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Recent Tasting Notes
After trying this gong fu style and not being blown away by it, I tried this again, western style. Much more to my taste. Brewed it 2:30 at 180 degrees. Almost a buttery mouthfeel, light grassy notes with floral overtones. Delicious.
I’m using this tea to try gong fu style for the first time. All steeps at 205 degrees with 3.5 grams of tea and ~4-6 ounces of water.
1st (30 seconds): Light-bodied with floral notes.
2nd (45 seconds): Still light-bodied but with more vegetable overtones. Just barely sweet. Almost silky in my mouth.
3rd (60 seconds): The liquor has a more intense color, which I find more aesthetically pleasing than the pale liquors. The aroma is stronger and more grassy. The flavor is more grassy and full-bodied. Of the three so far, I like this one best. It’s just a more satisfying cup of tea.
4th (75 seconds): The liquor is about the same as the 3rd steeping, and the aroma is similar to the 3rd but a bit weaker. Flavor is a bit weaker than the 3rd.
Conclusion: The third steeping was by far the best. I should either tweak my gong fu style, or stick with western style.
Thank you for the tea sale, Ost! Hope your move went well! I’m going for the teas that are almost gone. Happy to sample! :D The leaves here look like little grass clippings from the yard, more than any other tea I’ve seen (except for maybe some of the Japanese greens) BUT instead of green, the color is black with hints of gold. If this is what Jin Jun Mei is like, I’m a fan. It seems like a deeper Laoshan Black, which would probably be my one complaint with Laoshan Black: the flavor isn’t deep enough. But this one is rich and chocolatey, bready… almost like a chocolate bread… with a flavor to it that I can’t place. Maybe something resembling an alcohol I know nothing about. I love that Verdant describes it as creamsicle. Before tasting, I would have thought that was ridiculous, but I can see where it might be described as a creamsicle — it’s as smooth as that anyway! I can definitely see it as creamsicle if I didn’t supersteep this. I’m just glad it wasn’t oversteeped at all.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3-4 minute steep
Quick Review: I had the first two sessions in a teapot. I had the first session without any distractions. This tea is so perplexed (the aroma, flavor, etc.), that I felt that I truly needed to study the tea intently.
The dry leaf aroma: Cacao, nuts (pistachios?), and wheat/grain/bread.
The wet leaf aroma: Italian Bread(?)
Flavor Profile: Imagine, if you will, fresh bread with a touch of chocolate (literally a smidgen). The mouth-feel on this is nice. It “blossoms” throughout the mouth and throat.
It’s Girl Scout Cookies time, and while working on the second session, I chewed on a Tag-A-Long (peanut butter & chocolate, yes please!); which worked nicely with this tea.
However, I ran out of time to sit and contemplate this third cup, eat cookies, and really enjoy this sample. I plan on buying more to enjoy over and over again. Now I have to run…..Maybe my students will notice that whatever magical brew is in my cup, is the key to my sanity today! Ha-ha.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cacao, Grain, Nuts, Wheat
Drinking this now as I thought to myself: I’ll brew a roasted oolong to sooth myself into the night.
Going to be brief. This is an excellent tea. I’m very picky about aged oolong; very. This one does not have the reroasting profile that many do. The notes include an underlining chocolate that one may describe as cocoa. Most roasted tgy go too far, but this one is either in the perfect zone or close to it. I need to try the 30year a bit more, but this one is just a solid choice. Quite thankful that I bought some of this as well as the 30yr and 10yr to compare because normally I go for the oldest trying to be the cool kid on the block.
I wish that Verdant made a Dash button for Laoshan Black. I could care less about reordering Tide from Amazon, but running out of Laoshan black is devastating.
This button would have been super helpful now that Verdant has expanded the selection of Laoshan black teas. First picking, autumn picking, gongfu black. Which is is the plain, old Laoshan Black?
