1 tsp for 300mL water @95C, steeped four minutes, Western style, drunk bare.

I got my very first Verdant order today; it’s a birthday gift to myself. I got one-ounce packets of various teas, mostly black, and tried the five for five dollar sample packet offer. A box of oolong and black teas from China … oh, I may be a while.

So this is my first time trying the Anxi Fo Shou, and this is the first infusion. I get dark chocolate and mineral Wuyi notes, some honey, and a lovely ti kuan yin taste in the finish. The liquor is pale, almost golden. There are also some Yunnan-forest-floor notes in the aroma. This is — this is almost beyond my ability to describe. Very nuanced and gentle, notes of Chinese black teas and oolongs flowing back and forth … some of that Yunnan earthiness, but subtly so …

Not a tea for bolting down in the morning. Anxi Fo Shou invites a contemplative mood. I find it very calming, perhaps because all the nuances on taste and scent are distracting me from the materialistic buzz of my day. I think of deep forests and big cliffs, sipping this tea.

Wow. I don’t know if I can even give this a numerical rating, as it’s in quite a different class from almost any other tea I’ve tried.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

Second infusion, 5-minute steep: honey and mineral and ti kuan yin notes, with a stronger Yunnan forest scent. Beautiful.

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Michelle Butler Hallett

Second infusion, 5-minute steep: honey and mineral and ti kuan yin notes, with a stronger Yunnan forest scent. Beautiful.

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Writer and tea fiend. Author of DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

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St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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