514 Tasting Notes
The dry leaf aroma is mostly berries. Catching a whiff of the brewed tea aroma, I was immediately hit by jasmine. But this isn’t a jasmine tea. Odd. I kept sniffing and slowly the aroma transformed into something floral and gritty, tugging at the edge of my memory. Honeysuckle? I think the floral aroma is honeysuckle.
First sip…the immediate taste is rose and rock sugar…then it ebbs into that grittiness from the aroma. I’m guessing that’s the cedar note. Then slowly it transforms again into a lovely floral aftertaste very reminiscent of honeysuckle. The goji berry melds with the floral notes so that I can’t quite separate its distinct flavor.
I should add that what I describe as “gritty” is really my way of trying to describe a flavor, not a texture, that I haven’t come across before and therefore lack the vocabulary to portray properly. This tea is very smooth.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this tea! It has a nice progression of flavors that I haven’t encountered often. I believe that’s a characteristic of the pu’er coming through. I don’t have too much experience with pu’er, but it’s the only tea variety I have tried that morphs in your mouth like this.
It’s a naturally sweet blend and much more yummy and drinkable than I had anticipated. Too bad this one is all gone now too. Alas, my Verdant tea blend samples are all drunk. But there’s still the straight ones to sample!
The dry leaf aroma is intoxicating! It smells predominately of Yunnan Black and Bai Mu Dan. The brewed tea aroma is mostly Yunnan Black.
Wow! The taste of this tea is incredibly unique and familiar all at the same time. I can taste the Yunnan and the Laoshan, the Bai Mu Dan, and a hint of Shui Jin Gui Wuyi. How can this tea be so amazingly complex and yet distinctively each tea in the blend? All I want to do is buy more of this tea!!! But it’s currently out of stock. :( I guess that’s God telling me to stop buying new teas.
Second infusion for 2 minutes yielded a very different cup but still a very tasty one. It’s softer, more balanced, and more cohesive now. I then cold brewed the next cup overnight. This blend makes for a yummy cold brew even on the third infusion! I really like this tea, and I’m sad it’s gone. But I’m very happy I decided to buy a sample and had the opportunity to enjoy many delicious cups!
The dry leaf aroma is citrus spice all right. The brewed tea aroma is heavenly and enticing! I haven’t tried Zhu Rong straight yet, so it’s a little difficult for me to distinguish the flavorings from the base. It’s one great melding of flavors to me. The coriander in this is an interesting twist. It’s spicy and noticeable and yet very well blended into the mix of flavors. I really love this!
The first cup disappeared in record time, so I immediately made a second infusion for 5 minutes. While it was steeping, I Googled coriander seeds. It turns out that they’re the same thing as cilantro! Who knew?! I absolutely detest cilantro, but I like coriander. Strange, right? Am I the only one who finds that weird?
Anyway, the second cup is still tasty. This is a very nice, intriguing blend. The only thing I’m missing is the vanilla. If it’s in here, it’s very light. I prefer vanilla teas to be in-my-face strongly vanilla. This is heavier on the citrus and spice and reminds me of a nice calming herbal blend. It is quite a relaxing cuppa.
I steeped a third cup for 8 minutes; it was less spice and more citrusy tea. I suppose that’s to be expected. That first cup was magic though, and now I’m wishing I had a lot more! I MUST resist the urge to pick up more. Why do Verdant teas have to be so darn good? *Sigh. Someday.
I always start my morning off with chai. Why not Laoshan Village Chai? :)
I decided to use the whole 7g sample in one cup. I may come to regret that, but it’s too late now! The dry leaf aroma is an aromatic blend of spices. The brewed tea aroma is spicy with a woodsy element from the Laoshan Black.
First sip…mmmm! What a beautiful tea! The chai spices are very nicely blended, and the Laoshan Black comes through strong with its chocolaty malty goodness. Ohhhh yeaaahhhh!!! This is a fantastic tea! I’m very pleased with it and find it much more enjoyable than plain Laoshan Black. If I didn’t already have so much tea, I would definitely take advantage of the current 25% sale on all Verdant tea blends.
I’m not exactly sure which year this tea was harvested. The sample package just said “autumn.” But since it’s fairly late into 2013, I figured this must be from 2012. The dry leaf aroma is floral green oolong at its finest! The brewed tea aroma is more subdued since I did a quick one minute infusion.
The first sip was like an explosion of flavor in my mouth! At first, it was super sweet and creamy. Then it morphed into a floral, silky, green oolong. Finally, the aftertaste had a metallic tang to it. This is mouthwateringly good! Mmmm! I can tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy this sample.
The leaves completely unfurled during the second infusion for two minutes. The flavor has changed slightly, but it’s difficult to describe how. I suppose it’s a little less metallic and a little more floral. In any event, it is still super yummy! I did a third infusion for three minutes and a fourth for five. Mmm mm! I could drink this every day!
O-M-G!!! WHAT IS THIS??!
IT IS MAGICAL!
IT IS AMAZING!