I bet on ‘1st picking’, with the vague sense of 1st pickings being extraordinarily good, relating to first prizes an so forth, but hedged the bet by getting a small quantity of the others as well. Unfortunately, the autumn picking was the right one; the 1st picking merely promises the strong flavors of the autumn laoshan without delivering.
Now, after I make a cup of this, I feel perfectly tempted and prepped for the real thing. Yet, I wouldn’t say that this type of teasing is quite the quality I seek in a tea.
I didn’t really like this when I first got it so it was shoved way back into the cupboard. I’ve recently dug it out in my quest to drink down the old stuff in my cupboard.
This is much better with some age on it. LOL or it much better now that it’s lost some flavor.
It’s not as in your face spice and the spice seem better balance to me. This is good – I now have chai that I can drink….. :)
i love this tea for just sitting writing essays. it’s not bitter, and I don’t think it’s actually capable of being so. it has a very delightful, earthy taste that i love in an oolong. it’s smell is unique and fresh.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Biting, Chocolate, Dirt
A clear cup and infuser is what I chose to brew this in today (western style) so I could watch the leaves expand. A tea as special as this deserves my time and awareness to truly appreciate the brewing experience. The liquor tastes of cocoa and malt. The appearance is a nice Amber/brown.
I am impatient and the first sips are too hot. After allowing the tea to cool slightly, I finally get to taste the tea. The cocoa and malt are prevalent right away followed by a slightly sweet caramel note. The mouthfeel is full and feels thick to some degree. This was wonderful.
I needed more, so I resteeped this tea at boiling for 4 minutes. This steep was pretty similar to the first I found, with only slightly muted flavours.
I did not have time for a second resteep, so the leaves are cold brewing in the fridge for tomorrow.
Edit: the cold brew of the second steeping leaves was basically muted flavours of that second steep. It wasn’t as magical as the first steep of this tea, but still very delicious.
I grabbed a sample of this when it was still available. Brewed in an infuser mug.
The dry leaf smelled like dark chocolate with fruit (hard to pinpoint, but I’d say berries and pomegranate). The aroma of the wet leaf was similar, and had an additional buttery note from the base tea so that it resembled genmaicha. The liquor was light green and full-bodied with a soft texture. The first infusion had sharp notes of juniper and chocolate, and also tasted of fruity chocolate. It sweetened as it cooled (at its best for me). The second infusions was fruitier – mostly the juniper came through.
There was enough in sample for two occasions. I didn’t know what to make of this blend first thing. I didn’t expect anything or knew what to expect, even after reading other tasting notes. It was too new, but I was intrigued. I was more familiar going into the second occasion. I really liked the combination of everything, how the laoshan green, the junipers, and the rice created fruity chocolate flavor. Came to together very nicely, in both the aroma and flavor profile. I was kind of sad there was no more. At least I got a chance to try it. And now I know what junipers taste like without the gin.
i have too many teas. My goal was to be at 65 by the end of september but then people…you know who you are…decided i needed 90+ teas in my cupboard. And to here i am, at 176 today. So my mini goal for this weekend? Get down to 150. Easily doable if i get any time whatsoever to spend at home this weekend. This was one of those single cup sipdowns. I’m not generally a fan of oolongs, but this was a free sample in one of my verdant orders and is decent. Not enough for me to want it IN my cupboard, but enough for me to sit and drink and enjoy, versus pouring it down the drain after trying it :)
nice roasty feel to this one, smooth and unoffensive.
This his been in my cupboard for so long that by now it is probably 13 years aged TGY :)
Anyway, it is still tasty, and I haven’t been drinking nearly as many Oolongs as I used to, although I am making more of an effort lately to either drink an oolong or a green each day, as I have quite a few (mostly oolongs, actually).
TGY always has a soothing quality to it, at least for me.
