So what’s all the hype about Verdant’s tieguanyins? I have been asking myself this question since I first joined steepster. Finally, I broke down and ordered an ounce of this tea just before it sold out.
I open the bag at home. Subtle scents of orchid and plumeria greet my nostrils. As my 5oz yixing pot heats up, I spoon my 5g of tea into a lotus plate. I see deep green, loosely rolled pearls. This sight tells me that the tea was lightly oxidized and lightly baked, indicative of a modern Anxi-style tieguanyin. My yixing is hot, so I dump out the water, add the leaves, shake the pot thrice, and enjoy the aroma once more. Once again, I smell tropical flowers, but the warmed leaves release a much heavier scent.
First steeping: 30seconds, longer than what David recommends, but I want to give the leaves an opportunity to open up a bit. No scent greets my nostrils with this brew. I become quite skeptical. Why do people on steepster rave about a tea with no aroma. I take my first three sips, and I suddenly understand. Candied honeydew melon and sugar snap peas. A lingering aftertaste of saffron. Thick, rich, buttery mouthfeel like I’ve never experienced it before. The color of the brew is a glowing yellowish green.
Second thru fourth steepings, 5 seconds. The sweetness of the honeydew dominates, but the sugarsnap pea has not left completely. A fine balance of sweetness and umami. The saffron aftertaste is still there and getting stronger. The buttery texture leaves in the second steeping, but returns full force by the fourth steeping. This is an outstanding tieguanyin. I’m beginning to wonder if David mistakenly replaced my order with his personal store of award-winning gold. Could it be?
Fifth steeping, 10 seconds. More butter, more melon, and candied peaches. Mushrooms with exotic spices. This tea is changing the way that I think about tieguanyin. Flowery? Yes. I would expect that. But I don’t expect the lingering aftertaste, the smooth, heavy body, the durability to last for five full-flavored steepings under 10 seconds. I am almost nearly convinced that David accidentally mismatched my order with some competition winning tieguanyin that was meant to be sold for $20,000 for 100g.
I know that this tea can give me more steepings, but I am currently unable to do more. I must take a break. I will log my appreciation of more steepings on another note.
Thank you David Deckler, you have won yet another loyal customer.