Hand Picked Summer Tieguanyin

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Bonnie
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195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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24 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This is my 400th Review on Steepster!!! First I want to thank Verdant for this sample that came with my last order. I saved it for this 400th review. (You like the red?!) This tea is from the...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is a nice creamy one, with almonds & flowers in the flavor! My guitar player friend came over to rehearse today, for a concert we’re playing next week at Webster University. It will be all...” Read full tasting note
  • “Had a cup of this tonight while I finished up some homework. Again, I am struck by the beauty of the leaves. What started out as 2 small teaspoons of rolled leaves floated to the top of the...” Read full tasting note
  • “I’ve had this for a while but haven’t rated it evidently. I’m not going to rate it now because I had a cup of coffee recently and my tastebuds are askew. What I will say is this seems like a...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

“An incredibly rich, creamy and summery Tieguanyin with Marigold florals and creamy almond aftertaste. . . .”
This is the first time we have been able to secure a summer harvest Tieguanyin from our friends in Anxi. The incredible thing about this tea is that it actually tastes like summer. The mouthfeel is like being enveloped by a warm mist in a sauna or in the forest in the way that the sweetness wraps around the whole tongue. Instead of exotic orchids, the floral elements feel sunny and familiar like marigold, daffodil, or poppies.

The feeling set is a lazy summer afternoon outside. The counterpoint to the warmth is a texture of chilled fresh cream, perhaps to mix in to just-picked berries. There is a velvety sensation paired with vegetal sweetness of french green beans that evokes the feeling and smell of young yellow-green grass that is still smooth and soft.

Just when you think that the early steepings are settling into a beautiful summer day, the tea turns in another direction and ups the complexity with buttery florals of saffron moving towards darker exotic fruit like goji berry or dried lychee. The base texture moves from chilled cream to rice pudding, simmered for hours into a thick sweet dessert. The aftertaste hints at slivered almonds and imported Italian Amaretti cookies covered in pearl sugar. Very late steepings see the development of dark amber incense aftertastes and redwood bark.

About Verdant Tea View company

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24 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

This is my 400th Review on Steepster!!!

First I want to thank Verdant for this sample that came with my last order. I saved it for this 400th review. (You like the red?!)

This tea is from the Fugian County of Anxi.

From the moment I snipped open the foil packet of tea, I knew I was going to be taken along on a fragrant journey. The tea leaves had a strong floral aroma that reminded me of having pancakes with berries and powdered sugar in a garden filled with flowers.

I chose a tasting bowl and cup set so that I could do small infusions. (My goal was to do the whole 18 rounds of Steepings!)

All through the rounds the color of the liquor changed very little. It was a pale yellow-green and faded slightly towards steep 16.
The fragrance of the leaves were very floral with a slight vegital tone in the beginning which began to reverse as the steepings continued. There was always a good floral scent.

So, how did this tea taste?

I’ve been sitting for hours thinking about this tea and the 16 steepings that I poured (all of which I will gladly repeat again).

I want to write about the flavor but the experience was more than a straight up flavor review with a list of steepings.

As I began the first few tastings, (which were the most floral) I was distracted, as is the case most times, by the newness of the tea. I ask myself, “What is this flavor here, is it juicy, creamy or astringent?”
It takes a few rounds before my brain and my mouth catch up to each other and I begin to hear the tea speaking. At that point, I have to step out of the way. The mind chatter has to calm down.

When I became quiet inside, I was able to enjoy the tea more, and remembered a time sitting on the beach in Half Moon Bay just listening to the waves crash on the beach. I always stopped to buy flowers from the growers along Highway 1. That area is known for flowers running all over the hills next to the Pacific Ocean. Star and Asian Lilies, Tulips and Mums. I bought flowers from that area at the Farmers Market every Friday by my job in Foster City.

This tea reminded me of those fragrant oceanside flowers rolled out like a carpet in the warm sunshine but cooled by the mist from the sea.
The same area was a growers haven for green beans and Asian vegetables. So, there it was. The flowers and sweet vegetables swirled together harmoniously like the flavor of the tea.

One more thing I must mention.

There was the most delightful creaminess, which I thought at first was butter because it was so thick. Then I changed my mind and said it was thick fresh cream. (I smacked my lips!)
The feeling isn’t the one you have after eating an ice cream, but the one you have after the first bite of a cooked pudding when it coats your mouth.

The tasting notes on the Verdant website are much more detailed than mine. Worth reading. Mine are simpler today.

