Verdant Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

Like: grassy, green vegetal notes with a side of something bake-y, or maybe rice?
Dislike: floral jasmine blech!!
Now that I can actually enjoy jasminesque teas without feeling ill, I can safely say that the aroma and taste does not appeal. I find it offputting. So this tea is rather disconcerting to me, having so many aspects I enjoy, and others I detest. Hmph. Anyone want some? I am more than willing to share!!!

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Backlog from last night – another tea from the GCTTB4

I had 2 steeps of this last night, and there’s still a smidgen of leaf left for others further down the lineup of the box.

The taste of this was actually quite similar to the hei cha I had yesterday morning from Tao Tea Leaf. It was a very earthy sort of flavour, and although I could taste smoke, the smoke was not the predominant flavour.

The second steep was similarly earthy, but I got a hint of sweetness like pine sap or eucalyptus at the back of my mouth.

This was decent, and I know Verdant is one of Steepster’s darlings, but I didn’t ring my bell compared to some of the other teas I’ve tried. It was a nice way to relax and focus in the evening, though.

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73

I’ve been excited to try this one ever since Amariel sent me a bag of it in our swap. I’ve put it off until I had a nice weekend morning to take the time to enjoy it and give a good description of it here. I think it’s so interesting that this blend include five teas – two black teas, one pu’er tea, one oolong tea, and one white tea. I’m not sure how it will work out since each of those is typically steeped so differently, but I’m going to follow the directions on Verdant’s website and see how it goes.

After steeping for the recommended 30 seconds, both the tea leaves and the liquid have that same roasted quality that I always seem to notice in an oolong tea. It’s like fresh, crusty bread. I can also smell the black tea in the wet leaves though not so much in the tea liquid. The taste is the same as the aroma, a pleasant roasted flavor. I like this even better as it cools. I think the flavors of the black tea are coming out a little more.

This is a wonderful tea to have with today’s breakfast – a Conecuh sausage biscuit slathered with mango lime jam. Thanks again to Amariel for sharing!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Roasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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89

I haven’t been up to reviewing the teas I drink lately, mostly because I have been staying home and trying them at odd intervals and my computer is almost never out, unlike when I’m at work! I’m also convinced that the filtered water I use for the office is different from my tap filter at home, and it’s throwing off my tastes!
First steep, 3 seconds: Liquor smells very nutty, but tastes like uber-sweet water, with a very fresh greenbean juiciness to it, and a mouth-coating sweetness. It just tastes so FRESH. Like a dewy morning breeze! Holy yum!
Seconds steep, probably more like 5 seconds (on accident! It takes a bit to pour a gaiwan!): Even sweeter than the first steep! Less of the green bean flavor, like it has purified. Like silky mineral water! An incredibly pleasant experience! It feels very high-class compared to the others I have recently tried. I just keep sipping ans sipping again; I can’t keep away!
Third steep, 3 seconds: The sweetness is more upfront this steep, with a more honeyed flavor and a beaniness to the background that lingers for a very long time. Still very good.
Fourth steep, 6 seconds: A cardboard-y warm flavor is creeping into this tea. It still has some of the sweet and fresh elements that linger, but the overall flavor is reminding me of when you cook green beans too long. I think I may just give this one more steep, just to see.
Fifth steep, 6-8 seconds: Still beany, still off, but I think it just brings it down to the boring green level, like off water that you rinsed your green beans in…
I tried the suggestion on Verdant’s site of tossing the spent leaves in some of my good sesame oil- not bad! A bit astringent, but the aftertaste is still there, but now mingled with a good smokey sesame flavor!

Flavors: Green Beans, Mineral, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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94

One of the teas I got to celebrate Spring. It smells so nice, like orange zest and roses. When brewed, the Laoshan base comes out. The flavour is a sorta light bergamot with some floral and chocolate notes. If you have a tea holiday, this would go well with scones.

Flavors: Bergamot, Chocolate, Floral, Orange, Rose

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65

It has a pleasant grassy flavor that is overall mild and smooth. Unfortunately is also has a somewhat astringent aftertaste.

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93

Selected by the chat folks. This tea smells fabulous. It’s cocoa and nutty, and also has a scent of chocolate pasty . There is a nice nutty roasted flavour, also with some chocolate. In some sips I get chocolate, in some I get toasted rice. Having it as a black tea works really well. Overall, very good. (Goes well with anime.)

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Nutty, Pastries, Roasted, Toasted Rice

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92

I love surprise sheng from tea friends! I thought I had tried all of this company’s Sheng, but I must have missed this one. I opened up my present and reveled long Maocha consisting of a light pale green with brass and silver streams. The dry leaf carried a strong pipe tobacco scent. I placed these beauties in my warmed yixing and gave them a shake. The aroma became more distinct and a wet forest floor scent mixed in with the tobacco. I brewed up a few cups. The steeped dark leaves gave off a strong tobacco smoke aroma. The flavor was astounding. The initial sip was perfectly smooth and creamy. This reminded me rather of a fresh Ti Guan Yin, rather than that of a Sheng. This unbelievably smooth raw puerh had a slight floral hint of orange blossoms, and this brew gave a tingling astringent tongue feel in the aftertaste. This brew grew deeper with each steeping until about the eighth whereas it went sugary honey sweet. This was a perfect brew for a sunny spring evening. I wasnt able to get more than eleven steepings out of this brew, but it was a delactable treat :)

https://instagram.com/p/3KXHjnTGW4/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Creamy, Forest Floor, Honey, Orange Blossom, Smooth, Tobacco

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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60
drank Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea
30 tasting notes

