Verdant Tea (Special)
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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is excellent. It is malty and slightly sweet. I vaguely detect some chocolate notes underneath the malt. There is very little bitterness. The overriding characteristic is the malt flavor, by this I do not mean chocolate malt flavor but that strong tea flavor often referred to as malt.
I brewed this western style with 2 tsp of leaf with 200 degree water in an 18 oz teapot for 3 min.
So I’ll preface this with the good news. My Indian (as in from India) cube neighbour shares most of my workday teas these days and he liked this one a lot. He’ll probably be getting the balance of this once I finish this pot, if I can’t foist the rest of the pot off on him also.
For me, well, I haven’t even tasted it yet but it’s brewed too hot to drink and when I smell the tea liquor, it makes my too-spicy senses tingle without even touching my tongue. Like the back of my throat is on fire. So I don’t have high expectations of this myself.
I did add some sugar because I find that sometimes that makes the cinnamon a bit more palatable for me. I can occasionally eat cinnamon rolls after all. (Not sure anything makes ginger palatable for me).
This is…sweeter than I expected, even with the added sugar. And the licorice…well. I can never really tell with licorice because I don’t hate the flavour itself but every time I drink a tea with a strong licorice flavour, I can’t suppress the shudder that goes down my spine. I’m really not sure what causes it. The ginger and cinnamon aren’t too strong but they’re definitely there, making this tea experience one to be endured rather than enjoyed. If there’s vanilla in here, I can’t tell. I can’t even really taste the lemon. It’s spicy licorice all the way.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice
…and another one bites the dust. I think i’m finally calling it quits permanently on the verdant blends club. I resubscribed at the promise of vanilla and the box has disappointed. I still have 2 to try, but neither one is peaking my interest and this one is awful. While i don’t mind licorice – there is too much of that in here and it makes for a sickeningly sweet lemon like brew that has a terrible after taste. I tried really hard to drink this but i just can’t.
Another from the Marco Polo TTB, and another thanks for Verdant for the sample.
I tried this in tandem with the regular LB, and I think the regular version was a little more flavorful for me. I liked them both though. Again, I have a hard time identifying what exactly this tea tastes like (and that’s a failing in me, not the tea). But I liked it very much!
Unlike the only other commenter here, I steeped this…closer to the directions. I steeped it for a minute rather than 30 seconds at 205 degrees and I have to say that I’m not getting much other than the tea itself. The additional ingredients aren’t making much of an impact with that short of a steeping time, though the tieguanyin itself is quite nice. A bit roasty and sweet. Next time (next steep?) I’ll try to remember to steep this for a bit longer. Right now it’s giving me a headache because I haven’t eaten anything yet today (darn you oolong effect!)
Second steep (the next day) – done at boiling (thanks Dinosara) and 4 minutes. I can taste more now, a tiny bit of citrus and what I think is the sarsaparilla. Which I apparently have been pronouncing wrong forever. The vanilla is very faint, if it’s there at all, it’s hard for me to tell. And I don’t know what birch is supposed to taste like.
Overall, I think I like the plain tieguanyin better.
The first time I tried this, I went with the Verdant steeping guidelines, but I found the cup a bit underwhelming. One and a half teaspoons at three minutes at 175 worked a lot better for me!
I really like floral teas, so I enjoyed this quite a bit. However, if you don’t like floral, you’ll probably want to back away slowly; the aroma and taste are extremely flower-powered. Jasmine and rose flavors play pretty nicely together, and the end of the sip is free from that astringency that you sometimes get with jasmine teas. I didn’t get any vanilla from this, but I did like it quite a bit!
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Jasmine
Another sample from Stephanie. Laoshan Black is one of the most beloved teas around these parts, so I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now. I think most people who have tried this tea have said that they like the original better, but I’m just happy to get the chance to try either of them. The leaves are smaller than I expected, and jet black. They’re thin and curly. Dry, this tea basically smells like straight cocoa powder with a little bit of malt. I did my usual 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma has that elusive herb/spice note that I often find in Fujian blacks but can never seen to identify. Whatever it is, it’s very present in this tea. There are also strong malt and grain scents. That mystery herb/spice is also quite present in the taste. This tea has a lovely, strong cocoa flavor with some sweetness to it. It’s also very grainy, which I love, with an ample malty taste. And the overall flavor is very roasty and comforting.
Overall, I find this tea to be very good but not necessarily mind-blowing compared to other similar teas I’ve tried. I would very much like to try the original Laoshan Black, I’m hoping there will be some left in the Lewis & Clarke TTB when it gets to me! :)
Flavors: Cocoa, Grain, Malt, Roasted, Sweet
This is the final tea from Verdant’s blends club for the month of August. This was really the only one out of the three that I was any kind of excited to try… I don’t really have any experience with tieguanyin itself, but at least there’s no licorice or flowers in this one. :P The leaves are a dark brown-green color, and they’re somewhat loosely rolled. The dry scent is mostly roasted oolong, but I do get a little bit of citrus and vanilla. I steeped about a teaspoon and a half for 4 minutes at 190 degrees.
