Verdant Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

I ordered these crassicolumna tisanes when we started having trouble sleeping after caffeine and even high sugar at night. Hot cocoa went by the wayside, and Teeccino replaced it. I wanted something to gong fu and this and the Wild Crassicolumna Black tea were going to fill that spot, hopefully.

But tonight I wanted something to go with supper, just a faux Asian dinner I threw together. I really wanted green tea but I don’t have any that is decaf. I didn’t want flowery or minty herbals, either. I settled on this.

I don’t think I have had any other yabao so I can’t really make comparisons there, but I can say this was excellent with our meal. Ashman loved it. I have made three steeps Western so far and might make another.

This is more akin to a highly mineral white tea than anything else I have had to compare it. It has good body, the color is goldish like my large broken leaf shou mei and deeper than I expected, and the mineral notes make you want to gulp and gulp.

I can see this being a repurchase when it is gone. Good stuff.

I will also be lookng into a good hojicha to steep by the big potfuls, not something I would really do with my powdered hojicha since it would settle to the bottom throughout the meal and post-meal tea drinking. Any recommendations there appreciated.


This sounds lovely. When I was trying to reduce caffeine, I drank a lot of kukicha. Sometimes I’d add bergamot oil and almond milk and it was a decent stand in for a proper earl grey.


Hey ashmanra, I have some fresher hojicha for you if you want free tea.
Reviewed favorably by Cameron B
I admittedly haven’t tried it yet and won’t be able to drink through it by myself.


derk: Won’t you please let me purchase some from you? You have given me so much already!

Martin Bednář

If ashmanra won’t get her part, I would gladly accomodate some of houjicha. It’s almost impossible to get some here.

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TTB Review #31: I had a feeling the moment I smelled it — flashbacks to my awful experience with Wolf Tea’s Honey Scented Black that I rated a 1 so very generously. What is it about these that just turns me off? Stale butter, burnt popcorn, old honey… I’m sorry to anyone who enjoys these but they are clearly not for me. I did manage to finish this cup so it gets a mildly higher rating than the aforementioned comparison.

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TTB Review #11: Oh wow, this one is very astringent with earthy/woody notes. I very much feel like I’m drinking tree bark. I don’t hate it, but I’m not sure I’d ever choose this again. Certainly a unique taste that was new to me.

Edit: Tobacco! That’s what this reminds me of! I couldn’t think of it at first but this is exactly it – like an ashtray, a liquid cigar.


Wow! I have picked up tobacco in shu but that is cool that you found it in a sheng!

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TTB Review #9: Very unique flavor to this one, I once again struggle to find the appropriate comparison with which to describe it. There are candylike notes coming through which act as natural sweeteners for this black tea. Very enjoyable and delicious.

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Date drunk: 10 Mar 2023
4g in 100ml gaiwan

Warmed dry leaf this time gave me super strong scent of Thanksgiving––roasted chestnuts, pecan pie, toasted almonds––and matcha. This smell is divine.

1st infusion (80˚C, 0:15)
Notes of really delicious vegetables––lemon butter asparagus. No astringency this time.
Rating: 86

2nd infusion (81˚C, 0:20)
Wet leaves have this syrupy sticky-sweet scent, like kumquat/yuzu jam, on top of the fresh-green-tea smell.
Liquor is just wonderful, mineral floral and sweet like the freshest mountain spring water, with a hint of umami vegetable broth and mushrooms. This tea is performing even better than the first time when I opened the bag fresh.
Rating: 87

3rd Infusion: (82˚C, 0:30)
Wet leaves smell like roasted sweet corn and buttered green beans, along with a whole host of other things I couldn’t parse.
Steeped for a tad longer than I wanted to, so some astringency came out. Liquor is still sweet, toasted-nutty, and scrumptious.
Rating: 84

Overall Rating: 86

Flavors: Almond, Asparagus, Butter, Chestnut, Lemon, Mineral, Mushrooms, Nuts, Pecan, Spring Water, Sweet, Syrupy, Yuzu

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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This is for the 2022 harvest of Mrs Li’s Shi Feng Longjing #43 (not 1st picking).

