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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve tried this one a few more times since the somewhat rushed initial tasting note, so I feel that I can give it a rating now. Overall, it’s very enjoyable, if lighter than I expected, with just a touch less presence than the original Laoshan Black. The cocoa notes are highly delectable, though I’m not getting much of the toasted rice in it. There is a lingering smoky, roasty quality in the finish, which becomes more dominant on the second infusion. I was surprised to find that Shui Jin Gui oolong was in this blend, which explains that smokiness! As it happens, Shui Jin Gui is one of my favorites from Verdant, and I was sad to see it on the archived, “no plans to offer it again” page. It’s nice to encounter it here again.
Finally got my hands on this one! It smells divine, with a natural chocolate and toasted-grains aroma, and comes out quite soothing and smooth, with lighter hints of those flavors. As it’s quite late, I ended up underleafing this one a bit, so I will give a rating and more accurate review next time.
I’m not a massive fan of chai, so I’m not really an expert at it. But I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s actually one of the best chais I’ve had.
I know a lot of people add milk to chai, but I don’t add it to anything. This tea seriously tastes so thick and creamy, it’s like it has invisible milk in it. It’s crazy.
The main thing I notice in this one is the creaminess. I don’t drink milk much because it makes me sick a lot and gets bad heartburn…but…it really does taste good creamy and “milky?”! Happy to have tried it!
Flavors: Creamy, Milk, Spices
Dry leaf: long; some green, some brownish green
Liquor: greenish yellow
1 infusion (5s): This tea is different from the 2 other dragonwells I just tasted. My eyes lit up when it hit my tongue because I could immediately sense a difference. It’s hard to put into words the difference between this tea and other dragonwells. I guess you could say it’s sweeter, brighter, and greener in taste. Simply an improvement in quality.
Flavors: Green, Sweet
Aww, I’m sad to be finishing off this sample! This is a tasty herbal blend, and really unique. It has a similar flavor to Verdant’s Citrus Spice, minus the black tea. A creamy mix of citrus and vanilla, but it’s the spices that make it interesting. There are some sweet -tasting ingredients here (cinnamon, carob, elderberries). But there’s also coriander and ginger, which give it an almost savory undertone. And the flavor is stronger than I expected, given that some herbals can turn out a bit watery. It’s almost like drinking a combination of spice tea and chicken noodle soup. And it’s delicious!
Cozy, comforting, and caffeine-free. I’m seriously tempted to order more of this, even though my cupboard is way overcrowded—if only because I need more caffeine-free blends in my life.
Wow, this tea is so flavorful! There’s a definite roasted taste here, which I really enjoy. I can also taste some of the cocoa note mentioned on Verdant’s site description. That said, it’s not a sweet tea. Instead it’s really savory, with strong malty notes and a delicious aroma that’s especially potent with the first few cups. Later steepings were a bit lighter, with notes of raisin. I steeped my sample at least five times (Western style, but short steeps), and each cup was tasty.
This tea is impressive, with lots of staying power. I can see why everyone raves about it! I’m glad I’ll be drinking more of it in the form of Laoshan Village Chai—but I may have to order some of it plain in the near future, too.
Brewed on the stove-top. Brought to a boil, simmered for seven minutes, added 2% milk and white sugar, brought to a boil again.
This is one of my all-time favorite teas, one of my most favorite blends, and my all-time favorite masala chai blend. It is atypical. Its base tea is a Chinese black tea – very long and twisty. There are the typical ingredients, such as cinnamon ginger, and peppercorns, And then there ingredients I’ve never seen used before: as tulsi, goji berries, galangal, elderberry, etc. The dry leaf is gorgeously colorful.
The complete preparation gives you a bear hug. Such an inviting aroma as the tea simmers. Such a cozy and roasty feel as I drink. The tulsi, ginger, peppercorns, and goji berries especially stand out. Excellent (amount of) fresh spices – because unlike in some other masala chai blends, they truly offer a bite even when milk and sugar are added (supplementary ingredients that, I think, enhance the overall taste and experience).
My dad – a non-tea drinker – generally loves masala chai and also considers this one his favorite. It’s a treat every Friday – “chai Friday”!! :)
Brewed Western-style. Steeping times: 45, 60, 120, 240.
