307 Tasting Notes

75

OK OK I swear I’m going to stop writing tasting notes on this thing!

So I made it again tonight, and I got sidetracked and wound up steeping it for a few minutes longer than I really should have. Rather than the burnt turkey flavor I was bracing myself for, I got the usual barley-esque flavor… but this time, for a fleeting second on the very first sip, I got the slightest undertone of smooth and buttery. Indeed, this cup is a mite sweeter than I remember from past sippings. “Lingering honeydew melon sweet orchid finish?” I can kinda sorta see it.

Dammit Verdant.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

This tea is worth writing lots about! :-)

TeaKlutz

Apparently it is!

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75

(Two days after the mini Verdant Teas rant)

(creeps out, looks around furtively, and makes some more of this even though she complained about the barley flavor)

(looks around furtively as she drinks it at night because she didn’t feel like white or green tea)

(eats crow)

(seriously considers buying a gaiwan)

(eats more crow)

Dammit.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Lol! We’ve all been there! :-)

Terri HarpLady

I love this post!
One of my early posts here on Steepster starts with, “I need a Gaiwan”, lol. Now I have 4 of them, plus a yixing, a tiny porcelain teapot, & a crazy assortment of other paraphenalia, not to mention all the teapots, cups, & stuff that I had before I joined steepster. My yixing is for wuyi oolongs, including this Shui Jin Gui, which is one of my 3 current favorites. :D

Cavocorax

Hahah. That’s a great post. :D

TeaKlutz

I’m glad people like this post. :P Another part of my wanting to get a gaiwan is that I feel like it would force me to focus on the experience of the tea, especially if I was doing multiple steepings. One of the reasons I drink tea is that it’s one of the only quasi-meditative things I do, and I’d like to enjoy that more fully.

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90
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
306 tasting notes

Sipdown.

Yeah. So after my big Verdant Teas rant last night, I’m actually quite sad that my sample of this is gone. It has turned itself into a wonderfully delicious little cup of tea with just the kind of off-center flavor that’ll make me crave it.

Cryyyyyyyy.

…Dammit.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Cavocorax

Time to start hitting their site and earning points for a gift certificate!

JustJames

you were ranting? i missed it!

TeaKlutz

Oh god, reward points and gift certificates. This really is starting to turn into a slippery slope.

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81

I don’t make sense.

How is it that I am disappointed to the point of mild irritation with teas that taste like grass and barley – scents and flavors which I don’t really mind, yet I find enjoyment in drinking teas that remind me of mushrooms, which I do actively dislike?

This tea is astringent as hell. Even a bit bitter. And that dirt-like, mushroom flavor isn’t a deep mossy bed flavor, it’s right here and right now and HEY! Stop daydreaming and wake up! Coffee substitute tea? Oh, yes. Why do I enjoy it so?

At the end of the day, I think it’s because mushroomy-tasting breakfast teas were some of the first things I tried when I began my giant tea experiment, and for better or worse, I now have that flavor engrained in my mind as “tea.” And I came to this tea expecting a stroooong breakfast tea. It’s kind of in the same category as lapsang souchong – it’s a really strong flavor profile that I know I’ll either enjoy or have fun thinking of ways to describe how goddamn strong it tastes.

And this brings me back to my ever-recurring theme with tea: expectations are everything. I wonder what would happen if I never read a product description before buying a tea again?

Anywho, in conclusion. Irish Breakfast: my go-to for those mornings I cannot drag my ass out of bed – and my head out of my ass – to save my life!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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75

This is actually attempt #2 at this tea, because the first time I was so underwhelmed/distracted that it didn’t really feel fair basing my review upon that reaction.

It is time I finally admitted out loud that I am not the fan of Verdant Teas that everyone else seems to be. By now, I have tried all five of the teas from my $5 sampler. I’m growing accustomed to the Laoshan Black, but as for the rest, they’re all high-quality teas, but none of them are the flavors I want to be drinking when I drink tea. What’s more is that I’m developing hype aversion toward them, very similar to the lump in my heart I’ve had for years that is my feelings toward Firefly. It’s quite possible that I’m just “doing it all wrong,” but I kind of don’t want to give that company the satisfaction of trying it and proving myself wrong. Ah, spiteful closed-mindedness.

