drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
140 tasting notes

My first shipment from Verdant Tea! I ordered this (autumn pick), the Yanxin Reserve ‘04 Shu nuggets, and the Autumn Tieguanyin. As I’m waiting for the water to boil, I’m clearing out a new section in my comfort drawer (filled with teas, chocolates, and coffees) for somewhere to put these new teas.

The dry leaf aroma really, really reminds me of hot chocolate. After steeping, the tea has more of a toasty/woods-y(? I don’t know where that thought came from, but it reminded me of walking in the woods on my high school campus just as spring was beginning to dry out into summer), malty aroma. I also want to say that I can sort of detect a hint of something cinnamon-y, but not as strong. I don’t know if it’s my mind playing tricks on me, though.

On first sip… tastebuds stunned, mind blown. Be back later.


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I have far too many interests. Tea is one of them.

Background in bioethics, medical anthropology, and evolutionary biology with aspirations of eventually going into a medical field. I also have strong interests in theater, computer science, and food (which shouldn’t be particularly surprising).

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

The final iteration of my rating system before I stopped (note: I never did get around to re-calibrating most of my older notes):
99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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