First off I huge thanks to David for sending such an extraordinarily generous “sample” of this. There was a rush of orders when I requested this as my free sample and after it got shipped David realized he might have forgotten in it, surely enough when it arrived there was a sample of Yabao, which I will never turn down and he said he would send extra with my next order, which came sooner than I had planned. There was actually more of this than the teas I paid for! It had actually sold out during that time and I’m guessing he included the last of it, wonderful customer service that and the amazing quality tea offerings keep me coming back to Verdant time and again.

Unfortunately sheng and I are still at odds with one another. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great sheng and there many notes in here that I appreciate, the cedar and rosemary especially are wonderful! I generally get a those tastes either a few seconds in or in the aftertaste which lingers and keeps me coming back for steep after steep. It’s just the astringency as it first hits my tongue and the dryness in the finish. I’ve never had sake, a sad fact I need to remedy, but I get the dry white wine reference. I started this last night and have continued it this morning in a quest for the buttery notes and cinnamon at the end.

I wonder what I could do besides lowering the water temp to lessen my perceived astringency. I keep my steeps short at the beginning but tend to want to draw them out if I lower the temp. Perhaps less leaf? Cold brewing a sheng seems a bit odd to me. Aging takes awhile and the right kind of storage though I’m not opposed to it, I would actually like to try some older shengs perhaps from the nineties to see if I like them any better. I can always find something to appreciate in Verdant’s shengs as they are wonderfully complex, it’s just getting over that dryness.

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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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