Brewed, the aroma is still mostly roasty and oolongish with maybe a little bit of vanilla? However, the other elements are there in the taste, thank goodness! The oolong itself is very light and sweet, with just enough of a roasty punch. There’s a nice orange flavor, especially near the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. It kind of builds as I continue to drink. The vanilla, well… it’s not there as much as I would like it to be. I can taste a teeny bit. There’s also just the slightest suggestion of spice at the end, I guess it must be coming from the sarsaparilla. I have no idea what birch bark tastes like, so I couldn’t tell you whether or not it’s here. Overall, this is a lovely light and slightly creamy citrusy tea, it kind of reminds me of Fauchon’s Sweet Almond & Orange tea. Thank goodness, I at least liked one tea from this box… glares at Verdant.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Orange Zest, Roasted, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
So… Another “vanilla” tea from this month’s Verdant blends club. Now, I am not a lover of floral teas in general, but jasmine is okay sometimes. Looking into the pouch, this tea looks like potpourri – it’s basically a bag full of flower petals with a couple of silver needles thrown in. It smells very strongly of rose… ick. I looked up silver needle steeping instructions because for some reason Verdant’s steeping parameters are always for super short steeps with a lot of tea. Honestly I think I overleafed a bit, but it didn’t seem to have much effect.
Brewed aroma is mostly sweet jasmine, and thank goodness the floral is less intense than the dry scent. The rose is still there, but weaker than the jasmine now. Overall it smells quite sweet, and there’s a little bit of cucumber along with a faint hay aroma. The first thing I taste is the lemongrass, which is a nice surprise. The overall taste is mostly jasmine, however, but it’s not terribly strong. The rose is mostly present as an aftertaste, and honestly I don’t really taste white tea at all.
I have to say, there is absolutely no vanilla flavor at all in this tea! I feel like I’ve been duped… Verdant, you have broken my fragile little heart! This one will go into the rehoming box, there’s no way I’ll drink this with the amount of floral in it. Not going to rate.
Flavors: Jasmine, Lemongrass, Rose
Sigh… So I’m feeling pretty cheated by the Blends club this month… I was so excited for the premise of vanilla-centric blends. They reeled me in! And then they gave me a licorice tea and a floral tea. The third tea sounds like it’ll be good, but vanilla is not the main flavor there either. Ugh!
So I figured I’d get this one out of the way already, since I hate licorice root. Honestly, the dry scent isn’t horrible, but there’s quite a bit of ginger and I can definitely smell the licorice. And it actually smells really nice when brewed – like apple cinnamon oatmeal! Yum.
Unfortunately, it’s very licorice. I can’t stand that weird sweet aftertaste that licorice gives, it makes me want to gag. The other flavors in this tea aren’t bad, and I might actually enjoy it if it hadn’t been ruined by the evil emperor himself. I’m not going to rate this considering there is a large amount of bias in play here.
So, straight into the rehoming box it goes. If anyone is interested in trying this, just let me know, I have an ounce of it.
Daily Summary: 4 sipdowns, 155 teas remaining in cupboard
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Lemon, Licorice, Oats, Vanilla
First tasting note! Haha I hardly get those anymore lol…let me preface this review by saying why I haven’t tried this tea sooner. As I have a severe food allergy (peanuts), I am very wary of trying things with unfamiliar ingredients – in this one the culprit was ashwaganda. But after a skin test I decided it’s safe to have (and I’m writing this review, so I’m still good haha)
So onto the review! The dry smell in this one is…to put it simply – MEDICINAL. Man oh man, I have never smelled a more herby smelling tea haha. It is strong and almost like Vicks mixed with tonic and some basil…strong and sharp and almost hurting the nose buds. I suppose you could compare this to alcohol in that it’s sharp and almost brutal smelling lol. But don’t let that deter you! I steeped this for 1 min with boiling water, and the steeped smell was much nicer – more chamomile with mild herbs that I couldn’t really identify, probably peppercorn though as that is a strong component.
As for the flavor, again this is quite medicinal, but I think it captures the feel of a strong spirit lol. I haven’t tried Chartreuse (the beverage) but the tea form is peppery, with an almost tulsi-like component. OH LOL there is tulsi in it, well that explains it hahaha. Not much in the terms of rose or fennel, so fennel haters rejoice? Haha, and the chamomile is just providing a neutral backdrop to the strong pepper and tulsi flavors I imagine. As for the ashwaganda, I don’t know what it is like but it might be provided the smoother mouthfeel like ginseng does, since it’s supposed to be Indian Ginseng.
Overall, a pretty bizarre blend. I can’t really compare it to what the tea is modelled after, so this is not a very helpful review probably. But it was an adventure, and I now know I can have ashwaganda! It might take me a while to get through the bag though because it is so weird….haha, happy to have tried it anyways though! No rating, because I don’t know what it’s supposed to be like.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Peppercorn, Spicy, Tulsi
I think this was a free sample with my last order as I generally don’t order anything other than black teas. It’s tasty though! Buttery and light and very vegetal. It seems like a poor choice for 9 at night – maybe it’d be better in the morning or afternoon. Or at least some time when the sun is up?
