Verdant Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

Oh dear this is incredibly darkly roasted. I’ve not yet enjoyed a once-green oolong that’s anywhere near this darkly roasted
Alright it’s not that bad, it’s chocolatey and roasty and uh slightly reminiscent of dancong actually, a familiar kinda of fruitiness, like lychee, there’s a minty cooling feeling as well, along with some plum, and apricot
Why am I loving this?
This is so weird because like 2 months ago, around the time I made this verdant pre-order, (This was included as the free sample) I was really into green oolong, which I ordered some of, but I only seem to like darker teas now. That was a really sudden change.. I should’ve drank my dayulin more often.
There’s some blueberry notes.. I think. It’s sort of a hard to place berry note, this has such a nice cooling sensation, and some very nice astringency. Oh there’s some lemoniness .. lemony… lemon notes. It sorta weakened like 4 steeps in and I can’t get the strength back, it’s growing more earthy and minty and delicate.

That was suprisingly enjoyable. Who am I?

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Floral soft sugary sweetness.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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drank Huang Jin Gui by Verdant Tea
150 tasting notes

I remember doing several gongfu sessions with this tea back in July or thereabouts, but apparently never posted a tasting note/review. I was unable to find drafts of my session notes, but did discover a numerical rating of 82 that I had scrawled in a notebook. I recall this tea displaying pleasant cream, osmanthus, jasmine, and citrus aromas and flavors with hints of leaf vegetables and minerals in the later infusions. I tend to not be a huge fan of Huang Jin Gui, as I tend to find it pleasant, yet somewhat two-dimensional, but I apparently rather liked this one.

P.S. I finally managed to write a short tasting note. Aren’t you all proud of me?

Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Jasmine, Mineral, Osmanthus, Vegetables

6 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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It’s time to start cleaning out the backlog again. The sipdown of this tea came last night. I was a bit jittery due to an upcoming outing with my vocational rehabilitation clients and was having a lot of trouble getting settled for the evening. Naturally, I decided to add more caffeine to the fire. Even when I’m jittery, a nice gongfu session always seems to do the trick, and I end up out like a light when I should probably be bouncing off the walls and/or babbling incoherently in a corner somewhere. It took me awhile, but I finally fell asleep and woke up as ready to face the day as could possibly be expected given the circumstances.

My rambling should have made it obvious that I prepared this tea gongfu style. I followed Verdant’s guidelines for this one. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 4 seconds. I followed this initial infusion with 10 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 10 seconds, 13 seconds, 16 seconds, 19 seconds, 22 seconds, 25 seconds, 28 seconds, 31 seconds, and 34 seconds. I probably could have gotten at least one or two more infusions out of this, but stopped where I did because it was late and I needed to get some sleep.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves gave off a mild smoky scent with hints of spice and chocolate. After the rinse, I noted strong aromas of chocolate, cinnamon, pine needles, and smoke. The first infusion produced a similarly intense nose. In the mouth, there were distinct impressions of chocolate, cinnamon, pine, smoke, and sage. There was also a slight sweetness left on the back of the throat. Subsequent infusions were similarly spicy, smoky, and savory, though they were also incredibly balanced. I noted the emergence of toast, honey, elderberry, and malt notes underneath the dominant flavors of sage, pine, smoke, and chocolate. Boy, Verdant’s taste profile was more or less dead on with this one. The later infusions were mild and smooth, though traces of chocolate, pine, toast, smoke, and cinnamon were still evident. There was also the expected Wuyi minerality that became more pronounced on these final infusions.

I’ve had nearly a full day to process my thoughts on this tea, and to be honest, I am glad I did not try to post this review last night. Immediately after finishing the session, I was a bit disappointed that this lapsang was not smokier. I was also a little disappointed that the flavors faded a little sooner than I would have preferred (I was kind of nitpicking though-I did manage to get eleven infusions out of 5 grams of this tea, and at least 7-8 of them were very good). In retrospect, however, this was a very sophisticated, balanced lapsang souchong that did not resort to over-the-top and/or artificial smokiness.

Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Sage, Smoke, Toast

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Oh. My. God. This tea tastes absolutely incredible! I visited the Urban Tea Merchant in Vancouver and O Dor is the brand they carry in their teahouse/shop. I ordered a cup and a couple of the freshly-made, sweet truffles that were also for sale.

When I first took a sip the tea tasted quite buttery but at the same time rather vegetal – in a good way. But then I took a bite of truffle and had another sip and the explosion of flavour was incredible. It tasted so sweet and creamy with notes of vanilla that I could hardly believe that this was a pure, unflavoured tea. So if you ever have this tea I’d really recommend having it with something sweet – it really enhances the experience, I know I was in absolutely amazing!

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Okay, I am going to try to keep this one short. Knowing me, I will probably fail. I have been working on a small sample bag of this tea for the past two days and should finish it by tomorrow. Since I find writing about yabao difficult, I’m just going to record my first impressions as clearly and succinctly as possible in this review.

I brewed this one gongfu style. I followed Verdant’s gongfu guidelines closely this time around. Following the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose buds in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. I performed eleven additional infusions, increasing the steep time by 10 seconds per infusion. So, steep times on the additional infusions ranged from 20 seconds to 2 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry buds gave off a subtle aroma that reminded me of spices and herbs. After the rinse, I noted a combination of spices, herbs, pine, juniper, cedar, and citrus on the nose, but I was not particularly able to pick out clear impressions. In the mouth, I noted a blend of straw, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pine, juniper berry, cedar, eucalyptus, clove, and lemon on the early infusions. The middle infusions were sweeter and fruitier. I began to note impressions of peach, apricot, yellow plum, oatmeal, and marshmallow beneath the woody, spicy, and herbal sensations. Later infusions continued to emphasize sweeter aromas and flavors, though I could still detect impressions of oatmeal, straw, pine, cedar, lemon, and juniper lurking in the background. I also noted a subtle minerality on these infusions, though it was not particularly distracting.

Well, now that I have completely failed at writing a short review, allow me to state that I found this tea to be very enjoyable. I’m still not particularly familiar with yabao, so I do not know what separates a decent one from a great one, but I did very much enjoy this offering. As a matter of fact, I have only had one other tea of this type (the yabao offered by Whispering Pines), and I have to say that I found this one to be the better and more accessible of the two. In the end, I would recommend this tea to drinkers specifically looking for something subtle, graceful, deep, and challenging.

Flavors: Apricot, Cardamon, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Marshmallow, Mineral, Nutmeg, Oats, Peach, Pine, Plums, Straw

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Let me start off this review by saying that I’m not a giant fan of greener oolongs. I have found many to be obnoxiously floral yet thin. Also, they make me dizzy the way green tea does sometimes (except for matcha as it’s more processed and therefore removes some of the ‘freshness’ which causes dizziness in certain people.)

This wasn’t bad. First four steeps were creamy with a decent, lasting aroma. Nothing distinguishes this Jin Guan Yin too much from the average green oolong, only that everything tastes more balanced.

However, after four steeps it seemed to disintegrate into some overly savoury, fishy, grassy flavours which totally put me off.

If I discount that last steep, it wasn’t bad, but I can’t see myself reaching often for this over my beloved roasted oolongs.

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Sometimes I allow curiosity to get the better of me, but other times I err on the side of caution and deny myself the opportunity to try new things. As a rule of thumb, I tend to steer clear of anything that sounds too good to be true, so when Verdant Tea released a caffeine-free tisane that was supposed to taste very similar to a quality Laoshan green tea, I was highly skeptical. I was, in fact, so skeptical that I simply dismissed this new product. I couldn’t find much information on Ziziphus Jujuba, so I figured it must be one of Verdant’s patented 1000+ year old tree deals and promptly moved on with my life.

Fast forward a few months and I decided to order a bunch of samples from Verdant. When my package arrived, I sorted through the nice new packets of various Chinese black and oolong teas, curious to see what my free sample would be. It ended up being 5 grams of the Spring 2016 Wild Laoshan Gan Zao Ye. Last night, curiosity finally got the better of me and I tore into the sample. Well, it turns out that sometimes the marketing doesn’t exaggerate as much I expect it to. That was certainly the situation here.