I’m feeling a wee bit nostalgic. Eight months have gone by and I’ve made so many friends on Steepster. If you are like me, the little personal messages and encouragements that go on in the comments and behind the reviews are what floats this boat. This is all about tea and more isn’t it!



Way to go Bonnie!!! :) Keep the great review and stories coming!


Happy 400!


Yay for 400!


Happy 400th review! :D


I am impressed! Red and 400 notes! Teach us how – you can’t leave us hangin’ like this!


Congrats Bonnie! Here’s to plenty more!


That is the most interesting tasting note I’ve ever read! Wow! I ordered this tea earlier this week, so I’m super excited now :)


Yay! And yes I agree I’m slowly getting to know the people I follow and I love the little notes and comments that have started. I love reading your reviews!

Daisy Chubb



{color:red} Great!


Oops! LOL! I did something wrong!


Maybe it doesn’t work on iPad?




link to all the directions for all the doo dad’s


The link isn’t working for me and now I’m determined! lol


400! Congrats




let’s try


congrats Bonnie!!! love the red ;)


Congrats on 400!


% then {color:red} then whatever word(’s) you want then % again (you have to have those { things and write out the words color:red or whatever color you want.

Daisy Chubb

Is there olive ?


Congratulations !!!


Congrats Bonnie! Even though I’m new to the hood I too gain something from the comments and PM’s. It’s great feeling connected to all these wonderful people eh.


Congrats! I think peoples’ stories are just as (if not more) interesting than the teas themselves. Here’s to another 400 :)

Hesper June

Happy 400!!!


great way to celebrate 400 reviews






ugh why can’t I get it… lol


take out the last {color:purple} part

Dylan Oxford

this is kind of fun!


yay!!!! way to go!!!


Oh Bonnie, happy 400th!! Thank you for entertaining us, but mostly, thank you for sharing your life experience with stories such as this one….
P.S: what’s going on here?? people are getting sooo crafty!! Having just learned how to insert bold characters, adding colors is quite overwhelming for me, even with instructions!! I won’t even try, sorry guys… as I’m also using an iPad, I look at Ashmanra’s comment and it it doesn’t seem to be such a successful experiment :-)


Bonnie… I tried that, and end up with a neato that wasn’t coloured lol


% then {color:red} then a word then %


congrats on 400!


Hope this works!




bonnie we all love you and your reviews you just keep up the post because i think you are able to describe much better than any of us and you truly give us an honest evaluation of any tea you try! we are all in your debt for your tasting notes and sharing your life experiences with us! i am sure this will receive a bunch of likes,but it is all due to you and your honesty and your love of tea and all of us that you associate and follow on this site. god bless ya girl!!!!


Put a ring on my finger mrmopar…oops yer taken already ;(

You’re a sweetheart Thanks! (Matches your car)


I Tim we can get to 400 comments lol. May there be 400 more notes at least from you Bonnie :)


Ugh Tim = think. Stupid auto correct


Congrats {color:red]Bonnie on the 400!
I always look forward to reading your reviews and getting swept away into a memory with you!


oops Thanks

Charles Thomas Draper

I enjoy your posts! Keep writing




Congrats on 400! I love reading your reviews. :)

Terri HarpLady

Great review, Bonnie! % {color:blue}Congrats on 400}!!

Terri HarpLady

dang… I forgot the last %
%{color:blue} Congrats on 400!} %

Terri HarpLady

oops…now I added an extra }
% {color:blue} Congrats on 400 %

Terri HarpLady

Congrats on 400!

Terri HarpLady

You rock!


You are so funny Terri!

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3294 tasting notes

This is a nice creamy one, with almonds & flowers in the flavor!
My guitar player friend came over to rehearse today, for a concert we’re playing next week at Webster University. It will be all his original compositions, with harp, guitar, bass, strings, & some vocalizations. It’s pretty cool stuff, with influences of Raga style music (he studied with Imrat Khan, famous sitar player from India who teaches in St. Louis), jazz, & other styles.

He is a tea drinker, & the last time he came over I turned him on to one of the Laoshan greens & Ms He’s Dragonwell. He loved them both! So today it was this Tieguanyin, of which I still have enough for one more session! Of course, it was a big hit! How could it not be? He’d never had a green oolong, & was immediately enamored with the floral taste.

Maybe I’ll make him a sampler bag of amazing teas as a gift.


Great idea! I hope he likes it.

Terri HarpLady

Maybe if he likes it enough, I’ll have a tea ordering buddy, right?