Dry leaf smelled kind of fruity, sweet citrus
Warmed dry leaf hit me in the face with toasted almonds and pecans, roasted asparagus, and butter spinach. I love love this aroma, want to wear it around as a perfume lol

1st infusion: (80˚C, 0:15)
Sweet and fresh but a bit light on the flavour, but already starting to get some astringency so I wouldn’t have pushed it harder
Rating: 83

2nd infusion: (82˚C, 0:30)
Stronger umami notes now––I swear I got a noseful of toasted shrimp paste (belacan)! Brothy and flavourful. Mostly savoury, there is still some sweetness that’s more prominent when liquor has cooled, and just a tad astringent.
Rating: 85

3rd infusion: (83˚C, 0:35)
Not as smooth as the others. Almost a strange hint of spice like chili powder? Maybe contamination of my cup
Rating: 79

4th infusion: (84˚C, 0:40)
Smoother than the last. But I think i should have brewed this and the previous one for a shorter period.
Rating: 81

Overall Rating: 82

Flavors: Almond, Asparagus, Butter, Pecan, Seafood, Spinach, Vegetable Broth

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

For me, bowl steeping seems to be the answer for green teas that turn out bitter when steeped gongfu. I use the same amount of tea that I usually would, but steep it in around 250 ml of liquid starting at around 185F.


Leafhopper: I have never tried bowl steeping. Must do that someday.


Thanks for the tip, Leafhopper! I will have to try that soon.

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Found a small hoard of aged oolongs in a corner of a tea bin recently. I remember going on an aged oolong buying binge because of a mind blowing sample long forgotten. Bummer that none of them really cry out to me anymore, curse my changing tastes! Since I am so out-oolong’ed that I doubt I’ll be able to go through what looks like 250g. I’ve been thinking of ways to not let them go to waste. Thankfully, I’ve been able to rehome some to Barsomm and PamelaOry. Hope they get a kick out of them!
I had made some of this tea grampa style in a thermos to take with me to a friends birthday get together. Ended up leaving it at their house, and I picked up back up from their place after a few days. I opened up the thermos expecting the most rank smell in the world, but… the tea smelled delicately more delicious than I’ve been able get from my usual gongfu attempts with this tea. it straight up smelled like bananas. I couldn’t not drink the rest!! The super long cold brew (well, eventually) was so freaking good, it had an excellent mouthfeel, so rich. It brought out not onlt the banana, but some pear, and a mineral bite that kept me coming back. now i know I have to cold brew this tea and leave it in a friends apartment for at least four days to extract the bet flavors from this tea XD

Is that bad? Well, over 24hrs later and so far it hasn’t killed me… Only time will tell

Flavors: Banana, Mineral, Pear

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I bought two of the crassicolumna teas from Verdant when I started having trouble sleeping after our night time gong fu sessions. I tried the other one gong fu style a long time ago and I just felt like I shouldn’t post a note on that one until I tried it again and played with it a bit.

This is my first time trying this one. Like the other tea, it is not at all like black tea. I really thought it would be. I had hoped for something like a complex black or oolong, but this is clearly neither.

I followed their instructions closely and used my Upton Tea scale to weigh the beautiful, twisted black leaves. They are large and brittle. Boiling water, ten seconds, and poured off. The liquor is golden. The first steep was poured off to taste alone and subsequent steeps were made and combined in a pitcher, increasing steep time by five to tens seconds for each.

The first sip feels very tongue-coating, the body rather thick. The more it cools the thicker it seems. Yet when you swallow, it has that extra “wet” feel of white tea. Saying that just now makes me realize this reminds me of a shou mei I had a long time ago. So I have been sitting here trying to think how to best describe this, and there it is. It is very similar to some white teas I have enjoyed. That means Ashman is probably going to love this one. Maybe even has a bit of white peony quality to it.

The first flavor note that popped into my mind was honey, followed by something like a metallic mineral. There is a creaminess that lingers, very mouth coating, yet feels thin when I swallow. There was a tingle with the swallow at first, but not briskness, then that went away. Fruit and spice notes were fleeting whispers, but pleasant.

I enjoyed this tonight, but it definitely is much more like drinking a heavier, creamy white tea than like drinking a black tea or a hefty oolong. As long as I keep that in mind, I will be happy with this purchase and would buy it again to satisfy night time cravings with no caffeine. As long as what I am craving is white tea…

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Sipdown 2 for today and 3 for the month!