Since I had no idea how to brew this tea, I closely followed Verdant’s gongfu guidelines. I steeped 5 grams of loose leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 8 seconds. I followed this initial infusion up with 11 additional infusions, increasing the steep time by 4 seconds per infusion. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 24 seconds, 28 seconds, 32 seconds, 36 seconds, 40 seconds, 44 seconds, 48 seconds, and 52 seconds. At this point, I would also like to add that I dropped the lid of my favorite gaiwan at the end of this session and chipped it in two places. GRRRR!!!

After a quick examination of the dry leaves, I could have sworn that this was an actual Laoshan green tea. A sniff of the dry leaves, however, revealed the difference. I noted a pronounced nutty, vegetal aroma that reminded me of walnut, toasted rice, and cooked peas. I couldn’t recall any of the Laoshan greens giving off such a nutty aroma from the get go. After infusion, the leaves emitted even stronger aromas of roasted nuts, cooked peas, and toasted rice. There was also a grainy scent reminiscent of roasted barley. The liquor produced was much darker and cloudier than I expected. In the mouth, I noted incredibly robust notes of roasted walnuts, roasted chestnuts, roasted barley, cooked peas, and toasted rice. The next three infusions produced similar results both on the nose and in the mouth. From the fifth infusion on, the roasted barley, nut, and toasted rice sensations mellowed and faded just enough to allow some other impressions to shine through the murk. I picked up on subtle aromas and flavors of wood, butter, hay, bitter chocolate, and what can only be described as vegetable broth. There was also just the slightest hint of sweetness on the back of the throat. The folks at Verdant described it as honey, but that’s not what I would call it. In fact, I have no idea how to describe it. I also noted that the color of the liquor changed substantially over the course of the session. Early infusions were dark and hazy, while the later infusions were a clear yellow-green. Even though I probably could have pushed on with at least one or two more infusions, I decided to call it quits after number twelve.

Honestly, I regret not trying this tisane sooner. I found it to be exceptional, and though part of me is annoyed by the idea of assigning an herbal tea a numerical score higher than any proper tea I have reviewed to this point, I really did find this one to be that good. Seriously, if I were able to drink this every single day, I probably would. While I would not say that this Gan Zao Ye is identical to a Laoshan green tea, I would concede that there are more than enough similarities to please or at least intrigue fans of Verdant’s Laoshan greens. Even if you are not a fan of Verdant’s Laoshan green teas, I would still encourage you to try this tisane because I would take it over any of them most days.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Dark Chocolate, Hay, Peas, Roasted Barley, Toasted Rice, Vegetable Broth, Walnut, Wood

175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Wow—that good, huh?!


Yeah, I liked it that much. I really did not expect to either. I think that part of it for me is that I love toasty, grainy, nutty flavors and this stuff had a ton of them.

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drank Mei Zhan by Verdant Tea
3248 tasting notes

Although I haven’t been drinking much oolong lately, I do love wuyi oolongs and have a pretty nice collection of them. My neglect is not for lack of love, but for lack of time. I don’t really like to bring them out to play unless I have time to load up the yixing & savor cup after cup of wonderful nuance. But lately I’ve been thinking about them more, like dear friends I don’t see often. Sometimes my feeling that I don’t have enough time to drink certain teas is probably just a figment of my imagination. I mean, I’m self-employed, I’m home most of the day, unless I have a gig somewhere, and although I’m usually busy with one project or another, they are a perfect afternoon tea for me, especially when I have students coming and going, with the short steep time, the smaller cup, & the wonderful wonderfulness.

I like to preheat my yixing & then let the leaf sit in there for a minute to really release it’s aroma, and I was not disappointed from the moment I opened the lid & sniffed. ahhhh….
Tart like hibiscus, sweet, tart & juicy but slightly under-ripe stone fruits, but this tea also has a bass note that really appeals to me, because I tend to favor bolder teas. Kind of a dark unsweetened chocolate with a hint of coffee.

