyone was nuts :) When I get interested in something, I try to find as much information as possible! So I found steepster as a place with tons of teas and ratings. I actually ordered from Verdant because of all the high ratings their teas received, and I am so very glad I did!

As for pu’er, I got one as a sample from Verdant. I am sure it’s an acquired taste, I just can’t get over the extreme mustiness…to me it smells and tastes moldy to me. There is just something about that smell that precludes me from appreciating what may be underneath. As far as my prep, I rinsed twice with boiling water for about 5 seconds each time, then started brewing. I think I will try the Yabao buds when I place my next order. I know it may not be considered a true pu’er, but I’ll start small and work my way to others from there :)

I have yixing pots for dancong, BRR and oriental beauty teas. I just got a brew basket I am trying for the black teas. But my normal brewing method for black tea is to use the small perfect tea maker from teavanna, and basically use it like a gaiwan… 1g of leaf per oz of water, and I must say I think it works pretty well!


I also had the same experience with the 1960’s aged oolong from Cloudwalker teas…just not my thing. But I did like the 20 year aged oolong(looked like tieguanyin to me) Verdant used to have a 10 year old aged tieguanyin, I think I will try that if it becomes available again in the future.

Charles Thomas Draper

Awesome review! Another must-have from Verdant


July 18 Happy Birthday David Duckler!


I cant wait until my order comes! Happy Bday to David :)

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Third Review.

This is one of the Teavivre tea’s that I decided to purchase in bulk for daily use. Why?

Originally this pu-erh wasn’t even part of the sample program that many of us have enjoyed receiving from Teavivre.
During the sample mailings I noticed that there was this one lonely
pu-erh with no reviews so I asked Angel if I could have some so that a review could go up on Steepster.
She sent me the sample and..I ended up liking this tea.

But what made me purchase it for daily use? I looked for four things flavor, quality, the company and cost.

I have more expensive pu-erhs than this one, jewels that have exceptional flavor which I drink on special occasions and some just once a week.
My daily pu-erhs tend to fit a flavor profile that I don’t get tired of. This is of good quality from a company that I love doing business with and at a price I can afford. (I am living on a fixed income!)

The tea is a little bit salty and bready which is something I find appealing. The earthiness is not too strong and there is great richness and body that stands up to sweetening and milk if I want a morning latte.

( Please, Rinse the dry leaves 20 seconds)
I recommend Western Style brewing because the Brew takes a good amount of tea leaves (3-4 teaspoons per 8oz) and a short (1-2 minute) Steep.
I have done this method over and over successfully with a rich and dark liquor each time.
I wouldn’t suggest using a gaiwan unless you were cutting the leaf to a minimal amount for 4oz.

Resteeping produces great results!
The price is very good $9.90 for 100 grams.


This was the first puerh they sent to me, and it got my son and his girlfriend started drinking tea! I had to order a big bag of it for them to share, and now I am almost out and need to reorder!


Yep when I first saw it with no reviews I was puzzled. So I asked for it. Not my number 1 but good for every day.


Ooo oh, wait, I reviewed the Ripened Aged Mini Tuo Cha! This is different!


Senorita, too much tequila!


I have a sample of this that I’m waiting for the right mood to try. Heartening to see others like it!


Rellybob I think I’m the only one to review it except one other person who I think brewed it the wrong way/time in my opinion. See Ashmanra had the mini tuo cha not the loose pu-erh.


Well I will try it your way then. :P I was going to do it western anyway as I haven’t quite gotten the motivation to try gong fu yet. Thank you for the detailed instructions as I’m nervous enough to try puerh as it is! :) just one question, when rinsing tea, do you use boiling water?


Yes, just really steep 10-15 seconds and pour off the water, then steep according to directions. I usually make a pot in the morning western style so that I can have 2 big mugs (about 24 oz. ) sometimes after a bit I add sweetening to somewhat saltier pu-erhs which brings out caramel flavor and I often add cream to make a latte. Depends on the pu-erh. This one does well with either or both additions and resteeps well.

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Thank you ME for buying this tea!

I broke down and paid for Teavivre tea! Hee Hee!
So I have to thank myself for doing the right thing and buying one of my top 5 Black tea’s of all time (Truely this and Verdant’s Laoshan Black are #1 and #2 but I’m not telling in which order)!

