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Recent Tasting Notes
Verdant brought back a limited supply of this one during the last Cyber Monday sale and I had to pick it up. Very glad I did for I know that it is real Ban Zhang which is quite difficult to obtain these days. This is a powerful tea with a definite bite to it.
Begins with a lovely clear and bright golden tea soup with a thick and sweet leather-like aroma. Progressing through several steepings, the color begins to turn more orange. Body is low and strong. At the front of each sip there is definite smoke and bitterness but it becomes sweeter at the back of the throat. Note, this is a heavy, dense sweetness with smoke and pepper in the early steepings. The texture here is thick, smooth, and very satisfying. After each cup, I am left with mouth watering and a fuzzy warm feeling in my body – interesting that I feel both mellow and alert at the same time. After each of the many steepings it remains pungent and potent with a bit of sweetness coming through. Each cup is full-flavored with long-lasting aftertaste. Overall, quite a tea with a balanced mix of bitter and sweet that infuses first the nose, then lips, tongue, mouth and throat. This is strong and potent stuff and I am delighted to have more in my tea cabinet to enjoy from time to time.
I should add that there is an interesting backstory to this tea. As reported by David Duckler at Verdant:
“This pu’er is a unique example of a brick pressed by a small farmer’s cooperative. Their family has a plot of land on Banzhang mountain, which is considered to be the absolute top in terms of pu’er. They eventually got sick of selling the pu’er leaves they picked with care to the big factories for pressing because they felt that the pu’er was treated like too much of a commodity by the bigger companies. They took a huge risk and started their own pressing of bricks.”
So THIS is what all the fuss is about! I’ve heard amazing things about this tea and they were all true…it is absolutely delicious! It has a rich, silky mouth feel and loads of fabulous flavor. I’m mainly getting sweet potato, but also a hint of honey sweetness and just a touch of spice. It also re-steeps beautifully. This is definitely one of the best black teas I’ve ever had. Thank you so much to beelicious for the sample!
Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Malt, Spices, Sweet Potatoes
I had a small sample of this tea, 4g, and I’m really not sure whom I got it from as all my samples were mixed together. Sorry!!!
Anyway, this tea is really good.
First sip, I immediately thought honey. Then it got a little fruity. It’s pretty sweet. A little orchid. Lots of honey goodness. And it keeps on giving.
This tea is truly outstanding. I got it from verdant’s five for five deal for new customers, and I’m sure I’ll be ordering some more of it. The first thing you’ll notice if you sit down with a cup of this tea will be the aroma. It smelled almost heavenly, and the scent definitely brought back memories of all the times I’ve had jasmine in my life. Sipping on the tea, the most prominent flavor would be the jasmine. It was almost like drinking a cup of flowers. The tea could also be tasted, and was certainly of a high quality. There was a surprising amount of sweetness, but not overwhelming. It was sort of like someone stirred in just the tiniest drop of honey to it. The way it felt in my mouth was almost like diluted honey as well, it was thick and smooth. There wasn’t even the slightest hint of bitterness or any other taste that could be considered unpleasant. This is certainly a tea I would reccomend, in fact it might be a new favorite of mine. I’ll certainly be ordering this with my coupon within the next handful of days.
Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Jasmine
I remember the first time I tried this, I thought it was pretty good but didn’t really see the point of adding extra chocolate and roasted grains to a base tea that’s already heavy on the chocolate and roasted grains. So today, I decided to try it head to head against plain Laoshan Black. I brewed both of them western-style in a mug – 3g in 10oz boiling water x 3min. So… I think I actually find this less chocolatey and grainy than the straight tea, lol. Maybe it’s the oolong in there that’s diluting the effect, I don’t know. There’s definitely a brightness and acidity in the cup as it cools that isn’t unpleasant but seems a bit out of place in a chocolatey tea. Not bad, but I don’t think I’ll need to restock this once it’s gone.
I received this sample from Kittenna. Thank you!
First I noticed that the leaves have that “chocolate dirt” scent to them. Uh oh. Thankfully that’s not too apparently once steeped. It’s more sweet potato or roasted squash in flavour. A little malty.
Not bad (actually pretty good) but not flavours that I think I’d find myself craving.