I started with 7G + yixing 5/8/11/15/20/25/30 seconds, then the flavor started to lighten, so I went to minutes 1/2/3 /5 Overall the flavor stayed the same throughout, just building layers & then fading down, until by the last steep, it was a mineral rich soup, with a pleasant chocolate bitterness & a little tanginess remaining.

Ensemble: Upright Bass, Bass Clarinet, Cello, Clarinet, Viola, Flute & Oboe & some high brass, sparingly. And Harp, of course! :)

Liquid Proust

any sweetness to the tart?

Terri HarpLady

yes, especially in the earlier steeps :)

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drank Ruan Zhi by Verdant Tea
41 tasting notes

Wow, the floral scent really comes through when steeping. Like very faint lilacs underneath the milk and a hint of steamed rice. The flavor is green and floral and milk.

Flavors: Floral, Milk, Rice

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Dry smell: Walnut and pumpkin with a faint hint of wood smoke.
Steeped smell: Autumn leaves, summer squash
1st steeping flavor: Cedar & mineral with a just a bit of maple
2nd steeping: chocolate, caramel, mineral and the ceder has changed into pine

This is from the spring 2016 harvest.

Flavors: Cedar, Maple, Mineral

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Dry: The leaves smell faintly of chocolate almond biscotti. The aroma is very faint.
As it’s steeping: It smells of fresh tobacco and wood smoke. The liquor is a dark golden brown.

Flavor: Incredibly smooth and balanced. Almost, but not quite, sweet. Caramel with autumn leaves, oak wood, and some slight umami. Very refined with sweet fruitiness coming out in later steepings.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Oak wood, Sweet, Umami

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Shui Xian by Verdant Tea
41 tasting notes

This is from the Spring 2016 harvest.

Dry smell: gingerbread (yum!)
Brewed smell: wood smoke, soil, petrichor, summer squash

Flavor: Summer squash, green leaves
This was a sampler I purchased from Verdant tea. It was nice, with some aroma of a dark oolong but with the flavor of a green oolong.

Flavors: Vegetal, Zucchini

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Mao Xie by Verdant Tea
41 tasting notes

This is from the Spring 2015 harvest.
Dry: It’s very floral with concord grape, orange and clove and a big wiff of cut grass
Wet smell: lettuce, roasted wheat, caramel

Flavor: Barley and copper. When Smelling the dry leaves i was so excited to try this but the flavor profile was pretty insipid and a let down.

Flavors: Roasted Barley

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I have been working on this tea for some time now. This differs from Verdant Tea’s regular Qilan in that the teamaker utilized a much lighter roast in order to bring out the pronounced notes of spice and orchid that are so common to this particular varietal. I think fans of traditional Wuyi oolongs would really appreciate this one.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. As I’m still playing with my brewing method a bit, I did not follow Verdant Tea’s brewing outline all that closely. I started off following their suggestions, but just went with my gut after a point. For this session, I started off with a quick rinse and then steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 5 seconds. Additional infusions were conducted at 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 14 seconds, 17 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute 15 seconds, and 2 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves emitted mild, yet intriguing aromas of plum, raisin, sandalwood, and dried flowers. After the rinse, the orchid aroma really emerged. The first infusion produced a pronounced orchid and sandalwood aroma underscored by minerals and a subtle fruitiness. In the mouth, there was a pleasant blend of orchid, raisin, plum, lychee, sandalwood, and mineral notes. The second and third infusions produced much heavier aromas and flavors of orchid and sandalwood. Infusions 4-6 saw the floral quality reigned in significantly, while mineral, raisin, plum, and lychee notes began to push to the fore. There was also something of a wet stone quality on the finish. Steeps 7-9 saw the tea fade earlier and faster than I wanted. I still noted mild sandalwood, orchid, and mineral aromas, as well as mild flavors of sandalwood, raisin, and orchid beneath the stone and mineral notes. Steeps 10-12 saw the tea continue to wind down. There was a slight mineral tinge on the nose, while mineral and stone notes dominated the mouth from start to finish. I found that I could still just barely detect hints of raisin, orchid, plum, and sandalwood when I really focused. I ended the session at this point.