My tea cupboard is awesome! Filled with bins of tea from the great to the wanna be great’s. I’ve become emotionally attached to some tea (hate to say this, but I’m a tea hoarder when it comes to some tea..you’d better not touch some of them…I’ll jump all over your…)
to the point that letting them go is almost out of the question. Sinful!

Writing reviews about some of the lesser quality tea’s can get to drag me down. UH! Burn out!

After awhile…I run..to my jewels, those beautiful special tea’s I can always count on for relief. Oh yes! Great tasting tea again! My precious! (I couldn’t resist!)
I am saved!

Today, I needed saving from the bad tea blues. My Bailin Gongfu Black could save anyone from the blues. It’s the best of Black Malty, Cocoa, Rich and Smooth, Bready, Golden Goodness!!!!!

Slurp, Gulp, Sweet or with Cream! Exceptional!



I completely understand and empathize.

Charles Thomas Draper

And I too also finally ordered from Teavivre. And I’m glad I did.

Dylan Oxford

This is a gem of a tea. Have you tried the organic version? Our Teavivre order just got here today, and we got a sample of the organic to compare to the 100g bag of not-organic that I bought.


Oh I await the verdict on that Dylan!


I thought about it but this go around bought the pearls and a puerh …awesome that $30 in tea gets you free signed UPS shipping!

Daisy Chubb

Good deal! One day I’ll (fly away) make a real order too!


I’m going to buy this one, too! I love it so much.

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drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
676 tasting notes

Thank you DHart1214 for this tea sample!

This is my very first tea from The Tea Spot. I know they have a shop in Boulder,(for goodness sakes that’s the headquarters of the company) but with so many shops to choose from in that tea wealthy town…I have yet to get around to it.
I chose Bolder Breakfast this morning for DUH obvious reasons. And, the tease of chocolate with pu’erh was begging me for a review. Please little package of tea from Boulder, Colorado…(I thought) don’t make me lose face and look like an idiot in the tea community! This State has awesome beer, great tea houses, but can’t we please have some decent Colorado blended tea (I’m leaving Celestial Seasonings out of this)?!

I brewed my 8oz in a mug with a finum filter for 4 minutes.

The scent was delicious with cocoa steaming a promising cuppa tea.

The first sip was Very mild. I could taste cocoa, no pu-erh, and a very mild black tea. Nothing but mild, non-assertive and middle of the road tea flavor. Even a bit sour probably due to the flavoring.

I didn’t like it.

I added sweetening and cream. The additions helped the tea but the black tea base is so bleh that I didn’t enjoy the tea. Probably people who are sensitive to strong flavor would like this tea. I can’t imagine why though. And the sourness. And lack of pu-erh flavor. Oh no! Yucky!

I would never choose to buy this tea. Thumbs Down!

Appreciate that Dhart1214 sent me some of her The Tea Spot teas for me to try!


I’m so sorry that you didn’t like this tea. I have been disappointed with many aspects of the Tea Spot, the lackluster flavors of their teas being only one thing on the list. A couple of weeks ago, I talked with one of their representatives at the Boulder Farmer’s Market. I asked about where they sourced their tea leaves from, and he told me it was “top secret.” This answer never bodes well with me. I have learned that the best companies are the ones who are willing and able to communicate to their consumers about how they work directly with tea farmers or estates, giving names and other information, to produce the very best tea. The best tea companies that I know of (Verdant, Seven Cups, Red Blossom) never have secrets. This makes me think that the Tea Spot has something to hide, a button of shame, that when pushed, will reveal a series of red tape where tea shifts hands from hopelessly destitute growers and pickers, through a series of middlemen, and into the hands of innocuously ignorant buyers who do not know the destructive repercussions of their buying practices. Okay, I’ll stop now, I’m sounding a little down.


The tea tasted old. The flavors were sour. Too bad. Maybe someone from the tea spot will begin to read the distress of consumers like us who want them to be better for their good and ours.

The Tea Spot

Hi Bonnie, Chadao—I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to your comments as this thread has just come to my attention.

Bonnie: It’s true that the Bolder Breakfast is a mild blend—we see this as the tea’s strength in some ways. It is a complex blend designed to reach a median flavor, inoffensive but slightly sweet, and bold enough to appeal to the coffee drinker. The fact that you taste sourness in it does concern me, and I’ll be cupping Bolder Breakfast tomorrow in the office. I’m wondering if the sample you received was old. It’s actually our top selling blend, but suits the palates of some better than others. I would like to suggest, however, that you give our Chocolate “O” a try, and please let me know if I can get you a sample of that to review. Chocolate “O” is a chocolate blend on a single base (a Hong Mao Jian black tea), and is better suited to a more advanced palate in my opinion. Again, please let me know if you’d be willing to try it or any other teas on our website that catch your eye.

