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93

So I enjoyed 13 or so sessions with this tea, five yesterday and the rest today. They were very quick steeps starting at 2 secs to 15 sec yesterday and only reaching a minute with the last two today. I used around two teaspoons of leaf to around 4-6 ounces of water, in the gravity tea infuser (read: Teavana perfect tea maker). The third and fifth infusions were probably my favorite, they were the most floral and green but I had some nice ones today as well that were more buttery and slightly spicy. For some reason I kept expecting this to be more than it was, which is a great spring Tieguanyin, like the Autumn harvest or another variety of oolong altogether (I had Oriental Beauty earlier in the day and I love how different it is), which is quite silly of me.

I actually brought this to work on Sunday and brewed it side by side with the Autumn harvest and go the tea makers switched around, but I was still pretty certain which was which, the Autumn was much more of a cool depth to it, but surprisingly they are both buttery. For fun we also brewed Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong, which I would assume is a Spring 2011 harvest (but who knows). Most of the co-workers preferred Verdant, except of course the boss lady who while she thought they were interesting commented, “I think ours is smoother, don’t you?”.

No actually not at all, I thought it was a little bit more pungent up front and finished quite dry, whereas Verdant’s two offerings left my tongue feeling silky and moist. mmmgood304 thought the dry leaf smelled like lilacs, I concur. Honestly it didn’t preform as well at work as it did at home, maybe it was the water, or the residue on the tea makers or the fact were were pouring out of paper cups into plastic sample cups, but it wasn’t until the third steep at home that I tasted the essence of spring and it was quite lovely.

I haven’t rated a tea in awhile and don’t feel like it tonight, so will probably withhold until the sipdown on this one. But I am impressed with the mouthfeel in early steeps and the sheer longevity of the leaves. I probably could have gone for several more infusions, but gosh I need to buy a gaiwan of a yixing pot. I am just grateful to be able to drink a tea picked this spring, just weeks ago, I find that amazing.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °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.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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