Verdant TeaEdit Company
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Flavors: Creamy, Flowers, Vanilla
Inhaling long, deep breaths of the dry leaf aroma has transported me to heaven. I’m so glad I bought samples of both Mrs. Li’s Dragonwells! To avoid confusion, I’m going to call this one “Early Spring” and the other “Shi Feng” (even though they both have Shi Feng in the name; only one has Early Spring!). I was expecting them to taste basically the same. In fact, I was expecting to have difficulty tasting a difference. But wow, these are so different!
I thought the Shi Feng one was actually a tad bitter. I didn’t put that in my review because I assumed I messed up the brewing parameters somehow since it was my first gaiwan experience. But now I think it may have been a little bit of the tea’s fault too. That tea was good, much greener and clean tasting. This one is creamy, buttery, and luscious! I much prefer this Early Spring version!
They both definitely have watercress notes, but Verdant Tea hit the nail on the head describing the Shi Feng as silky and the Early Spring as creamy. Oh yes, creamy!!! And buttery!! Oh, so good! Nom nom nom!
So I didn’t read the directions properly and started this at 10 second infusions instead of 4 seconds. The first two infusions were definitely the best. I felt the tea lost flavor surprisingly quickly in later infusions, but this could be due to those longer early steeps. I tried to compensate by doing longer later infusions and that’s when the Early Spring got a tad bitter. But that’s the first time any bitterness could be detected, and I’m 100% sure it’s because I oversteeped the leaves. As soon as I decreased the infusion time again, all traces of bitterness vanished.
Wow, I am so loving Long Jing!! It’s hard to believe there was a time when I drank a cup of Dragonwell and thought, “Yuck!” This is not yuck. This is pure decadence in a cup. I read through Verdant’s description of this one again and I found where it recommends eating the leaves after the tea is steeped out. I would not have thought of doing that!! I popped a bud in my mouth and sure enough, Verdant didn’t lead me astray. It is sweet and tender and delicious! OMG, I think I found a new love. My husband may have to share me because I want to marry this tea. AAHHHH!!! So good! I love this tea!!!!
Flavors: Butter, Creamy
The dry leaf aroma is dark chocolate, malt, and walnut. The aroma of the wet leaves is rock and mineral. The taste is a lovely combination of the two aromas. It’s at first mineral-y with a great, oaky, rock oolong flavor. Then it becomes silky smooth with a bit of caramel or honey. There’s even more honey in the second infusion and now a creamy vanilla note is seeping in.
I don’t usually like rock oolongs but this is delicious! It’s more honey and oak than mineral, which is a plus in my book. The tea liquor is a gorgeous amber. I’m gongfu brewing this in my gaiwan, slowly increasing the infusions by 5-10 seconds. I just fed the baby before starting this and luckily she’s being good for the moment. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy some tea, my darling!
Of course, the second I typed that she started fussing. ;) Now I’m carrying her in my Ergo and bouncing while the tea steeps. I think I’ll be enjoying the rest of these infusions with a baby strapped to my chest. :) This is great tea and I’d say the leaves are probably a good year old. I think Fujian oolongs are growing on me!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Honey, Mineral, Oak wood, Vanilla, Walnut
It wasn’t there with the first sip, but now I taste it distinctly: smoke. With the next sip, it’s gone and again I taste a mellow green tea. Next, I taste a slight seaweed flavor. Each sip tastes different than the last, just like each dry leaf looks different than the one beside it. This is a mysterious and capricious tea.
I have to confess that lighter tasting green teas aren’t usually my preference, but this one was at least an adventure.
Flavors: Seaweed, Smoke, Vegetal
This tea will knock you back into yourself when you haven’t been feeling very self-like. Like Wispering Pine’s ‘Ailaoshan Black’ – this is a tea that you can sit and breathe with, each breath in and out revealing something new about the tea. The sip in is dark, toasty and a little coffee-bitter, while the breath out is pure malty sweetness. Further into the cup, and further into the breath, the tea mellows out to lighter flavors – more carmel and graham crackers than coffee and chocolate.
Sometimes I think the thing I value most about tea is how its complexity forces your mind to focus on it – and in that focusing, you forget yourself and are finally able to relax.
Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Graham Cracker
Finally busted this one out tonight as I ordered hotel reservation for Indianapolis. Apparently without even knowing, there is a convention happening around two miles from my hotel… so I bought a ticket for that :)
Full day of comics, anime, games, cosplay, and general nerding out!
Anyways, I really enjoy my aged oolong teas because they are quite smooth. This one has a nice roasted taste to it and doesn’t leave a dryness in my throat which makes me very happy! Thankfully I have a decent amount of this so I am able to sip away at it for awhile over the next few months.
p.s. that con is called popcon
This was one of those teas on my wish list. Thanks Liquid Proust for adding it in.
I had this one yesterday and should have kept notes. I know I enjoyed it but wasn’t wowed by it. I found the bergamot was done nicely, not overpowering. It was quite mild as was the jasmine. I think I might need to have this tea again to really get a feel of it. I’m glad there was enough for two cups so I’ve still got enough left.
Ze_Teamaker was kind enough to send me a sample of this. Thank you so much.
WOW. This is what I’ve been searching for in a moonlight tea. It starts out light, juicy, fruity, a little earthy, and totally amazing. As you steep it, it just keeps getting darker and darker. It’s still a little earthy, and juicy but it’s getting deeper and more savory. I used boiling water and started with flash steeps, still only at 15 sec by steeps 7 and 8. This is a fantastic example of a moonlight tea.
On the chocolate-tobacco-wood-fruit black tea flavor continuum, this tea fell solidly in the middle, with perhaps a slight preference for the chocolate/tobacco side of things. While I love each of these flavors independently, some how, together, they all got muddled up. I’ll try brewing a little more lightly next time to see if I can un-muddy the whole situation.
After the first few sips, I put the rest of the pot over ice, which had a gentling effect – but still didn’t clarify what this tea was trying to be.
Flavors: Chocolate, Raisins, Tobacco
I’ve been very very bad. I recently bought my first gaiwan from Verdant Tea! It’s a beautiful, bone china, Jingdezhen, hand-painted, mountain gaiwan with matching teacup. It’s so so beautiful! It arrived today and I could barely contain my excitement! I immediately washed it and tried it out with this tea. I love it so much, and I was so impressed by the quality, that I went back onto the Verdant site and bought three more teacups, a bamboo tea scoop, and 1 oz. of Golden Fleece. AAHHHH!!!! What have I done?! I cannot, should not be buying all this teaware! I’ve been a very very bad girl. Shhh, don’t tell my husband. It’ll be our little secret. ;)
ON TO THE TEA!
Ah, on to this tea indeed. This tea is incredible! I honestly can’t do it justice with a review. I feel like my tea tasting and describing abilities are lacking for such a high quality tea. So I shall defer to the notes that Verdant Tea uses to describe it: silk, watercress, green bean, violet, and cashew. Wow! Silk and watercress indeed! This tea is silky smooth and delightful!
The first few infusions are incredibly flavorful. This being my first gongfu experience, I didn’t throw away the first infusion. I steeped the leaves for 30 seconds, which was honestly probably too long – or at least it’s too long when you don’t toss the first steeping after 10 seconds. This first infusion was a tad bitter. The second infusion though was spot on! The bitterness had faded and left behind a punch of watercress flavor. I rushed over to my husband and gave him the cup because I know he loves green tea more than me. He was blown away too.
Subsequent infusions (I lost count how many) were still delicious but didn’t possess quite the same broad spectrum of flavor. The violet and cashew are definitely only apparent in the early infusions. The late infusions were gentler and had mainly green bean notes. Still good to me but my husband said he definitely liked the early infusions more. He actually asked me if it was a different tea! He’s not quite as experienced – read obsessed – a tea drinker as I am, so he didn’t know that I was brewing multiple infusions of the same tea.
Ah, this tea is a luxury. It just oozes sophistication and class. I don’t usually like dragonwell but I think I may have to change that opinion because this is truly something special. How did I ever dislike green tea?
Now if only that bamboo presentation scoop wasn’t so darn expensive, I would have bought that too. I also looked into getting one of the tea pitchers, but I was able to successfully restrain myself. Gah! Why does Verdant have to offer so many beautiful teaware pieces? I want it all!! And after this gaiwan experience, now I see why I need a pitcher. The Chinese tea preparation method is messy! I got water everywhere! Besides that though, gongfu method brewing was much easier than I thought it would be. I have a new found love!