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148 tasting notes

Had a cup of this tonight while I finished up some homework. Again, I am struck by the beauty of the leaves. What started out as 2 small teaspoons of rolled leaves floated to the top of the water, and unfurled to fill my steeper with whole, dark green leaves.
The flavor is refreshingly sweet, slightly crisp, very floral, and buttery. This is oolong heaven for me. I’ve pre-ordered an ounce of the autumn tieguanyin from Verdant and I am so excited to try it based on this summer harvest. This is a fantastic oolong.

And as an example of how different two people’s tastes can be, I am including Rayn’s (my partner’s) “review”: he asked for a cup of tea and said he would love whatever I was drinking, so I brewed him up a cup of this oolong as I dreamily sipped away. When he took his first sip, I asked him what he thought. He said “flowers,” and then frowned. I asked, “you don’t like it?” He said, “I feel like I’m going to have allergies any minute now”.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

:D Tony rarely likes any of the teas I enjoy, our tastes are just way different.


Rayn likes green tea and usually likes oolong too, but he turns up his nose at black tea and pu’erh.

Terri HarpLady

LOL, Tony likes earl grey, but not every earl grey! I got him a sample of the Tea Spot Earl Grey, & he didn’t like it because it had lavender in it. He also likes Plum oolong. About the only black tea he will drink is english breakfast. He really didn’t like Laoshan Black (Huh? I couldn’t believe it!). He also likes Twinings Lady Grey, which he refers to as ‘the Lady’. It’s funny, because he used to be a heavy coffee drinker, & has gradually lost interest in coffee, either becoming more sensitive to the caffeine, or just noticing some ill effects. First he narrowed it down to 2 cups of coffee in the morning, & then tea for the rest of the day. Then it was 1 cup of coffee, then tea. Now he just drinks tea. He’ll have a cup or 2 in the morning, & that’s it!

Terri HarpLady

One thing we both DO agree on is Chai! Yum!


Yeah! Rayn liked the Chocolate Phoenix Chai from Verdant so much that he asked me to get 2oz for him, and he’s not a regular tea drinker.

Donna A

My husband and I agree on some teas, but not on others. He thinks Stevia is bitter; I like it. He prefers unsweetened or in the case of iced, lightly sweetened with agave. I prefer everything sweetened. The good thing is usually if I am not fond of a new tea, he likes it, so no money wasted.


Donna A, I have the same thing with my brother-in-law. He really likes herbal/fruit tisanes and flavored teas, so if I don’t like them I can always give the tea to him!

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2816 tasting notes

I’ve had this for a while but haven’t rated it evidently. I’m not going to rate it now because I had a cup of coffee recently and my tastebuds are askew. What I will say is this seems like a vacation in a glass. I’m definitely getting a lovely floral aroma and the creamy taste that coats your mouth. It’s really a treat. I haven’t been buying very many green oolongs this year because it’s difficult for me to finish them off before they go stale. This is lovely and I’m so glad I got some. Cold brew might be coming up too…. I hope to do a really proper tasting soon.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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124 tasting notes

Amazing. And if that one word isn’t enough, I’ve outlined my entire tasting experience with this tea below. Seriously though – Amazing.

