594 Tasting Notes
I’ve been very very bad. I recently bought my first gaiwan from Verdant Tea! It’s a beautiful, bone china, Jingdezhen, hand-painted, mountain gaiwan with matching teacup. It’s so so beautiful! It arrived today and I could barely contain my excitement! I immediately washed it and tried it out with this tea. I love it so much, and I was so impressed by the quality, that I went back onto the Verdant site and bought three more teacups, a bamboo tea scoop, and 1 oz. of Golden Fleece. AAHHHH!!!! What have I done?! I cannot, should not be buying all this teaware! I’ve been a very very bad girl. Shhh, don’t tell my husband. It’ll be our little secret. ;)
ON TO THE TEA!
Ah, on to this tea indeed. This tea is incredible! I honestly can’t do it justice with a review. I feel like my tea tasting and describing abilities are lacking for such a high quality tea. So I shall defer to the notes that Verdant Tea uses to describe it: silk, watercress, green bean, violet, and cashew. Wow! Silk and watercress indeed! This tea is silky smooth and delightful!
The first few infusions are incredibly flavorful. This being my first gongfu experience, I didn’t throw away the first infusion. I steeped the leaves for 30 seconds, which was honestly probably too long – or at least it’s too long when you don’t toss the first steeping after 10 seconds. This first infusion was a tad bitter. The second infusion though was spot on! The bitterness had faded and left behind a punch of watercress flavor. I rushed over to my husband and gave him the cup because I know he loves green tea more than me. He was blown away too.
Subsequent infusions (I lost count how many) were still delicious but didn’t possess quite the same broad spectrum of flavor. The violet and cashew are definitely only apparent in the early infusions. The late infusions were gentler and had mainly green bean notes. Still good to me but my husband said he definitely liked the early infusions more. He actually asked me if it was a different tea! He’s not quite as experienced – read obsessed – a tea drinker as I am, so he didn’t know that I was brewing multiple infusions of the same tea.
Ah, this tea is a luxury. It just oozes sophistication and class. I don’t usually like dragonwell but I think I may have to change that opinion because this is truly something special. How did I ever dislike green tea?
Now if only that bamboo presentation scoop wasn’t so darn expensive, I would have bought that too. I also looked into getting one of the tea pitchers, but I was able to successfully restrain myself. Gah! Why does Verdant have to offer so many beautiful teaware pieces? I want it all!! And after this gaiwan experience, now I see why I need a pitcher. The Chinese tea preparation method is messy! I got water everywhere! Besides that though, gongfu method brewing was much easier than I thought it would be. I have a new found love!
I truly enjoyed this gongfu experience so much more than my regular Western method of brewing tea, which surprised me. It honestly is so much more fun! I felt bad throwing away the used tea leaves in the trash. It felt wrong. Goodbye, beautiful tea leaves! I enjoyed all your delicious flavor and now you have no flavor left!
This was a treat. I am so thankful to Verdant for offering this tea, and I am so thankful to God for bringing me to this point in my life where I can afford and enjoy such experiences.
This is much more to my liking. It has a nice sweet, strawberry flavor. The vanilla in this one is much smoother and less bitter than what’s in Je t’Aime. It’s not my favorite blend but I’ve enjoyed this cup. I always love trying new teas! A belated thank you to JustJames for sending me a sample!
Thank you to JustJames for sending me this sample! There’s something about the vanilla in this tea that’s off-putting. I can’t put my finger on why. It could be the age. I’ve had this sample sitting in my cupboard for a while. It somehow got shoved to the back and accidentally overlooked. I’m not really a fan of this one. There’s just something about it that doesn’t agree with me. It’s always fun to try new things though even if they don’t turn out to be new favorites.
I picked this up in my local organic market. I’ve had this packet in my cupboard a long time. Yet when I opened it, the powder was bright green. I mixed it up in my milk frother the way I always make matcha. Sadly, it didn’t whisk completely and there were little bits of compacted matcha in my cup. Not a lot of them, but still. There shouldn’t be any, especially from a ceremonial grade matcha. The classic grade matcha I buy from Red Leaf Tea never has clumps when I prepare it the same way.
The flavor is full-bodied and grassy. It’s very different from Red Leaf Tea’s matcha. This one tastes greener and grassier, like a cup of liquid fresh cut grass. It’s more akin to sencha than any other matcha I’ve tasted. Ooh yuck, big clump. Okay, I am not a fan of this one. There are quite a few clumps in here after all. Although the flavor is okay, the consistency is off. I think I’ll stick with Red Leaf Tea for my matcha fix.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass
I thought I had tried this one but the package is unopened. Big thank you to Angel from Teavivre for sending me this free sample! I’ve tried their unflavored milk oolong before and adored it. So I have high hopes for this one.
The dry leaf aroma is mouthwateringly yummy. It smells fresh, green, and delicious. The brewed tea aroma is not as potent, but the leaves are also still mostly furled after a quick one minute infusion. The initial sip is nearly flavorless and then BAM! The flavor hits in the aftertaste! The after aftertaste is a tad yucky though. It’s thick and slightly bitter. Maybe subsequent cups will be better.
