400 Tasting Notes


The second tea that I’ve tried from the Puerhshop. I bought a TON of tea recently from them (plus some cakes from Crimson Lotus and the Dark Matter from LP) and I’d say I’m good for a long time. On top of that, I have a vendor from China sending some samples for me to try (which I hope isn’t a scam—although he didn’t want anything from me but an address…so….I’ll let you know).

Anyway, back to this tea….https://www.instagram.com/p/BDMiwkQg-0p/?taken-by=sgsanders1

I had a total of 10 brews from this. The first steeping was sweet, slightly astringent, and vegatal. However, as the sessions continued, the astringency wore off, and the vegetal notes grew, and it had a touch of sweet grass. I wasn’t able to get a full set of notes on this, due the inability to focus 100% on the tea because I was playing Star Wars Battlefront online; however, I know that this tea was enjoyable, and will be put on the “to get after I sipdown half of my tea cupboard” list. I loved this session, and that is all I have to say about it.

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I’ve been on a Sencha kick lately. I’m happy to have found a Green tea that is truly enjoyable; therefore, I decided to purchase a little bit of this Cherry Sencha.

I must say that the tea is light, sweet, floral, cherry-esq, and smooth. This tea is really refreshing! I’ve been working through the rest of the tea in the tin all week, due to the large amount heading my way as I write this!

Flavors: Cherry, Floral


i love sencha when i tastes like asparagus


I have a plain Sencha that does!

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This is the last of the Verdant Tea 5 for $5 sampler. There seems to be a void of tea space in my cupboard. I might cry…or not. However, these were all pretty nice flavors. I must say that purchasing the sampler did me good. It opened my eyes to great quality tea, and helped my palate understand tea in a different way. As I’ve written in my Bio, I’ve been drinking teas for a long time; however, these were one company’s tea—for three years! I haven’t stepped any further than that, and I felt kind of dirty calling myself a genuine “tea connoisseur.” I thought that I “belonged” in the tea world because I tried ALL 99 flavors from this ONE place.

I wasn’t.

It was my job to think that.

And then I left.

I started drinking other teas; I figured that someone could give me the fix. I became a tea-need freak. I went through withdraws and drank coffee…..But then, a miracle happened! I discovered Adagio, Tiesta Tea, Harney & Sons, etc. At that moment, I told myself to find something more…something new. I found Steepster. I found new brands. I found my place in the world….

Now—this tea—it’s great! The leaf is beautiful. I wanted to start on it last night, but I thought that I’d be up all night drinking pot after pot of tea, so knowing that Kindergarten registration was coming early, I went to bed. I woke up early, though, just to have a pot of tea before heading off to work.

The aroma of the wet leaf is nice. Imagine picking a leaf from a tree, and crushing it between your fingers. That is how this smells. The flavor is the same.
The first steep (25 seconds at 195 degrees Fahrenheit) was sweet, smooth, “grassy,” and had an overall gentle mouth feel.
The second steep was the same with a touch of astringency.
The third was more astringent than the previous two—but in a good way….



5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
White Antlers

Great tea note! I have been drinking tea since I was a toddler as a result of having an immigrant maternal grandmother who believed hot, strong tea was “good for what ails you.” I never acquired the coffee habit. As a tea drinker with 60 years of it under her belt, I thought I was in the tea elite stratosphere, too. It is only in the last 6-8 years that I am just beginning to really learn about and taste good tea-and realize how little I really know. Your post made me smile with agreement and humility.


I grew up in a home where there was bagged tea or coffee in the mornings—none in which I enjoyed. My mother drank tea and my father had coffee. I’ve never acquired the taste for coffee as much as I had for tea in my “college years,” but I stuck with it due to the fact that nobody seemed to have anything BUT coffee. I wasn’t introduced to quality tea until my junior year at college, thanks to a roommate who despised coffee. However, the tea he introduced me to wasn’t as high of a quality as I had expected (this I came to learn once I started working at that establishment). The majority of the teas sit on the shelf for a long time, and seem to lose their potency after a while. Although, as far as the job went, I was expected to convince the customer that our teas were “high quality” and “fresh,” even though I knew that they weren’t. For an example: we’d have a Tie Guan Yin on the back shelf for approximately two years, stored in a bag, before we ever used it—it wasn’t a high selling tea due to the substantial amount for a low quantity.
Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the post, though! I appreciate the feedback.

