Another strong new tea offering from Verdant.

Smelling the dry leaves, there are notes of sweet cocoa and cream, and in the background….well? Remember opening a plastic canister of Play-Doh? It sounds weird, but I definitely felt undertones of that distinctive, sweetly addictive smell (you are similarly and illogically drawn to eat this). Once steeped, the leaves and liquid remind me of the chocolate of a baked chocolate chip cookie, or of dark brownies.

My first tastes are actually more textures and sensations that flavors. The texture is like that of a smooth metallic sheet which is vibrating. I am reminded also of a river rushing of dark slabs of granite and slate. And yes, I wrote down that thought before I read that in Verdant’s description. Try it for yourself and you’ll see! How else can you describe it?
The taste is of Big Red Robe, definitely, but with more complexity than I’m used to finding. Vegetal, thick in movement, filling the mouth. Darkly floral, along the same unexpected lines I found in the YGB, and the aftertaste has the same mouth-feel of Verdant’s Tieguanyin. There is also something at the very tail end of a sip that reminds me of LaoShan green’s bean-y notes.
The flavors make me want to eat hibiscus chocolate, and the vibrating texture calls to mind granny smith apples. As the tea continues to steep, my notes include a “purple caramel” aftertaste. I know that sounds odd, but I am not sure how else to describe it. Alternatively, I imagine chewing on the skin of a red grape that has been frozen.

I wish that my notes were a little easier to follow, but after a while, I just stopped writing and enjoyed the tea. As I steeped this tea out over an evening, I found myself only writing down the most interesting and unexpected things that this Big Red Robe brought to mind and that I knew I wouldn’t remember clearly or believe when I went to log this properly.

Very fun tea, very good big red robe oolong. I think this will be a very popular tea (especially for the price), and I look forward to hearing what other people think of it. I look forward to drinking this through the fall and Minnesota’s long winter.Somebody bring me a slice of apple pie and we’ll turn on the Christmas carols early.

Kashyap

its so wonderful to read descriptions that draw into it the sensory feel that teas are so often made of that most overlook to talk about….its not just the light in the kitchen or the zen music in the tea shop, its the transformation that happens in the nose and the mouth that electrifies the senses and calls to each person’s unique memories….well done…and funny, I felt the same about the last big red robe I had…

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Kashyap

its so wonderful to read descriptions that draw into it the sensory feel that teas are so often made of that most overlook to talk about….its not just the light in the kitchen or the zen music in the tea shop, its the transformation that happens in the nose and the mouth that electrifies the senses and calls to each person’s unique memories….well done…and funny, I felt the same about the last big red robe I had…

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I generally drink Chinese teas.

I love things that are interesting, that force me to stop and think about and enjoy what I’m experiencing. Even better are those teas you just have to drink with a friend so that the outpouring of tastes and memories find a sounding board in a trusted companion.

I’m into tea as an experience rather than just a thirst quenching beverage. I love to learn- there’s so much to learn about tea.

I also prefer my teas to be exceedingly delicious, if at all possible. Luckily, I have great tea friends and teachers that can hook me up with the good stuff.

Something I’ve noticed about my ratings:
I tend to use Steepster more like Yelp and less like Twitter. I’ll generally only review a tea once in its life (though that review and rating might be edited over time to reflect changes in my own understanding of it).
I do not generally log each tea I’m drinking as I drink, since that feels like a distraction- I’d rather just drink the tea!
I tend to only review teas I really love or that I really did not enjoy. If it falls somewhere in the middle of “meh” and “that was pretty good, I suppose,” then I won’t be compelled to sit down and spend time giving a nice, fleshed out review and rating.
As such, it might seem like I give out high scores willy-nilly. Instead, I’m doing my first round of rating mentally off-site, and presenting only the teas I really want to share with everyone.

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Richfield, MN

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