13 Tasting Notes

97

I am enamored with this tea! I’m not going to go into a flavor profile right now, as it is complex, but for me this tea is a keeper!

And I must thank David, and everyone at Verdant…I purchased 3 of the two ounce portions as allowed when the tea was released for purchase, which would be an estimated 170g of tea. Imagine my surprise when I saw two of the original 100g boxes staring at me as I opened up my package! Also the note with a mention that as I purchased a bunch, that they figured they would include the two boxes for me :) As per all of my interactions with David and the Verdant Team, they continue to go above send beyond what is expected!

I feel I am going to be having a very tough time with this April Reserve shipment…A Wuyi, a shu puer, and what looks like two black teas…ugh, I have a feeling I am going to love each one, and I may be parting with a sizeable sum of money in the near future stocking up on these teas!

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97

Ok, I don’t really have any experience with Lapsang Souchong’s…but I feel as if I just completely spoiled any future tries of other Lapsang teas.

This is an absolutely pleasant and comforting/warming tea… The way the smoke dances alternately between the background and in front. Sweet and smoky, I feel as if I should be relaxing behing a fireplace toasting marshmallows! Though I don’t want to eat anything at the moment because I want the pure taste of this great tea to engulf my mouth! As it says with the tea info, I can certainly see why this type of smoked tea is popular. The smoke mingles with the caramel and malt of the tea in a synergistic way, and it is taking me for a ride!!

Lol looks like I may need to find a way to have 2 reserve subscriptions, as 2oz of these teas would be totally amazing!

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98

It is always a great day when a Verdant order arrives, so I am very happy today! I had, of course, placed my order the Thursday night before this Fo Shou Black tea was release…I am so glad that David and Brandon included this as a sample!

I must say, that in my limited capacity to discern the intricacies of tea, Laoshan Black has a serious rival!!! A mellow, malty, chocolatey masterpiece!! Picking up some caramel roast flavors in the smell, since I am only on the first short steep it will be very interesting to see how this tea progresses! Since it is early, I’m not exactly picking up on the coconut taste, but no matter, there are many steeps to come. I am also noticing the “cooling effect” that can be felt in the underneath/sides of the tongue! I like this feeling, it’s refreshing and normally something I get with oolong teas.

Overall a great tea, with a great chocolate taste! If you are a fan of the Laoshan Black(and who possibly isn’t?) the Anxi Fo Shou Black is definitely a tea to stock before its sold out! I will add more later in comments as I steep more :)

5g tea to 5oz water, 5-7 second steep after a quick rinse. 200 degree water

Edit….

On about the 4th steeping at the moment, and this tea is going strong! Perhaps a bit sweeter than the first two infusions…I find it interesting that this tea uses an oolong leaf. Maybe that makes it behave more like an oolong, as it keeps much of its taste over the steepings. Some black teas tend to fall off a cliff around the 4th or 5th steeping, and tend to lose the qualities that make the first couple infusions so enjoyable. With this tea, i find myself liking each subsequent infusion more than the last!!!

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95

I just had to add this tea! I am a big fan of aged TGY, and this one from Mandala has won me over! Can you say roasty toasty honey? I am not a connoisseur of honey like others, but this is nice and floral honey taste. It has just the right amount of floral as well, not overpowering or perfumey! I have been on the lookout for an aged TGY after having the Verdant aged TGY, and I like this one sooo much!
The roasting seems to fade off by the third steeping, leaving a lightly floral honey taste with a sweetness that lingers on the palate. I’m sure there are others who could describe this tea better than I can, so now that it is up on steepster I hope someone else will comment on this great tea! I am extremely pleased with Mandala Tea, I hope everyone enjoys their tea as much as I do!

Ok, I am definitely getting a great tea buzz! Great chaqi from this tea! I don’t know what it is about aged TGY, but 2-2 have gotten me pretty buzzed! This is a must try

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93

Yay, Im back everyone! Its been an interesting winter so far, and i have just been enjoying my teas, havent really felt a need to write anything on Steepster lately. Well, i just received my first order from Mandala Tea and am definitely enjoying myself! And fear not Verdant, i am now enrolled in the TOTM Reserve, I just had to try some other vendors to expand my horizons :)
And expanded they have become: This Lincang shu puer is a very interesting tea! As many know, i am very weary of puer and the “fishy/moldy” smell that can sometimes be found. I am learning that this may be the post fermentation smell, and i have since found that it is really just a smell, and doesnt translate into taste by any means. And i can say that This Loose and Luscious Lincang does not have those “off notes.”
This is an earthy puer. Very mellow, yet thick and full bodied. I definitely get some mushroom notes, yet i also detect some woodiness…I cant perceive what kind of wood(im not that knowledgeable unfortunately) but the smell is pleasant! The taste is THICK! Coating the tongue, and not drying or astringent at all. Again i taste mushrooms, wood, and a very slight sweetness that keeps the tongue and mouth from drying.

I am pleased with this tea! On about my 5th gong fu infusion right now, im sure i could go at least 10-15…Ill see if i can get to 10 tonight!