The leaves smell incredible. They are so fresh smelling, with some creamy overtones and some sweet hay notes.
For the first steeping I did around 4 seconds (after the initial rinse). The flavors are very smooth. OMG this is lingering on my tongue. This has serious body that comes out in the finish. There is a light jasmine flavor that gives way to a carmel aftertaste. It is the caramel flavor that lingers buttery afterwards. There is a hint of some kind of vegetal sweetness at the back of my throat. And this is the first steeping? Woohoo!
Finally! A really nice tea :) This is so exactly what I have been looking for.
For the second steeping I did another 3-4 seconds.
Wow! The liquor smells absolutely incredible. It is just sweet, buttery, toasty… it literally smells like buttered toast in my cup. But there is that fresh greenish scent on top of that that keeps it from being cloying or overbearing. I’ve been chasing down a tea that is like an oolong I had years ago. This tea is the kind of tea I’ve been looking for. This infusion is even thicker and toastier than the first.
Flavorwise, this is even more buttery with some seriously vegetal notes coming out. They blend together like fiddleheads in butter. Seriously good pairing. There is a slight salt note too under here, I think related to the buttery flavor.
Third infusion: scent – even greener and more buttery. flavor – a little more flowery. the butter flavor toned down and the overall taste got smoother and subtler. This infusion is more like the first than the second. There is an interesting spicy flavor here, an almost earthy pepperiness.
Fourth infusion: I brewed this one for 7 seconds. Scent – more creamy, less buttery. Flavor – more floral, nice creamy aftertaste (literally – I’m tasting cream here!)
Fifth infusion: I increased steeping to around 13 seconds. Scent – a drier toasty scent, slight caramel notes. Flavor – a little fruity, like frozen peaches. Slightly warm woodiness.
Sixth infusion: 20 seconds. Scent – buttery and woody. Flavor – Caramel, woodiness, and cedar notes. Darker, woodier, like a wet forest, toasty and creamy. Salty/sweet aftertaste.
Seventh infusion: 25 seconds. Scent – very lightly floral and sweet. Flavor – It’s funny, I’m really just getting straight up cream this time. No real other notes. Just a nutty creamy taste.
Eighth infusion: 35 seconds (I went by color here). Scent – Yay, the smooth buttery scent is back. Green and buttery, with that brussels sprout with butter kind of note. Taste – the fruit flavors are starting to come out – it’s kind of like popping an entire rambutan in my mouth. There is the sweetness of the fruit flavor mixed with some astringency of the outer shell/rind. Interesting…
Ninth infusion: 52 seconds. Scent – Buttery, vegetal, slightly woodsy. Flavor – I’m getting much woodier flavors at this point. There is a hint of sweetness that comes out at the end – almost salty and sweet at the same time. This is a completely different tea than the first five or so steepings but it is good in its own right. I like the finish of nuts and cream.
Tenth infusion: 1:05 Scent – Buttery and floral this time, like candied violets. Sugary almost. Flavor – Floral, nearly minty, and of course, buttery. The floral taste is really purple and zingy. Violets, I think.
Eleventh infusion: 1:25 Scent – Buttery with walnuts. Taste – Walnuts again. There’s some astringency feeling here that contributes to that. Walnut infused unsalted butter on toast. That’s this steeping. Oddly specific? Yes. Totally accurate? Yes.
Twelfth infusion: 1:50 Scent – Buttery creamy walnuts. Slight slight hint of blossoms.
I’m thinking of the Ezra Pound poem, In a Station of the Metro – “The apparition of these faces in the crowd / Petals on a wet, black bough.”
That would be the scent profile – wet blossoms on dark rain infused wood of a walnut tree with a hint at the creamy nutty flavor of the walnuts themselves. Flavor – Nutty. Walnuts. Bark. It tastes just like it smells. Perfect. Modernist tea. I am totally in “The Burial of the Dead” mode now, picturing the rain pouring down (lit geek note: I am one of the few who will argue that the rain actually comes in The Wasteland. Therefore, for me, my rain association is valid). Back to tea.
Thirteenth infusion: 2:15 Scent – very faint. Again, rather nutty/buttery. Taste – this last steeping just has a nice subtly warmth to it – a nuttiness. This one is less astringent than the last, so it’s still reminding me of rain and trees, but now it’s a much more “garden” like experience. Not so much bark flavor/feel as a smooth sweet taste.

Wow. Really, that’s all I have to say. This tea was incredible. It was the most amazing way to relax after a frankly awful day. My broken finger still isn’t anywhere near healed and I got my pupils fantastically dilated (the doctor said he had never seen anyone’s pupils go like mine did) and got nauseous taking my pain medication on an empty stomach. Woohoo! Awesome day! Anyway, taking the time to sit an experience this tea was just wonderful. I learned that tea can still be fantastic and I’m just extremely picky about the tea I like. It was really disheartening drinking teas that were fine, I couldn’t complain about them, but they weren’t the tea I was looking for. I’m so happy to have found this tea and excited about the other teas that just arrived from Verdant Tea, waiting in the cupboard.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Eek, I missed that you broke your finger! Sorry to hear that.


Wow! I love this tasting note! Rombutan (been so long since I’ve had one of those)..candied violets..nuts and cream.. fiddleheads in butter?! That is so spot on. Thank you also for “The apparition of these faces in the crowd / Petals on a wet, black bough.” I feel like, reading this, we were tasting this tea together, and you took the words right out of my mouth. Very cool!! +following!

Also- sorry about your finger and your pupils. Wishing you a speedy recovery

Autumn Hearth

Seriously wow, beautiful tasting note, I’m going to have to brew this today now. Heal well!


Very nice, taking the time you did with the tea is the best way to do it! Good for you! I can see how you searched and reached for just the right words to express each level of experience with the tea.