The second infusion was for two minutes. The bitterness is gone from the aftertaste now. However, this oolong is fairly one dimensional. It has that “milk” flavor but not a whole lot else. I’m not getting creaminess or floral notes. It does have a slight mineral note; it reminds me of copper. And that’s about it.
Third infusion for 3.5 minutes is pretty good. I think I had enjoyed the unflavored version of this tea more. Of course, part of that could be contributed to this tea’s age. Although I hadn’t opened the foil package yet, this tea has been sitting in my cupboard for over three years. I’m sure that hasn’t helped things. In any event, I’m exhausted. I think I drank about seven different types of tea today. I’m ready to end my tea journey for the evening and go to bed. Sooo tired.
The dry leaf aroma is strongly ginger. The brewed tea aroma is lemon. The flavor is a light mixture of the two on a solid oolong base. I think the oolong lends a slightly scone-like note to the tea. It’s definitely more scone to me than cookie. If I add sweetener, it may shift more towards the latter. But I’m quite enjoying this sans additions.
I have had the stomach flu for the past 48 hours. I finally feel better today. This ginger tea is hitting the spot. There’s something pinching in the back of my mouth though. Not sure what that is but certain ingredients have evoked this reaction in me in the past. Maybe the lemon myrtle? Anyway, this is a solid ginger tea. Re-name it Lemon Ginger Scone Oolong and it’d be a complete success. I’ve got two packages of it if anyone wants to try it!
The dry leaf aroma is a lemon icing dream. The brewed leaf aroma is even better! I wouldn’t think that’d be possible. The flavor is deliciously lemony but missing that sweetness I get in the aroma. I added a little Truvia and there it is! Now this tastes exactly like iced lemon pound cake! YUM! This tea is perfect! There isn’t a single thing about it I don’t love.
And now I’m going to cry because the measly 1 oz I have of it is all that’s left in this world. Why WHY did Butiki Teas have to close??! Excuse me while I go ball my eyes out. wails and sobs Okay, I’m back.
This tea is so delicious and mouth watering. The flavors are masterfully blended to complement each other and the base perfectly. The white tea is a beautiful, high quality, fuzzy silver needle. It tastes like a ray of sunshine beaming into a lemon orchard frosted with fluffs of sweetness. This is pure ecstasy in your mouth. I will shed quite a few tears when my meager stash of it is depleted. That will be a sad, sad day indeed. But today, today is filled with sunshine!
Flavors: Cake, Flowers, Frosting, Lemon
Frank’s black teas are usually best at 2.5 minute infusions. But I think this one could have gone a little longer. It’s pretty calm for a chai. Maybe I didn’t grab enough spices from the pouch. I added some Truvia and now it’s more to my liking. The sweetness brings out a creaminess in the base that is quite yummy. It doesn’t seem to need milk at all. It could use a lot more spice though. This is like the calm, meditative, little sister of Chai tea. It’s similar but different. Much calmer, quieter, and sweeter (or at least sweeter now that I’ve added Truvia).
I went back to my tealog and read my review on 52teas’ other Pumpkin Chai. I seemed to enjoy that one better with a longer infusion, so I’ll definitely try that with this one too. I didn’t find that chai very spicy either and it did have a nice creaminess. I guess this one is pretty similar. In fact, the only difference might be the base. This is made with Pettaiagala Extra Long Leaf OP. The older chai was made with Premium Assam.
Anyway, I do like it; it’s just not what I expected. If I think of this as a creamy, slightly spiced tea, then I really like it a lot. Second infusion for 6 minutes was just as delicious. A yummy treat! I will enjoy my two pouches of this. Although I have to say that 0.5 oz of this one doesn’t go far!
Flavors: Creamy, Spices
This is a lightly flavored tea. I’m getting a nice orange and ginger flavor with almond lingering in the background of the sip. It didn’t strike me as sugary sweet like cookies, so I added some Truvia. Now it’s more like a Christmas cookie! I think imagination here is key. I am getting some buttery cookie aspects along with the warmth and spice that reminds me of Christmastime. The white base is muted here, allowing the flavorings to shine through and take the spotlight.
Mmm, I’m very glad that I bought two packages of this one. I’m really enjoying it a lot! There’s something special about Frank’s white tea blends. They’re always my favorites. I drank this one pretty quick. Time for a resteep! I infused the leaves for about 5 minutes the second go-around. And it’s just as tasty as the first cup! That’s rare for 52teas blends. I think I may grab a few more pouches of this before it’s too late…
Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Ginger, Orange Zest
I made this cup and then didn’t get to drink it because the baby had a meltdown. Now that she’s in bed for the night, I can reheat it and enjoy it. The dry leaf aroma is roses. The brewed tea aroma is the familiar chocolate malt of Chinese black teas. The taste? A perfect combination of the two aromas: roses and chocolate malt. Yum! Now this is my kind of Chinese black tea!
I really like the rose flavoring here. It’s mostly in the front of the aftertaste, which transforms and leaves a lingering cocoa taste. The rose is also very natural and not too potent. Mmm, I really like this tea. As it cools, it gets a little bitter. I definitely should have done a shorter steep. It reheats well though. I think I microwaved this cup two or three times because I kept getting distracted with things and couldn’t finish it all in one sitting. Thanks to Teavivre for the free sample! I will definitely enjoy the rest of this.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Rose