I truly enjoyed this gongfu experience so much more than my regular Western method of brewing tea, which surprised me. It honestly is so much more fun! I felt bad throwing away the used tea leaves in the trash. It felt wrong. Goodbye, beautiful tea leaves! I enjoyed all your delicious flavor and now you have no flavor left!
This was a treat. I am so thankful to Verdant for offering this tea, and I am so thankful to God for bringing me to this point in my life where I can afford and enjoy such experiences.
Starting to think my taster is off tonight. Why does this taste like stone fruit, apricot? This is lighter than I think it should be for a Yunnan black, but wow us it sweet. This is more like the Nilgiri I was drinking earlier that a typical Chinese black. There is a hint of chocolate and malt in the scent but it doesn’t seem to be coming through in the taste. I like this but it’s odd.
a nice tea :)
little glass pitchure, grandpa style:
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell peppery and floral.
when i smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified.
when i smell the brewed tea, i smell pepper and flowers.
when i taste the brewed tea, i taste pepper, spiceyness and flowers :D
i rate this a 75 as im not into the flowers much.
many thanks to Toad Thomas for this nice sample.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Pepper, Peppercorn, Spicy
Another one I was really happy to see in the box. There wasnt much left so my steep parameters were just a guess, but enough for me to sense that this isn’t your average ZSXZ. There are some unusual notes in here. Someone said cedar, yep I’m going with that. Not the ovoverwhelming pine smoke of some, just a subtle hint of smoky forest. There is also some earthiness to it, a hint of cocoa, maybe just a a wee whif of sweet fruit way in the back. I’m really happy that it has other flavors rather than just heavy smoke. I think I would be happy with some of this in my cupboard. :)
Well, I seem to have gone full on nocturnal, I don’t really mind too much since it means I get to miss the hellish day time heat (not that I sleep very well either way, ugh, I hate summer) but it limits what I can do because someone has to go and be all diurnal! Jerk. It is something I have done since I was a wee thing, much to the annoyance of my poor mom who really tried to keep my schedule sane, I just end up nocturnal(ish) during the hot times of the year. I still have my fingers crossed for a mild and stormy summer, but if not, at least there is that research that states drinking hot things keeps you cool!
You know what is sad? I have not looked at Verdant Tea in a long while, I mean really, I think it has been around a year, not really sure why either. Verdant Tea was one of the first tea companies I ordered from back when I made the leap to buying tea online, I discovered them while hunting down Oolongs! But today’s tea is not an Oolong, it is Holy Basil Spa Blend, one of their Alchemy Blends , which combines Burdock Roots (Gobo!) Peppermint, Spearmint, Holy Basil (name drop) and Fennel seeds. The aroma of the rather refreshing sounding drink is intensely minty, which is expected with two different kinda of mint. With these minty notes comes sweet fennel notes, slightly savory notes of holy basil (which is also a tiny bit peppery) and a slight note of earthiness at the finish. This herbal tea is very balanced, even with all the mint, the other notes reign it it, kinda like that one rambunctious kid at a family reunion that is actually quite tolerable to be around once the other people get it to chill out.
Brewing the herbs, the tea lair was super aromatic afterwards, which is always nice. The aroma is pleasantly sweet and very minty, there is of course herbaceous notes of basil and fennel, and a tiny note of earthy roots, but mostly there is sweet mint. The liquid is only moderately minty, instead the green and herbaceous notes of holy basil really shine, they are slightly pepper and a touch savory. It blends well with the sweet notes of fennel and mild mint.
You know, I was surprised, it turned out to be more savory than sweet, usually teas with fennel tend to be pretty sweet, but not this one. It starts out with a powerful burst of herbaceous and slightly peppery Holy Basil, there is also a tiny hint of lettuce, Holy Basil is a complex smelling plant. After the initial savory burst it switches over to cooling minty sweetness which lingers only in cooling sensation before the Holy Basil takes back over, with a slightly earthy note from the burdock. This tea is very refreshing, the taste reminds me more of a healing broth to drink when you have a rebellious stomach rather than a tea, and I am totally ok with that!