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I didn’t have much time to sit down for this sipdown, so I tried this Western style. I got about 3 solid pots out of this, but the flavor died down after the third session. I think that this’d be good to have/brew Gongfu style, but considering I don’t have the tools (YET) for Gongfu style, I have to do what I can with what I have….

Anyway, this was good. Out of the 4/5 teas I had with the Verdant Tea sampler, this was my least favorite. It has potential to be great, but the overall flavor was light and didn’t last as long as the others.



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For the past few days, I’ve been trying to overcome this horrid cold. I’ve felt miserable and NEEDED something with a lot of spice and/or citrus-y notes to it. Ohio Tea Company’s Orange Spice Black has been exactly what I needed. This has been my to-go-to for the past three days. Despite the amount of caffeine in it, I still manage to become relaxed and sleepy while drinking it—then again, I’m sick and tired, so anything can put me to sleep. Ha-ha.

The tea is very sweet; it has a nice refreshing orange taste and the cinnamon isn’t too overpowering. I’ve had tea blends that had spices and orange flavors within the tea, but weren’t mixed well—the spices had a tendency to overpower the tea, or not have much bite. However, this tea has an even ratio of spice and orange. I like the way the orange and black tea notes are the first flavors that hit the palette, and then the spice kicks in at the back of the throat. It’s definitely a good tea to drink on a cold rainy day; or even when you’re under the weather.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I’m usually skeptical about bagged teas. Zhena’s teas are usually fairly decent, though. So I can make an exception to try them. My wife purchased these for $4 at a second hand retail store, and thought I’d might like something different. She knows that I’m usually pretty content with Zhena’s brand, so she needn’t worry about me denying her purchase. Ha-ha.

Anyway, the tea is pretty minty. I just got a cold, so it was soothing on the back of the throat, and it gave me a chance to breathe a little. My students are all getting over or starting to get colds, so there’s plenty of germs floating about, and are now making me sick. I suppose I should look into drinking more Green and White teas. And I figured I’d start with this one today.

Flavors: Mint

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Daylon R Thomas

The Ambrosia Plum is actually not a bad White and Green blend either. That is if the bags are fresh.


It is quite good when fresh!

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My wife wanted a fruity tea for Christmas, so I purchased a 4 oz. tin of this for her to try. I’m just now having a cup for myself, since she rarely discloses any information about the tea (I think it’s her way of telling me to try it myself. Ha-ha).

It’s good. I like the idea of a blueberry tea, but it’s a rare occasion that I find one that I can drink consistently. This is good, but there’s something about it that doesn’t have me reaching for another cup. My wife loves it. My friends love it. I’m just not too big into fruity teas lately. My pallet is becoming a tea purist—some may call it pretension.

Anyway, I think I could drink this as an iced tea, but as a hot tea, not so much. As I said, it’s good, but I’d prefer sipping on a cup of something different and less fruity.
The flavor of the tea reminds me of a Dragonwell, with an aftertaste of blueberry. However, the blueberry is slightly lingering in the mouth. Smelling the dry leaf, you’d expect there to be more than I’m tasting; it’s more of an afterthought than the leading flavor. Perhaps if I added a tiny bit of sugar, that blueberry would come out stronger.

I’ll try it iced when the days get warmer and review it again then.

Flavors: Artificial, Blueberry, Grapes


I tried a bit of sweetener and didn’t have any luck enhancing the blueberry flavor. Glad I am not the only one that has doubts about this one. It smells so good, you just expect more from it.

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Quick Review: I had the first two sessions in a teapot. I had the first session without any distractions. This tea is so perplexed (the aroma, flavor, etc.), that I felt that I truly needed to study the tea intently.

The dry leaf aroma: Cacao, nuts (pistachios?), and wheat/grain/bread.

The wet leaf aroma: Italian Bread(?)

Flavor Profile: Imagine, if you will, fresh bread with a touch of chocolate (literally a smidgen). The mouth-feel on this is nice. It “blossoms” throughout the mouth and throat.


