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Recent Tasting Notes
Got a sample of this with my last Verdant order.
So far all of the Laoshan greens I’ve tried have been outstanding and this one was no exception. The unique needle like leaves are a little hard to measure out, but I reckon I used roughly two teaspoons or enough to cover the bottom of the gaiwan. This tea brews up mellow and sweet with a nice vegetal flavor reminiscent of fresh lettuce. The wet leaf has a faint aroma of seaweed and soy. The flavor really pops with the second steeping. The vegetal flavors become brighter and more nuanced. This steep is invigorating in its freshness and crisp, clean taste and is my favorite by far. Third steep and the tea transitions to a a stronger vegetal taste yet still remains sweet. Flavor starts to fade in later steepings although it’s still very drinkable.
If I had to choose between this and the regular Autumn Harvest Laoshan, the Laoshan Pine Needle wins by a hair. I enjoyed the sweeter, more complex vegetal character of this tea.
Flavors: Lettuce, Peas, Soybean, Sweet
So, since the leaves are pretty green in color (vs black) I decided to brew like a green tea—lower temperature. No idea if I should have done that for an oolong…but yeah. Then I promptly got distracted and left it steeping for WAY too long, probably 15 or 20 minutes. I expected to come back to a bitter mess.
On the contrary! It survived just fine, no bitterness. It has a floral/lightly citrus smell and taste. At least, when you brew at green tea temperatures, let steep for a stupidly long time, and take it with a bit of sugar.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral
Drinking this makes me happy to have bought October’s subscription box.
The dark notes in this tea are met with the undertone floral notes from the TGY to create a savory cup with each steep. It may not be the perfect balance for me, but it is a wonderful cup that mixes autumn and spring together in one cup to taste like whatever the mixture would be called. I wish the leaf was more consistent because some leaf opens with the rinse and other leaf opens after four steeps which makes me believe I may not have a complete tasting each time… whatever. This is much better than the 3 year aged TGY that was in the box though and I was looking forward to it.
This is the second new offer from Verdant that I’ve drank and I’m not feeling it.
There isn’t any floral notes that I associate with TGY teas :/
The liquid is thick like an Assam and brew rather quick so I ended up switching to 12 second steeps because it was a bit strong. The end result was essentially a honey black tea. With 90c at 12 seconds it was smooth, but at 100c for 10+ seconds there were dry and bitter notes.
I had to test this tea pretty thoroughly because of the sales going on as well as my new thing is to send off teas that I don’t particular become fond of to others. I’ll try to find this a place were someone likes there blacks to be a bit bold (though, I love me a bold Dian Hong)
I had the one sample of this tea and brewed it later in the afternoon (after my caffeine intake was already near max). This impacted how I felt about the tea since I was not willing to do many infusions to give this tea a real try. I know many others have loved it but I’ve never loved roasted oolongs a lot. There are a few I do like so not all are excluded.
So when brewing this up it was just okay for me. It didn’t have an over roasted flavour. It was pleasant enough with some fruity notes. I just didn’t love it though so tried a 2nd infusion. It was pretty much the same as the first infusion and I gave up after that.
noms. Enjoying this one again today since i need to get to 100 if i want any orders this weekend AND because it’s close enough to LB that it’s like a treat today. I need enjoyable drinking things since it’s operation “tear the house apart.” We’ve been putting off going through things in the house with the intent of getting rid of things we haven’t used in years and i’ve put a deadline for us of Dec 15 – when we start dog sitting for three weeks. So everything is going in to piles – keep, donate and trash. 900 CD’s? DONATE! (after making digital copies of them all…) etc.
Really? no tasting note on this one. Well mine won’t be much better, but when i took my first sip of this one, i really thought i’d made laoshan black by accident. it tastes very similar in profile to LB but with an oolong twist. I actually see myself enjoying this one – though it is a little drying in the mouth.
I have to say Laoshan greens are beginning to rival TGY as my favorite teas from Verdant. I was blown away by the spring harvest and waited with great anticipation for my autumn order to arrive.
I steeped a scant teaspoon of leaves in a 4 oz gaiwan at 165 F for 1 minute with the lid off. This is my usual method for brewing Chinese green teas. I feel lower temperatures bring out more of the sweetness of green tea and less of the swampy/brothy flavor it can sometimes have.
The flavor of the tea is marvelous. Creamy soymilk, fresh, very clean and crisp from start to finish. There is a nutty undertone that I can’t quite put my finger on. Verdant describes it as oats and wild rice but to me it evokes the flavor of coriander or sesame seeds. The mouthfeel is dry and extremely smooth. I was struck by the distinct soymilk flavor which I haven’t encountered before with other green teas. It dominates the early steeps before transitioning to a more vegetal taste.
Compared to last spring’s tea, this one is more on the savory side. Spring laoshan was sweeter and full of bright spring vegetables. I preferred the spring picking but the autumn is a wonderful tea in its own right. It gets you a lot more mileage. It keeps going strong for several steepings and perfect for grandpa brewing.
Flavors: Coriander Seed, Milk, Soybean
Somehow, I steeped this for 16 minutes – and it’s still really tasty if a bit astringent. I feel icky that I didn’t give it the love and attention it deserves. In my defense, I was working on something creative that had me instantly focused and in the zone. Still, it’s no excuse, I need to be more present, and that includes (especially) with steeping my tea.
