Hybrid, eyeball estimation style steeping:
The dry leaves remind me of waffle cones: light and dried out, with a sugared vanilla sweetness. Whereas the dry leaves smell like stale, woody “waffle cones”, the hot water makes them come to life. It tastes buttered and fresh from the baker. Light waffle malt first steep.
Second steep: feels lighter than the first “awakening steep”. The honey notes are so very sweet and moist. There’s a roasted rice taste that reminds me of genmaicha. Delicious, like crispy grain goods with syrup drizzled across. Aftertaste is a fruity honey with a somewhat buttery lingering sensation.
Third steep: Lots of sweet butter and cream that pairs magically with the toasty note. Vanilla and caramel notes too? This is the best! Fourth steep is similar. The finish reminds me of Butiki’s Sparrow Tongue- where does that even come from!? I think I’m going to stop on my fifth steep today but this has at least another few left in it.
The tea has transitioned from roasted sweet malt to a rich, honey-infused, buttery cream. I’m getting the impression that Verdant Tea doesn’t deal in the simple and static.
I would’ve never picked this out for myself as I’ve not been a huge fan of the darker oolongs I’ve come across in flavoured blends. I’m grateful Verdant Tea threw this one in as my sample, though, because my preconceived notions were wrong.