Chadao: While I am sorry to hear your opinions on our teas, I would be curious to see as well if we have any that might match your palate more closely. We carry near 50 teas at the moment, from flavored blends to single origin organics. I’ll be happy to get you samples as well.

In regards to the Farmer’s Market—that employee was a contracted hire for select Saturdays who has since been let go for this exact reason. Regrettably, his response to your question reflects his lack of knowledge about our teas, but NOT anything related to our company’s policies. We are firm believers in transparency in the tea industry, and are happy to answer any questions about origin, grading, age, etc.

Communication with our customers is of the highest priority to us, so I feel fortunate to have come across this post tonight. Please let me know what I can do to rectify the rude response you received at the Farmer’s Market. If you’re available to come by this Saturday, you’ll find me there for the duration of the market’s hours, and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have about our sourcing.

Please, Bonnie + Chadao, feel free to contact me in whichever way suits you so that I can see how to turn those frowns upside down.

Bo Olson
Sales Director & Tea Specialist
[email protected]
(303) 444-8324


I am happy that my very own COLORADO tea company is being responsive to comments. I don’t write critical reviews lightly or on a whim or purely because of personal taste. I would be glad to try the other suggested sample or samples. Prove me wrong!

The Tea Spot

Bonnie, shoot me an email or message here with your address and I will get some out the door to you tomorrow!


Just sent an email…


cream in puerh? that’s desperate! 0_o

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drank Organic Guranse by Butiki Teas
676 tasting notes

Thank you Stacy for this tea Sample

What a pleasure to have overlooked a Butiki tea sample. How on earth did that ever happen? I look forward to every little bag.
Whatever the reason, it’s been found at the right time.

Today I don’t feel good. I’m sure this will pass soon enough.
My weekend was great so I can reflect a good time with my granddaughter Schey! (I forget that I have disabilities and do more than I should at times, especially when the weather is hot. I live in a fantasy world and think I’m in my 40’s!)(or younger!)

First we went to Church Sunday morning and then stopped by the H.L. (Happy Luckys) tea shop for a pot of Puerh. This was Scheys first Puerh! I have to say the experience was like ‘Steepster Live’! We were at the bar, the shop was quiet and the servers had been tasting samples I brought in the day before. I was hearing verbal reviews. Schey was giving me her review of the Pu-erh (LOVED IT!), and I was in heaven!

I drank more tea later when I arrived back home…and then…I couldn’t sleep till 2 am! I’m trying to set up a blog. No zzzzzzzzz’s

I felt ill this morning at 7 am….burned out and not good at all.

I saw this little packet from Butiki. Hum.
What was a Guranse? Another one of those high caffeine tea’s that Stacy has?
(I had no idea!)

With a good deal of blind faith and trust that whatever was in the packet would be good because it came from Butiki, I followed the only information on the label and used boiling water then steeped for 3 minutes.

What a shock when I tasted the tea!

“Wow, this is good!” I said.

(I think in my foggy brain that I half expected an unflavored Guayusa.)

This tea was light and sweet with the essence of Freestore Peach and Assam. BUT, without being as dark or malty as an Assam. WAH?…A totally different kind of Black Tea than I’m used to!

To compare this tea to a Darjeeling would be a mistake also. There was no acidity or tannin, just smooth and juicy light and fruity tea. (Sounds like a jingle)

I let my cup cool. Sipping again and again…trying to reach deep into the soul of this tea. Always the floral sugary peach(could there be a vanilla cream with the peach I am still not committed to that idea as yet)vibrated in my mouth.

Guranse has my attention! At no time have I tasted a light Black Tea like this one. I have 4 Black Tea’s from 2 companies that are my favorites and all 4 are FULL BODIED! Very rich and unmistakably distict! My… BONNIE’S TOP BLACK TEA LIST!

This little tea slid in under the radar and slapped me awake!
I love the subtle beauty of this drippy, succulent, peachy liquor!

High Praises Stacy!!! You will hear from me!

