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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlog from Friday -
Considering I have been mostly avoiding bergamot for a while because I lost my taste for it, I was a bit surprised that I liked this so much. It isn’t overwhelming, a nice balance and a very very nice base tea.
I actually really enjoyed it and was sad over the weekend when I couldn’t have more because I was craving it. This is actually really good earl grey and I am sad that it’s an archived blend. Hopefully it will come back at some point.
Lewis & Clark Traveling Teabox – Tea #27
An odd little blend that just seems to work for me! It’s almost like a chai made with tulsi. It’s spicy but I can definitely taste that holy basil flavor I love (like green beans). The dry blend has a strong spearmint fragrance but it’s almost lost in the flavor. There is a cooling from the peppermint at the end of the sip. Dry scent: spearmint. Flavor: peppermint. Very smooth from the licorice root. I love the cooling with the spices! I can say this one is a great blend from Verdant! Everything works in harmony.
Steep #1 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Nothing fancy, but functional and inexpensive. This did not come with a saucer, just the cup and lid. The porcelain is thin and fine, but pretty durable. I’m not the greatest fan of the flared lip, as it makes pouring off cleanly a little tricky sometimes, but all in all I’m quite happy with this.
(Backlog from a couple of days ago)
Thanks to Sarsonator who generously sent me a huge quantity, I was able to sip on this wonderful oolong during the week end.
I’ve had this TGY from previous harvests before. Verdant does oolong very well…
It’s a beautiful tea, very flavourful and what I have come to expect from higher quality TGY.
Creamy, buttery and slightly nutty. It smells like popping kernels!
Nice floral mouthfeel going on. It has also a refreshing citrusy finish.
It lasted many steeps gongfu style.
I made my session extra special by inaugurating new teawares that I love very much. (Allan, looking at you, enabler!!!)
Here’s a pic:
800th tasting note! What better way than to review a tea that I’ve, gee, had for a year and still haven’t written about even though I quite enjoy it.
Yes, it was oodles better when fresh. The citrus notes, particularly the orange and bergamot, popped out a lot more than now. Fresh, this is seriously the perfect balance between the warm cocoa notes in the Laoshan base, the sparkly colourful citrus notes, and elegant rose. Nowadays, I’m getting mostly rose, and I swear the base is more mineral-like than cocoa-like with age.
Whilst I wouldn’t go out of my way to get this, if Verdant restocked this with a bunch of others that caught my fancy, you bet I’d get more.
Lewis & Clark Traveling Teabox – Tea #16
Oh here is a lovely green tea – the leaves are coiled and dark green. The scent promises sweetness. The flavor is light, sweet, creamed corn, smooth yet starchy with a brightness that can only remind me of sunshine. There is something special here anyway. The second steep (to be fair the leaves had been sitting overnight), the tea somehow seemed much more like vegetables…. a salad of all the greenest vegetables! Maybe I love tea because the leaves absorb the sun… I know I need that in the winter in whatever form… it’s already almost the end of September!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 30 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Lewis & Clark Traveling Teabox – Tea #8
I usually love genmaicha and I know I love the Laoshan green. It’s actually the highest rated “Laoshan” for me, surprisingly enough. I’m not sure if it was the three minute steep making it a little bit too bitter (or I used too many leaves), or that I couldn’t really taste too much of the rice, but this isn’t a favorite. I think I like to sip the Laoshan green on its own and I like it better when genmaicha is made with sencha. I know they both work better for me on their own!
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 3 min
Well, I have had some of this in my stash for a bit. I am surprised I have never written about it. This tea is popular on Steepster. I think I get it, but for me this one does not jump out and scream buy tons of me. It is a decent black tea, with a bit of a roasty, cocoa flavor. I really enjoy the Laoshan Roasted Ooolong much more. Sometimes I worry when I don’t LOVE a tea that is so popular, but I think this is what I like about Steepster and tea. There is so much variety, that not everything has to be YOUR favorite.
It seems that the Steepster Monster ate my wonderful, detailed tasting note. Now I don’t want to spend as much time on the note. Let’s just hit the high points:
Never had a genmaicha before. They always sounded good when I read tasting notes
It is good.
Enjoyed the roasted rice taste and the dark chocolate.
Will drink more! :D
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Roasted nuts, Toasted Rice
This is a very old tea from a swap with akgrowngirl that I have put off trying for a very long time because I was intimidated by my lack of experience with straight oolong. But, I finally made it on Monday and I actually thought it was surprisingly good.
It was really light, and floral with more distinct notes of sweet jasmine and orchids. I also found there to be honeysuckle notes and a flavour similar to sugar snap peas. I only did the one infusion, but I have more left so I may try and do multiple steeps in the future. I very rarely do though, so perhaps not…
I think it’d be really interesting to see what this was like when it was fresher, though.