One of Verdant’s more intriguing blends. It struck me when I first drank it months ago. The dry leaf looks absolutely lovely – the tan coriander and fennel seeds provide contrast against the little dark green curled leaves – and offers a minty, tulsi-filled aroma. Mmmmm.
The first infusion is very minty. Having run out of steam, the mint fades drastically in the later infusions. This results in the other ingredients and the base tea are able to come out from hiding, thus creating a good balance between a spicy, herbal tang and a nutty, buttery flavor.
I’m wary of green tea blends, but I can say with confidence that this one is my favorite.
Seems like a love-hate kind of thing.
Well, I really like it! Smells mostly of tulsi (which I don’t mind). What strikes me most about this tea is its intriguing ingredients – they create a mix of sweet, spicy, and herbal flavors curled up in one cup. Tastes medicinal in a good way. Most certainly a cozy tea for winter. Goal achieved for Verdant!
Had this one tonight when I was recovering from my nausea after eating. Was in the mood for a floral tea, but didn’t want one too strong, that it would push me back into sickness.
This one was perfect!
The nuttiness really balances out the floral-ness.
Not something I’d buy again, since I don’t really like the nutty flavor. But it was good for this afternoon! (:
Flavors: Floral, Nutty
This is a really lovely oolong from Verdant. I found the flavor profile unusual, at least in my tea experience so far… Most of the oolongs I’ve tried are either green/orchid/floral or roasted/peach/orchid in terms of flavor. But this oolong is very smooth and creamy, and tastes strongly of oak. I can taste a subtle note of vanilla, almost more of a texture than a taste. There’s a bit of a nutty quality too, but the oak is the most dominant.
Incidentally, I steeped this tea according to the “Western” parameters on Verdant’s website. I have to say, I really like how their teas taste with the extra-short steeping times. (Just 30 seconds for the first steep, then adding 15 seconds for each cup afterward.) I have to use a lot of leaf, about a tablespoon or so, but it’s worth it. The tea turns out so flavorful and smooth, and it seems like it’s easier for me to pick out the interesting notes.
Anyway, this is a delicious and sophisticated oolong! I’m glad I had the chance to try it as part of their 5 for 5 sampler, and to expand my experience with tea. I’d never tried a Big Red Robe oolong before, and I have to say, I’m intrigued. Too bad I’ve already finished off my sample! Perhaps I’ll order more soon?
From the EU TTB – Round 3
My only experience with this variety of tea previously has been a sample of Silver Buds Yabao, which I liked on the whole but wasn’t wild about, if I recall correctly. Nevertheless, I was interested to try this blend upon discovering it in the box. It’s winter, after all, and it both looks and sounds interesting…
I will admit, I was cautious with my brewing parameters. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it approximately 3 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees. Possibly I could have gone a little hotter or a little longer, but I wasn’t 100% sure how to approach it in the first instance.
Anyway, the tea. It smells like something that’s GOT to be good for you. Very herbal, a little orangey, a little piney. Like a walk through a forest after rain. The flavour is similar, although not as strong as I was expecting. The main flavour is pine, followed by juniper, and then rounded out with a mild vanilla creaminess. It’s delicately sweet, in the way I remember Silver Buds Yabao being sweet.
It’s undoubtedly an interesting blend, unlike almost anything I’ve tried before. It’s definitely wintery, and beautifully appropriate for a cold, crisp day like today. It’s not within the normal range of flavours I’d choose, but it’s good to challenge yourself sometimes! In this case, it was a pleasant surprise.
A very special tea in the best sense, and quite different from other jasmine teas I have tasted.
The fragrance is overwhelmingly rich but very pleasant and memorable, so that opening the package was a real surprise for me. I could sense peaches (or apricots) and banana intertwining with the jasmine but it is a good fresh ensemble, not something stale or over the edge.
The needles are quite long so that the dosage has to be more guessed than measured. I tried to use 2 somewhat (unwillingly) sparse teaspoonfuls per 250-ml cup but perhaps I should experiment with even a bigger quantity.
The first steeping is, without doubt, most impressive. I can feel no bitterness, and I can taste the same peaches and bananas next to the jasmine. It seems to me (maybe it is only me) that this tea is very lovely, maybe at its best, when steeped at around 70-75 degrees centigrade. At that temperature, the fragrance feels closest to what I smell when I open the bag.
