Verdant TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
The autumn version of this tea is delicious. Similar to regular laoshan green but nuttier and with fruity overtones. The nuttiness reminds me of oats and basmati rice. Sometimes I get a little chestnut or toasted rice type of flavor too. The liquor is a pale green color and has a green bean like taste. The mouthfeel is thick, buttery, and sweet. Steeped at lower temps, around <175 F, it’s sweet and fruity. Higher temps produce a more savory flavor profile.
A fine green tea typical of the Laoshan style though not as complex nor full flavored as the spring reserve bilochun was.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green Beans
As I’m pulling out Christmas decorations, I’m sipping down some of my oolong samples from my tea friend.
This tea is also dark and a little toasty, which is a nice warming flavor for a winter night. There’s a light floral flavor that, when combined with the roast, kind of tastes like roasted flowers. It works.
What I didn’t care for in this tea was the fruit element. The site says it’s lychee. I wouldn’t know, having never tried lychee. To me it’s that wild kind of funk that is translated by my brain as chemical. It’s tolerable, but not my favorite flavor.
I got a sample of this from a tea friend. That being said, this is not a tea I would have picked out for myself.
The roast and the dark flavors of the tea remind me of a really dark, heavy cereal of some kind, like a brown bread crossed with an oatmeal. Perhaps it’s the cold weather getting to me.
Then there’s another flavor on top of that. I had to look at the tasting notes to get an idea of what I could call it. Rye? Caraway? Something seedy and a little bitter tasting. A kind of odd funk that I can’t quite put a name to. I’m not much of a fan.
There isn’t a touch of astringency for me though, which is nice. It’s a pretty decent, warming tea.
From the Autumn 2015 stock…
I steeped this at 190 degrees with 5 grams of tea. The taste was very typical oolong, but very very good. The flavor was very buttery, full, and sweet. Strong taste of honey. Very smooth without a bit of astringency. I would highly recommend for any oolong lover.
Flavors: Butter, Honey
I’m going to be that guy. I bought this tea knowing it was smoked. But I also bought a bit more than I normally might because the top note was described as chocolate. I thought, “Hey! A chocolate-y, smokey tea? I’m in!”
I opened this tea up and it smelled delightfully smokey in that it was faint. Like you came across a camp that someone abandoned a few days earlier and there is still a faint whisp of wood smoke in the air. I brewed it up promptly.
The smell of the liquid also carried that faint campfire scent. So far, so good. But when I took a sip, expecting to be hit with a smoked chocolate flavor, I was a bit let down. The smoke was there, though not overpowering, but the chocolate note was not to be found. There is a bit of cinnamon on the back end. I’m on my third gongfu steep and while this tea is nice, I don’t feel it is quite as advertised.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Pine, Smoke
From the look of the leaf to the aroma it produced in the open air around it, this is one wonderful tea.
I use about 6g per 100ml which is heavy or me, but there is just something about the rich mineral content that comes through this fireroastedmaddess that I call a warming cup of tea.
Out of most 2016 productions this may be one of the top 10 because 2016 and oolong variations did not get along; and I will also chime in and say the 2016 Japanese green season wasn’t all that great either, but I only tried 12 variations and over 30 oolongs from China and Taiwan so maybe I’m not a good picking man anymore.
Was my side comment longer than my actual tasting note?
Yet another of the samples I recently finished, this made for an extremely interesting contrast with the Mei Zhan. While the Mei Zhan was earthy, grainy, and chocolaty with integrated fruity and floral characteristics, this oolong was much sweeter and lighter. It offered a creamier texture in the mouth and more of a pronounced floral quality overall.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I started off with an initial infusion of 5 seconds in 4 ounces of 208 F water using 5 grams of loose tea leaves. I followed this infusion up with 10 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves emitted a mildly floral aroma. After the rinse, I picked up on more pronounced aromas of flowers, vanilla, cream, and huckleberry. The first infusion presented a similar, though somewhat more floral aroma. In the mouth, I detected delicate notes of huckleberry, vanilla, cream, and minerals underscored by an orchid-like floral character. Subsequent infusions were considerably fruitier and more floral on the nose and in the mouth. I began to note more pronounced aromas and flavors of orchid, lotus, and jasmine. I also began to note a subtle breadiness and a fairly noticeable fruitiness on the finish. The people at Verdant describe it as a “hint of tamarind,” and quite frankly, I found that to be a more or less accurate description. The minerality also began to emerge more fully at this point. The later infusions were very mineral heavy, though I could still detect subtle aromas and flavors of fresh bread, vanilla, cream, and flowers.
