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Recent Tasting Notes
Gongfu session. Brewed with a ceramic gaiwan. Used two 10-second rinses. Steeping times: 2 seconds, 5, 10, 15, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 180.
This shou has a much different aroma than I’m used to in general for shou. I heated the gaiwan for a minute with boiling water, then poured it out and let the dry leaf sit inside for about thirty seconds. Light, very sugary and vanilla-like, followed by tapioca pudding. After the rinses and the first couple infusions, the wet leaf has plain oatmeal and sticky rice. At the middle of the session, a leather note appears and becomes more dominant the more I steep the leaf.
The liquor is creamy and full-bodied with a mellow attitude yet a rich character. Not yet awake, this shou has yet to present itself in the first two infusions, which have faint notes of vanilla, raisins, and homemade baked bread made with molasses. The third infusion is pure cocoa. Sticky rice and bread appear in the fourth. At this point the shou begin to tell me to “woooaaaah there, man, sit down and take it easyyyyyyyyyyyy, yeahhhhhhh.” Infusions five through seven continue to have the stick rice note, but also mixed with damp earth. Cinnamon, creamy aftertaste, as if one is drinking warm milk with powdered cinnamon sprinkled on top. Beginning with the eight infusion, the shou weakens, but still going are the vanilla and sticky rice. So rice, very tapioca.
Have this all year around. Doesn’t matter the weather and the temperature.
This is without doubt one of the loveliest green teas I have ever tasted.
Using the outside part of one of Verdant’s testtube brewers, I poured out some water, and then decanted into another, this one containing a fairly generous mound of these lovely leaves. Dry, they have this lovely, sweet, grassy scent.
Within a couple of seconds, the water had become a genuine pale-green/yellow colour and smelled absolutely wonderful – so fresh, sweet and vegetal.
I decanted into a pitcher and poured some into one of those lovely Jingdezhen cups I have. The smell was really mouthwatering – vegetal, but still so sweet. On the palette, it really is like the description – so sweet and fresh, with those notes of peas and fresh greens.
This really is a lovely green tea, and its left a really delicious sweet taste in my mouth. After three brewers’ full, I’ve taken a break, but I’ll probably give these leaves another couple of infusions after my dinner. I imagine it would clear the palette perfectly!
Flavors: Grass, Peas, Sweet
Thank you TheLastDodo for the sample! I’m not too big on chamomile, but I was definitely curious about this one anyway. And, I promise that’s not a bad pun.
Steeped this one up hot last night; it’s a lot softer than I expected and very, very smooth. The chocolate is the focus here and it’s accented quite nicely by the cinnamon and the fennel which are subtle but add a delicate, sweet spicyness. The natural malt from the Laoshan Black is delicious; and the spearmint creeps in right at the finish to add a lovely, refreshing coolness. Also, thankfully, I can’t taste the chamomile!
All in all, this was a great tea for the end of the night! It had a rich flavour, but not an in your face one and with the chocolate and mint pairing it made me think of a really fancy, well executed tea version of an After Eight chocolate. Mmm!
Many thanks to Inkling for sending me some of this! I have been wanting to try it for a long time now and I’m grateful for the opportunity.
For the first steep, I used 1 tablespoon of leaf for 8 oz of boiling water, steeped for 30 seconds. The scent of rich hot cocoa wafts up as soon as water touches leaf. The pale golden color of the brew belies the robustly chocolatey smell and flavor. This blend totally tastes like chocolate rice krispies! It’s fantastic. Except… now my tummy kinda hurts… maybe the base here is one of those black teas that hurts me?
For the second steep, I used boiling water again for a 45 second immersion. This still tastes like cocoa rice krispies, but weaker than the first steep. I added some brown rock sugar in an effort to boost the flavor, but it didn’t seem to make much difference. The third steep, which was 60 seconds long, suffered from the same problem. For the fourth steep, I just let it sit. It steeped for a bit over 5 minutes. Alas, it was still weak even with a rice milk boost.
Thankfully, I have enough leaf to give this blend another try. Next time I think I’ll go with a longer second steep, maybe 3 minutes. Overall this is a very enjoyable cuppa but so far only for the first steep.
I have no idea what version of this tea I have as I got it as a sample from my tea hero Sil so I think I need to play around with it a bit more — it was super heavy on first steeping, it scared me off a bit! But I’ve got plenty left in the sample and I’m going to try a second steep of this first basket and we’ll see how things go. Doing it at work doesn’t help with timing either because Friday nights are BIZZAY!
Going to assume this is the recent offering from Verdant…
Anyhow, again, I’m pretty sure I tried this once before and just didn’t write a note, but I am this time! It’s a pretty tasty oolong, with all of the righty oolonginess and mineral notes, so it really hit the spot last night (I didn’t know the spot existed until it was hit, though). A bit sweet, but mostly just minerally. Enjoyable, but I’m not drawn enough to it to restock, too likely.
This is such a beautiful brew! I’ve been waiting for quite some time to try this particular tea. I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews on this leaf, and I knew I had to judge myself. I opened the package and gave it a slight inhale. I was greeted with fresh picked greens, watercress, and a soft nutty aroma. I chose to brew this in my glass gong fu pot. I actually had to try this twice, for the first time I over-steeped. This will be the review on the second attempt. I poured the warm spring water over the leaves halfway and then preceded with three short bursts of water to agitate the leaves. The sweet scent of spring and a smooth nut aroma filled my tea room. I watched as the emerald delicate dancers twirled in my tea pot. The morning light was filling my tea room and refracted the light within my brewing vessel causing for a beautiful experience. I poured myself out a cup. The flavor was calm and focused. The initial sip was a slight nutty tone with a silky floral undertone. The liquor was a pale green topaz and almost translucent. The brew became sweeter and caramelized with each subsequent steep. This was a memorable spring day tea session. I enjoyed this tea, don’t get me wrong, but it was not as good as I thought it would be. The flavor was rather lacking, and the leaf quality wasn’t as high as I had expected. In considering price, I wont be getting this again, but I am glad I was able to enjoy it :) I will probably use the rest on special occasions with guests.