This sample came from scribbles! I’m very happy to try these Verdant blacks teas, especially since they tend to go out of stock so easily. The leaves of this one are very long and thin, and somewhat curly. They’re almost all black, with just a few spots of gold. At first smell, this tea seems Fujian to me. It has that savory toasted grain and dill seed aroma, but it also has a sweet apricot preserve scent which is interesting. Smells like Fujian and Yunnan had a baby! :P I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once it’s brewed, this tea definitely smells Fujian to me. The aroma is thick with roasted grain and is quite savory with that dill scent. The taste is much the same. There’s a thickness to the flavor and texture, and it’s chiefly deep roasted grains and rye bread. There’s also that sprinkling of dill over the top. Interestingly enough, I get a light and pure sweet flavor that reminds me of honeysuckle nectar – clear, sweet, and very lightly floral. Yum! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Dill, Grain, Honeysuckle, Roasted, Rye, Sweet
This was my randomly chosen black tea of the morning! This sample came from scribbles. I’ve been curious about this one and Yu Lu Yan Cha (which she also sent a sample of!) for a while now, mostly because I’ve been generally impressed with Verdant’s offerings and black teas are definitely my favorites. The leaves of this tea are large buds, mostly golden with some grey spots. Dry scent is very sweet honey with malt. I steeped about 1.5 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Yum, aroma! There’s malt and soft homemade wheat bread with honey butter over the top. Then there are also sugarcane and milk chocolate scents. This is definitely a deeper flavored Yunnan tea. The main taste I get is dark wheat bread and malt, and there’s something almost roasty about it that reminds me of coffee. There’s a bit of sweetness, maybe from molasses. Then there’s a touch of chocolate and an interesting fruity quality (especially near the end) that reminds me of berries. A robust Yunnan tea!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Berries, Cocoa, Coffee, Malt, Molasses, Roasted
My cupboard keeps getting smaller – I think it’s partly bc Steepster hasn’t been working well lately and so I haven’t been getting excited about other teas, and can’t-miss sales etc. Partly because I’ve been working part-time a bit too as we wait for Hannibal to start shooting – we’re getting close! I think I get to read Episode 6 on Monday, and filming should start in a month or so?
The Hannibal Season 2 dvd just came out and there’s two special featurettes on it that feature our shop and the work involved in creating all the dead bodies. It was really awesome to watch – it made us look good! Also I sorta laughed when I recognized a few of the photos I took in the dvd. That’s about the limit to my creative input – I’m just admin, not talent. :P It’s all my boss and his employees.
Anyway, this tea was good, but I’m not sure about re-ordering it? I’m just not THAT big on oolongs, although the mint flavouring is quite nice. I just wanted to finish this today since it’s the Last Day of Summer! Woohoo. I love Fall, so I am not upset by that!
The first time I saw this tea was in a TTB and though I usually avoid pu’erh I meant to try this as per Cavocorax’s suggestion. However, I ended up forgetting and passed it along. Luckily, my tea twin Roswell Strange has me covered as she sent along a teaspoon for me to taste. Thank you!
Sipping on this cup, I am grateful that the pu’erh flavor is essentially non-existent. Nonetheless, this is still not a tea for me. It is mostly a hot cup of cinnamon water with some ginger and herb flavors to round it out. All not flavors in a tea I care enough to reach for so although I am happy for the chance to try something new, I am also glad it was just the one serving.
This tea was included in the last tea-of-the-month set (along with the roasted oolong and the bilochan as points of comparison).
I have to say I’m a bit confused with this tea being described as an oolong. The appearance both dry and wet, the aroma both dry and wet and the resultant cup all seem to me to be very much a green tea.
I enjoyed it very much, but I found nothing oolong about it at all.
The best steeping of Laoshan Roasted oolong was the last steepings – it was like drinking a s’more – so sweet, vanilla flavored and roasty!
Before that with the first 12 infusions (out of 14), the tea had roasty, nutty, bark woodsy, chocolate malt, yam, and marshmallow with a light to moderate dryness.
I can’t compare to Laoshan black – i’ve had that tea in blends and once on it’s own, but I do like this oolong. Only if I can have infusion 13 and 14 over and over again.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/laoshan-roasted-oolong-verdant-tea/
From the Lewis and Clark TTB.
Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. Steeping times: 3, 3, 3, 3, 6, 6, 6, 6.
I haven’t had many Tieguanyin’s, so picking out the complexities was difficult for me. Trying to go beyond “floral” here.
The leaf has a flora aroma, an early spring air filled with the delicate fragrances of purple, light blue, dark blue, pink, and yellow flowers. I imagine bumblebees and honeybees, dusted with pollen, flitting from flowerbed to flowerbed. The liquor is pale yellow, clear, and bright. Full-bodied yet light. The texture becomes creamier and more buttery with every infusion, and the taste changes to candy sweet, evocative of candied flowers.
The tightly rolled light green leaves quickly unfurl. Each one is surprisingly small and thin for a lightly oxidized oolong.
This tea is good. The first note I noticed was the roasted barley, it was prominent. I could also taste the notes of cocoa, scotch, and toast. It was a very smooth tea with just a little bitterness, however the bitterness was pleasant. I did not notice much qi but there was a little.
I steeped this six times in a 180ml teapot with 190 degree water and 6g leaf. I steeped it for 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, and 35 sec. There was a beautiful golden color to the first infusion and a golden brown color afterwards.
Flavors: Cocoa, Roasted Barley, Scotch, Toasty