Oh, and the spinach notes linger long afterwards…
This 1st picking seems to have citrus and bean-like/edamame notes along with the distinctive laoshan black toastiness.
I had bought a bit of this earlier this year when verdants regular laoshan black was out of stock, and while I was happy to have tried it, I prefer the other pickings as they seem to have more of the chocolate notes I love, at least from what I have tried. A tea I like to keep in my cupboard whatever the picking though!
It seems as though all my teas that I chose tonight all came from MissB!
Well, it is another lovely sipdown tonight. Probably one of my last ones.
I feel like the elderberry is what makes this smell so funny when it’s dry. It does take a slight medicine-y scent to it? And I don’t smell the jasmine at all.
But as it steeps, I can most definitely smell the jasmine!
Good tea, but a bit too much elderberry and tulsi, not enough jasmine :)
From Reddit traveling tea box.
Hmm, the scent of the tea was freaking me out – medicinal and strong. First sips had lots of Tulsi flavor. After a few sips and time to cool, not too bad. The rootbeer taste is interesting and the oolong is nice. The Tulsi I’m undecided on with the herbaly mint like flavor.
Had another cup of this yesterday. Tried to see what happens if I brew it longer around 7 minutes. It was both sweeter and more flavorful, which makes me think that it would do great with a long cold brew.
Kind of wish that it was part of Verdant’s regular stock.
No rockets on Tel Aviv yesterday. Which is good.
I was cleaning the house yesterday and I stumbled upon a stray bag of this. It is from Verdant’s now defunct Tea of the Month Club (Reserve). I have about enough for another steeping, which I will probably brew cold.
The leaves of this tea are amazing: huge, plump, silvery green “needles” that smell super sweet, with a hint of the “tea” smell, and a hint of a vegetal scent. I imagine that that is what caramelized green tea leaves must smell like, if such a thing existed.
The itself is as sweet as it promises to be, with a refreshing cucumber base and a toasted wheat aftertaste. Delicious.
Is is unique enough to deserve the “reserve” title? Yes.
Is it the best Silver Needle that I have tasted? Yes.
Will I recommend it to people, if it was readily available? It depends. The price tag is a bit too steep, even for such a good tea. If white tea is your favourite, then you owe it to yourself to try this one out. If you enjoy white teas on occasion, I’m not sure that this is where you’d want your money invested. There are very good and unique white teas to be had at a fraction of the price.
P.S. As of now the 12 hour ceasefire has been thankfully extended until midnight. Praying that it will be extended even more.
Be brave and drink tea…
Flavors: Cucumber, Toasted Rice, Wheat
HHTTB Round 3
I don;t think I’ve ever seen a black white tea blend. I was confused by that, but just went with the steepster suggested time and temp and was definitely happy with it. I had then a few days ago and forgot to log it, but it was a nice cup and I remember finding the cinnamon in it to be very comforting and didn’t think anything about it was super overpowering. I would definitely drink this again. It was a good rainy day tea.
GA! GA! OH LA LA!
…sorry. I was really excited for this blend, and I love Sarsonator forever for sending me a sample! I had to add this tea to the database, so I guess no one else on here has tried it yet? Hooray pressure! ;)
So, this is a genmaicha with some unconventional ingredients. I’ve had the base tea on its own and enjoyed it, I remember it being a smooth and creamy light green tea. This tea has two types of toasted rice – jasmine and Minnesota wild. There are also lovely golden flower petals for color, and juniper berries (I assume they’re dried, but they still have their plump fresh appearance). I didn’t see any vanilla bean pieces in mine, but supposedly they’re in there. The dry scent is toasted grains with a very light vegetal note in the background.
Brewed, the aroma is a basic genmaicha – green tea (albeit a mild green tea) and lovely toasted rice. Have I mentioned I love genmaicha? Sipping this tea, I get the impression of a traditional genmaicha done very well. The base tea is exceptionally smooth and creamy, its main vegetal note would be butternut squash. As I near the end of the sip, it becomes creamy vanilla almond or soy milk. Mmm… The toasted rice adds that lovely nutty flavor, and goes perfectly with the creamy soy and light oat notes of the base tea. I would have enjoyed a tad bit more vanilla, as I only really find it near the end of the sip. But I digress! I honestly am unsure what juniper berries taste like, but I would assume similar to pine? Either way, I don’t get any of that here. Same with the saffron.
Overall, I actually really like this tea. I would consider it more of a traditional genmaicha, but exceptionally smooth and creamy. Delicious! :)
Edit: I forgot to mention that this blend was created for Lady Gaga, in case anyone was confused by the beginning of the note… Lol.
Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Nutty, Oats, Smooth, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal
From the Reddit traveling tea box.
A really pretty dry leaf with big flower buds and petals. THIS IS FLORAL. Mega floral! Sweet licorice, floral, lemony, mint fresh with a background of juicy white peony. However, the white tea is pretty drowned out. Little bit of a tart bite end of sip. If you love floral, you’ll dig this, but there’s a lot going on.