Verdant Tea (Special)Edit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
Occasionally, in the right mind-set, I can think of of different teas as substitutes for chocolate, butter, or vanilla ice cream. I reach for Mandala’s ‘black beauty’ when in the mood for chocolate, and now I can reach for this when I’m craving a delicious buttery mouth feel. The spinach aftertaste is just a bonus.
Flavors: Butter, Spinach
The third tea, this time from *Dinosara*’s collection, at our knitting/tea drinking extravaganza yesterday. This was a fun tea.
First steep, 30 seconds: ginger snaps in a mug! Cinnamon scent and cookie flavor!
Second steep, 45 seconds: more sugary, I can feel the presence of the oolong now and smell it in my aroma cup, but the flavor is still very cinnamony.
Third steep, 1:10: more floral, less sugar, cinnamon ever present.
Fourth (stopped keeping time here in my notes): pure brown sugar cookie in my cup! Really cozy tea!
Fifth: same as above, but the flavor was fading and it felt thinner.
Overall I think I would love this tea around the holidays!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie
I was really excited to see this in the box. I adore Verdant genmaicha blends so have been wanting to try this for quite awhile now. Not sure what I was expecting but this isn’t it. Its slightly vanilla, a little green, but not really toasty/roasty. This is ok but pales compared to some of their other blends.
Really happy I got to try it, but it wasa miss. :(
I’m glad I got to try this, even if only so I could say I did. How often does a special Lady Gaga tea happen, right?
I can taste the vanilla and the rice in this, and it reminds me of a very toasty, very diluted rice krispie bar. However, I’m drinking this more for the novelty than anything else. There’s a back note to the tea I’m not liking very much, but I can’t put my finger on why.
Not really much to say here. I’ve kind of lost interest in green teas for awhile, although occasionally I enjoy a cup, but there aren’t very many in my collection anymore. I have Teavivre’s beautiful nonpareil cha wang tai ping you kui, some kai matcha in the freezer, some gunpowder green than Steph sent to me awhile back, the last of the meditative mind (teaspot), & this (sent by SIL, of course!). So…it’s ok, but not something I’d ever crave or want. It mostly takes like laoshan green, which is one of my preferred greens when I’m into them, and it makes for a nice afternoon cup, but that’s about it. Sip down.
Wow, this tea is so different. It’s one of those teas I just want to take out of the box and hog but I’ll leave it in for others to try.
It tastes like a soy milk with vanilla and green bean. I also taste the toasted rice. It really works together nicely. First few sips it was a really strange tasting green tea to me but when I got near the end , I was really missing it. Very tasty!I really like that this is a blended tea and not a flavoured tea. I didn’t taste any saffron but saffron is so subtle and I find it hard to separate it from the other flavours.
Overall a great tea! I would consider buying this one if they had it in stock.
Flavors: Green Beans, Soybean, Toasted Rice, Vanilla
This tea smells wonderful! It is fragrant with floral jasmine and seems almost bursting with ripe fruit flavor. I love it, especially since it’s a black tea. I hope the fragrance transfers over to the taste.
This tea is incredible. It has to be my favorite of the Verdant blends. Unfortunately, this is one that is not for sale on the Verdant website. I can’t even seem to find the black tea, Yunnan Dian Hong, unless it goes by another name. Does anyone know? I would love to get some. This is a little bit tannic, a touch bitter or burnt, but with honey it is miraculous and with cream it’s even better.
This is the last of my Verdant blends club teas and I think after trying them I’ve realized that I would probably enjoy the classics tea club better than the blends. There have been several that I’ve thought I would love to purchase without the added scents/flavorings.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 1 minute, 30 seconds
This second cup is just as dark as the first. I can still detect the jasmine but now there is also a roasted flavor/aroma underneath. It tastes maybe just a little weak but it’s still good. I’ll just up the steep time next time around.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt, Floral, Fruity, Jasmine, Roasted, Tannic
I haven’t had a bergamot white tea since Teavana’s Earl Grey White which was so temperamental. Hopefully this one will be a little more easy going. I can’t seem to find the steeping instructions that Verdant sent with the April blends box so I looked on their website and found the parameters for their Bai Mu Dan which is the base tea for this blend. I was a little worried that the recommendation is to use fresh-boiled water, but now I see in parentheses that it says 175 to 205 degrees so I will try that.
The tea leaves are large. Some are curled, light green, and fuzzy. Others are open and almost an inky or charcoal black. The dry leaves are very fragrant, and the steeped leaves have taken on a vegetal aroma. The liquid smells different though, sweet actually. The tea is not at all bitter and still retains some of the essence of the bergamot which is nice.
Flavors: Bergamot, Sweet, Vegetal
Grumble. So I’m writing these incredibly backlogged tasting notes between calls at one of my jobs, and am making a bit of progress today since it seems to be fairly quiet so far… but this is definitely not the most comfortable environment in which to be writing – there’s some sort of issue with the heating/cooling system in this building, and it is NEVER a good temperature. Right now, the ducts above me are blasting cool air and creating a breeze that is freezing me. When they are turned off, the call centre starts to get super hot and stuffy (I question whether there are any settings between “COLD” and “HOT” on the thermostat).
