This tea has 315 tasting notes! Wow. That’s hard to compete with. Well, here’s #316!
I have a sample of this thanks to Verdant Tea’s awesome 5 teas for $5 promotion. Woot! What a deal! I’ve only tried Verdant before through swaps, so I’m excited to try fresh tea directly from the distributor. Each packet has enough for two brewing experiences. So, I’m going to make one Western style and one Gongfu style. ;) First up, the Western style brews!
The dry leaves smell pretty good. Hard to describe, but good. I’ve never had Laoshan anything before, so I can’t wait to try this one! I hope it’s as good as Yunnan teas. I’m in love with Yunnan teas. WHOA! The brewed tea aroma smells exactly like salted sunflower seeds!!! That’s crazy!
The first sip is AMAZING! No wonder people are raving about this tea. The initial sip definitely echoed the salty sunflower seeds from the aroma. But that was quickly followed by chocolate notes, and then something sugary, creamy sweet definitely akin to caramel. Yum! What is this magical substance? The very end of the sip leans towards bitterness but doesn’t quite reach it.
I’m interested to see how subsequent steeps turn out. Second infusion was for 3 minutes. This time the aroma is less sunflower seed and more dark Formosan oolong. There’s less bitterness now and more caramel sweetness. This is the first time I’m getting honey notes too. Mmm, how yummy! I’m really enjoying this cup. It’s very different from the first infusion. The end of this cup was just slightly astringent.
On further reflection, that sunflower seed flavor I’m getting could be interpreted as a roasted grain flavor by others. It’s hard to know for sure. On to the third infusion for 4.5 minutes! There’s much less aroma to this cup. Flavors are still going strong in the taste though. There are even less chocolate notes now, replaced fully by caramel and honey. There’s a little more grain flavor and a super silky smooth mouthfeel. This just gets better and better!
My husband just came home, so I gave him the cup to try. He sipped it and said, “Oooooh!” Then sipped it again. :) I don’t really have any idea how to rate this. It’s definitely very special, but it’s not quite as consistently enjoyable to my palate as Yunnans or Tieguanyins from one infusion to the next. The first steep was probably my least favorite. I’m really enjoying this third one though. So, I guess I’ll give this a 92. Thanks to Verdant Tea for offering this great promotion! First tea was a complete success!