I’ll probably steep this a couple more times today, just to get the most out of the leaves.
To go with my cups, what better than this equally beautiful Gaiwan. I’m totally in love with it. Though I wouldn’t say I have overly small hands (perhaps I do T_T), I love the size of this Gaiwan as it’s so comfortable to hold. It just fits really nicely! I never burn myself when using it, which is an obvious plus, and the parts all fit together perfectly – there’s no wobble or anything. Liquid flows really well when pouring.
Much as with the cups, my guests are always impressed by the beauty and style of this Gaiwan. It’s my immediate go to, now, for brewing Tieguanyin – I like to think that my favourite tea is being served in the most beautiful Gaiwan I’ve seen, so far! :-)
Absolutely perfect, beautiful little cups. Aside from being an ideal size for use with a Gaiwan or small pot, they look fantastic and have a great feel – not too light, despite their size and thickness, but certainly not heavy on unwieldy. Amazingly, they feel quite sturdy too – despite them obviously being quite thin (shining a light through them really does, as the sales pitch suggests, make them glow!), they don’t feel fragile at all.
My guests are always very impressed when I serve them tea from these lovely cups. I just can’t fault them.
This tea is one of the more interesting ones I’ve tried, I got it from the 5 for 5 deal on verdants site, which if you haven’t checked out you should. The first thing I tasted sipping on the first infusion was a somewhat fruity taste, which quickly gave way to the taste of grains. Altogether it almost was like drinking a fresh bowl of cereal with strawberries on top. The third infusion wasn’t as good as the first two, it tasted somewhat metallic. I think that may have been my fault as I left the leaves in my brew basket overnight. Altogether I’d say this is definitely a high quality tea, but I’m not sure if it’s one I would drink regularly. It’s surely worth trying, especially considering it comes with verdant’s amazing five teas for five dollars deal.
This tea is such an interesting concept that I’ve really enjoyed trying. It’s good, but I’m not so sure it tastes like cola. I smell and taste spice. There is also a baked good quality to it. So, it’s almost like liquid moist spice bread. The bread like flavor is really prominent in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Clove, Spices
I somehow missed the fact that there was oolong in this tea blend, so the silky smooth mouth feel caught me off-guard. The flavor here seems more like a bittersweet cocoa than chocolate to me (maybe the chocolate would come through more with a bit of sweetener?) and there’s a strong malty taste from the base and just a little bit of toastiness in the aftertaste. This isn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it’s quite tasty!
A big thank you to beelicious for the sample!
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Toasted Rice
Doesn’t matter if it’s too late in the evening for tea—it’s been a long day and I just feel like trying something different!
This is a sample I ordered from Verdant a long time ago. It’s one of the most unique-sounding blends I had seen in their selection. Visually, it’s very striking as well, with vivid green tieguanyin (the word “verdant” would do well here!), plenty of jasmine blossoms, and goji berries. The scent is a very bright and floral mixture of jasmine and the tea itself. There’s also a little twist of citrus aroma adding to the fresh effect. The overall aroma reminds me of springtime after a rain.
The tea brews up a delicate light yellow-green color. The taste is smooth and gently floral, with a hint of jasmine and sweetness from the goji berries. There’s also an unidentifiable note that reminds me of gingko fruit or some other kind of pulpy, mushy plant matter. I’m not sure if it’s the goji berries (which I’ve had quite often; this seems to only resemble them a little bit, and I can taste their fruitiness separate from this note anyway?), frankincense, or something else in the mix. It’s a little distracting, but not unpleasant. In terms of caffeination, cha qi, or what have you, this blend not as intense as a pure tieguanyin, which at this time of day I do appreciate. Overall, this is definitely a one-of-a-kind blend, fresh and bright but subtle at the same time.
I received this as my first order with Verdant, part of the 5-for-5 deal for new customer. I love this tea, I’ll definitely be purchasing more.
Leaves: Long fuzzy silver leaves, very light, floral, and fragrant.
Taste notes: very delicate, the Jasmine flavor is very light and nice. It has a natural sweetness to it, I definitely wouldn’t add anything sweet to it. Perfect on its own.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Jasmine, Sweet