526 Tasting Notes

9

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drink bare.

Well, it smells like a nice Yunnan tea. Getting some pepper notes as it cools, but that’s about all. Flat and dull. A real disappointment.

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15

1 tsp for 250mL water @100C, steeped four minutes.

Dark and strong. I can barely see to the bottom of the cup. Now, I like a strong black tea, but this is intense. Bitter, too. I’m surprised. Strong and bitter cocoa notes, hard mineral finish. No pepper, no honey.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Man, this one will be hard to finish. It’s almost tarry. I hope it at least packs some caffeine. Maybe I’d like this early in the morning, when I’m more desperate for a caffeine hit than for a nuanced tea. Maybe.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Yeah, I can’t finish this. HARSH.

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70

1.25 tsp for 250 mL water @100C, steeped 4 minures, drunk bare.

I ordered the Silk Road sampler when my teen daughter asked me to order a custom-blend that comes in a tin with a picture of her favourite anime character on it. And it just so happens I’ve been craaaaaving Keemun today, and this EB is heavy on the Keemun.

Toasty/bready, smooth, a bit smoky, robust finish … ohhhhhh, yeah.

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96

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @85C, leaves rinsed, then steeped 3 minutes Western style.

A lovely tang crisps up the orchid, cream, and sun-dried grass notes. An exquisite tieguanyin. My favourite tieguanyin.

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1 bag for 250mL water @100C, steeped four minutes drunk bare.

I just got a big box of this as a gift.

A mostly Ceylon base, I think, and very smooth, with some copper notes. The cardamon smells divine, something like bergamot, only not so oily. Less spicy on the tongue than it smells, but very refreshing. A very effective hot-tea-on-a-hot-day-cooldown drink.

TeaBrat

I would like this too!

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1

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @80C, steeped two minutes 30 seconds.

I got a packet of this as a gift from thoughtful friends.

Opening the package, I did not see much tea. Loads of fruit. It’s very pretty. It’s got a tart scent I can’t quite place …

Packet says 79C for water temp. Huh? For a white? Ohhhkayyyyy ….

WHOA! Tartness overload, and a stain leaking from the infuser that looks like blood in the water … oh no. Hibiscus. Oh GAWD NO, please, not hibiscus …

Hibiscus.

And I notice in the ingredients list there’s acai powder and maltodextrin. GOOD LORD. If I wanted sugar or any of its cousins in my tea, I’d put it there!

I really want to like this, especially seeing it was a gift that the givers went out of their way to obtain, but it’s a pink, mostly flavourless brew that smells overwhelmingly of hibiscus. I would never guess there was any actual tea leaf in here.

If you like a fruity tisane-type of drink, you might like this one. I uh … I can’t taste anything except hibiscus.

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92

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @100C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare.

An excellent black tea blend. Quite robust today, after several days of drunking Yunnan blacks and tiguanyins. Reassuring. Not bitter. Solid and dependable.

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96

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @85.

I rinsed the leaves with 85C water, then steeped 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Orchids, sweet grass, peaches, minerals, sunshine. Some distant vanilla and cream notes. Exquisite. I’m having trouble finding words for this one.

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2 tsp for 300mL water @98C.

Hot tea on a hot day.

First, I rinsed the leaves. I’d not done that before with the Anxi Fo Shou.

Then I steeped it about four minutes, Western-style. I am getting a sweetness I’d not noticed before, like a dark honey, on top of that forest floor note, and, for the first time, peaty notes that remind me of malt whisky. Mineral finish. An incredible tea. I’ve not got much left, maybe another two cups’ worth from my little sample, and I am kicking myself that I did not consult the instructions on the site and note the rinsing idea. I had to struggle to throw away the rinsing liquor, as it smelled so fragrant, but it seems to have taken a lot of bitterness with it.

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78

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @ 85C, steeped three minutes thirty seconds Western style, drunk bare.

I’m not a fan of dark oolongs. It was low-quality, dusty dark oolongs made with too-hot water that scared me off this entire group of tea for years. Stale Formosa, scalded, is just nasty.

I’m in love with Verdant, though, and I’m really excited about the Laoshan teas, so hey, I’ll try the Laoshan Roasted Oolong.

I’ve had it for several days, though, procrastinating, instead getting tea-drunk on the tieguanyin. (Look! Look! Three steeps and still beautiful, ah ha ha ha ha!)

Did I make it too strong? I expect so.

It’s got a lovely toasted barley taste, even some butter notes, and the scent reminds me of wild Yunnan, but there’s also a … what, cooked note? Roasted, I suppose. But it’s flat to me, flat and almost burnt. The dry winey finish is confusing me.

I think this one’s wasted on me, or I made a mess of it. Back to the Iron Goddess of Mercy I go.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Guys, help me out. What am I missing here?

Michelle Butler Hallett

I started out enjoying this … it’s been a strange cup.

Starfevre

The directions for Western brewing call for boiling water, 1 tsp per cup and 1.5 minutes. Maybe try it again like that?

Michelle Butler Hallett

The shorter time makes a lot of sense, but I admit, I hesitate to use boiling water on an oolong. I’ll try it, though.

Starfevre

I was kinda wary of the boiling water too, but I just made some and oolongs aren’t really my thing but I think it turned out okay. It’s hasn’t turned ‘bad’ or anything with the treatment.

Bonnie

One thing I’ve learned with Verdant is to follow their website instructions even if it goes against everything you’ve been doing. After that, do as you will. My scoffing tea friends don’t scoff any longer. They scratch they’re heads and obey.

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Profile

Bio

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.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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