300 Tasting Notes


Tea of the afternoon. I tried this out in my new yixing pot and really should have known better to not try a new sample this way and that this particular yixing pot isn’t well suited to gongfu brewing. Too big, too bulky and it has a loose lid due to the strainer and that it is likely mass produced.

I bought the pot and it’s matching cups for their color and design (sage green with a dragon and phoenix) but it seemed a shame not to use them. I decided Dan Congs in general would be a safe bet to season it with, as I would likely always have one in the house, but like I said this pot is just not meant for it. So new oolong, I’m sorry, it’s not you it’s my pot. Luckily I still have half a sample left.

In all honesty the tea was still pretty good, not ruined by any means. The first few steeps were the best and they reminded me a bit of the oolongs I tried this weekend (my first Rou Gui and Tung Ting, both lovely, both brewed much better, because of proper tea ware at Essencha) in that there was a cassia note and some unami, but I also got pretty distinct orchid, honey and peach notes with mineral sweetness throughout. Must get gaiwan ASAP, followed by a tiny yixing pot or two.

Update sipdown: this smells so delicious, leaves a fantastic taste in my mouth once swallowed, but the taste before that? A bit disappointing, it’s green and slightly astringent and just doesn’t deliver on the promise of the smell which is so complex and roasted. Ah well.

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Meh. This did not impress me much. I had two or three sessions and now it’s gone and I don’t even remember much about it. Not melony as that’s what stood out about the white I drank immediately after this. I think it was vaguely sweet with a bit of spice in later steeps. And the tips were very very tiny, but not broken as far as I could tell.

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I do not normally log teas more than once, but the question of “What’s in your cup?” tempted me. I drank two infusions of this last night and am on my second for the morning. I have also decided to drink a green a day. I would love to drink white, green, oolong and pu’er everyday, but the way I brew (short steeps) I’d have a lot of wasted leaves or bladder issues.

I used to do more blends, Silver Needle, Gyokuro and Tiguanyin were my favorite and while I certainly have all the elements at home, I couldn’t imagine blending a tea like this. I want to be able to taste the soil of the land where this was grown, the mists that surrounded the leaves and the chlorophyll that was enhanced by shading the leaves while drying on an Autumn day. So while I may use up some of my Teavana greens that way, this however deserves to be savored.

And in an ongoing trend the husband thinks this tastes just like the others, mineral, I guess I love mineral, which is why I love short steeps, when i asked him to reinfuse this for me for 10 secs last night, he said “10 secs?! No wonder it didn’t taste like anything! But I guess that’s fine if you like boiled rocks” But as light and mineral as this is in the beginning, it still tastes so distinct from the nuggets and the yabao and by the second infusion it is already very “green”. Sigh I need some gongfu friends.

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Wish I could be your gongfu friend! Hope you find some soon, or hope your husband can make a gong-fu date with you some Friday night and give your teas more of a chance.


Ha @ boiled rocks…

Autumn Hearth

I realized I had meant to respond to the comments but hadn’t. Spoonvonstup, aww if I was your gongfu friend, that would mean I would be living in Minn. and that would be amazing! Sigh, need a wormhole to there and Bloomingon, IN. The husband and I had two tea dates last weekend as part of our anniversary getaway in Cinci-tucky at Essencha Tea House. I had two delicious oolongs, which he deemed “earthy” this time, not mineral, either way he said he didn’t like that, while he had a very smooth Keemun and an Irish Breakfast that I don’t think I actually sipped. But I got to use a gaiwan and a really nicely shaped wee yixing pot!

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Dear gods this is delicious. So glad this is my introduction to shu pu’erh, because really this is heavenly. I have don’t know if I would have made the angel cake connection but its definitely there in the second steep and stronger in the third. It’s so light and sweet and vanilla-like and leaves the tongue with a cloud on it. Yep, heavenly.

