323 Tasting Notes


Received this from Invader Zim today! Thanks!

I was really intrigued by the idea of an aged white, and I’ve been contemplating ordering some of this for ages. But fortunately, she said it wasn’t quite to her taste and offered to send me some!

Steeping in a tasting cup, with water that started around 185 and has since cooled (though by how much I can’t say). Steep times follow Verdant’s parameters – 20s, 15s, 25s.

First steep – 20s: crisp and cool and light. My mum saw me, and said “You’re drinking hot tea? You’re crazy.”

Second steep: – 15s – Sweet. I begin to taste a bit of the “age” on it – it’s not heavy like a pu’erh would be, but it doesn’t taste fresh. It’s not stale, it just doesn’t taste new.

Third steep – 25s: I’m beginning to get some of the semolina or wheat notes that Verdant mentions. It’s surprising to get this out of a white, as I’d normally expect it from a black, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s a very dry steep.

Fourth steep – 25s: Smooth, buttery. Verdant mentions honeysuckle, and it does remind me of the flowers (back before our bush got mown over…)

Fifth steep – 25s: The flavor itself is mellow, and we’ve gone back to the heavy dryness of of the third.

I really like this tea. It’s seductive. I look forward to the rest of the (generously large) sample Invader Zim sent me, and I can definitely see this as being a staple in my cupboard!

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I’ve been wanting to try this, I think this has convinced me to put in my first order from Verdant (when I have funds. :( ).


It’s fantastic. Definitely recommend.

Invader Zim

I’m glad you like it. It tasted too much like a black tea for me to enjoy.


(Not sure if I should be angry with you… I’m seriously considering shelling out for a whole cake of this. But I suppose I’m really happy you didn’t enjoy it? haha) :)


Dearie me that sounds delightful. Anyone want to smuggle some into Australia for me? It can wait until January when its a bit warmer here if you like… ;)


I have your address, yes? :)


I was kinda joking but ok! I’ll let you know!

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Thanks to Teavivre for this free sample!

Rainy day tea! We took the dog to the park and he loved diving in the water and barking at rocks. Why he can’t chase sticks or toys like a normal pup, we’ll never know. And then it started to rain so we packed up and came home.

This is lovely and smoky but somehow clear at the same time – like drinking a summer’s night where the smoke isn’t being blown into your eyes!

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Mmh, calming tea. Stayed up till 3 am because The Boy was online… bad decisions. I feel like a middle schooler whenever I talk to him… maybe because it’s been that long since I’ve actually liked someone this much! And even though I got a decent amount of sleep, I still had to be at work at 11. And had to be extra-peppy because I was training a new girl, and so of course I can’t just put the cheerful persona away when I’m in between customers – I’ve got to talk to her too. She’s lovely, though, and I like her a lot. It’s just exhausting.

And I came home and locked myself in my room and haven’t really eaten anything outside of tea, a bagel, and some cucumber slices all day.

But this is lovely. Soft, a little bit floral, a little bit lemony. See previous notes for more info.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Hesper June

I hope its not too weird that I just got All Big Sistery in my head and squealed “the boy!?” As well as simultaneously wanting to tell you to “Go eat real food,Now!”. :-)
The tea sounds yummy too.


Hehes :)
It’s so weird to be on the receiving end… because I’m usually the Big Sister to my little sister & all of my friends! But I can’t say I mind :)

Hesper June

Lol! Good:-) I think I speak for all us Steepsterites when I say that we are happy for you!

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drank Caramelized Pear by Art of Tea
323 tasting notes

Ooh, I love this. The scent of the tisane in the bag is beautiful – like a ripe brown Bartlett pear. I really don’t eat many pears because I can’t stand being messy, and they drip a lot. But we grow them at the apple orchard where I used to work, and they always were fabulous there, right off the tree.

Okay. Boiling water, poured into my TARDIS tea mug (For you DW fans: I realized a bit late that I was drinking pear-flavored tea in the TARDIS. SORRY TEN!) (For you non-DW fans… don’t judge me!) and steeped for approximately, 5-7 minutes? I forgot about it, and stopped steeping when I could smell it from across the room. On the plus side, the little infuser included in the Steepster Select box fits PERFECTLY across the square shape of the mug, which is good, because most mugs aren’t square!

Drinking this, it tastes exactly as it smells. I really love it. There’s just the right hint of caramel to pear to rooibos. The pear comes first, and the rooibos and caramel flavors are intermingled. When it was boiling hot, all I could taste was faint hints of rooibos, but as it cools the sweetness really comes out. This is fantastic. So glad for it to have been included

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

Only banana oolong and daiquiris from now on Michelle!


I’m still only 18… no daquiris for me! :)


Well then, come visit (me, or the Doctor in Cardiff) and you can have one! ;)


Sounds good :)


“I just snogged Madame de Pompador!” Ah, love that ep!

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
323 tasting notes

Spoilers for Steepster Select’s final box… I probably shouldn’t post this yet, but I’m excited.

This is the first SS box I’ve gotten. I was about to brew a cup of Teavivre’s Fengquing Black Dragon Pearls (quickly becoming my favorite black) when the mailman showed up. Okay, I’ll see what’s in the box. I’ve never tried a Verdant tea before, but I’ve been dying to.