I steeped this tea in the hotel I was staying at in Kansas City.. They had a keurig that I cleaned out and was able to make some hot water fairly easily. The early steeps of this tea is nice, but nothing superb. Definitely some wood and tobacco notes. I wanted to save the leaf for the next day, but I woke up to some frozen sheng…
I wasn’t able to finish steeping it, so will refrain from a numeric score at this time.
I should caveat all my reviews with the statement that green teas are pretty much all I want to drink these days, with very few exceptions. So when I say “tea,” I mean green tea. Some teas are bright and fresh. This tea is darker and sweeter, containing qualities I normally associate with a high quality black tea but still maintaining its green-ness (is that a word?).
I can’t get into the finicky steepings because I drink this throughout the day during work, so I fill the basket of my double walled glass tumbler, heat the water to around 170, pour it over the leaves and let them sit for just a few seconds…maybe 20? I add 30 or so seconds for each subsequent steeping. You’ll get four good steepings and the first two are the best. The key for me is not letting the first two sit too long…just kiss them with water.
Normally, I think it would be too rich for summer, but my office is so cold…I’ve ordered as much of the final stock as I think I can reasonably store. I know good teas will come this year and for years to come, but I will be very sad when last season’s Laoshan green is no more. 2014’s final harvest will be one to remember.
Flavors: Hay, Soybean, Spices, Vanilla, Vegetal
The floral notes in this tea are very balanced with the overall taste. This is a huge plus for someone who tends to be shy when it comes to TGY because they can be packed full of floral notes. Overall, I really enjoyed this tea; enough so that I am resteeping it as I give into my gaming addiction :/
Brewed semi-Western style with a glass test tube steeper. Steeping times: 30, 15, 20, 40, 80.
Overall, this a complex ZSXZ. The dry leaf aroma smells like a small, controlled fire that has died out for a few minutes: a gentle smoke, different evergreens and needles burned together. In contrast, the wet leaf aroma is heavy with gray smoke and charred wood. My favorite: The aroma rising from the steeper after I have poured out the liquor is honey-glazed Christmas ham.
The liquor is dark amber in color, clear, and full-bodied. The first infusion resembles inhaling enough smoke that you can taste it and it sticks to your nostrils. A second, shorter steeping – and the subsequent infusions – are still smoky (of course) but much lighter, with a cedar note and cooked meat aftertaste. I could swear I had finished eating BBQ’d pork. Sweeter and sweeter it becomes. A note of maple syrup emerges. The sessions ends with equal smoke and maple syrup.
Ohhhh man. This was so worth the horrible exchange rate, and paying extra for shipping so I could get it sooner. YUM. I tend to be pretty “meh” about green teas in general, but this is my first time trying a really fresh green tea (and a Dragonwell, at that) and wow, does it ever make a difference.
I went with 3g of tea in my 100ml gaiwan. 80C water, initial steeps pretty quick, like 5-10 seconds. The first steeping was clear like water, subsequent ones were a pale yellow. The scent of the dry leaves when I first opened the bag was amazing, and the scent of the wet leaves is even more amazing! Rich and sweet and vegetal and… spring. The taste of the tea is amazingly sweet, with light vegetal notes and a lovely creamy mouthfeel. Ugh, soooooo good.
Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal
This is my new Shou pot’s first gongfu session!
This brew has restored my faith in Shou. I am very skeptical of Shou. I’m a traditional pu-erh drinker, and I’m a strong believer in Sheng. Although, I decided that I need to re-open my horizons, and this is the brew that I picked. Today is a day of celebration, and I believed this brick would suit it well. The dry leaf was a loosely compressed brick. The brick was dark red and brown and carried the scent of cherry wood and spice. I placed this chunk inside my warmed yixing and gave it a shake. The warmed leaf deepened to a mossy forest floor aroma. I washed the leaves and prepared to brew. The steeped leaves reminded me of being out on the lake on a cool autumn morning. I could smell the light mist rising from the water, and the dew off the shoreline flora. The flavor was incredible! The sip began as a smooth wood and leather flavor, and then broadened with a full bodied earthy tone. The brew finished with a lingering sweet aftertaste of caramel and sugared fruit. I was able to pull a fair amount of steepings out of this, and I believe it to be a brilliant beginning to my yixing’s life! I am very happy to have tried this beautiful brew.
Flavors: Caramel, Cherry Wood, Forest Floor, Leather, Wet Moss