I will have some other Mandala Teas to describe/rate in the upcoming days…The 09 Bulang ripe, 05 Gong Ting ripe, Simao Black tea, and the Aged TGY :) Also two very generous samples of the 4 Leaf Blend ripe, and “Noble Mark” Mandala Blend ’12 ripe!
Thank you Garret for the wonderful selection, and Happy New Years to you as well!

Oh ya, almost forgot. Prepared in my normal method for puer, 5g/5oz water, 2 rinses, and short 3-5 second steeps for the first 3 cups, a couple seconds added to each steeping thereafter.

Bonnie

Sounds like some good drinkn

HyBr1d

Hey Bonnie! Yes it is definitely some good drinkn :) Almost has some qualities that would be associated with a sheng puer, but not drying or astringent… An interesting tea for sure!
How was your Christmas and New Years? I was in Florida with the family, so it was nice to be warm for a change. And of course i brought Laoshan Black, Shui Xian and BRR with me so i didnt go through tea withdrawal!

DaisyChubb

mmmm

Happy new year!

Bonnie

Great holiday with family and it snowed Christmas Day! Try something different and do a 30 second steep sometime to see what that’s like. Then, later try a little sugar, then some milk or cream. I play with puerh.

HyBr1d

Happy New Year Daisy!

Bonnie, I’m am playing with trying to brew this puer at 30 seconds as well…also may try the Xingyang way of brewing, so 2 minutes. Ill see if it can handle the time!

Bonnie

I do the long steeps at about steep 5 if I’m impatient or just want to do it. Sooner,sometimes if my puerh is still just blooming,won’t be as productive.

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94
drank Celestial Temple Peaks by Teavana
13 tasting notes

I ended up picking up some of this tea cuz it was 30% off, and am pleasantly surprised! It’s not an in your face kind of tea…mild and honeyish, it reminds me of golden tip Dian hong tea. Of course nowhere near the complexity of my remaining Golden Fleece, but also a tea I don’t have to ponder over, which is a nice change! I’d say that there is at least 6 oz in the tin, so ill have this for a while!

Brewed western style, 1 heaping teaspoon for 8oz water, steeped 2.5 mins. Will be trying resteeps soon, lets see how it holds up, and if there are any changes in character!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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95

Patiently waiting on my first cake of puer! Considering the price, I couldn’t resist picking up a cake :) Now I just have to figure out how I want to store this tea…I will break off around probably 15-20 grams, about enough for 4 short steeping sessions(with around 14-18 steepings for each session, it’s by no means “short”) and the rest will go away for around a year. I am hoping I can keep to this plan, and try a little bit each year to see how it changes over time!

I am hoping it comes tomorrow :)

DaisyChubb

Great plan!

HyBr1d

Hopefully I will keep to that plan :)

HyBr1d

Well, I am at work right now, and won’t get home till around 6 :( That’s a bit late for me to start a new tea…so I’m not sure if I’m going to take the plunge and try it tonight or tomorrow… Knowing me ill probably have a steep or two, I can’t resist new tea! Luckily I have Laoshan Black at the store with me!

HyBr1d

Ok, I will be bringing a bit of the Fuhai sheng to work with me tomorrow for a tasting! But of course, I found a little surprise with my order! A sample of a private reserve Rou Gui Xiang Dancong!! I am sorry to say that I couldn’t control my urge to try this tea as fast as I could…and subsequently burned the heck out of my tongue… ARGH!!! So with my taste buds fried a bit, I can’t get a good taste of the Dancong :( I have to ask David if the Rou Gui Xiang will ever be stocked, because it is something I’ve been interested in trying!!

Bonnie, I would bet you probably got a sample as well? I look forward to your tasting notes!! And I’ll try to put something about the Fuhai up tomorrow…though I’m not really that great at describing Puer…

Bonnie

It’s OK, your notes are fine and don’t ever worry about it. I always thought my notes were crap. (most of the time I second guess myself and have no idea if a review is good enough)…it’s like I said, we all have our say here on Steepster which is very democratic.
Sorry about your tongue! I put up my note on the Sheng because I had an iffy first tasting and a good second one. I hoped that would encourage others to explore when they received their cake or samples or ounce or whatever was coming in the mail. Just steep it long enough and with enough leaf (about a TB or so for 6-8 oz) and you should be fine for 45 sec to a minute and increase later is what I’d do.

HyBr1d

Sounds good :) normally for puer I do the short steepings, with two washes, and the 4-6sec steepings. I use around 5grams for 5 oz, so it may be a bit different than how your steepings turned out. But I’ve been trying to push myself! Like you, if I get a so-so steeping, I keep on going. Before, I would have stopped!

Bonnie

Try it both ways. You have enough…pm me because I’d like to know what you did and the results. I let someone else control the first tasting if you read my review. The second time I did it. Also the water I believe needs to be good.

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97

This will be a short review, with a more detailed tasting coming after Oct 14th. It’s the end of the season where I work, and that means I’m basically on every day :( Luckily I have 5 months to recoup, and will be drinking TONS of tea!