Just finished the last of my stash of this tea and I’m torn on how to rate it. Sometimes it could be sublime, other times it tasted like bad potpourri and made me feel sick. It starts out nice enough. The jasmine and citrus work nicely with the floral tie guan yin and there are hints of goji berry, but then the frankincense comes out and dominates leaving me sick to my stomach. There is saffron in there but it’s not detectable.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Jasmine

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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89

After the Tie Kwan Yin this was a breath of delicious fresh air! Second of the gong fu list with Dinosara today.
The dry leaf smells absolutely lovely. Sweet and almost grassy, like clover flowers. Dinosara mentioned alfalfa hay and that is totally the scent! Like orchard grass hay!
First Steep, 5 seconds: Oh my, this is delicious! It smells like fresh hay with a spicy flower nectar behind it, an it’s sweet like corn is sweet, but without the corn flavor. The liquor has a really nice body and is a light, pale straw yellow. I keep expecting a jasmine flavor because of the floral notes and the familiar body, but it is definitely not a jasmine tea! The sweetness has a spicy, almost marshmallow flavor; I know that mallow flowers are mostly for decoration, but THIS is what I expect to taste when I see mallow flowers in a blend!
Second steep, 5 seconds: Scent has honey notes after the hay this time. Someone put clear, floral clover honey in this tea!!
Third steep, 5 seconds: Smells like far away sleepytime tea with sugar in it. It tastes not quite as sweet and contains a slight nuttiness to it, like an almond pastry, with a sweetness like biting into a good fresh almond.
Fourth steep, 8 seconds: Floral honey aroma with a good honeyed, almost mead-like quality.
Fifth steep, 8 seconds: This steep feels more mature, still honeyed, like an icewine. has a thicker feel, but a spring mineral water back note.
Sixth steep, 8 seconds: Clover blossom smells, clover honey flavor with a dryness on the back of the throat. I feel like it’s fading.
Seventh steep: 13 seconds: This steep is almost amber. The floral scent is back, but the flavor has lost its bright notes.
We poured what didn’t fit in our teacups into a mug for a combined steep. IT iw much flatter in flavor, with none of the glorious notes of the gong fu steeps. In general it’s much more plain. Definitely a gong fu tea.

Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honey, Marshmallow

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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73

Thank you, KittyLovesTea, for a sample of this! This is the last tea from the tea swaps which I have yet to try :)

There was no list of ingredients on the package itself so I relied on steepster + the website to give me info about this tea. Apparently this is a green tea, so I hope I’m not screwing myself over in terms of sleep tonight (I usually try to stop drinking caffeine around 2/3pm..It’s after 6pm :|)

Overall this tea is pleasantly mild. When I smell the dry leaves + the brewed tea I get a bit of spiciness. The taste of the brewed tea is mildly spicy (possibly the burdock root? Holy Basil?) followed by earthiness (green tea/ yabao?) and ending off with a slight sweet note. Going by the tasting notes it looks like this was a seasonal tea a few years ago, which is probably why I’m not picking up vanilla notes and why I can’t pick out the distinct flavours of each ingredient. That’s okay though, because this tea is still quite pleasant and I’ll gladly use it up.

Flavors: Earth, Spices

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 400 ML

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88

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.

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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100

A sip-down! Like, an actual sip-down of something I had a whole bag of! This is totally unheard of :O

But I really couldn’t stop drinking this tea! It was an ideal one for afternoons at work, particularly when the weather picked up. I think I really got the hang of brewing it “well”, too – I always produced a lovely, pale-green first infusion, absolutely bursting with flavour and the most incredible, mouth-watering aroma. I even understood and appreciated the “texture” of this tea – I genuinely got that light, almost-sparkling, effervescent like mouthfeel, which just made it all the more special.

I’m really glad I took a punt on an ounce of this tea – it was truly exceptional. I can’t wait for my bag of the 2015 Spring Harvest to arrive now :D

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100

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

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec

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79

Sipdown (117)!

My migraine is finally letting up, ten hours later… Shoot me.

Finished off this sample from TheLastDodo as a cashew milk latte today. I don’t know if I didn’t enjoy it as much as anticipated because of the latte itself or because of the headache, but regardless while it was tasty it wasn’t satisfying.

The spearmint, fennel, and chamomile flavours really popped though; much more than they did as a straight tea, but the chocolate which I thought really made the flavour was very masked by the nuttyness of the cashew milk. However, the thinner mouthfeel I noted with my last cashew milk latte didn’t seem to be a problem here; so either I’m just getting used to the change in texture or, well, I don’t know what else – I’m just saying that it worked a lot better with this tea.

Overall, not sure where I stand with this one. I really liked the straight version; but this wasn’t the same at all – and it makes me a little concerned that it’s not because of the cashew milk, but because it just brews up inconsistently.

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79

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!

Ost

This tasting notes makes me wanna try this one more. I’m always looking for more chamomomiles!

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90

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.

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70
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
839 tasting notes

Much less muddy and more flavoursome with a shorter initial steep time. I did a 1min first steep, 2min second and 3min third—all three had a similar enjoyable flavour. Thanks Sil I appreciated getting to try this one!

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70
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
839 tasting notes

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!

Sil

if you have cacao, add a little to the basket when you steep..brings out the chocolatey notes

Memily

The second steep was LOVELY! I think I just need a shorter first steep… thanks for the cacao tip!

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90

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79
drank Qilan Wuyi Oolong by Verdant Tea
2970 tasting notes

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.

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90

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.

https://instagram.com/p/2yVS7OTGd6/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Chestnut, Floral, Nutty, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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