309 Tasting Notes
Yesterday morning I was in the mood for a high quality green tea. Perusing my tea collection, I settled upon the Autumn Laoshan Green. This is a mildly vegetal green with a gentle sweetness and it is always good for several infusions. Sometimes I enjoy using one of my Chinese glass tumblers for greens or pu’ers and decided to do so yesterday. If you look at the Verdant description for this tea, you will discover that in their brewing guidelines they describe what they term the “Laoshan Style” using a tall glass or tumbler.
The tumbler I decided to use is 16oz and after the initial fill-up, I refilled twice during the day before I decided that I had consumed enough green tea for the day. However, the leaf was still going strong so I decided to fill the tumbler again and yet again to make cold tea for today. As I write, I am sipping my second glass of iced Laoshan Green. This has been an enjoyable Laoshan Green weekend and this is a good tea to have on hand!
A rich dark chocolate looking tea ball with a woodsy smell. I brew these in a 6oz glass steeper and love to watch the 1 inch tea balls unfurl in the boiling water as the very dark brownish-red tea soup develops. The flavor is earthy yet smooth and mellow. While I definitely prefer the ripe puerh bricks or cakes, these little guys are a great value for an every day shu!
This tea is tender and elegant with no bitterness, no dryness, and no harshness. The tiny, tightly rolled leaves are a delight to watch unfurl in the hot water. The tea brews up a beautiful amber color with a vegetal, sweet aroma. The liquid is vegetal and a bit creamy with a lovely natural sweetness and a hint of citrus.
The complexity of the tea allows it to stand up well to multiple infusions. As suggested by the comments from others, this one is delicious and a definite keeper!
This tea is just what a good keemun should be. The leaves are small, dark brown, and wiry. The aroma is strong and rich with notes of both dark chocolate and malt with a little smokiness. The tea soup is dark copper in color.
The feel of the tea is smooth with no bitterness. The flavors of chocolate, malt and smokiness mix together nicely. I should note that I drink this tea with a little sweetener and a splash of milk. I infused the leaves for a second time and enjoyed another cup although a tiny bit less flavorful this time.
The third infusion was still enjoyable but it was more astringent and felt a little thin so I did not try for a fourth. Overall, an enjoyable tea experience – robust tea with a nice balance of flavors. I would definitely purchase this again.
I’ve been sipping on this sample from Verdant off and on for the past three days. Two quick rinses and then 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. in my gaiwan. The tea is smooth and mellow with a light green liquor. It has a bit of a fresh crisp taste with a dominant note of citrus but it is very smooth and mellow. I detected very little astringency (I mean hardly any at all). Amazing taste for such a young sheng. I’ll definitely be buying a brick of this in a few days.
2013 Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black
I’ve wanted to taste this tea for some time but it has been out of stock until the new summer harvest arrived. Well it’s back in stock and today I received my order (early delivery because I won the Birthday contest with this tea as the prize – lucky, lucky me). I rushed right to the kitchen to open the box and make my first cup.
These leaves are gorgeous! They are delicate, very dark, long and lightly twisted (almost black with flecks of amber on a few of them). The smell of the dry leaf seems a little earthy but also fruity – not terribly strong but just enough to entice you.
I followed the brewing instructions given to me by Stacy – gongfu brewing; 1.5 tsp per 8 oz for a sweeter tea. As the leaves began to unfurl the aroma was fabulous and the liquor became a light reddish brown – almost a rusty color. The mouthfeel is very, very smooth with absolutely no astringency. My first impression is that this tea seems subtle but very complex. The flavor is definitely sweet and honey-like with both caramel and dark chocolate overtones coming through yet it is also fruity and malty. With later sips, as the tea cools, I begin to pick up a sweet bread and molasses flavor.
Before sending my tea, Stacy described the difference between this year’s harvest and that from last year: “Due to the rain situation in Taiwan, the leaf hoppers weren’t as active this year so there are less honey notes. Last year was more of a croissant and honey taste this year is more of a waffles and powdered sugar. The tea comes across a bit more which I like. It’s different but not by much.”
Place your order – this tea is a must try! I’m off to try my second infusion……
One of the things I enjoy most about my tea journey is discovering new teas. I had just such an experience today when I had my first mug of Butiki’s Watermelon Xylophone. I followed the website instructions for brewing. Pale, pale green tea soup with a pleasant, subtle aroma and a lightly flavored sweet taste. I then added a touch of sugar and, as promised, the liquid turned into warm watermelon juice. All in all, a delightful experience! I plan to brew again today and chill to enjoy cold “watermelon juice” this evening.