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Recent Tasting Notes
Not too bad
I was not expecting much with this tea but I was quite surprised. It definitely made the spicy yunnan profile with later steepings becoming sweeter raisin like so nothing too new and exciting but the body was pleasing. The leaves were full majority of them were unbroken also each steeping had little to no tea scum bubbles which was a nice for hongcha. I was surprised by the mouth filling body and silky smooth feeling going down. If the price dropped significantly I would buy a bunch of this and make it my go to yunnan for sure but I have trouble shelling out $5/oz when yunnan sourcing will give me the same for 3.5 oz. While it is not 3.5x better than any yunnan sourcing teas I do like this tea and will gladly enjoy the rest of the sample I have.
Typical yunnan flavor profile but a nice body and mouthfeel but too expensive for my wallet.
Flavors: Cocoa, Marshmallow, Raisins, Spicy
This is marvelous. It’s hard to describe the aroma of a Da Hong Pao. There’s just something very right and very tea about it. Taking a whiff of the dry tea instantly takes me back to my childhood, those times when I was curious about my family’s tea collection and would open the canisters to see (and sniff) what was inside. This one also reminds me of a summer trip to Fujian, and taking a raft down the river by Wuyi Mountain. Some of the most incredibly blue skies I’d ever seen that side of the world. (Yes, I actually went there! But I was too young to appreciate the tea culture as much, and was more interested in finding the supposedly 30 different kinds of cicadas on the mountain that all made different noises.)
The flavor profile of this is roasty, with a touch of caramel and a lingering sweetness. There’s a honey citrus zest to it that reminds me a bit of a Mi Lan Xiang Dancong, as well as a more meaty fruit sweetness like longan fruit. I’m sure this one will stand up to further exploration. Thanks to beelicious for the sample! I also have another sample from a Verdant order last year in an unopened pouch. Maybe it’s from a different harvest, and it would be interesting to compare the two.
When I first tasted this tea, I thought the jasmine was too over powering. But it may have been because I had not sipped on jasmine tea recently. As I started to experience the cup of tea, I noticed the jasmine was not overpowering, but the taste of the tea complemented the Jasmine so well it was hard for me to separate the tastes. I imagine the tea was grown near bamboo, because as I sip the tea i notice the smell and taste which arouses a scenic garden with bamboo and flowers in my minds eye. The flavor profile has Jasmine (shockingly), sweet grass, and a sweetness reminiscent of blueberries. It has grown into one of my favorite Jasmine teas.
Flavors: Blueberry, Jasmine
This tea is an explosion of flowers in your mouth… but that’s pretty much all. The ingredients list had me very excited to taste a tea that promised to be a complex collaboration of interesting flavors , but unfortunately all I can taste is floral flowers. Soooo much floweriness. Florals completely coat my mouth. Did I mention the flowers are very floral??
I first brewed this at 3g/6oz/190F for 1min, then at 4g/7oz/205F for 30sec and 1min. The 205F, 30sec brew was somewhat weak, and all of the 1min brews were a mouthful of flowers. I wish I had enough of this tea to experiment with steep times, temps, and water/leaf ratios etc, perhaps a gongfu sesh. I’d love to taste all of the ingredients in this tea, but for now I can only recommend it to people who are in love with jasmine and florals.
Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine
Thanks to OMGsrsly for this sample! It’s cool because I probably wouldn’t have picked this, but now that I’ve tried it I’m SUPER happy I got the chance. What an interesting tea! The aroma is amazing – it has this peppery spiciness that I’m assuming is the frankincense, having basically no experience with frankincense up until now. :) It smells like it might be a bit overbearing, but as I sip the tea the other flavours balance it out. The tieguanyin base is lovely and creamy, the citrus peel is bright, and the frankincense/saffron adds this amazing depth and richness. I’m actually not getting much of the jasmine – a bit of a floral note that might just be the oolong, but… oh actually, maybe the jasmine is more in the aftertaste. What a neat combination of flavours!
This is my first time in quite a while using a gaiwan so we’ll see how this goes!
First steep, 15 seconds: Everyone else seems to get sweet caramel flavors, but I’m getting light vegetal flavors with a bit of a sour note at the end. The steeped leaves smell like rice to me
Second steep, 20 seconds: This one was about the same as the 15 second steep, I didn’t notice a huge difference.
Third steep, 30 seconds: This one is less vegetal and more creamy
Fourth steep, 45 seconds: I didn’t get much flavor out of this one so I’m going to really up the time on the next one, and it will probably be my last of this for today. The steeped leaves smell almost like paper towels, weird.
Fifth steep, 90 seconds: Still not much going on here. Oh well
-Not my bag
These leaves are the tiny curled style similar to bi luo chun. They produced a light green with a tint of yellow liquor or straight yellow depending on steep time/temp. The tastes I got (realizing this is almost a year old and some flavors might have dissipated), was beany I would say cross between lima beans and white great northern beans. A slight sweetness in the first steeping but that was about it. It lasted about average amount of steeping for a green not super longevity but I’ve had one or two teas fade quicker
I personally wouldn’t drink it again not into the beany profile and with so much great tea in my cabinet and only drinking a few a day I cant see myself purchasing or drinking any of the samples I have. Not a terrible tea but not good enough for me personally
Flavors: Beany, Lima Beans
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Oak wood
I personally like my Genmaicha to have a distinct roasted rice taste. The tea does have the smell of roasted rice but the taste is a smooth vegetable with just a hint of roasted rice. I tried making it using different amounts, temperatures and steep times but I just couldn’t coax the stronger rice taste I want out of it.