So I saw this and immediately decided to brew up a mug. The dry leaves are really soft and smooth, and almost remind me of plastic. And they have a strong, unique scent – sort of like dark chocolate, malt balls and whole wheat bread. It’s enticing.

Steeped, it’s a deep chocolate brown. I’m liking this already. My sister, who’s sitting across the living room, just asked me “Are you making brownies?” No, Jenny, it’s my tea. “Oh. Is it brownie tea?”

First sip: dry astringency and wheat. It’s still a bit hot, so it wasn’t a proper sip. Trying it again: dark, bitter chocolate with wheat in the background. I think I steeped it a bit too strongly, but that’s totally okay. This tea is somehow dry and smooth all at once. Delicious.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

oooh, I think mine is coming today. :)


If you have a ginger cookie, don’t sweeten the tea and eat the cookie alongside and wow, the blend in the mouth is really good.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Haha I am drinking mine right now. So delicious :)


what is steepster selectÉ


It was for the past year Steepster’s Tea of the Month club. This was its last package in its current incarnation. I believe they are reworking it to be slightly different, and it will hopefully be back soon!

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
323 tasting notes

Paradise Found (David’s) and Strawberry Lemonade (Teavana)

I’m a bit frustrated at myself for ordering David’s just to take advantage of the free Paradise Found, and then not liking it. I mean, I suppose I couldn’t have known, but it’s still disappointing. In all my sample-sharing, I found just a little bit of Strawberry Lemonade left over from last semester in the back of my stash, and figured it couldn’t hurt to try it.

Steeped 3 min, 1tsp PF, 2tsp SL, 1tsp rock sugar – 16oz.

Blech. I preemptively added rock sugar and reminded myself why I don’t do that… too sweet. Also, too much SL. It was drinkable, but cloying and tasted sort of like Kool-Aid.


On the plus side, a friend I’ve been trying to make plans with for months years now said “I intend to see you soon,” so maybe we’ll finally get to see each other? Living 200 miles apart has its downsides. But super excited to finally see him again!

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Spiced Apple Chai by Adagio Teas
323 tasting notes

It’s raining out (pouring, actually – all our chickens are huddled on the ground under the hutch. Why they don’t go up into their nesting box is a mystery to me, but who can fathom the mind of a hen?) and I’m really in the mood for a tea latte. I started to make another cup of a green, and then though “No, I need something a bit more substantial.”

So here goes.

The last time I had this tea, it was the very end of school. Our classes were done, as were most of our finals, and we were basically just hanging out in the common room, waiting for our parents to come pick us up, saying goodbye to other girls on our floor. I remember sitting at one of the side tables and playing a VERY enthusiastic came of Candy Land (a bit too enthusiastic for the 24/7 quiet hours we were supposed to be observing) and not liking this tea much. It was too spicy, too bitter, not sweet enough. I converted it into a latte, and liked it a bit more, but not totally.

This time, I just started with it in latte form. I steeped the chai for five minutes, heated the milk in the microwave (I don’t have a real steamer… yet…) and then frothed it with my little Ikea stick frother. I forgot the sugar in the tea, though, and I can taste its absence. I added a bit of honey afterwards, but I really just want a teaspoon of German rock sugar here.

It’s very spicy. So much so that I won’t be ordering it again. I taste a little bit of apple, but it’s mostly ginger and cinnamon and slightly bitter black tea. I’m not a chai fanatic, but this one was just okay.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

I’d love to give this review two hearts and two likes simply for the references to chickens and Candy Land! (Memories from when my son was much, much younger.)


Haha, I’m sure that a bunch of rowdy college kids playing Candy Land is a lot different from kids, but thanks :D

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Home from work two hours early – my calender said 3; the wall chart at work said 1. I’m certainly not going to argue! So now it’s tea time.

I received this in a swap from Rachel about a month ago, and I’m not sure if I’ve tried it yet or just failed to log it.

The leaves are fuzzy, green and grey and twisted into long, thing shapes. They smell of grass and moss.

It brews up a surprisingly dark color – it’s not what I would describe as green or gold. It’s almost a pale bronze color, a light golden brown.

I’m being a little put-off by the color/flavour – it tastes very grassy, but it looks like a black. It’s easier to reconcile the flavor profile if I close my eyes and don’t look at the tea. There’s a little bit of dry astringency, some asparagus and spinach notes.

Not a tea I’d purchase, but thanks to Rachel for letting me try it!

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Dragonwell by Teavana
323 tasting notes

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

This is the only Teavana that’s become a staple in my cupboard (and, indeed, I think the only tea I’ve ever purchased time and again).

Smooth, buttery, sweet, nutty, just a hint of grass – the list goes on and on. Beautiful. I love this tea!

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Thanks to Epi Tea for the pre-release sample of this!

Starting off, this was the tea I was least excited to try. I don’t really like adding milk to teas – it’s a bit too heavy for me – but I’m also a wimp when it comes to spice.

I’m surprised at how much I like this. The immediate fragrance from this is apple cinnamon – it’s Christamsy, somehow. Cinnamon, ginger – like cookies.

I taste the black base primarily. The spice is almost an aftertaste. I like the whole peppercorns – adds a bit of kick. It’s smooth in a way I wouldn’t have expected.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Michelle, 24. Freelance writer, Indiana.

A little bit lost in life.


Evansville, IN, United States

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