The husband however continues to disappoint. I handed him a cup of this third infusion and though it’s totally darker than the clear yabao, after sipping it he says “This is the same as the last one you gave me”. Though he added it was more mineral. I asked if it was unpalatable to him and said “Not unpalatable, undesirable”. Further grounds for divorce.

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lol – sounds like my house! :)

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This is fantastic (so glad I have two samples). This is like Bai Mu Dan and Shou Mei on crack. It’s Soooo sweet and a bit more herbaceous. Wet leaves smell like rosemary and artichoke and I taste candied rosemary and some melon in this third steep. Husband said it tasted like bath water or brewed rocks (okay so he may be onto something with the mineral note) and he does not taste the sweetness. How?! I’m getting a divorce.

First steep was for 15 secs but when I saw all the recommendations for longer steeps I set the timer for two minutes, however a smelled it at 1 mins declared it too good not to drink and set the tea maker on my mug. So glad I did! Third steep is just under two minutes. Would like to try it with tea in the cup and cold brewed in the future. I also would like to acquire more of this and age it. And I want a husband who has taste buds that work. Edit: sister stopped by and shared two steeps with me. She said it’s yummy. Also researching theanine and I do believe I am tea drunk. I <3 my yabao

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So many tea-drunken Steepsters lately! I need to join in. :D


I get tea drunk easily. Read up on it. But, I think for me, I take anti seizure meds for migraine and maybe the two together amplify the effects. I’m trying to JUST SAY NO…when I’ve had enough of a buzz. Sounds funny. I’ve talked to other people who feel it in their head only. I feel it all over..like alcohol but better. More aware.

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This came as part of my Budset Sampler and I’m so glad it did as I was planning on ordering some for a friend anyway. I must disclose that I believe I am mildly allergic to jasmine, it tickles my throat and I had to stop drinking it last summer as it interfered with my sales (it could have been nerves but somehow I pinpointed it to when I was drinking jasmine, which was quite often). I meant to experiment if it was more intense during allergy season, but never did. Anywho, I can enjoy it in very small quantities, but one of my co-workers loves jasmine and silver needle so I knew she would love this.

I had our barista brew this up on an awful day when I was dizzy and sitting on the floor of the back room waiting for my husband to come pick me up. But the dried leaf and brew smelled heavenly and it was truly delicious, there were other notes like lilac or something. I would have loved to experience multiple steeps, but I left the leaf and the packet to her and she was ever so in love and reported back that it was amazing, so I just wanted to make note of that. I know she joined steepster awhile ago but I can’t find her on here (I know I can just ask). So Diane if you’re reading this, I would love to hear any additional thoughts on this tea ;)


Yes! I just found you! I am loving loving loving my yunnan white jasmine – I am sorry to hear that you regret not having more, but I assure you that this beautiful tea has found a wonderful home with an appreciative tea drinker :)

I think that I will definitely be ordering some more from them soon (and I remember that you mentioned they send along additional samples to try), so I promise that I will let you know which one they give me and will pass one along to you. …hopefully one that will not make your throat tickle…

I am enjoying reading your posts though; there IS tea outside of Teavana! Who knew?! Please continue to list your favorites so I don’t miss out on any good ones. Remember: it’s jasmine, jasmine, peaches, and more jasmine for me.

Autumn Hearth

Hey! I’m just now noticing that you commented! Congrats on quitting! Rob mentioned you turned in your key awhile ago, but not much else. I’m glad you are on here! This tea is showing as low stock and another Verdant white (that i have but have not tried) is on sale! http://verdanttea.com/shop/white-tea/

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Hmm I’ve been drinking this all day and I really liked the first steep. It really hit the spot, it was sweet and mineral and there was some cocoa I had no idea would make an appearance. The second was a little off at first but developed into a nice rich cup, the cocoa was still there but it was more roasty and woodsy and had a hint of I guess what others are describing as apricot, later there was a bit of a muscatel note that I was definitely smelling in the wet leaves (almost artichoke) the third had even more of this almost Darjeeling quality but it got smoother towards the end of the cup. The last half dozen or so though have reminded me more of really late steeps of a pu-erh and were kinda lackluster for me. Will revisit soon, but I think I might prefer the Huang Zhi.