When the tea cools down a bit, the taste becomes even deeper and lingers for quite a long time after I have finished the cup.
Somewhat surprisingly I could taste a very slight hint of bitterness in the 2nd and 3rd steeping. Not something really irritable but many jasmine-scented white teas do not do that. Maybe it was because I have done those steepings at a slightly higher temperature, around 80 degrees centigrade. Anyway, I could taste the pine needle, as promised by many, at the end of the 2nd steeping.
I would use only superlatives for this tea but first I have to figure out whether the slight unsmoothness or, perhaps, spicy tingle in the aftertaste (in all steepings) is a pro or a con. I have felt it also in some other good jasmines but not in too many. It will certainly not discourage me from ordering more of this tea, which I definitely want to do. This tea is definitely a masterpiece, somewhat addictive and warmly recommended.
Morning cup because I realized that I really need to work on some of these older teas, especially straight blacks, in order to make room for the straight blacks I’m getting in from Teavivre. Keep the line moving, yo.
Starch and sweeter wood notes from this one. I like but I’m not completely blown away.
This is a beautiful earthy oolong that would be perfectly enjoyed slowly, savouring the developing flavours of each sip as one relaxes. Unfortunately, I was drinking this in hurried gulps during the busiest morning of my life in the shipping/receiving part of my office duties so I didn’t really get the full impact of the first cup. I think I didn’t get the water quite hot enough, the flavor was a little weak and thin. But the second cup was glorious. It had a real rich earthy full flavor to it, a little bit of the grassiness of the first steep but much darker. Still had that vegetal green-stuff aroma that I love, but not as buttery or creamy as other oolongs. So good without being dry. Third steep is less glorious but still tasty, some of the richness starting to fade into a solid flavor closer to a “regular” straight oolong.
Many thanks to Sil for the super generous sample of this one.
I saw this one in Sil’s cupboard and though I usually go for straight blacks, this really jumped out at me. I’m a sucker for anything citrus-y and combined with vanilla it seemed like something I had to try.
Opening up the sample I can tell I’m going to enjoy this. There are big hunks of spice and orange peel which I always appreciate. And it smells just delightful. Brewed a bit strong at 4.5 minutes and added a bit of vanilla soy milk as I usually do with my chai (and chai-esque) blends. The citrus is a bit lost on me, but I’m fine with that. It’s really delightful as-is, very buttery and creamy with a nice amount of cinnamon and spice. It tastes just like a snickerdoodle cookie. So much so that I decided I needed to make some ASAP. And with a quick Google I stumbled upon this recipe http://www.theppk.com/2012/09/chaispicesnickerdoodles/ How perfect! Can’t wait to have them side-by-side with this tea.
Didn’t care for this cup, but since I tried it a few days ago I do not remember what my impressions were about it. It is one I’d be inclined to get another sample or 2…I mean afterall, I may have brewed it wrong. Honestly, I have not overly liked any of the recent samples from Verdant, so far.
Still got more for another cup so will do another review in a few days. I would love to do it today, but due to needing to get up early tomorrow, I can’t have caffeine for the rest of the day. If I manage to get my sorry butt out of bed early enough, I might have time in the morning. LOL.
I am FINALLY getting around to opening this pouch. My schedule has been so off lately that I haven’t been drinking too many teas with caffeine. I really need to sip down some of my collection since it’s bursting at the moment.
The dry leaf is very pretty – golden strands mixed with black, very tightly wrapped around each other. The scent of this tea after it’s steeped weirdly reminds me of the English Breakfast tea of my childhood – thick, milky and sugary.
Sipping… mmm.. quite delicious! What I notice first is the sweetness of the cup. It’s smooth and yet only the slightest bit earthy, sharp. I detect a bit of hay, sweet potato and perhaps a bit of pepper in the aftertaste. I also love the mild milk tone that I’m getting throughout the entire cup. It’s not that the tea is creamy, but smooth with a flavor that reminds me of a glass of milk.
While I did enjoy this cup, I didn’t find the flavor notes that I was hoping to find.. vanilla, cream. I’m not sure that I would go out of my way to find this one again, but it is enjoyable!