IT IS THE BEST ICED TEA I HAVE EVER EVER HAD!!!!
Man, and I thought the other SBT iced teas were amazingly delicious. How could tea ever be improved upon again? Well, Frank did it. This is perfection! Frank has made THE BEST iced tea IN THE UNIVERSE! I can’t even describe what it tastes like. It tastes like Heaven. It’s naturally sweet without being sugary (unless you add sugar, of course). It’s slightly lemon-y…and a whole lot of delicious! Ahh, sooo good! :D
Guys…I think I may have a problem.
See, it all started with this tea. Frank just HAD to blend another cotton candy tea. Don’t you know I’m broke, Frank? But I allowed myself this one little bag because I know it’s going to be awesome. Well, that’s how it starts right? Next thing I know, I’m buying two more packages of this one, three of the SBT iced teas, Turtle Cheesecake Black Tea, and the S’mores Chai re-blend. What have I done??! Oh jeez. I just can’t help myself!! Do they have a Teaophile Anonymous? ‘Cause I think I need to go.
Why did this tea have to be so good??? My initial reaction upon sniffing the dry leaf was, “Hmm, this is a weird chicken.” The dry leaf aroma is weird. The brewed tea aroma is weird. The taste? A little weird. LOL! The aftertaste is sweet, melt-in-your-mouth, spun sugar! But while the tea is on the tongue, it’s mostly white tea with some added component I can’t quite describe. The aftertaste is perfect cotton candy though.
The second steep for 3 minutes was really tasty too. The cornflower is more apparent, while the cotton candy flavor is softer. And the white base is simply beautiful! This is heaven in a cup. No bitterness or astringency at all! I probably do like the black base better, but not by much. Let’s face it, Frank could add cotton candy to just about anything and I’d drink it.
I also find that I can drink this tea like water. It goes down super smooth, and I can imagine this being divine iced. I’m really sad each pouch has only an ounce. It seems like very little tea. (Thus, the spontaneous shopping spree on the 52teas website to buy a couple more bags). Y’all better hurry up and purchase this before there’s none left! And at the rate I’m shopping…that’s very little time indeed.
A friend of mine broke her foot, so I sent her a care package of teas. I also received a swap package from Sil last week. So, what does that mean for my cupboard? Well, the exchange would have evened out…until I decided to buy the DAVIDsTEA fall collection sampler, 52teas’ new Cotton Candy White Tea, and then found a couple undocumented samples in my cupboard. *Sigh
I’m going to pick up where I left off with my sipdown number because I think I’ll probably sipdown quite a few teas without writing notes about them. Sometimes, you just don’t have anything new to say about a tea, and I’d rather not have my sipdown extravaganza be the sole reason for logging a tea.
ON TO THE TEA!
This is a sample I’ve had since our mini-moon trip to NYC. Sadly, I think I used too hot water on it. I mean, it said to use really really hot water. But it’s a green and white tea blend. I should have followed my instincts. Oh well, I have plenty left to experiment with.
I added a bit of sweetener to combat the bitterness. I like it a lot better this way. It’s definitely an apple tea. It’s nice to see that fruit come across strongly as it often doesn’t, even in blends where that’s supposed to be the primary flavor.
This tea is slightly sweet, slightly bitter, slightly floral, and mostly fruity. It’s not a bad combination, just different from what I was expecting. The second infusion for 4.5 minutes has no bitterness at all and is still quite tasty.
I’m researching the London part of our upcoming honeymoon. There are so many options for day trips from London! It’s really hard to choose. We have it narrowed down to include at least Bath and Stonehenge. Now we have to decide between adding Windsor (with Lacock optional), Salisbury, or a mystery UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I’m leaning toward the mystery. I normally don’t like not knowing when it’s about something as important as a trip abroad. But the company who offers that tour is rated very highly, and everyone says you’ll definitely enjoy the mystery site. So, I don’t think I’m really taking a risk. I really want to see Windsor, but I also want to give it the amount of time it deserves. Most people agree you can spend half a day to an entire day there. So, I think I’ll save that one for our next trip to England.
ON TO THE TEA!
This was a free sample with my online DAVIDsTEA purchase from a while back. I really dislike banana-flavored things. So, I’m confident that this will not be a winner for me. The dry leaf aroma was nice and fruity with coconut and banana being the most recognizable scents. The brewed tea aroma was, again, mostly coconut. The tea was very oily and scummy. It looked a lot like chicken broth.
Hmm, the banana is fairly light in this. Mostly, I can taste almond, apple, coconut, and then a hint of banana. Phew! I don’t know how I managed to avoid banana in a banana-flavored tea, but I did! I suppose that should be a negative thing since this tea is called Copa_banana_ and people buying it are likely looking for a prominent banana taste. But for me, this worked out nicely in my favor.
I should note that the more I drink it, the more I get that scratchy feeling at the back of my throat that I sometimes get with DAVIDsTEA blends containing Stevia or artificial flavoring. Nevertheless, I quite like this cup, especially after the abominable Coffee Chai. Who knew this would be drinkable?!