I enjoy rou gui oolong and love that mineral “rock” taste. I should have realized that the black tea was going to strongly favor that profile, but I didn’t think and made this when we were really wanting a strong black tea for lunch.

It was a good tea, but not what I would consider a black tea, and really if you are craving black tea this probably wouldn’t fill the bill for you. If you are craving a rock oolong, it would.

The color was light even on the first steep. There is no roasty taste like a dark oolong, but rather a rock oolong taste and smoothness with a hint of the extra oxidation that carries it into black tea territory. Just a hint, mind you.

Nice tea, but not one that I would re-purchase unless I wanted an alternative to a rock oolong.

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Date drunk: 27th Jan 2023

Warm wet leaf smells like buttery pastry.

1st infusion (80˚C, 0:20)
- Wet leaves now smell incredibly like butter green beans / butter spinach.

(This went on for seven more infusions, which I did not record…)

Flavors: Butter, Green Beans, Pastries, Spinach

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Date Drunk: 2023 Jan 21st (Spring 2022 Harvest)

- 5g in 100ml gaiwan
- Warmed dry leaf: smells super nutty toasted almonds, cashews, sweet, buttery
- 1st Infusion: 80˚C, 0:30
- Rating 93
- 2nd Infusion: 83˚C, 0:30
- not as sweet as before, grassy notes come out more
- Rating 88
- 3rd infusion: 85˚C, 0:30
- Too astringent I overbrewed
- Rating: 78
- 4th: 83˚C, 0:30
- really nice and thirst-quenching
- Rating: 90
- 5th 84˚C, 0:40
- Rating: 88

Rating: 88

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Cashew, Grass, Nuts, Sweet

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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More than impressed by this free sample of Autumn 2022 Laoshan Green from Verdant Tea.

5g sample in 100ml porcelain gaiwan.
Warm leaves smell really roasty, nutty, cacao nibs.

1st infusion (80˚C, 0:20)
- Sweet, delicious, umami seaweed.
- Rating: 88
2nd infusion (81˚C, 0:30)
- Wet leaves smell like snow peas, roasted kale or broccoli, with lovely char, starchy, sweet. Liquor has less sweetness but still subtle fresh vegetal flavour.
- Rating: 85
3rd infusion (83˚C, 0:30)
- I seem to have pushed this harder than the second infusion. Colour is much darker, flavour is stronger, but no astringency, super smooth, just an excellent infusion of a green tea. Strong enough to stand up to food / snacks.
- Rating: 88
4th infusion (84˚C, 0:30)
- Similar to previous.
5th infusion (84˚C, 0:30)
- Still delicious, and I’m amazed because this could pass for a 2nd infusion. Still a bright, fresh flavour, smooth and balanced. These leaves are far higher-quality than I would have expected. Pairing this with my CNY cookies and bak kwa.
- Rating: 89
6th infusion (84˚C, 0:30)
- Gave this to my dad.

Verdict: A great reminder of how delicious Laoshan teas are, and reminder not to be prejudiced against Autumn harvest teas. The longevity and smoothness of these leaves is commendable. I would purchase either from Verdant or from another seller (my boyfriend’s father lives near Laoshan and he sometimes brings back Laoshan tea for me as well, but his version is greener and less strongly roasted than this one).

Flavors: Broccoli, Cacao, Kale, Nuts, Roasted, Seaweed, Snow Peas, Sweet, Vegetables

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Autumn 2022 harvest.

This tea was so good I stretched the little 5g sample to 3 sessions in order to savor it for as long as I could. Really wish I’d ordered more than just a sample.

Steeped 2g in a 100ml gaiwan for 3 infusions. The dry leaves were very aromatic (cashew cream, flowers, and soybean). A warm, nutty aroma of toasted couscous emerges once the leaves are introduced to hot water.

1st infusion – Thick, mouthwatering flavor similar to the aroma. Notes of lima bean, pistachio, and fennel.

2nd infusion – Sweeter, richer flavor. Lingering aftertaste of fennel.