This is my favorite tea from Verdant. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved all the teas I’ve tried, but this aged TGY is a stand out in my mind. #2 would be Laoshan Black, and while its not fair to compare an oolong and black tea, my preference lies with this aged jem! Subtle, but profound…it may be oxymoronic, but this tea has a subtle, yet very complex taste, one that builds over multiple steepings, and lingers on the palate for longer than anything I’ve tried, short of puer. The tea is somewhat floral, but not overtly so, it’s balanced by a caramelly, roasted flavor. Also, I taste a mineral, yancha taste that I normally get from wuyi oolongs, interesting since this is an anxi oolong!

But the most memorable quality of this tea is chaqi. To be honest, before this tea I really had no idea what it meant to be “tea drunk.” I knew what it meant after my 3rd gongfu type 4oz steeping! Hello clarity! Hello calm! It was so noticeable, that I’m surprised I’ve never had the feeling before…and so pleasant, as well!

Well, I’ve rambled a small post into a long post…all without having this tea in front of me! It was that memorable! Long live my 4oz of aged TGY, you are by far my favorite, and will be heartbroken when you are gone :(
That is, until David finds another…

DaisyChubb

Wow, amazing review. I can’t wait for my package to arrive so I can sip alongside you (so to speak) ;)

HyBr1d

Why thank you so much! I sure hope you enjoy the tea! I forgot to include that both my mom and sister say that this aged TGY is the favorite tea they have sampled thus far… They are not tea diehards like me, but I always make them take a couple sips of each tea I brew :) So that’s another interesting aspect of this tea I find intriguing; I think this tea appeals to both non tea drinkers, and experienced(I’m still a novice, though) tea drinkers alike!

And let me know what you think when you try the tea, I find traces of Verdant’s Big Red Robe in the taste of this tea as well… I’m waiting on a cake of the Fuhai sheng puer, my first puer cake! Though I find it much harder to describe sheng puer, I’ll try my best :)
Thank you again for the kind words :)

Bonnie

I ordered the cake (MY FIRST) also, this is going to be a great addition! Love this tea too! I get that tea drunk off Laoshan White and the Xingyang 1998 puerh. REALLY GOOD STUFF!

HyBr1d

Hey there Bonnie :) I haven’t been on steepster very often in the last month :( But ill be on a lot pretty soon! I have so many teas to log…if I stopped buying tea today, I’d have enough to last probably 10-12 months… While I always get stuff from Verdant, I feel guilty as I had to try some other companies too, I think I got 4 different teas from Upton…And finally got my order from Dragon Teahouse, 8 different kinds. I feel heretical :(
I work at an Italian Ice business, and we have somewhere around 65 flavors, so I always have to try something, but Mango has always been my favorite. While I may not have it every time, it’s always there as my standby.. I guess you could say that Verdant is my Mango! While I will always try other teas(there’s just too many for just 1 company) when I want something I know I will like, I always find myself wanting something from Verdant!

Hope everything is going well, Bonnie! And isn’t it funny how you can start off a review by saying its going to be short, and then it just morphs into something much longer than you expected? Lol, the things good tea will make you do :) Take it easy, ill be back with some regularity in about two weeks :)

DaisyChubb

Yes! Definitely notes of Big Red Robe (my favourite notes too!) but I am totally with you when it comes to being tea drunk thanks to this tea. I only have an ounce – but I have a feeling it’s going to go quick! Amazing tea

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96
reviewed PerfecTea Maker by Teavana
13 tasting notes

I have had the small version for about 3 months, and the large version for 5/6 months. I absolutely love this product! It allows me to do what i think would be called a “modified gungfu” type steeping. Basically do exactly what you would do with a yixing pot or gaiwan (1g/1oz of water, multiple short steeps) Its so much easier than using a yixing pot!

I will warn about making chai, the spice seems to linger longer than any other type of tea i have tried. Other than that, its perfect!

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93

Ok, here goes nothing! I hate to say this, but I like this chai more than the Laoshan Village chai. To me, it seems like the spice notes are a little bit more tame. While my taste buds may not be fully trained, and my tea vocab may not be as descriptive as it could be, I will try my best to describe what I think is going on here. The base of this chai is a little subdued, with a great balance of spice. I can pick out the cardamom, saffron, and a great aftertaste of cacao! I have yet to find the vanilla notes, but I attribute that to my overall inexperienced palate.

If you have had the Laoshan chai and loved it(which I did) you need to try this Chocolate Phoenix chai! You will not be disappointed! Thank you David for another amazing tea!

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Bio

While I have always liked tea, I have recently fallen off the deep end into loose tea madness :)

I have found that I prefer the darker spectrum of oolong teas like da hong pao, Shui Xian, dark roasted and/or aged TGY, and also Dancong’s. Pretty much anything but floral oolongs, they just arent my style. I also enjoy pretty much every black tea that I have tried! I am also getting more familiar with puer tea, and lately have been preferring shu over sheng…Good for the stomach, and the most likely way to find myself “tea drunk!”

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Pittsburgh, PA

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