11 Tasting Notes

87

I brewed this up perhaps a bit weaker than others might advise – the wet leaves about half filled my yixing pot, or 4.5g leaf to 120ml. However, the resulting tea is just right for me – not overwhelming like I’m used to from pu-erh. The shiny silver coated dried leaves are actually quite gorgeous, and the rinsed scent is sort of mushroomy. There is a slight greenish astringency to it, but I love the sweetness that takes over the sides of my tongue a moment after I’ve sipped it. The actual tea has more of a vague woodsy feeling to it, but not smokey or offensive. Really a nice every day tea, actually – good price, easy to brew, goes a long way and has a lot of flavour profiles hidden away in it.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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90

Well, it’s official. I’m not entirely sure why I keep buying teas from anywhere but Verdant. I’ve been exploring lots of dancong teas lately. I love how distinctly you can pick up perfume or fruit or whatever else in a humble little tea leaf. Some of them, however, practically take off with florals, to the detriment of other flavors.

This particular tea starts off deep, like a warm roasted nut, but balanced out by the “baked apple” sort of texture noted in the description. Toward the middle, I get raisin like sensations, and the woodsy fragrance just lingers around my head. I get many more fruit, wood, and sugar notes out of this tea than floral, and it’s a richer tea “base” than other dancongs – and for that I think it is (as many of Verdant’s offerings tend to be) very accessible and understandable for those branching out from “western” tea drinking. Although there is a warning about being sensitive to brew time, this tea doesn’t “go green” or “bitter and astringent” at the slightest touch because of the roasted quality it presents. I fear I may start drinking this tea to the exclusion of others, it’s that good.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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82

I’m still new to preparing and brewing pu-erh, however this tea proved to be very nice right out of the gate. It is a loosely compressed “mini brick” with beautifully visible full leaves displaying abundant silver fuzz. Really nice even to look at. I used about 5g leaves in a 120ml pot in short gong fu bursts with boiling water. Resulting liquor is a pleasant orange hue that puts off only vaguely smokey whiffs amongst a slightly grassy and maybe even floral scent. The first few steepings have slightly heavy undertones and only a smidge of astringency, but the most wonderful lingering aftertaste – on the sides of the tongue a sweet fruitiness that melts into a mouthwatering craving for the next sip. I love that feeling. Going to continue brewing this one and see how it changes, but I wanted to post a note about what a nice tea it is – reasonably priced and sized for tasting, easy to break apart, and easy to brew. Definitely worth checking out!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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93

I am enjoying every steeping I can squeeze out of these leaves. The dry rolled leaves are bright and unfurl beautifully, with a strong floral fragrance and hint of grassiness. I don’t feel the grassy flavor come across in the liquor. Instead, it’s a beautiful pale gold delight that doesn’t easily go astringent on me. Deep butter and cream flavors might make this my very favorite tieguanyin that I have yet to try. It’s even excellent cold should your toddlers distract you from your cup until it’s room temperature. I love the texture as you drink it, and the fantastic sweet “oil” that coats your tongue for a moment after. It’s perfect.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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81
drank Ceylon Kenilworth by Teavana
11 tasting notes

Oh, all right. So, I love the complexities, the floral notes, the honey and fruit notes that I can find in oolongs. But some nights I need a comfort tea. I got this particular ceylon in a gift pack and figured I could do to lighten my stash a bit, so I brewed it up. I like to call it “Red Rose for Grownups.” It has a deep sweetness to it, and just a bit of a fruity aroma. I also like to add just a little bit of sugar to “bring me home” as it were. A very tasty tea – I could drink it every day, really – it’s a shame Teavana chooses ridiculous blends over very nice basic teas like this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

Burying my nose in this packet of tea struck me with a strong whiff of real orchid scent. It wasn’t overpowering, but delightful and sweet. I brewed up 3g in a 90ml pot for short bursts, and the tea can’t be described with anything but “amazing.” The liquor is a warm gold, with a distinct silky feel to it that I was surprised to detect in such a clear tea. At first, the honey notes bowled me over, but with careful steeping this eventually shifts to airy florals. It is very easy to brew this one too light and get no fragrance, or too long and go too bitter, but dedication is so so rewarding. You can seriously sit all day with this tea, and not be disappointed.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Geoffrey

Nice to get some insight on this one. I’ve been eying Imen’s offerings since I first heard of her a couple months ago. Dancongs captivate me, and I’m on a quest for the best out there. I’d like to try one of the comprehensive samplers from Tea Habitat when I have some extra money to do so.