Anyhow, grumbling aside, new Verdant tea, woo! I believe I had some Verdant Jin Jun Mei quite a while ago (3 years? Possibly from Azzrian), though I don’t even know if it would have been sourced from the same farmer or not. I don’t recall what I thought of it (and can’t access my tasting notes right now to check, of course), but I probably didn’t much care for it, since back then I had a strong bias against most unflavoured blacks. This bias has of course, changed, and I am enjoying this tea with its smooth, slightly malty and sweet breadiness. Definitely not a favourite over my Taiwanese Black or Laoshan Black, but it’s still a nice morning tea. One interesting thing to note, though – I’m oddly reminded of Alphagetti while drinking this tea. Yes, the pasta shapes in tomato sauce. Not the tomato though, just the pasta. I guess they have some flavour note(s) in common!
Uhhhh… Verdant used to have a Jin Jun Mei, a while back… and then there’s this new one… but I don’t know which entry is for which? It looks like what I had a few years ago was the Wild-Picked version, but I’m suspicious that this is the wrong entry for what I’m looking for, because it’s listed as “Special”, but I just bought it normally from the website…
Anyhow! I somewhere have another note or at least, entry that I’ve had this tea before, but this is the first tasting note I’m posting on it. I do rather like it – malty, bready, yeasty… and rather resilient to my 5+ minute infusion (I forgot about it). I’m being too distracted right now to remember what else I thought of it, but it was good :)
Thanks for the sample Dennis!
This is a bit of an odd bird to me. A lot more vegetal than other young shengs I’ve experienced. Light spiciness/herbaciousnes in early steeps. Extremely mild bitterness, and a tiny bit of sweetness but not much. Really interesting and different!
Glad I got to try it :)
Random chance sample from Dinosara. I’m a fan of mint, so I thought I would give it a shot.
The dry leaves are very fluffy, so I chose two (actual) teaspoons for my 8 oz up at home. The smell of the brewed tea contains definite mint an rose notes, but also something…. like a light meat flavor? The leaves smell very faintly like tuna! Not fishy tuna, either, more oily, meaty tuna! So bizarre… Luckily that flavor doesn’t translate into the brew. There is a faint minty tingle at the end of the sip, but I think it just contributes to the slight sweetness of the sarsaparilla and rose flavors. The rose really saves this tea, it makes it a nice, complicated cup; otherwise I think it would be too muddy.
I think the cardamom is giving me that meaty undertone. In overall profile, this tea is more sweet than savory, though. It almost reminds me of a good, floral soda (that I think has a touch of sarsaparilla flavor in it) from Kentucky called Ale81. Definitely intriguing.
I added a touch of sugar to see what it would do, and WOW did it bump up the sarsaparilla/floral soda analogy! Thankfully, the sugar forced the meatiness out of the flavor profile, as well. Now I’m really enjoying this cup with some sugar!
Unfortunately, if I gulp it too quickly all I get is the muddiness of the mint… This is definitely a sipping tea.
Flavors: Meat, Mint, Rose, Sarsaparilla, Sweet
Backlog (from this past week). Ohhhhhh dear. This was not pleasant at all. From the moment I opened the bag, something smelled really off and really terrible. Basically, it smelled like the inside of one of my travel mugs when something has gone bad in it. YUCK. Up close, and once steeped, it smelled like that smell mixed with… smoked meat?! Flavourwise it actually wasn’t too terrible (herbaceous, pu’erh, blah blah), but I just couldn’t get over the smell, which starting making me nauseous while at my desk. Won’t be drinking more of this one, sadly.
I haven’t had the opportunity to try a jin jun mei before, so I grabbed a bit of this one with my Verdant order. It looks like a dian hong, and truthfully, it tastes like a dian hong. Sweet, yammy, smooth, maybe a bit of caramel, but not really distinct. Not really sure why there’s such a hype and steeper price for this kind of tea.
I’ve had this one for a long time lol
Anyways it’s still pretty tasty :)
I love dandelion alot which is probably why I enjoy this one, nice yummy cinnamon notes too, I can’t taste the yabao inthis blend but hey it’s a year old and still pretty damn good.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Dandelion, Wood
Here’s the blends club blend that resides in my cupboard (#19). I hadn’t tried this one until recently when I cold brewed some.
I would say it is a decently tasty blend. I wish there was more tea and less “stuff” in it (‘cause holy crap there is a lot of stuff in this blend). So many flower petals. It tastes like jasmine with a hint of fruitness. I will probably cold brew the rest of it since it’s not super exciting.
Ok, now I can review this one, which I am drinking this morning. This tea isn’t actually in my cupboard, but it should be. So it’s not going to get a countdown number because it would screw everything up. But it should be about here; there’s another blends club blend here, which I will be having later this afternoon. I almost put this one in my list of blends club blends to sell (note: I have a bunch to sell that I listed over in the forums), but then I realized there isn’t actually any wacky ingredients in this that I dislike, so I decided to keep it and at least try it.
This is one of those teas that is impossible to measure out properly. Everything is long and spindly and doesn’t fit in the teaspoon. So an approximate 3 tsp (2 perfect teaspoons) went into my cup. I like this one. It reminds me a bit of the Cocoa Goji Zhu Rong, which was a blend a while ago, but this time with jasmine. It works. It’s a bit chocolatey, a bit of bright goji berry, and then an nice strong hit of jasmine with some creaminess from the yunnan white. Very tasty. And of course not a blend that they will ever bring back.
Flavors: Berry, Chocolate, Creamy, Jasmine