Thanks so much for a precious sample of this one, MissB! I know how much you love it. It’s all sipped down now. :D There are so many ingredients in this blend – some I have absolutely no clue what they are. But my blend doesn’t look like the picture – my sample looks like it was crushed, or from the bottom of the bag or something. Haha. Tastes good anyway! It’s a brisk brew — I wish I could have tried the Yu Lu Yan Cha on its own to at least have the ability to pick those flavors apart. From what I’m tasting, it isn’t super spicy. It’s more like raisins and savory vegetal flavors (but in a delicious way). I think the vegetal must be the tulsi. I wish I could distinguish this one more! But it’s a solid chai. Hints of sweet with the second cup somehow. It was cooler today (below 70 degrees for the first time in a while) so I must have wanted to bust out the chai. Chai season is upon us!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling (deciding on a tea) // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Also, I find that sometimes when I’m craving a tea (today it was 52Teas Strawberry Pie) as I’m looking at the tasting note and I see the date, it was exactly that day from a previous year. For the Strawberry Pie: 8/26!
ETA: Well, for some reason it’s saying that this tasting note is on 8/27 but it’s definitely still 8/26 here.
A sample from Roswell Strange, and another first. I can honestly say I’ve never tried a Lady Gaga inspired tea before! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. I crushed the juniper berries a little, as recommended! The scent of those is so good, and as close to gin as I can get on a miserable Tuesday afternoon. At least I have tea!
The dry leaf is an interesting thing to look at. Twists of Laoshan Green, a generous quantity of whole juniper berries, black, white and brown strands of wild rice, marigold petals, and the odd piece of saffron. Really pretty and rustic-looking.
Brewed, the liquor is a bright yellow-green, the scent beautifully vegetal in the way of wet grass. The green tea is definitely the most prominent flavour in the taste, but it’s sweet and grassy in the way fresh spring green teas can be, with a light nuttiness (I’m thinking pine nuts), and a touch of asparagus. It’s so smooth and buttery, it’s almost unreal. The juniper is also recognisable, coming out mainly in the mid sip. It lingers beautifully on my tongue long after the sip is over, with mild gin-like notes, and just a touch of warmth and sharpness. The toasted wild rice adds a certain genmaicha-like flavour, but it’s really mild and mostly just in the background. It really helps to give this tea depth and body, though! There’s a lot to think about when you take a sip, and a lot to taste. It’s so well balanced and blended, though, that that’s a treat more than anything.
I’m really impressed with this one, and I’m so pleased I got chance to try it – many thanks again to Roswell Strange for providing the opportunity. I’ve got enough leaf left for another cup, which I’m going to make sure I enjoy thoroughly when I’m not at work!
Here’s Hoping TTB (round 5)
This has to be the coolest looking blend I have put in my tea pot. This tea looks like something an alien would brew up. Unsure how this would taste, I brewed it up and found out it was semi chai’ish which was quite amusing. An interesting tea, a nice experience, but not something I would call ‘my cup of tea’ but I can assure you that it is bound to be a hit for some (or wait, Verdant is done with blends?)
I’ve been drinking this for the latter part of the day and haven’t made notes for an in-depth review, but it is pretty delicious. Started out pretty sweet with honey and apricot notes, and melding to a slightly bitter, green tasting flavor. Short steeps and 2 rinses for this one. Fresh and good! Will rate later as on my phone.
Backlog from the last session of gong fu fun at *Dinosara*’s beautiful cabin before she moved ); this one from her collection.
15 seconds: smells like and earthy puerh! Tastes a little earthy, but also sweet, like sweetened ceylon tea made from a fresh tea leaf. It has a certain silky mouthfeel that I associate with puerhs…
30 seconds: same as above, with an extra earthy smell.
1 minute: weak this steep. Sweet ceylon plus…. earthy sheng?
1 minute something…: Pretty much lost black tea flavor, tasting much more puerh-like, even with that mouthfeel, like vicks vapo-rub? Astringency that’s not astringency?! I have no words to describe it!
Overall, I found it interesting. I’m glad I just picked up the yabao from Whispering Pines today.