It’s Girl Scout Cookies time, and while working on the second session, I chewed on a Tag-A-Long (peanut butter & chocolate, yes please!); which worked nicely with this tea.

However, I ran out of time to sit and contemplate this third cup, eat cookies, and really enjoy this sample. I plan on buying more to enjoy over and over again. Now I have to run…..Maybe my students will notice that whatever magical brew is in my cup, is the key to my sanity today! Ha-ha.

Flavors: Bread, Cacao, Grain, Nuts, Wheat

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

the only two black teas i like are “rose dian hong” by teavivre and “lapsang souchong” by upton tea imports


“Lapsang Souchong” is splendid. However, I’ve never had the “Rose Dian Hong.” I’m guessing it’s pretty floral? How’s the black tea notes? Earthy? Smokey?

I’d suggest this one to anyone. It’s different than a lot of black teas I’ve had. This has been a great sampler thus far: http://verdanttea.com/teas/5-for-5-tea-samples/

There are a lot of new teas that I haven’t had before, but that makes this more worthy to try. If you’re open to different teas (even black teas), I’d say give it a go. You might find that you like something other than these two (although Lapsang is great tea!).


thanks for the 5 for 5 thing but ill pass :) yeah here is link for the dianhong: http://www.teavivre.com/rose-black-tea/


I added it to my list. Thanks!

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I’m a big fan of Jasmine and Earl Grey tea. These two combined made me question on whether they’d pair well together. The overall smell of the tea reminds me of a Jasmine perfume, so I was little skeptical at first.

Fortunately, this tea is delicious. The aroma seems a bit much at first, but the overall flavor is delicate and nice. It’s a sweet Jasmine/bergamot tea, that stays on the tongue a while after sipping down the tea. I brewed this tea at 160 F and steeped it for 25 seconds. I’ve noticed that if you brew the water any higher or steep the tea any longer than that, it becomes very astringent and intolerable. However, it’s a great tea once you learn the methods of brewing the water/figuring out the proper steeping time.

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine, Perfume

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Daylon R Thomas

Teabox had a green one that looked interesting. I hesitated though because I have no idea if the bergamot would overpower the jasmine.


With this tea, the Jasmine is overpowering, but the bergamot plays with the aftertaste. I like how they go hand-in-hand that way.


It’s definitely an unusual tea that works, though.

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After my Sencha note the other day, I received a package from Verdant Tea, with this Green tea inside. I purchased the 5 for $5 sampler pack to try some of their teas, and so far, this is starting out to be a good deal!

Anyway, this tea is pretty solid. It’s smooth, vegetal, slightly buttery, and grassy. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m not one to drink Green teas often, so these are mostly common acquisitions that I make while drinking Green tea. However, I’d love to explore Greens more often, and get a feel for them, as I have other teas.

I could drink this type of tea daily if given a chance. I find it refreshing, soothing, and comforting; which is a pleasant tea to acquire when you work with children! Ha-ha.

I brewed this Western Style (an Adagio tea maker). I gave it a quick rinse before giving it a go. I steeped the first round for 15 seconds, the second for 20 seconds, and I’m currently on the third steep (25 seconds). There is a lot of flavor still present with this, so I’m expected to get 5-6 steeps out of this sample altogether.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Seaweed, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C

This is a green from North China’s Shandong province. Ive had Shandong greens before and quite enjoy their nutty notes. If you liked this one I highly recommend you try Yunnan Sourcing’s green teas. All very fresh, unique, and tasty.


I’ll have to give them a try! I just recently stocked up on tea for a while, but I’ll consider stocking up on Green tea from YS. I enjoy their teas quite a bit.


Yeah, Quality wise, it really is like going to the tea markets in China—vast variety, fresh, and almost always a bargain.


Very nice! I might have to give it a try sooner…

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Mostly drinking sheng/shou puerh. Gongfu daily; western brew at work.

More to see at the IG account: Madhatterteadrunk

Drinking down a lot of my teas in 2020. I may not observe these sessions as much as I’d like, but I’ll note them, when the mood strikes.


Northeast Ohio

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