Regardless, this is a chai-like, chocolate-y aroma-d, subtle vanilla-y tea. It’s nuanced, although again, likely not the best description or depiction based on my ridiculous oversight.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Spices, Vanilla
Well! Colour me surprised. In the pouch I smelt grass and the inexplicable plastic-y note I usually associate with oolongs, steeped it was salted and buttered corn on the cob, but the flavour… it’s quite nice! And that’s a big step for me, I usually pass over green tea. Sweet and creamy, it reminds me of matcha.
So, I am trying my best to sip down old tea. I found this in my tea drawer at work. I think it was from a BrewteallySweet tea stash sale. Yep, it is old and yet it is still really good. I am sure it is not as good as it once was, but me being the green tea noob it doesn’t take much to fool me.
This is slightly sweet with hints of green bean and other yummy green vegetables. My first infusion I did for 30s in hopes of not destroying the tea. I think I will add quite a bit more time to my next infusion to step it up a notch. This makes me want to try more green tea. Yum.
EDIT: Yep I ruined it. Second infusion was bitter. I let it steep too long. Green tea hates me. I need to buy some cheap dragon well one of these days and just play. I like the taste of it, but I always end up making it bitter.
Yay! Tea #2 from my Li Xiangxi Special Sample Pack! The dry leaf aroma is strong and kind of smells like a roasted Tie Guan Yin. I opted not to do a rinse. The first steep was for 3 seconds. It smells bizarre and slightly rancid, like sweaty underarms. The initial flavor is a bit like dirty, sweaty socks but the aftertaste is okay and more tea-like. It tastes strongly of passion fruit.
The second steep for 5 seconds was much improved. Do yourself a favor and rinse this tea!! The brewed tea aroma is no longer rancid sweat and the flavor is pure delicious tea. It’s much more enjoyable now. This has very strong floral and fruit notes. I swear it tastes exactly like a cross between honeysuckle and passion fruit. The flavor is so strong and thick that it almost tastes like I’m drinking pollen. A fruity pollen.
Wow, I really don’t think I’ve ever had such a fruity, floral unflavored tea. This is quite remarkable. Verdant’s notes say this is orchid, honey, melon, and aloeswood incense. I’m not getting much in the way of honey or sweetness. Orchid? Maybe. Yeah, I could see orchid. But to me, it is screaming honeysuckle pollen and passion fruit.
Third steep for 10 seconds. Okay, now I’m tasting honey. I can see the melon note as well, although I still prefer to define it as passion fruit. I don’t know what aloeswood incense is, but I would say this tea has very little spice to it. I’m also getting a bit more of the dark, woodsy, rocky minerality that I would expect from this type of oolong. But overall, there is not much minerality to speak of.
Fourth infusion for 15 seconds is just as delicious. The tea liquor is slowly darkening but still pretty light. It looks like liquid rose gold. :)
Next I had a small cup of 200 degree water. I read on Verdant’s site to drink plain hot water after every few infusions to clear your palate. I’m honestly surprised how much this plain water tastes like tea! As the water touches my palate, it seems to reawaken the aftertaste of the tea! It’s really a remarkable and fascinating thing to experience.
Fifth infusion for 20 seconds. The tea’s losing its bite, its punch. Still good but not quite as flavorful as the first few cups. It seems to build on my tongue though and the aftertaste lingers for a long time.
Sixth infusion for 30 seconds. The tea liquor is getting lighter again. There’s a bit more rocky minerality to it followed quickly by floral and fruity notes at the end of the sip. I’m starting to understand why this tea is so expensive. Special Grade? Yes, it is truly special indeed.
I really had a terrible day. One of the worst days I’ve had in a long time. The kind of day that makes you wonder why life is worth living. What’s the point of it all? What’s the point of living if you’re just in pain and causing pain to those around you? Am I supposed to just soldier through and pray that one day the pain will disappear? Am I supposed to hope that I’ll wake up one day and miraculously be whole again? What’s the point of living if I’m going to be broken forever? Life isn’t all bad. I have many things to be grateful for. But when there’s something physically broken about you that impacts your very identity as a woman, it’s really hard to see past that to the good things in life. You can try to ignore it but you can’t keep that up for long. This tea magically transported me out of that dark mindset, at least for a few minutes.
Seventh infusion for 50 seconds. Still good but definitely losing flavor. I think I’ll try a couple long steeps and then call it quits. Sorry that I took this note to a dark place at the end. I’m just devastated and I need an outlet. But back to the tea, this is truly special and definitely worth your time (and money) to pick up a sample. At $29/ounce, I don’t think I can afford a large quantity of this. But I am very glad that I was able to get a great deal on the Li Xiangxi Special Sample Pack so that I could try this tea. It’s an experience worth having.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Honey, Honeysuckle, Orchid, Passion Fruits
Yet another of the new tieguanyin offerings from Verdant via the Liu Family.
This one really works for me. In general, I’m not a huge fan of tieguanyin teas. Too floral for me. And too many times a venue (like a Chinese restaurant) has offered me “oolong” tea, and I’m expecting wuyi, and I end up with a mug of flowers.
But this? The age brings out that mineral oolong thing, and mutes the floral while retaining a lot of sweetness. I could see this becoming a leaf I keep in the pantry pretty regularly as a slightly softer alternative to Da Hong Pao.
Flavors: Orchid, Peas, Vanilla, Wet Rocks