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10 Year aged wood fired Tieguanyin –Verdant tea
Dry: dry chestnuts, milk chocolate, caramel
Wet: spicy, mesquite wood, black walnut
Leaf: Chocolate hued, tightly knotted leaves, when hydrated turn a dark, inky black
Cup: to begin, this is a tea best enjoyed in either the wonderful chambers of a cured yixing purple clay teapot, or in the visible embrace of a glass gaiwan or similar glass tea pot. There is a beautiful extractive color bloom that graces the cup upon extraction, not unlike Toucho Pu –erhs, where the dark nest of leaves sinks to the bottom, releasing tendrils of reddish stains that leach into the coppery-golden green liquor ; these threads of reddish life ripple and twist in the liquor at any agitation and when the tea is poured, unify the color into a green-edged burnt umber cup. Its as close to a aurora borealis or a ‘red tide’ as one finds in a cup and this expression is usually only granted compressed pu-erhs that are sized for individual steeping. As a former fisherman in Alaska, this is always a wonderful moment, especially to introduce to others.
The flavors of this tea are complex. Notes of cedar ash, kombu, and chocolate layered against textural depth that moves from clarified butter silkiness, melting milk chocolate, and marinating smoky brine. There is a slight note of almost rolled oats on the final lingering finish. There is a type of unusual mouth feel that is particular to this tea that is unlike the common usage of astringency or tannins, as it leaves a texture that is not unlike cocoa nibs or in 70% or greater dark bittersweet chocolate; it hugs the tongue elusively and hints at sweet and bitter notes, long after the sip has vanished. The leaves are leathery and stay tightly twisted, so don’t expect them to unfurl like a typical oolong and don’t be afraid to use higher steep temps. as the tea is very forgiving and resists bitterness. Expect a few extractions with the notes evolving into mesquite, spicy notes and the body slowly changing to more of a creamy, nutty profile.
Brewing: used 4oz of tea in a 8oz traditional Taiwanese gaiwan, with 200 degree water steeped for 5 min with 2 minutes added to each following extraction.
Thanks so much to the generous gift of Verdant Tea and to their commitment to heritage, story, and the humbleness of a shared cup

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

I love the way you describe this, especially cedar ash, mesquite, and the juxtaposition of melting milk chocolate and marinating smokey brine. I can never find the words to describe the texture of roasted and aged oolongs, but you’ve armed me with some powerful images. Thank you!

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Spoonvonstup

I love the way you describe this, especially cedar ash, mesquite, and the juxtaposition of melting milk chocolate and marinating smokey brine. I can never find the words to describe the texture of roasted and aged oolongs, but you’ve armed me with some powerful images. Thank you!

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