Flavors: Chestnut, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass
Tried this tea this morning. It’s such an “out there” tea for me since I normally drink the lighter teas. I did try one lapsang souchong that I enjoyed before so I thought I would give it a try.
I got sweet, smokey, leathery & tobacco. Smokey is good but leathery and tobacco are not flavours I would search for in a tea. However in this case it really worked good together. I did enjoy this tea but wouldn’t add to my cabinet unless it was only sample size.for that odd ball time I would have it.
From the GCTTB
This tea has a slight nuttiness but not as nutty & sweet as some other greens. What comes to mind is “Basic Green”.
It’s good. Vegetal with green bean notes. I brewed Western style. Maybe gongful style would have brought out more in this tea but I don’t want to hog it so putting it back in the box so someone else can give it a try.
Pretty sure I should have a backlogged note about this coming up sometime… if I remember. But I drank it today, too! As Terri noted, it’s definitely not overly similar to most Verdant blacks, as there’s a distinct lack of roastiness, and I only picked up a bit of chocolatiness. However, it is characteristically smooth and fairly delicious. More on the sweet, bready hay line of flavouring as opposed to roasted chocolate. Good for a change, though probably not a tea I’d pick up more of. I think I’d also try using a bit more leaf – I felt like I had used plenty, so it just may be that the flavours aren’t overly strong here. But, it also is a rather thin and fluffy leaf, so I may have inaccurately measured. Might try a bit longer of an infusion too – I know that both PTA and LB are best with an infusion that’s 3-4 minutes, and I only went with 2 here.
Overall, an interesting try, though I believe I prefer Verdant’s latest Jin Jun Mei (and Zhu Rong/Laoshan Black/Yu Lu Yan Cha over both of them). If you are looking for a Verdant offering that’s not roasty-flavoured, this would probably be a decent bet to try.
mmmmmmm sweet smoke :P
I opened this package and the beeng cha was gorgeous. It consists of loosely stranded long tendrils of silver, gold, and a dark forest green. The dry leaf carries a peppercorn aroma. I placed a generous chunk inside my gaiwan, and I gave it a whirl. The scent from my brewing vessel was amazing. It had a sweet and robust maple syrup scent. It was so succulent but yet spicy at the same time. I washed these leaves once and prepared to brew. The taste was incredibly smooth. The initial sip consisted of silky smoke and a light sweetness. The flavor kept consistently smooth; it wasn’t until further steepings that it dropped into a bitter zone. The brew recovered from this within a few steepings and returned back to a char and burnt sugar taste. This young sheng has some great potential in aging, and is exemplary for showing the varieties of Raw Pu-erh. This was a perfect smoky tea session for a rainy day.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Char, Maple Syrup, Peppercorn, Smoke
little glass pitcher (grandpa style)
a strange tea ;)
when I smell the leaves dry, they smell floral
when I smell the leaves wet, they smell like wine and grapes
when I smell the brewed tea, it smells like wine and grapes
when I taste the brewed tea it tastes like wine and grapes too :)
many thanks to toad Thomas for this neat tea
Flavors: Alcohol, Grapes, Sweet, White Wine
I’m kinda on a Sheng binge, and I knew I had to visit this one. I opened up the packed and revealed a large loose cake. The leaves are a deep dark green, so they almost look black. I can spot small golden strands throughout the bing. This cake carried a wet wood aroma. I placed it inside my warmed yixing and turned it over. The scent was amazing. This had aged incredibly well. My pot was enveloped with deep earthy and fungal tones. The cake was so loose it almost fell apart into maocha once it was heated. I then washed the leaves with some warmed water and began brewing. The liquor was a dark brass and had the same earthy aroma. The taste of this brew was incredibly smooth. The initial sip consisted of soil and wet moss with a dark fruit sweetness and mineral undertones. This was a rather long tea session. I actually had a couple people come in and out in mid session. The tea kept up for many brews. It became a hearty bitterness around the sixth brew, but this flavor did not keep for long. I was able to get over 16 steepings, and it still was earthy and sweet. I really liked this brew, and I even forget that it was aged before I steeped it. I am surprised every time by how aged sheng tastes, since I am so used to young sheng.
Flavors: Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Wet Earth, Wet Moss
when i smell the leaves dry, (for some strange reason) they smell roasted, (unlike all the other dragonwells ive tried)
when i smell the leaves wet, they smell like sweet grass and nutty.
when i smell the brewed tea, the smell is intensified.
when i taste the brewed tea, it’s tasty with strong notes of nuts and sweet grass.
many thanks to toad thomas for this awesome yummy tea! i just adore dragonwell teas! thus why its my #1 favorite Chinese tea! :D
Flavors: Grass, Nuts, Nutty, Sweet
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell like roasted oolong.
when i smell the leaves wet, the smell is intensified.
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells like roasted oolong and sweet.
when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes very sweet.
many thanks to toad thomas for this wonderful tea :D
Flavors: Roasted, Sweet