BTW, you have the best profile pic of anyone on here!

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85

I’ve had this tea for practically a month and have been a bit intimidated by it. I also didn’t really quite know that “corn” was a flavor I wanted in tea. It sounded a bit gimicky, perhaps.

I was mistaken. This tea is both accessible to a beginner’s palate and not at all overpowered by corn flavor. I brewed it in ye olde basic gaiwan after just a quick de-dusting rinse. The liquor is dark. Purple almost. I was nearly worried I brewed it improperly, but since it tastes delightful, I have to say that I can’t have gone too wrong. This first brew, I’ll admit, gives off an aroma of corn quite heavily. But the flavor is milder – rounded and sweeter, with that wonderful, airy, tingling finish described above as mint. The second steeping is even better, with more “tea” notes, balanced out corn husk, and smooth smooth mint.

I am so glad I dove in and tried this. What a nice tea – not outright flavored, but still a bit novel. It’s easy not to overthink it and just enjoy, which is not as easy with other pu erh teas with their lofty names and histories. Everyone should try this, though I might save the rest until summer… the mint tingle has a refreshing quality about it!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec
Nathaniel Gruber

Great Review! I think the coolest part of this tea is that it picks up its flavor from the corn that is grown in between the rows of tea plants…those are used as a natural windbreak and organic fertilizer. I love the way tea picks up the flavors of what you put in the soil and grow around it.

I’ve had some tieguanyin in which the plot of land has pine trees used as a windbreak and it comes through in the tea. Very cool stuff!

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76

I brewed this completely wrong and it was still delicious. I never ever did get a handle on green teas, they just don’t suit my palate. So I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, but gentle roasted sweetness is really a good descriptor. Despite reading “6 oz” as “6 min” on the package as I struggled to get my morning going, the tea didn’t get bitter, and was truly a delicious treat. I may actually even use this to start a “tea time” tradition with my kids – low temperature for impatient kiddos and pleasantly sweet on its own, right out of the pot.

Next time, I’ll try brewing it properly and maybe some of the more complex flavors will be salvaged, but quite frankly I’m already sold.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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93

You know when you leave your favorite tea for other, more attractive, (pumpkin spice) flavored teas? You even put in cream. And honey. And you’re happy with them, because it’s fall, and it suits your mood. But then one day you get a new teapot in the mail and it tells you, “Hey. That tea and I were made for each other.” So you get out your old favorite, and it makes you swear off “corrupted” tea and junk food, too. At least for today. Maybe you’ll even do some yoga.

This tea brews easily and tastes fabulous after several steepings – squeeze every last drop of tea from it. And that first quick 30 second “rinse” steep – the one that some people dump? I drink it, too. I’ve really pushed what’s acceptable to do to oolongs, and it’s hard to mess this one up. The description mentions cinnamon notes, but I mostly get sweet sweet floral on my palate. Perhaps the “cinnamon” is the grounding flavor that keeps it from being perfume instead of tea. Some of the early infusions might have that delightful buttery feeling, too. The leaves themselves are packed densely, but don’t put off much of an aroma, but even that first pale cup just wafts deliciousness.

I got this package on a trip to Mt. View, and the teashop itself is just amazing. Canisters of teas both (tastefully) flavored and “pure” that the owners are practically giddy (but not pushy) about sharing a whiff of. Tables of yixing pots. Even some crazy flea market style antiques in the back. It’s a trip in itself just to visit for kicks.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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57
drank S'mores Chai by 52teas
11 tasting notes

Wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, and I’ve had bad luck with chais. I was especially skeptical after sniffing the bag. Straight after brew it was a little strong flavored, but still “watery,” of course. I sort of expected that and added just a drop of cream. Still missing something, so I broke down and put a touch of sugar in it. First off, not my norm. I’m sure there are people out there who can drink this tea straight and appreciate it, but I just couldn’t take it. With cream and sugar? YUM. Warm and spicy, overtones of mallow and graham, and just a whiff of smoke. A perfectly delectable treat on a chilly afternoon. Just what I wanted.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Stay at home mom to twin toddlers. Programming geek. Knitter. Reveling in the small luxuries.

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Seattle, WA

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