This tea. It’s an oolong, so I feel like I should be getting all sorts of complex flavors, swirling over my tastebuds like colors in a kaleidoscope. Well, there’s barley… and there’s barley… and it’s kinda grassy… and the item description says “creamy custard” and “burnt caramel” but there’s still barley… SERIOUSLY! Is something amazingly wrong with my tastebuds? Am I an uncivilzed brute? Did I oversteep the f***er yet again? Where’s the creamy, buttery taste?!?!? Am I crazy?

Not rating this one. My opinion seems to be an outlier. Perhaps it really can’t be appreciated unless you do short steepings in the gongfu. Which I do not own yet. Hmmmm, maybe that’s how I’ll blow my commission check…

TheTeaFairy

Haha! You gave me a good laugh! True that this type of tea will reveal its layers better gungfu style.
Even if you don’t own a Gaiwan, you can still achieve pretty good results using 2 small cups or glasses, a saucer and a strainer. You pack your tea in one cup,(use Verdant’s gungfu parameters) pour water and put the saucer as a cover for few seconds, then transfer the liquid in the other cup using strainer.
It may sound a bit tedious, but it’s rather easy. Then, you might find the «creamy custard», but then again, maybe not :-)

JustJames

i’ve been in that demographic. i hate being the one nay when the tea sounds so grand and i’m just not getting the results.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

I am a Verdant lover, I’ve been in your situation with some other teas on here! And even a couple of the verdant teas, I haven’t loved as much as the majority of people. Just part of having different tastes!

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80

I have not got my s*** together on the tea front tonight! First I heated the water, then let it sit for forever and ever and ever to cool while I whipped up an Excel spreadsheet for work, then dinked around on OK Cupid. Then I remembered that I had tea to brew, so I brewed it, then sat back down to OK Cupid, fully intending to get up in two minutes. Half an hour later, I remembered that I had just steeped a white tea for about ten to fifteen times longer than it was supposed to steep. Whoops.

I’m not going to rate this tea. It seems to be held in quite high regard. I overdid jasmine in my introduction to tea. I used to love it, and then I made myself get to the point where smelling jasmine gives me the vaguest hint of a headache, that kind you get when you’re really sick of eating something. At least it doesn’t taste like burnt turkey! This is the second time I have WAY oversteeped a white tea and it tastes fine. Is it because I let it cool too long? What’s going on?

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84

Backlog. This was the second of three teas I ordered, because I’d heard different versions of it compared to black dragon pearl, which of course is my FAVORITE.

I’ll have to retry it more carefully and not on the way to work to be sure, but it doesn’t remind me so much of black dragon pearl because I didn’t get the cocoa/raisin undertones. I did, however, get a pleasant sweetness, with a bit of astringency that reminded me of a Western tea. Will probably become a standard.

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81

Backlog from yesterday. This is one of the three new black teas I ordered to try, since I’d heard a lot about this one and figured I wouldn’t be a good tea addict unless I tried it. Damn good thing I picked this one, because what was supposed to be a 7.5 hour day at work turned into a 12 hour day! Complete with unexpectedly having to train one of our new part-timers, AND forgetting my phone on the way home and having to turn back around and get it!

The first time I tasted it, it gave me the impression that I’d oversteeped it. Not a pleasant taste at all. But the more I drank it, the more it just reminded me of a stronger, mushroomier version of English Breakfast. Then again, I was drinking it on the fly in a cup that tasted like dishwasher detergent. I’ll have to give this one another go before I rate it.

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91

I don’t know what I did, but this one’s on the vegetal side this morning. O.o Perhaps I understeeped it?

… Put the strainer in for another minute. There’s the smoke.

I can’t say enough times how well-made and tastefully done (HA, pun) this tea is. Just perfect.

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Bio

Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m 25 years old and I work at a music store and play various instruments. Besides tea, I love bicycling, writing, teaching myself French, watching things from everyone else’s childhood, ASMR, Star Trek, cats, and awful puns. I’m an INFJ and a Libra too, for all it’s worth.

Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.

Location

One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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