Flavors: Green, Toasted Rice
Huh. So I just got my 5 for $5 Verdant Tea sampler in the mail and decided to try this first. This is good, and maybe it’s because I’m not as sophisticated a tea drinker as most of you, but… I’m not really blown away by it the way I expected to be after reading your reviews. It’s nice, and definitely not at all bitter. I’m on the 3rd steep, and I do think it’s improving as I go. I followed the Verdant Tea directions for brewing, starting out at just 30 seconds. I’ve quickly shifted to 90 seconds, and it’s an improvement. I thought it was too weak after the first steep, but it’s much better now. I also added a small amount of rock sugar — it’s not crucial, but it rounds out the flavor a bit for me. I think I’d appreciate this more if I were eating it with spicy foods — it’s very, very much like the black tea we would be served at a Chinese restaurant my family frequented when I was a child, but I haven’t had anything like it since. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling like I need something savory and spicy with it rather than the sweet breakfast I’m eating. eat I’ve got 4 g. left, so I’ll try to leave a better note next time I try it.
Also… I’m using unfiltered water. Actually… I’m doing that in general because I have very good tap water. Maybe the flavors of this are subtle enough that unfiltered water really would make a significant difference. It’s definitely not as strong as most of the teas I like, but it’s… I can tell it’s very good quality as you all say. Just maybe not my favorite type of tea.
But after this tasting… The tea’s good, but I’m unlikely to pay a premium to try it again after this.
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Nutty
I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong with oolongs; maybe I just haven’t developed the taste for them? I get the delicious floral and sweet flavors from some cheaper oolongs, but a nice one like this tastes like old leaves? It must be on my end. I will not rate until I figure it out. The good news is that I finally got myself a variable temp kettle coming in the mail- no more scalding for me!
Two steepings on this one, the second only slightly better than the first- maybe I’m off on the water-leaf ratio?
Happy Valentine’s Day! What better tea to have than a rose, long lasting shu puerh to celebrate the day of love? :) I’m not going to write a detailed review tonight as I’ve been drinking this tea western brewed all day, but it’s a nice shu, pretty smooth, dark, tasty. Unfortunately not much rose, but on the third steep (first two of 30s, 3rd of 45s) the tuocha is still not broken apart, so maybe it will come? I recall when I had this gongfu that the rose was more present though. Still delicious, easy on the stomach, and has awesome staying power. Perfect for today!
I love the aroma of this tea. Sweet and chocolate-y! Completely enticing!
A tea of chocolate-y bliss. This is lovely. Sweet, malty, and I love how the malt notes add a hint of caramel-esque flavor to the cup … the chocolate plus caramel-like flavors are heaven. I also taste notes of sweet potato and a hint of cream (almost buttery), and a touch of vanilla.
As the tea cools, I notice some citrus notes toward the tail.
A wonderful tea! Here’s my full-length article: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/01/15/yu-lu-yan-cha-black-tea-from-verdant-tea/
I actually have the 2014 spring, there seems to be multiple entries for this tea on Steepster and I don’t want to add another one just to change the year. I’m guessing this tea is probably fairly consistent per harvest, and you can get spring, summer or autumn pickings of Laoshan green.
Probably should have started drinking this earlier but I lost my enthusiasm somewhat when shipment of this tea was delayed by two months, and getting this spring harvest required a pre-order. I can’t fault Verdant for delays in their tea shipment from China, but I do fault not updating customers until we complained individually. Enough of us complained individually that Verdant started doing weekly updates. By the time I got the tea I was just glad it was all over and I didn’t need to keep track of it any longer.
I opened this today after receiving a gift of a Zojirushi water boiler from a tea friend who had it and was using another system to boil water. What a great gift! I feel like I have a Kwik Trip next to the bed now. I’m still experimenting with the settings, and it will take time for the system to lose the off taste that most electric kettle systems have when fairly new. I’m thinking of adding one of my pieces of charcoal bamboo which would be sooo awesome if it works out to improve my water even more!
Anyway, the Laoshan green has a beautiful slightly rolled leaf. I used a heaping tbsp of tea in my 140 ml gaiwan. I’m not getting any of the oat cereal flavor the description mentions. To me it smells and tastes rather like sencha or gyokuro, like a raw spinach. I’m brewing a little hot at 208 F but I’ve learned to do that with spinachy teas or else they are just gaggingly sweet. I like it a bit bitter, more of a tea taste as opposed to wet salad.
My rating here reflects the quality of the leaf. I think these types of greens are a matter of acquired taste and not for people new to tea. What is to be appreciated are the early spring nutrients, fresh green flavor etc. The leaf quality is exquisite, since it is first flush it resembles other first flush pickings with delicate, small and fragrant leaves. My personal taste leans toward strongly fermented tea or highly oxidized blacks lately. This is after nearly 15 years of drinking a pot of green tea every day for health reasons. Wish I had this tea back then, but I’m glad now that I can get this tea and fermented teas even more to my taste.