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Initially, I had this very looong, like giraffe neck or elephant trunk long, note rambling on what I thought I was tasting. Luckily for universal sanity, I decided to scrap most of it. Yes… this is the shorter version. Shock and awe.

When I ordered from Verdant Tea for the first time I randomly picked a bunch of sample sizes so I could meet the free shipping quota. Except for a few, I didn’t read any of the ingredients or the notes here on steepster. All I can say is that it was a very big surprise, like redwood big, when I got a whiff of this. It smells like scorched vegetation- burnt and sweet. It made me recall the odor of Palm Spring’s dry desert lands.

First steep: I was intimidated by the scent so attempted to do a hybrid kind of short rinse with two cups. I mostly got a hot woodsy flavour, some jasmine, and a hint of basil. I don’t see this noted anywhere else, but I experienced an almond nuttiness too, which I really liked. The complex profile manages to be smooth, sweet, and creamy.

In the second steep I was able to smell the juniper in the wet leaves and liquor. In the third and fourth steeps I could distinctly taste the juniper berries and the “tree-ness” tasted less cooked. I didn’t get any lemony citrus notes until the fourth steep, which became cold after I forgot about it for hours. It’s sweet and “oily”, with dabbing of vanilla and white leaf creaminess.

I steeped this and Cantaloupe & Cream four times each throughout the day. While C&C was consistent this cup never stopped evolving. There was so much going on in this tea that it overwhelmed my pitiable little brain. Despite that I really enjoyed the experience. This is very unique!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I guess I can’t say I’m completely new, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

My tea preferences have changed a lot since joining here. I swore I’d never love black teas, and now they make up some of my favourites, both flavoured and unflavoured. I prefer my green and oolong teas buttery and roasted.

A good Silver Needle is my desert island tea.


90-100: A Personal Favourite
80-89: Great, buy 25g
70-79: Enjoyable, may buy more
60-69: OK, with some problems
50-59: Flat, but drinkable
30-49: Possibly better in cooking
1-29: This cup found sink


BC, Canada

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