Later that same evening…
Tonight I steeped this tea again nice and strong, cut an apple into cubes, heated the apple in the microwave and then poured the tea over the apples to infuse them for a bit. Later, I drained some of the liquid off, added a pat of butter and some brown sugar crystals and popped the apples into the oven next to a breast of chicken that was cooking in a mixture of brewed Butiki Tangerine Creamsicle Guayusa, and bacon. (Yes I’ll have some spinach greens too at the end).
Don’t know how this will turn out…going to check on it now…
Oh Wow! The Chicken is really good! Um…I think I’m going to have the apples alongside the chicken because they’re soft and mild. The apples in this tea is mild (no spice added).
Perfect with the cream citrus poultry.

If I had company over I’d turn the juices into a beautiful glaze and chiffonade some basil and mint over the top. This would be so good with rice. (no apples though) And add artichokes or asparagas.


Will Work For Tea

Butiki is becoming a fast favorite of mine – which reminds me I need to put in another order very, very soon! :)

Get some rest – sounds like your brain’s been pretty busy! :)


Oooh, this sounds good. I think I may have a sample of this from Mercuryhime! I need to try it. Teas from Nepal are pretty close to darjeeling, and I usually like them.


Thanks, Yes…and it is an effort for my brain to do the work it has to do. I drink tea to create beautiful quiet places. Scenes that are tranquil. Rest.


Let us know when the blog is up and running…. but don’t stop the wonderful real life stories on Steepster.

Daisy Chubb

Can’t wait to see this blog in action! :D


No, Steepster is you guys and #1. The other is not the typical tea review thing. I am a run-on sentence! It’s more space to write about tea and life. I have a title already… Tea Traveler.
Just simple like me.


Hope you get feeling better!


Thanks/you know how it goes…I shouldn’t have mentioned it. Part of life. I feel bad for the people with no power and air conditioning. OH YES! THE FIRE IN MY BACK MOUNTAIN IS 100% CONTAINED!!!! The other ones are still not…but we are on our way! It took 1800 firefighters! About 700 homes in Colorado are gone and 3 died. It’s only July 2nd!


Oh my goodness!


Hope you feel better soon. :D


Looks like I’m feeling better! Gotta go eat!


Get well Bonnie…glad the fire situation is getting better. The Tea Traveler sounds really good, I like it!

Butiki Teas

Bonnie-I hope you feeling better today. So glad you are enjoying the Guranse. Wow, cooking with the Tangerine Creamsicle seems like such an interesting idea!

So glad to hear the fire near you is contained. That’s just terrible that so many people lost their homes and that a few have lost their life. It puts things in perspective.

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Yoo Hoo! Canned Tea!

How low can you go? (get it, CAN…ha ha)

Granddaughter Schey came over and we wandered over to Old Town for
a light dinner at the ‘WAFFLE LAB’.
Oh yes boys and girls, Fort Collins boasts a wonderous black box of a food truck that has the best waffles on the planet! AND, it’s in the parking lot smack dab next to one of the many Breweries our town is know for. (What’s not to like about this scene so far.)

Now Schey is 18 and can’t go to Pub’s unless, she’s sitting outside with Grandma eating WAFFLES! This was lot’s of fun for her. Some young women in platform heels going to a bachelorette party came by for waffles. Lots of good looking young men came by for waffles. A great people watching venue to be sure!

I ordered a chedder, mozzerella, smoked ham with fresh basil maple waffle sandwich. Oh ouch it was soooo good! (no tomatoes, allergic)

Then with it a Super Sized 23.5oz. Green (has Black tea too) naturally Mango Flavored, Pure Cane Juice, Honey and Ginseng TEA. CHILLED! In a CAN!

Uh huh! CAN, CAN, CAN!

Right about then, (as we sat down at the outdoor covered Brewery and Waffle Lab shared lounge) music came on and it was party time. People at the nearby tables were friendly, we met some neighbors…chatted and laughed. This was the best small town Saturday Night magic.

My can of tea was refreshing and light. Yes, I was skeptical about the ginseng and cane juice. Would this be one of those too sweet drinks? Absolutely not! The natural favor was soft and the sweetening just right and not too sugary. The blend of green with black tea gave body to the blend without bitterness.
In all, a very nice CAN of tea!

Perfect with my Waffle Lab dinner.

(Here’s a piece of trivia…Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland is
modeled after College Avenue, Fort Collins…in Old Town.)


What an enjoyable post Bonnie! :))


Thanks Scott!


Waffle Lab! Awesome!


