62 Tasting Notes
Excuse the simile but this felt like the cadillac of raw Pu Er. I have not had very many raw and sadly this is my “oldest” raw pu er, sad I know but I am still learning. I was so used to super young bitter, smoky, sharp petrol flavor, with a mouth drying after taste but this tea had a heavy mouth feel, it was quenching instead of throat drying, after taste was a little light but had a pleasant sweetness, also the slight smokiness disappeared after the first steeping. I was so cautious because I was used to the super bitter/smoky young sheng that after bracing myself and tasting this tame sheng I upped the steeping times to 30 seconds then a minute then two minutes at which point it of course it got a little bitter but I was stunned a sheng was drinkable with longer than flash steepings.
This is my first youngish sheng and I look forward to trying older and older through the years. This tea had a great qi and a very pleasant soothing brew, it was such a comfort after drinking the fast and hard super young shengs I was accustomed to that felt like a bare bones two seater fun to drive on certain occasions but you feel every bump from hard suspension and not suited for everyday practical driving, this felt like an old caddy boat with the numb suspension and cornering of a semi. An eye opening experience for me and it makes me excited for all like aged samples I have accrued recently.
Flavors: Asparagus, Tobacco
Great tea but not what I was expecting, it had Mi Lax Xiang for sure but I was expecting more roasted flavor.
I will admit this is my first Mi Lan Xiang but I envisioned it being a roasted flavor with honey overtones instead I got just the honey sweetness. Don’t get me wrong it was pleasant and a great taste I just was not expecting it to be so “light” almost along the lines of a green oolong, in fact all I could think of was similarites between this and the Jin Xuan I tried a few days prior but this had less of the creaminess, body and none of the floralness of that greener oolong.
I will keep tinkering away this is my first interaction with it but maybe letting it go for the full 30 seconds first steeping and increasing from there rather than starting at 15 seconds.
Overall great flavor, high quality just super light and sweeter than I was expecting.
Back log, finally tasted the cold brew by accident because I did not want to discard leaves after only two steepings. Strangely enough the real flavor came through a little more, usually I am burning my tongue because the water is to water from short steepings so I do not always taste the actual subtitles of the tea so it was nice to be able to take a big swig. This is my favorite gao shan so far flavor profile wise, it is not as floral as a jade or a TGY and not as sweet as an ali shan so it seems to be somewhere in the middle which is nice because too much in either direction is one dimensional
Upped the gram to water 7g/12oz and time (4 mins) which finally resulted in the taste and energy(weirdly enough because it seems to have zero bitterness) I was looking for. More of the flavor came through and I finally tasted the herbaceous brininess I smelled in the dry leaves. The more I drink this tea the more I like it.
Smells like pasta sauce…. the herbs in a red sauce that is and literally every time I smelll it I crave pasta and starch. Back to to the tea though it’s a very light flavor (never goes bitter boiling water for 20+ mins still smooth) it travels well since it can not be over brewed and seems to possess very little caffeine (not bitter at all nor does it give me an energizing “buzz”). So depending on what you are looking for in a green tea not bad.
Overall all it was an impulse buy, it being cheap and I have never tried taiwanese green tea before but I wasn’t that blown away I will try gongfu since it is actually a green heart cultivar so maybe I can get some body out of it if I use boiling water and high leaf to water ratio but until I get anything striking it will just be my buffer tea to drink in between stronger teas.
Upped the gram used this time around getting to the bottom of my bag at this point in an effort to use up all my green(oolong) tea before this year harvest. Using about 7g in my 100 mL gaiwan and this time around it got even more intense. Before when I was following the steeping time rishi suggested it was always a bit light and vicious, now when I quit being so frugal I really got what this tea is all about. The body is heavy still on the lighter side but it was super watery before, also the subtle nuances before more pronounced. It is smooth like a jade and super floral but sweet floral instead of bitter floral like rose petals or jasmine can get.
I only got about two steepings in before I had to stop I am super tea drunk lol, calm and floating type feeling even though I woke up fairly stressed due to personal things. Who needs prozac when we have Gao Shan Cha, I can’t drink anymore at the moment especially since I have a busy day but it’s too good to toss….. Maybe cold brew the rest? lets see what happens.
Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Gardenias
This is my first aged/roasted oolong full disclosure. The first few infusions smelled and tasted exactly like a dark roast starbucks coffee whether that is a good or bad thing is up to your preferences, I found it to be nice and unique in tea. Over subsequent infusions I tasted more ash and incense. A little later on I could actually taste the TGY which I was relieved because in mind roasting in general coffee or tea should be used as a tool to build the layers of flavor, not the main flavor component unless you are trying to hide bad tea/coffee. Finally it finished off minerally like a wuyi.
Overall not a bad tea Verdant usually never lets down(roasted laoshan oolong was an exception maybe because I had such high hopes) I would not repurchase, once again I am a poor college student so was it worth the +$12/oz probably not but it was an nice change of pace and a unique experience and I will gladly finish off the bag and look forward to exploring the realm of roasted/aged oolongs.
Flavors: Ash, Mineral, Roasted Barley
That is how I feel about this tea long story short
Rishi was my first loose leaf tea company so I will always have a special place in my heart for them. I have never had a bad tea by them and I believe the retail box packages are the best possible way to start tea and getting a footing for loose leaf tea not to mention to date some of the best I have ever had were purchased from their small lot batches on their website. Consistency is hard for tea companies let alone one that offer literally every type of tea available from yellow to pu er. SO with that said Im going to give this tea a “C” that not an insult but rather an indication that a tea of this high of quality does not excite me anymore considering I was the typical american who thought tea was the thing in bag you threw into styrofoam cups on an airplane or when you had a cold.
I remember there other crop a few years back being “better” a heavier body and more bold taste so I was a little disappointed. But I think it is was my blue collar tea taste because I can tell these leaves are of a higher quality plucking (1/2 leaves ATTACHED to a bud) and a lot brighter in color(usually indicating not from a high output factory" over cooking". Just as I prefer summer harvest over spring Darjeeling’s higher quality/price is not always “tastier”. Still this tea is a great example and high quality once again, I am just spoiled at this point with access to sites that sell teas I can’t afford and should not but do purchase from.
Flavors: Chicken Soup, Grass, Nuts