Edit: just revived this with a one minute steep (had only got as high as 30 sec) with a bit more water for the leaves to move around in. Much better, will continue steeping this evening. Update: I actually got five more infusions out of this adding about 30 sec to each one after I got to a min, I ended at 3 mins for a grand total of I have no idea how many infusions but well over a dozen.

The husband asked to try some late last night as I refused to make him another breakfast tea. I suspected he would not appreciate it and told him as much. After two sips he told me your right I don’t and handed the cup back to me. I asked if he tasted anything and replied “yeah metal”, that particular cup was all sweet mineral with a bit of mint. I enjoyed the last of the infusions though they were very mild and reminded me of pu-erh (but in a better way this time) it was like drinking some of the essence of a very old forest.

Next time I shall up the steep time after the first three cups and use a bit more water to get the tea leaves in motion. Withholding a numerical rating until then. Now off to work, just three more shifts.

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This was interesting, I couldn’t resist adding this sample to the cart with my husband’s British blends, as we had learned about the Sacher Torte feud in German class. I had one the Earl Grey Ceylon Select sometime with in the last week and this was definitely more mild. The Darjeeling wasn’t over muscatel, the Celyon not too winey, but it was nice, I felt kinda European drinking it. I tried a second steep and it was very light, but still drinkable.

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haha I love that “kinda European” phrase!

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So I enjoyed 13 or so sessions with this tea, five yesterday and the rest today. They were very quick steeps starting at 2 secs to 15 sec yesterday and only reaching a minute with the last two today. I used around two teaspoons of leaf to around 4-6 ounces of water, in the gravity tea infuser (read: Teavana perfect tea maker). The third and fifth infusions were probably my favorite, they were the most floral and green but I had some nice ones today as well that were more buttery and slightly spicy. For some reason I kept expecting this to be more than it was, which is a great spring Tieguanyin, like the Autumn harvest or another variety of oolong altogether (I had Oriental Beauty earlier in the day and I love how different it is), which is quite silly of me.

I actually brought this to work on Sunday and brewed it side by side with the Autumn harvest and go the tea makers switched around, but I was still pretty certain which was which, the Autumn was much more of a cool depth to it, but surprisingly they are both buttery. For fun we also brewed Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong, which I would assume is a Spring 2011 harvest (but who knows). Most of the co-workers preferred Verdant, except of course the boss lady who while she thought they were interesting commented, “I think ours is smoother, don’t you?”.

No actually not at all, I thought it was a little bit more pungent up front and finished quite dry, whereas Verdant’s two offerings left my tongue feeling silky and moist. mmmgood304 thought the dry leaf smelled like lilacs, I concur. Honestly it didn’t preform as well at work as it did at home, maybe it was the water, or the residue on the tea makers or the fact were were pouring out of paper cups into plastic sample cups, but it wasn’t until the third steep at home that I tasted the essence of spring and it was quite lovely.

I haven’t rated a tea in awhile and don’t feel like it tonight, so will probably withhold until the sipdown on this one. But I am impressed with the mouthfeel in early steeps and the sheer longevity of the leaves. I probably could have gone for several more infusions, but gosh I need to buy a gaiwan of a yixing pot. I am just grateful to be able to drink a tea picked this spring, just weeks ago, I find that amazing.

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Tried this yesterday at work for two 15-30 sec infusions. So much better this way. Its all honey and orchid roasted goodness, instead of just rarr rarr roast. What can I say, I like my Dan Congs gungfu style. Adding chamomile blossoms and a bit of peach to the third steep was a mistake though (I wanted something for my headache). This was later redeemed when I poured the last of the peach momotaro pot into my cup, quite nice actually.

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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