Hehe, now that’s dedication – reviewing canned tea :D


reading about your town is like learning and discovering new places and characters in a novel I’d be slowly reading and enjoying every day…. the city mayor should name you Fort Colins ambassador of the year!


I moved from Silicon Valley 1,000,000 to Fort Collins 150,000 residents. I’ve never lived in a place where shopkeepers know you and people are friendly and helpful. It’s like I’ve been plunked down onto a movie set! (And I Love It!)

Hesper June

Wow, 150,000 still seems a lot to this country bumpkin!
I grew up in the countryside….where everyone knows TOO much about your business…sometimes even before you do:)
But, I know what you mean, its the personal touches that you receive in a smaller community that make everything better.
And I like reading about your town as well, as TeaFairy said, it is like a well written novel!


A few years ago this was at the top of the Best Places To Live list ..Boulder is still the #1 happiest. I got lucky!

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Iced Zhu Rong Yunnan Black!

I seldom review a tea 3 times! But, because Verdant Tea has created a buzz about cold brewing and icing various tea’s, I thought I’d experiment with one that they suggested.

A long, long time ago. When there were no laptops and no wi-fi! (Yes children, no Facebook or Twitter!) There was Chocolate Soda.
I can’t remember who made the stuff, but it was dark chocolate soda and I liked it.
It was a sad day when it disappeared. I couldn’t even go have coffee or hic’ Tazo hic’ because Starbucks didn’t exist either!

Not until now could my cool Chocolate craving be satisfied.
Here and now, I come to that chocolaty goodness in a cold beverage without it containing milk!
I do not like milky things when it’s hot! No chocolate milk, no hot chocolate.
Even if I have a gelato I’m looking for water right away because I don’t like the milky residue. It makes me thirstier.

What I prepared today was a pot of tea western style and then I continued with 4 steepings. I poured the tea over ice, quickly transfered the tea again before the ice melted into a covered pitcher and then into the frig. it went. That’s all I did!

Hours went by and it was time for the cold tea reveal!

I think the best way I like to enjoy this tea is to pour it into a fancy water goblet. The color sparkles like golden Russian Amber!

When I brought the glass close to my nose…oh the aroma of baked potato chips and cocoa was as full as rising steam.

I Swirled the Tea with my hand cupped over the top and then sniffed again as I would with a glass of wine! Slightly Smoky, Cocoa Honey!

There was no more time to wait. I wanted a sip of this glittering liquor.

With cool tea you can let a good amount swish and roll around, then back… taking your time before finishing the sip.
The coolness is noticed first as you would imagine, and then bittersweet chocolate, smoky orange honey and potato chips in an altogether impossible way. Something elegant rushes like stones skipping on a pond through your mouth. Yes, like skipping stones. So much rich, smooth, cool flavor.
My chocolate craving that has been going on for years (I ain’t tellin) had been satisfied.

OOPS! I must say that I sweetened the tea a ‘little bit’ but not much.

I also cold brewed some Laoshan Chai STRONG and used Ginger Syrup with it then Chilled the beauty…oh yes! This I would use with a liquor like Rum.

Tasty, cool. CHOCOLATE!


Ohhhh yum.

Charles Thomas Draper

I think I need this one….


This sounds really yummy. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t handle milky stuff on hot days. Everyone I know looks at me like I’m crazy when I say ice cream or milkshakes make me really thirsty.


This tea is not like Laoshan Black at all. Less cocoa, more dark chocolate potato chip!

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300th Review

I really thought hard about what to do with my 300th review. It should be special. Memorable at least to me. What tea would I choose?

I received tea in the mail today.

Still, I couldn’t decide.


Stalling, I stopped by Happy Lucky’s Tea House after mailing 5 packages of tea off to Steepsters, and all my buddies were at the bar. I was greeted warmly as always.

My purse was jammed with gifts…a Butiki Good Morning Sunshine Guayusa, Verdant Laoshan White, Xingyang 1998 Golden Leaf Puer for Andy from Verdant, Butiki Blue Nettle Green Tea, all samples for my friends to try. Even the owner popped in for a taste. A gaiwan and little gonfu pot flashed into action.
I sat smiling and drank Lapsang Souchong, watching with glee as my Happy Lucky’s tea shop friends enjoyed their tasting.

Which brings me to the point of my 300th review.