For me, this tea was a hard one to properly evaluate. On the one hand, those early steeps were so wonderful, but on the other hand, this tea did not retain much of its character for the length of time I generally prefer. I think what saved this one for me was that unmistakable Wuyi rock texture in the mouth. It stuck around from start to finish, focusing the robust flavors of the early steeps and the ghostly flavor sensations of the last infusions. In the end, I’ll grade this one rather liberally just for that.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Lychee, Mineral, Orchid, Plums, Raisins, Wet Rocks

Boiling 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Your reviews make my tea world is much richer. Thank you.


Thank you. I appreciate that very much.

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another from terri. this has a taste to it that is super familiar and yet i can’t seem to figure the word out. it’s sweet…yeah i dunno. i don’t have much else to say beyond this was an enjoyable cup :)

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Delicious bready malty tea. Doesn’t taste quite as raisiny as Mountain Tea’s Black Pearl, but they still seem much in the same vein. I also appreciate that this tea is tightly rolled, it makes it so much easier to measure.

I didn’t follow the directions at all, as I can never taste anything after a 30 second steep. Did 3 minutes and it turned out lovely.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

I am so glad you’re enjoying the teas I sent. I always feel guilty of I’m not drinking a tea that is good quality because it’s just not a favorite.


Me too! Once I knew everything that goes into making high-quality tea, I felt super guilty about wasting anything, but alas, quality is no guarantee that the tea will be appealing, everyone’s tastes are so different. Everything in the box has been fabulous though, and I was super excited to see how much oolong there was, because I have a big weakness for oolong :) Thank you so much!

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Maybe I was expecting something sweeter from the golden needles, I’m not sure, but I was definitely expecting smooth, and in that regard this tea does not disappoint. It definitely has a smooth texture and flavor

Flavors: Asparagus

Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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I finally got around to tasting this tea after having it for a couple of months now. In comparison to my old standby Teavivre’s Bi Lo Chun, this version does not disappoint, although it does not necessarily stand miles above Teavivre’s either.

As far as tasting notes, I found this to be light, floral, and sweet with a hint of fruit. There was also a slight hint of astringency, although as usual with Bi Lo Chun it was in no way overpowering. Just a hint at the end of each sip. I found this Bi Lo Chun to be less floral and fruity than Teavivre’s variety, although I will have to taste them side by side to be absolutely sure. Overall I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys lighter, floral green teas.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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Sounds obvious, but steeping vessels really make all the difference. Especially for oolongs, I’ve found.

The first four steeps of this were in a glass teapot and while it was clearly a good quality tea, it didn’t have the complexity I expect from an oolong as old as this. To be fair, my only point of reference for aged teas is the 9 Years Aged Da Hong Pao from YS so perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Fifth to tenth steeps I transferred the leaves into a new, previously unused and unseasoned yixing and the teapot brought out so much additional sweetness and warmth. Perhaps it was the minerals in the clay. Perhaps it was just being able to keep the temperature closer to 100C which worked best for the tea.

As the first five steepings of this were not in an optimal vessel, perhaps I missed out on a lot of interesting tastes because this ended up a little disappointing. The best TGY I’ve ever had is actually from a yum cha place near me, which is so crazy but I think I prefer that one to this.

This tea tasted like an above average roasted TGY with all the notes described by Verdant, but the one flavour I enjoyed specifically was that of Thai sticky rice.

Will report back again when I brew this in a yixing all the way and adjust my rating later.

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Chocolate silk.
Must say, the price reflects its quality for sure.


I’ve come to love Verdant tea so much, in spite of the high prices & exchange rate. So amazing.

Daylon R Thomas

How does it compare to the Laoshan Oolong?

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drank Laoshan Gongfu Black by Verdant Tea
7848 tasting notes

steepster eats notes and ratings for breakfast. I know i’ve had this one before. Terri sent me some more (maybe a different year) and this is pretty tasty. not sure it’s worth the extra money for this version over my regular LB, but it’s still tasty and i rather enjoyed it. Familiar LB notes in here : malt, dark rich chocolate and maybe a hint of cherry like something?

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