409 Tasting Notes


I’ve been pretty thrilled with this month’s club box from Verdant. A Dian Hong (Yunnan Golden Buds), a pu’er pressed with honeysuckle, and this sheng-style Moonlight White. I’m usually not a big fan of either sheng pu-er or white teas, so I was surprised to enjoy this so much. The brewed tea has a rich aroma and color, some of the grassy and earthy flavors I associate with pu-er, but none of the dustiness. The texture is juicy, not drying. Drinking it gives me an oddly satiated feeling, as if I’ve had a snack rather than just a drink.

When I choose to drink this, it lasts me all afternoon with strong re-steepings

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Wu Dong Shan Huang Zhi Shiang

This is much more astringent than the others I’ve tried. I also tried brewing it stronger on some steeps, but even so – more bitterness, higher caffeine. I can’t recall the description given here, but one of the 6 teas in the August box was described as reminiscent of a sheng pu-erh, and I’m betting this is it. It has the intense, dry, grassy, heady impression I get from those. Not my favorite, but certainly interesting

Flavors: Astringent, Dry Grass, Menthol

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I created this aggregate tea page to track reviews of Verdant’s Tea of the Month Club, rather than cluttering Steepster’s database with limited availability teas with very similar names :)

Da Wu Ye Dancong
I think I love Dancongs. The first one I remember trying had a flavor strongly reminiscent of pineapple; both I’ve tried so far from this box have silky mouthfeel, floral notes, honey sweetness, and some of that same sharp fruitines. I’m still playing with the preparation, mostly trying to figure it out by color + tiny tastes of the brewing tea. Apparently the “classic” style to brew this is very very strong and fast, so there is a punch of bitter flavor contrasted by lots of lingering aromatics, but that’s a bit much for me

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Which month was this one from?


August! It just arrived a couple of days ago

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
409 tasting notes

Mmm, this turned out strong and FRUITY this morning. I don’t know which fruit exactly, but it’s the same kind of acidic fruitiness you get from dark chocolate and coffee. Blackberries or plums?

Flavors: Cacao, Fruity, Smooth

Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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So a new shop opened near me recently, that carries fancy olive oil and balsamic vinegars, bulk spices, cocktail mixers, and a nice big wall of loose leaf tea form Divinitea! They brought in Linda Smith, the proprietor, to do a tasting a couple of weeks ago. This was one of the teas she was sampling, and I was completely won over.

I’m not a huge fan of coconut in general, but that’s mostly because it’s usually cloying and I hate the texture of the dried, grated stuff. But this… it’s not that it’s subtle, the coconut flavor is very strong. But it’s well-blended, with notes of vanilla, and a strong black tea base to give it some depth and backbone. Smooth enough to drink straight (if not oversteeped) but delicious with a splash of whole milk. I did four short steeps and mixed them together.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Smooth, Vanilla

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 103 ML

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drank Queen Catherine by Harney & Sons
409 tasting notes

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Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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The dry leaf does smell like grape! In a good, earthy way, not like a fake flavoring. This is a very fruity black tea, distinct and ejoyable. Quite tasty, but not one I’d feel compelled to buy any more of, mostly because I can’t make up my mind about how to prepare it. Straight? With milk? With sugar? Any works, but none seems quite right.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 3 g

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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