My tea journey is about community. I have never tried to write a certain number of reviews per day, or crank out reviews to beat a record. It’s all about YOU really.
My relationship with you on Steepster…and my family, my community, my past, the environment, the whole World and God!
That sounds deep and you know I get funny, silly, crazy even.(That’s my celebratory side. Joyful abandon! The love of life.)

How can tea do this?

It’s like a mirror. Reflective. When you take a moment to stop…to be quiet in life and to be present in the moment…amazing things can happen inside. Amazing and healing things can happen.

I want to thank Happy Lucky’s Tea House for being friendly to me at a time in my life when I have had no other friends.
For accepting me at their tea bar as I am.
For picking up my cane when it falls.
For always smiling at me when I walk in the door.
For accepting my small gifts of tea.
Thank you so much! (sniffle)

Lion and Lamb is a Lapsang Souchong with a tender side. This is a blended smoky tea for those who just can’t hang with the full strength China Lapsang Souchong. There’s a bit of orange peel and a large amount of the best freeze dried Jasmine I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s just like Jasmine popcorn (which I said in my first review).
The first thing I do before brewing is pick out a few flowers for myself and crunch away. (so tasty and puffy light)
After 4 minutes, the pour is light and smoky without being overdone. You can taste a hint of roastiness from the Jasmine somewhere along the line of corn.
I like to have my smoked tea sweet, so I added a little bit and enjoyed my cup even more. ScottTeaMan likes this blend. He has no idea that I just picked some up as a gift for him. Surprise Scott! Happy 300th from me to you!

My review makes sense now doesn’t it. I brought my 300th home to where I am right now.

Here’s hoping that everyone can find a place like the one I have right
here in Fort Collins that welcomes you as a friend and serves you a good cup of tea!

http://youtu.be/bnvGwpO3bms My Town


Happy 300th Bonnie! Great review! You are so generous to bring little tea tastings to your local shop, I am sure they appreciate it.


They really are pro’s so they know about tea which is a comfort!


Happy 300th. I wonder if this tea is a Twilight reference.


No, they created it around Christmastime. Biblical reference to Peace!


Happy 300th tasting note! Your reviews are always so delightful, and are as much about the experience of tea as the tea itself.


Excellent review, Bonnie. I envy you your tea house too. :-)


Yay, Steepster’s back and I get to read your note! Glad you have such a wonderful relationship with your local tea shop, and congrats on hitting 300!


Happy 300th!! You have captured in words what life is all about…thank you for filling my heart with joy on this beautiful saturday morning:)

Hesper June

Happy 300th!
Your tea house sounds so lovely, very jealous:)


Congrats on your 300th review ;-)) I LOVED your review.. especially “It’s like a mirror. Reflective. When you take a moment to stop…to be quiet in life and to be present in the moment…amazing things can happen inside. Amazing and healing things can happen.”!! I am still learning how to write reviews..hopefully, one day I can be as Insightful and poignant with my words as you are! It’s a passion and it definitely shows in your writing ;-)


Lovely! And congrats on your 300th – I appreciate your beautiful reviews each and every time!

Eric Scott

Thanks for the kind words, Bonnie! We drank some more of your samples this morning thinking of you!


Happy 300th!! I’m on the lookout for a tea bar. I’m not really sure what you call them but I want a stool to sit at, so I think of it as a bar. I’m glad you found a really good place to go. :D


Wow, 300! Congrats! I always look forward to reading your reviews.

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I’ve been bagging samples to send off to people all day. I really mean it, ALL DAY.
For a person (me) who has no ability to multi-task (my brain misfire issue), bagging, labeling, making notes and keeping a list of who’s been sent what tea takes triple time. The only easy part is sweeping tea debris off the wood floors.

At about 5pm, I was beginning to nod off to sleep on the couch. Garumph! That would never do! “When was the last time I had some tea today?”, I asked myself. “Too long, too long ol girl.” So I rummaged around for a lonely tea that I’d been ignoring (feeling tea guilt).

Oh yes, the Green Tropical. I almost forgot about this little plastic bag. It certainly looks like it came from a spice store all green see through as though it’s filled with Rosemary or Greek Oregano. Hum. The tea had not impressed me the first go around at all.

I was very careful to steep the leaves 3 minutes. The flavor is flat at high heat…those who drink this tea comment on how much better it is cool or chilled. So I waited.

There is a strange astringency…not like a bite at the finish that lingers, but a stinging on the whole surface of the tongue. I don’t see the point since the tea is so faintly flavored. There’s hardly any pineapple to speak of. No strawberry. Almost nothing to hang onto.
The best thing this tea has going for it is a nice floral/fruity scent when dry…like a room freshener.

