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67

This is a good evening or nighttime herbal drink for me. I love the flavor of hazelnut in general, giving this blend and easy in with me. The flavor here is particularly enjoyable and warming, as is the fragrance.

My one big irritation with this blend is that the herbs are so fine it becomes a pain in the ass to infuse with anything but an ultrafine mesh strainer, which I have unfortunately yet to acquire. When infusing this blend with a more standard wire-mesh tea strainer loads of herbal particulate pass into the liquid and it becomes a somewhat pulpy experience. Cleaning the strainer afterwards has proved frustrating as well, with many grains becoming stuck in the mesh. You practically need to use a fine brush to clear the mesh completely.

Alternatively, I’ve tried infusing this tea in a gaiwan and pouring off through the small funnel strainer I use for Gongfu brewing, as that strainer has a finer mesh, but the problem then becomes the leaves pouring out of my gaiwan with the liquid and clogging up the mesh of the strainer until it’s completely blocked. Ugh!

I like this herbal blend well enough, but these frustrations in preparing it prevent me from drinking it more frequently, and from rating it any higher. Ideally, infusion should be a painless and straightforward experience, not a distracting and frustrating one. Until I get some kind of special superfine mesh strainer (or, God-forbid, empty disposable teabags!) to make brewing this blend easier, it will likely continue to be something I reach for only infrequently. That makes me kind of sad, but I’m already equipped with a good range of tea preparation utensils, and I think for an herbal blend to require the purchase of another special tool or disposable steep bags for its own sake is asking a bit too much. If this were a tea of exceptional quality, you’d be hearing a different tune, as I’m plenty willing to make special accommodations for something worthy of it. But this is neither a tea, nor an exceptionally high quality blend of herbs.

Final word: a pretty good herbal blend, with disappointing drawbacks on the preparation end.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Tea drinking, tango dancing, rock climbing, and reading are my main activities of interest.

Currently obsessed with Fenghuang Dancong Oolongs and Wuyi Yan Cha. My fascination with Pu’er is steadily growing, and I imagine it will take over one of these days.

I typically don’t feel ready to say anything conclusive about a tea (and thus, say nothing) until I’ve tried it three or four times, which helps prevent both false positives and false negatives, and offers a more comprehensive sense of a tea’s dimension and character.


As of 01/12/2012, I’ve accepted full-time employment as the Business Development Manager at Verdant Tea. From that date forward I’ve decided to stop rating teas on Steepster due to my professional stake in the tea business. I have no interest in manipulating the rating system in our favor or against other tea businesses. All my ratings on Steepster were made before my employment with Verdant Tea, and reflect nothing more than my personal opinions as a tea drinker.

I want to continue writing tasting notes without ratings from time to time, for both our teas and teas that I enjoy from other businesses; but as my life has now become much more busy, my activity on Steepster will be lessened. And in any case, my future contributions here will have to be made on my personal time.

Location

Minneapolis, MN, USA

Website

http://verdanttea.com

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