As mentioned earlier, this made for an extremely interesting contrast with the Mei Zhan. I was expecting an earthy, mineral heavy tea, but surprisingly, this was all sweetness and light. Despite the obvious mineral character, this did not come across like any other Wuyi oolong I have tried to this point. I very much enjoyed this tea’s floral aroma and flavor and could definitely see myself returning to this one in the near future.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Huckleberry, Jasmine, Mineral, Orchid, Vanilla
This is a queued tasting note.
Finished this one off more than a week ago; I had my Dad over for tea so we shared the session. It was nice ‘cause it meant I got to use one of the larger gaiwans I own that’s just gorgeous but doesn’t get frequent use because of its size.
He actually picked out the tea we drank as well; just through listening to me go on and on about tea and through my sharing samples with him over the last three years whenever I’ve visited he’s actually kind of honed in on an area that fascinates him and which he sort of explores on his own now too; aged oolongs!
Anyway, we drank about eight infusions total although there were a couple in the middle that only he drank and some near the end that only I drank so neither of us got to experience the ‘full’ flavour evolution as this was brewed out. I’m too lazy to write paragraphs right now – so here are the jot notes. Thankfully I took relatively detailed ones this session…
- Starts off roasty, woody, nutty, sweet/honey
- This is the primary flavour for infusions one and two
- Almost a light caramel tone?
- Floral undertones develop after initial infusions
- Grassy finish which became stronger in later infusions
- Latest infusions had soft peach notes
- Rich, full bodied, and smooth
- Flavour deteriorates gracefully and quite gradually as the tea is brewed out
I’m starting to fall behind on my tasting notes yet again. Over the course of the past couple of days, I have been working on polishing off a lot of the samples I have received over the past 2-3 months. This oolong was one of them.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 5 seconds. I followed this infusion up with 10 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 14 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of char and earth coupled with mild fruity and floral qualities. After the rinse, I detected aromas of char and earth, as well as more pronounced scents of orchid, blackberry, plums, huckleberry, dark chocolate, and roasted grain. The first proper infusion produced a similar, though slightly grainier, more chocolaty aroma. In the mouth, I picked up notes of char, earth, wood, blackberry, plums, huckleberry, dark chocolate, minerals, and roasted grain underscored by a slight floral quality. Subsequent infusions saw the floral aromas and flavors emerge in a big way. I began to detect more pronounced aromas and flavors of hibiscus and orchid, though the previously noted aromas and flavors were still very noticeable. Later infusions were very mineral and char heavy with traces of roasted grain, dark chocolate, plums, huckleberry, and oddly enough, roasted vegetables detectable in the background.
To be perfectly honest, this was both a difficult tea to rate and a difficult tea about which to write. For me, it was the sort of tea that makes in-depth analysis impossible. It more or less lets you know what to expect from the start and does not change all that much from there. All I can comfortably say here is that if you are a fan of traditional Wuyi oolongs, then you may like this on some level, but if you are not, I would urge you to look elsewhere.
Flavors: Blackberry, Char, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Hibiscus, Huckleberry, Mineral, Orchid, Plums, Roasted Barley, Vegetables, Wood
I used the spring gongfu in the reblend of Chocolate Laoshan Genmaicha, so why not try the Autumn?