As a tea, not that interesting.

Really a boring, boring tea. But the caffeine will keep me awake! ;)


Boring teas are such a letdown. I don’t like when drinking tea has to turn into “Well, I don’t wanna waste it so I guess I’ll make myself drink it”.


Sometimes it’s been so long you forget it’s bleh!


Haha, I spent the last few hours bagging up tea samples! It takes a long time!


I find this one depends on the water alot. and my mood haha

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Second review

Tucked in a familiar silver package, the 3/4 full remains of my Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds Pu-erh had been urging me to come and enjoy the gift of goodness I remembered once again.
Others have been writing reviews lately and I was tempted…pushed the thought away…but the urge kept coming back. I wait for the right time for certain tea’s. And for Puerh’s especially.

I can safely say that I pick a tea to drink according to my mood.
I’m unable to review certain kinds of tea without a very clear and centered mind.
It’s the difference between reading The Cat in the Hat (which is cute and charming) and a novel like The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (one of my favorites) only here we’re talking about tea.

(Half of you just walked away making that twirly motion next to your head indicating CRAZY!) I don’t care!

My steep time was 2 minutes in a glass pot Western Style. (I wanted lots of tea!)
The color of the liquor was dark Chocolate fudge brown and smelled like expensive Italian leather shoes. New ones. A very nice smell indeed.

I poured myself a cup and took the first long sip, rolling the liquid around in my mouth blissfully. The juicy, mild Puerh had the essence of gentle air after a hard rain. I imagined myself in North Ferriby, U.K with an umbrella in my hand…standing on a corner… waiting at a bus stop with the smell of rain, wet paving stones and fresh moss. I could see the Humber Bridge Span in the distance through the misty drizzle.
It’s a warm enough day though.
The tea smells and tastes like plumped up, wet tea buds and the aftertaste is Thai grilled chicken.

I wouldn’t mind taking this cup into an ancient musty library at Nottingham University hurrying past old stone and polished creaky wood, my body would enter and find a lone soft chair and plop down, limp like a discarded marionette.

Tea and a place can come together as a singular vision. A story and a novel,fragrance and a flavor stirred up at the right moment.

I’m glad that I waited for this tea. It’s a good lesson for me to trust my own instincts about where I am on the tea path. I have so much to learn.

(This review is for Steepster Roughage from the U.K.)


I’ve got some of this on the way, along with their new Golden Monkey black tea. :)


Crazy? No! Creative? YES! <3


omg I totally do that! pick tea based on my mood. and if I end up drinking one because it’s all I have at the moment… in can taste terrible just bc it isn’t the one I wanted!! and I do tend to pick more serious teas when in a pensive mood…
so lady, we be craaaazy together!! :P
(Azzrian and Kwinter, join us!)


I’m the same way. White tea when I’m feeling calm and at peace, green tea when I’m in a good mood and have energy, black tea and pu-erh if I’m in a serious mood or in any period of psychological distress…also I love pu-erh when I’m reading or watching an educational documentary. :)


Excellent review, and with the rain we had yesterday, totally apropos. :-)


loved this review, I will add this to my next Teavivre order as I still want to develop my «super-puerh» skills …


I plan to try this one over the weekend if I get time to appreciate pu-erh.

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Colorado Grandma 73 3/4 as of January 2022

Grandmother to 10. (we all drink tea!)
I began teatime in the Summer when my children were little. We took a break from play for tea and snacks every day. My children loved tea time.
There are several tea houses close to my home and a Tea Festival in Boulder. Fort Collins/Loveland is a bit of a foodie area. We are famous for breweries (Fat Tire is one brand).
Rocky Mountain National Park is 40 minutes away.
Our climate is semi-arid with LOTS OF SUN AT 5000 feet. (Heavy Winter snows start in higher elevations). Lived my until 2010 in Northern California.
I am very involved in my local Greek Orthodox Church. Recently I ignited a group for racial reconciliation.
I suffer from Migraines and Light sensitivity.
My family is Bi-racial (African-American, Scots) and Bi-cultural.
I’ve worked at a Winery, was a computer tech, been Athlete and Coach, Vista Volunteer. Love healthy food! Love travel and have been to Scotland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Peru, Croatia, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska.


Loveland, Colorado

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