3rd infusion – Lighter with eucalyptus and soy. Still has good flavor and body.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Fennel, Flowers, Lima Beans, Pistachio, Soybean

180 °F / 82 °C 2 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Whenever I see the word Mulberry I think of the Dr. Suess story, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”. Perhaps the town is known for its Mulberry festivals. They take the leaves and dry them, releasing a wonderful slightly sweet scent into the air. It is reminiscent of other berries but the townsfolk this sweet smell can only belong to their mulberries. Of course, they juice the berries and make a wonderful variety of pies, ales, cookies, etc but the thing that really gets them excited is the tisane. (Oh my gosh don’t get me started with tisane, herbal tea, herbal infusion AHHH). The main flavor is roasty that dances with mulberry notes. The wet aroma is unique, somewhat sweet but also a mishmash of flavors. And a very smooth mouthfeel.


We had a mulberry tree at our former residence, but at the time, we considered it an annoyance because of the birds that would, um, recycle them on our vehicles. Now I wish I had taken advantage of the berries.

References to Dr. Seuss always make me smile. “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” was one of my childhood favorites…I had an audio version on vinyl with a scratch where the king’s magicians were oobleck-ing, so I got to hear that part over and over and over and over…

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I decided on this one to fulfill the final October sipdown prompt – a vegetal tea. Just in time!
But in choosing it, I remembered my matcha and got a hankering for that, too, so I will probably have both, but this one is a sipdown!

Because I had an awkward amount of leaf, I slightly overleafed and found it initially a little more astringent than I wanted. A tiny bit more water fixed that, and then pairing it with my lunch made it really good. A bit of briskness makes some teas stand out enough to be noticed with food, whereas a milder tea might quail at combination and almost disappear, not much more than a cup of hot water,.

Today my cool weather crop plants are finally big enough to harvest enough greens for a vegetarian Chinese dumpling soup and it was perfect with the tea. The dumplings have toasted brown rice (among other things) in them which tastes really nutty and that seemed to amplify the nutty aspect of the tea. Or was the tea amplifying the nuttiness of the dumplings?

Post-prandial cup number two is just as strong as cup one, if not stronger. Green beans, not cooked Southern style in a pot of water with side meat but made in a skillet with sesame seeds and Asian sauces and allowed to get dark, crisp areas combined with a lemony tartness and a nutty follow up.


hehe I am glad I’m not the only one who does that. Something in a tea will remind me of matcha and I’ll want matcha too !!

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drank Nuomi Xiang Shu Tuocha by Verdant Tea
2041 tasting notes

The description says this tea has a sweet sticky rice aroma, and this really does taste and smell like rice! I’ve been on a rice pudding kick lately, so this I’m really enjoying this. Started with a 10-second rinse followed by a 1-minute steep.

Flavors: Toasted Rice

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I found this in the TTB, and the bag says it’s an herbal, so I was a little intrigued. To be honest, the flavor is a little bland for me. It’s sort of like very weak black tea, but with a bit more of a plantlike flavor. I mixed most of my cup of this with another tea I was drinking that I had accidentally oversweetened, so this was handy, but not great. I prefer really hearty black teas though.

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drank Mei Zhan Jin by Verdant Tea
4 tasting notes

2021 Harvest.

The dry leaves are akin to leaning down to tease your nostrils with that particular, rather picturesque rose you happened to notice out on your walk today. The unnecessary exposition felt justified; these leaves are just that fragrant. I’ve been delaying on my brewing to keep huffing them, admittedly.

Four steeps at 195 F. 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, and 20 seconds.

Rinsing the leaves brushed the scent of roses aside for something herbaceous and fruity with a zing of zest. Normally, I would have been disappointed and yearning for the roses, but this new scent is quite pleasant and hoppy. The soup’s smell is similar, albeit muted and with more of a focus on the fruitiness.

Steep number one does not disappoint. Notes of rose and lychee. Light on flavor but very cleansing on the palate, similar to a ginger leaf. Overall mouthfeel was juicy, faintly coating on the tongue, ending with a touch of mineral water. Not bad at all!

Steeps two, three, and four were almost indistinguishable from each other, and I don’t consider that to be a negative trait. This tea does not lose its steam across multiple steeps. Only the florals faded for me over subsequent brews, but the fruit-forwardness of this soup’s flavor was already quite desperate to be the star of the show. Heavy notes of lychee and zest with a hint of cream.

This is a great tea that I’d recommend to any tea lover, especially one that hasn’t dipped their tongue into fruity teas. I’m not usually a big fan of fruit-forward teas, but this one is fruity without tasting too … organic? It’s hard to assign words here, unfortunately. If you’re not a fan of fruity teas but really want to give one another shot, this is certainly a leaf to consider.