This has a drier feel with more of an Assamic bitterness tiving this tea the dark chocolate element over plain chocolate. The spring came out better for sure, but this is more suitable for a breakfast tea over the spring as it would pair with food beter due to the strength it has over the subtle notes the lighter stuff had in spring.
Still, such a unique and wonderful tea. Would blend up well with either a little yancha or dianhong for sure; like 20% of either added.
Apparently I finished this off today. I’m blaming the terrible jet lag for not remember anything about it besides being comforting and providing much needed caffeine. It also paired well with takeout yesterday, which was possibly Shezuan food. Eating was a foggy ordeal too.
Anyways, I’m disappointed with myself. Fingers crossed that I don’t wake up at 12am and stay up for the rest of the night. Why has traveling back west been so difficult lately? :/
Flavors: Cream, Earth, Mushrooms
Dry leaf is long and brittle and smells of asparagus, white chocolate and smoke.
first steep was all wet grass, seaweed and smoke
later steepings revealed more apricot, saddle leather along with vegetal tones, but I thought it lacked in the mid-palate so I pushed it a little more with steep time. This was a good idea as it picked up some body and brought out some warm spices such as cinnamon and sandalwood, supported by apricot and fine astringency. Smokiness still lingers.
a very delicate sweet finish.
reminds of a young pu’er, but lacks a certain je ne sais quoi
Nice, creamy mouthfeel, thick in the mouth.
Flavor is not my favorite for an oolong. There’s a little roast flavor, which is nice, as it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the tea. There’s also something like rice or barley.
There’s something weirdly fruity about the brew…red fruit? It may be cranberry or red grape skin. Kind of a dry flavor, like a wine.
Sip .. wow. Sip, sip, sip…. Wow, Wow! I drank the cup so fast I didn’t even have a sec to think about the tasting notes lol It smells delicious, sweet and milky, buttery, corn, oats, peas, sweet grass… very natural and “organic”, refreshing in a very Satisfying way. I hate “artificial” tasting teas, so this one really hits my spot;) I added a bit of Jasmine green on the third steeping and its just great. I brewed it in a transparent gaiwan and the leaves are very appealing visually as well. Nice color and shape. I’m really enjoying this one.
Flavors: Butter, Kettle Corn, Milk, Oats, Peas, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass
This is a lovely tea! I got this one in a sample pack from Verdant, and I will definitely be ordering more with my next order. It is rich in aroma and taste, has a nice soft mouth feel and attractive color. I pick up sweets notes of nuts and honey, raisin bread, and even caramel. I however was not able to get many steeps out of this one, on the third one it started to get pretty light.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Molasses, Nuts, Raisins, Sweet
Saved this for last in my 5-pack of samples from Verdant.
Brews up a resinous amber color. Tastes immediately like bitter pain au chocolat in a teacup, especially on the aftertaste. Second infusion especially was a mouthful of overbaked croissant. It brought back a nice memory of hostelling in Scotland and the smell of bakeries in the morning. I don’t get caramel because it’s not milky enough.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Burnt Sugar, Dark Chocolate
Sample from Hoálatha
Honestly, I had to retry the 2016 Imperial Laoshan several times before coming to a conclusion in which was the better of the two—Verdant’s or YS’. I noted that this one had more dark chocolate/caramel notes throughout the profile. These notes stood out much more than the Imperial Grade, but only slightly. I also thought that this had more of a baked chocolate bread quality to it than any other tea.
Each sample was delightful, and I’d be happy to get more of each one. I must say that Laoshan Black teas are highly rated on my overall black tea list. Very nice and dessert-y.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Nutty
Did a side by side with this and some Bai Ji. This is by far more along my taste preference. Strong mineral presence with a beautiful hue to it. Still a bit pricey for what it is since there are no complex notes occurring throughout the session. Maybe my taste is looking for fruit and sweetness in places that they don’t exist so I don’t enjoy the tea as much… but there are wuyi like teas out there with plums and stonefruits. This just seems roasty with minerals which are good, but in terms of what would I buy… Laoshan Roasted Oolong and dancongs multiple times before this again.