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4183 tasting notes

I was craving a nice oolong and I’m pretty sure Verdant has nice oolongs. So thank you to Azzrian for sending this one! I really appreciate it! Just the color of this tea alone reminds me of summer — a lovely green, like the grass buried under all that snow. The smell of the leaves is promising very sweet and vegetal! I steeped for 25 seconds but after a taste, I didn’t think it had enough flavor, so I went for ten more. The taste matches the fragrance! Very sweet, creamy and vegetal… not floral or peachy… yet. I haven’t really mastered how to “rinse” leaves yet, so the leaves might have left the tea with a tiny bit of tanginess because of that. If this isn’t a creamy milk oolong, I bet the milk oolong that Verdant could find would be crazy good.

Second steep // 35 seconds // This cup is less creamy and more fruity and floral. The vegetal flavor is gone. I’ll never stop being amazed at how the flavor of oolongs can change.

Third steep// 45 seconds at boiling // I think this one may have overdone the time/ temp so I would suggest not steeping this long! The flavor was there, I just feel like I ruined it. Many Verdant teas really don’t need that long.

I like this one, but I think I liked the other Verdant oolong that I’ve tried better — Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong, unless I just entirely ruined this one. I think the first steep was the best because it was the creamiest!

0 min, 30 sec

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318 tasting notes

Tiguanyinathon Pt. II

I actually wrote this earlier today, but the weather outside was too gorgeous to pass up! A cold front came through the other day and it really feels great. I Spent a few hours skating and few just sitting on a bench reading a book. :)

Early steeps: The early steepings have a tropical notes of pineapple and coconut, and a floral wisteria flavor that is very light for a Tiguanyin. Blindfolded I would have a hard time guessing if this is a tiguanyin, a Taiwanese oolong, or some combination of the two. It has a velvety smoothness that I’ve only ever tasted in sliver needle.

Later steeps: The changes in this oolong were less defined than some. A clean grassiness, and hints of honey and paprika appeared. The silver needle mouthfeel was replaced by a more milk-like creaminess. While I LOVED the early steeps on this tea, the later ones were good, but not particularly special.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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98 tasting notes

So my note got deleted….. I dont really remember what I said but this is good…. Wish I drank it sooner, like after I got it. I guess thats it, I might post tomorrow when I’m awake.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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189 tasting notes

Appearance: knobby oolong, small curl, faint bicolor
Aroma when Dry: creamy, notes of cucumber,
After water is first poured: light creaminess
At end of first steep: toasty almond
Tea liquor:
At end of first steep: meadow brown-green
Staple? No
Preferred time of day: afternoon, evening
Taste: grassy, burnt almond notes,
At first:
As it cools ? Toasty notes get slighty creamy, hints of apricot surface, tea gets astringent

Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, almond paste without the grit

Second steep (1min 30 seconds)
Tea liquor:
Aroma: grassy sweet (eastern)
Taste: grassy, melon
As it cools: melon notes, less grass, almond starts to fade, gets astringent

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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600 tasting notes

A review of Hand Picked Summer Tieguanyin by Verdant Tea

Date: 11/09/2012
Company: Verdant Tea
Tea Name: Hand Picked Summer Tieguanyin
Tea Type/Varietal: Oolong
Region: China
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ loose leaf
Plucking Season: Summer
Liquor Color: a very pale yellow
Leaf Characteristics:


1st Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 1 minutes, increased to 2, 3 minutes

Note: I take 1 teaspoon of the leaves and put this in my mug and pour the hot water over it and let sit for a few seconds so as to rinse it, after which time I empty the cup of the water and pour some more of the boiled water into my mug yet again; this time leaving it to steep for a minute.

Tea is a lovely light yellow and smells very milky too me. I had to keep inhaling it just to be certain it smelled of milk, kind of creamy buttery even. I remove the tea leaves and take a few sip of the tea; at first it is buttery in taste, slight salty flavor, then one is met with a smooth cream-like finishing when swallowing the tea.

I liked that I used my large tea mug as the leaves did fully burst/plump with multiple steeping.

2nd Steeping:
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 3 minutes

Note: For this next infusion, I pour the water over the tea leaves and cover my mug with saucer and left to steep for a few minutes. The color is same and yes, that milky-ness is still there and this time it is like almond and sweet bean as an after taste…tea is sweet and smooth there is no denying of this and there is something of a summer breeze that one feels; this morning the air was clear and crisp inviting one to go out for an early morning walk but I chose not to. This is perhaps why I selected it for a mid-day treat.

This is one of the better oolong I have had all because of the milky and almond-bean like quality that I am finding. Overall, tea is very light and a textural challenge making for more exploration.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

You are steeping your tea like someone who’s fearless. You don’t have to have a lot of fancy equipment to get a great brew! Proof!

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