Flavors: Fruity, Ginger, Herbaceous, Lychee, Mineral, Rose

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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A 5 year old sample that I finally broke out last week. The slew of bad reviews had discouraged me from this tea and it ended up being banished to the back of my cupboard.

I was initially going to use it in oolong milk tea thinking it was a heavy roast. Turns out that wasn’t the case. In fact, it smelled lightly floral and had notes of pine and juniper berries. The taste was pleasantly woodsy with a hint of spice. Good but basic dark oolong flavor. I don’t know if the tea aged at all sitting in my cupboard for all these years, but it certainly didn’t go stale. An unremarkable yet serviceable tea.

Flavors: Woody

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2021 Harvest. 4 steeps at 208 F. 6 seconds, 8 seconds, 15 seconds, and 25 seconds.

Brisk, strong, and somewhat clever, this is a tea that presents itself as a hike amidst evergreens but encourages you to stop and take in the sights.

The scent of the dry leaves was reminiscent of sandalwood, and my initial rinse married this to a nice gladelike earthiness. Steeps one and two offered me powerful cups of pine needles and minerality, but I was left believing that’s all it had to offer; this is where I was wrong and why I referred to this tea as clever.

The expression “stop and smell the roses” applies here quite heavily, or at least it did to me. I wasn’t bothered by how forward this tea seemed to be with its pine flavoring, quite the opposite, really, but after the first two steeps and halfway through my first sip of the third, I realized I’d been enjoying the flavor so much that I’d gotten carried away. I stopped myself from gulping down that first sip and allowed it to linger on my tongue, and as if to say, “Well done,” these leaves greeted my palate with an unmistakable hint of rose.

Subsequent sips had me focusing a lot more on those rosy notes that only really seemed to come alive when I took my time to savor this tea, and what started with an outdoorsy briskness really rounded off into an almost thirst-quenching freshness of spring water with a zing of white grapes. Zesty, even. Holding back a smile would have been difficult at that point, so I didn’t try.

These are leaves that don’t chide you for being overly eager, but they do reward you for exercising patience and care. I would absolutely recommend this tea to someone looking to celebrate the subtleties that can emerge from slowing down and taking the time to really enjoy something.

Flavors: Mineral, Pine, Rose, Sandalwood, Spring Water, White Grapes

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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drank Mi Lan Black Tea by Verdant Tea
4 tasting notes

Dry leaves smelled of plum, cocoa, honey, and the faintest hint of licorice.

For brewing parameters, I copied another Steepster’s gongfu method at 208F with a rinse and subsequent steeps at 6 seconds, 10 seconds, 16 seconds, and 20 seconds, for a total of 4 steeps.

The initial rinse had the smell of fresh pancakes drizzled with maple syrup wafting through my kitchen, and admittedly, I was slightly taken aback. While it was a lovely, if not nostalgic aroma, I worried for my tongue and its sensitivity to sweetness, but I’d end up being pleasantly surprised soon after.

If you are a fan of maple syrup and honey, this tea is a must-try. The first steep met me with a wave of dark honey and plum, along with that same aroma of maple syrup filling my nose with every sip. The aftertaste mimicked the aforementioned scent and left my mouth feeling coated, almost sticky. Suffice to say, this is a very syrupy tea, and those with a fondness for that particular viscosity will not find themselves disappointed. I’d go as far as to say the mouthfeel is the star attraction of this tea. Personally, I’m neutral on syrupy bodies, but I definitely found it enjoyable with the notes associated with this tea.

Further steeps didn’t offer much of a difference in body or taste, save for an expected lightening on the overall boldness of the tea that eventually gave way to a light but appreciated note of something vaguely floral and allowed me to taste some hints of cocoa that had been held back by the honey and maple a bit more clearly. The lack of change and complexity isn’t something I see as a negative, rather, I think it cements these leaves as being a great potential daily driver for those seeking a viscous, syrupy tea.

Overall, I’d recommend this tea and will enjoy finishing my remaining 20 grams, even if it isn’t quite my preferred cup.

Flavors: Cocoa, Honey, Licorice, Maple Syrup, Pancake Syrup, Plum

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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