95

This review is from the Autumn 2013 crop.

I’ve steeped this Western style and it was good but did not blow me away. So I broke out the gaiwan and used the parameters on Verdant’s web page. ZOMG! It’s like a completely different tea :)

My palate is too uneducated to do complete justice to this tea. To mangle an old phrase, I don’t know much about oolongs, but I know what I like. And I really liked this!

Intense in the early steeps. I perceived the initial flavors as a super-intense loquat, but Verdant calls it “tart cherry and juicy nectarines”. OK, I guess I could also call it that. Also got a hint of cloves in the first steep and distinct cinnamon in the aftertaste throughout the middle ones. Stone fruits in the retro-nasal and sweetness in the cooling cup. Citrus notes emerged at the end.

I took this through 16 steeps over three and a half hours, and it was an incredible ride. I remembered seeing an email a week or so ago from Verdant that it was back in stock, so I headed over there to order some more. Oh noes! They’re out :(

Well I have enough for a few more sessions so I will sip it sparingly until the new harvest arrives.

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
TheTeaFairy

«I don’t know much about oolongs, but I know what I like.» The beauty with tea is no one needs to be an expert to appreciate it :-)
Isn’t it amazing how you can achieve different results just by changing brewing methods/vessels?

TeaExplorer

TheTeaFairy: Isn’t it amazing how you can achieve different results just by changing brewing methods/vessels?
Absolutely, yes!

With many teas I can usually pick out notes in a Western cup that are isolated or magnified in the gaiwan. This tea, however, took me completely by surprise. Flavors came bursting out during Gong Fu that I never detected in the Western cup.

I’ve also noticed a slight difference when using the same parameters on a given tea but switching between a Gong Fu pot (Kamjove type) and a gaiwan.

And so, less than a year into this incredible journey, all I know is that I truly know nothing. And I’m OK with that :)

SimpliciTEA

Great story about how changing the brewing parameters made a huge difference. I think I got this tea as a free sample last time I ordered from them (over a year ago), and I remember thinking I wasn’t impressed with it. But, I must have brewed it Western style, as I didn’t have a gaiwan then. Sixteen steepings, huh? Amazing!

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TheTeaFairy

«I don’t know much about oolongs, but I know what I like.» The beauty with tea is no one needs to be an expert to appreciate it :-)
Isn’t it amazing how you can achieve different results just by changing brewing methods/vessels?

TeaExplorer

TheTeaFairy: Isn’t it amazing how you can achieve different results just by changing brewing methods/vessels?
Absolutely, yes!

With many teas I can usually pick out notes in a Western cup that are isolated or magnified in the gaiwan. This tea, however, took me completely by surprise. Flavors came bursting out during Gong Fu that I never detected in the Western cup.

I’ve also noticed a slight difference when using the same parameters on a given tea but switching between a Gong Fu pot (Kamjove type) and a gaiwan.

And so, less than a year into this incredible journey, all I know is that I truly know nothing. And I’m OK with that :)

SimpliciTEA

Great story about how changing the brewing parameters made a huge difference. I think I got this tea as a free sample last time I ordered from them (over a year ago), and I remember thinking I wasn’t impressed with it. But, I must have brewed it Western style, as I didn’t have a gaiwan then. Sixteen steepings, huh? Amazing!

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Bio

I’m fairly new to the world of fine tea, having begun my exploration in earnest in mid-2013. I had given loose tea a try a decade ago but what I chose was not to my liking and I never finished the couple of hundred grams I ordered.

I’ve spent most of my life as a coffee drinker, and have studied and practiced the art and craft of coffee roasting for the past decade. I drink coffee until about noon, at which point my palate needs a change.

This eventually led me to try good quality tea one more time. The Internet is a great resource and I got pointed in a more solid direction this time. I started at Upton Tea with mostly black teas, a Jasmine-scented green and samples of some flavors. I’ve been enjoying three or four cups a day.

Then I stopped into a tiny Chinese restaurant in rural Pennsylvania and in response to my request for hot tea the proprietor brought me her personal Pu-Erh, which had just arrived from China, in a portable Gong Fu teapot. OMG … I found something new to obsess about! She kept bringing me hot water and I did multiple steeps until I could swallow no more. My research on this tea eventually led me here.

I’m a voracious reader and can consume a book a day when I have the time. I’ve been an obsessive geek since childhood and that spills over into all areas of my life, driving me to try to attain competency in more areas than I can count, especially technical subjects. I once took “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” on vacation and my wife asked why I wasn’t reading something fun. I had no idea what she meant.

I love almost all genres of music, but am most fond of Jazz (Miles’ Blue Period, Mingus), Delta Blues (Sleepy John Estes, Son House) and 80’s British alternative rock (The Smiths, Bauhaus, The Pogues). I also followed the Grateful Dead for a short while. Yup I’m getting old, but then 50 is the new 30, right?

I hope to make some of your acquaintances, and swap both knowledge and tea.

Location

Palm Bay, Florida

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