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These leaves while long and pressed flat are less uniform than the dragonwell I have experience with.  There is variation in size, shape and a lovely contrast of fresh bright and lush dark green leaves, they are beautiful.  The smell of the leaves don’t bring anything to mind except tea (lame I know, but there are too many other smells going on in the kitchen).  

It is in the rinsing of the leaves that a strong vegetal aroma is released and stays for the first 15 sec steep.  Very pale brew, with a tinge of blush against my white bone china cup, later steeps are near clear in my glass infuser mug. It is fresh and sweet with a hint of nut and evergreens.  The taste isn’t an overwhelming sort of vegetal, it’s light, bright and smooth and just so very fresh, which is what I have come to expect from Verdant’s teas.  The smell reminds me of matcha, the taste more of Gyokuro with such a nice sweet finish.  As I reach the bottom of the first cup there is a bolder, thicker body .  

I didn’t take notes for the second and third steeps which I also kept short, though I surely enjoyed them.  Yes there was a bit of mint and even vanilla. Fourth was warm and pleasant (I had it with breakfast so don’t ask me about flavor) I let it steep a minute.  

The fifth which I steeped for two mins had an interesting orchid note that of course brought to mind Tieguanyin and the sixth which I steeped for 3 mins was the least vegetal and the most sweet.  I don’t really get the banana but then I didn’t read that last night but there is a desert quality, maybe like a meringue minus the lemon.  Oh hey and there’s nice green tea flavor at the bottom of this cup.  Let’s have another go shall we? Hmm bit of spice, tastes like a second or third steep of a tea that isn’t meant for multiple infusions. I’m sure I could have gotten more if I had kept to shorter steeps, but my toddler renders me impatient sometimes, but thankfully there is another servings worth left.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

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Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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