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Recent Tasting Notes
First cup of the day! I debated trying more new teas today, but I have the day to myself (boyfriend is working) and, well, I just feel like having some old standbys, relaxing. And this tea seemed like the perfect start to the day as I await the giant storm on its way. Might make some cookies, read.. One of those days. :) oh and it feels like a puerh day too, maybe some sheng later.
This is a very good tea. I should pick up some more, I only have enough for one more cup. It’s sweet and soothing and soft. Vanilla, apples, light cinnamon. I really enjoy this tea. Having it in my handmade green mug as well. Lovely! See previous notes.
From the Great Canadian TTB.
This is my first crack at white pu’erh. I am a bit skeptical due to my experiences with black pu’erh but I am willing to try.
I did a quick rise as recommended by Verdant and steeped for only 2 minutes. The recommended steeping time was 4 minutes but I wanted to keep it light just in case.
The smell of the brewed tea is slightly sweet. There is definitely a pine scent. But it is not fresh pine. It reminds me of an old, dried out Christmas tea thats been sitting for a while after the holiday season. I am also getting a burnt sugar taste, like when you are BBQing and the BBQ sauce burns on the grill.
The brewed tea is quite unexpectedly sweet. There is a bit of that old pine flavour. There is that slight burnt BBQ sauce flavour but it is much stronger in smell. There are a strong vegetal and floral components to the taste. Reminds me of dandelions but without the bitterness. KS suggested white pu’erh tasted similar to white peony tea, and I would agree. Except the pu’erh is much thicker and more in depth I flavour.
I wouldn’t say this is something I would buy for myself or stock in my cupboard. I certainly think I would try other white varieties if they came to me but I wouldn’t search them out. At lease I can drink this colour of pu’erh :P
I only have a few more chances to drink this one, & then it will be gone, & I will be sad…sigh…
Just for today, I will savor every sweet amazing sip…
I wasn’t aware that oolong Saturday was a thing, but I’ve spent the last +10 hours drinking up this sample, so I sort of participated unknowingly?
This oolong isn’t bad- it’s characteristically floral, with a good dose of sweetness and a peppery aftertaste. The first empty cup had a distinct brown sugar aroma. There’s something kind of malty about it too, with some notes you’d find in a barely or wheat tea. Eating oat bran while drinking this magnified that note. The second steep tasted like oil had been mixed in. Bouts of creaminess come through in some of the steeps.
The third and forth steeps were enjoyed (I use that term loosely)cold in a juice-flavored travel mug my mom insisted I take with me to the movies today. She even poured the the tea using the glass gongfu herself- the first time she’s ever used it. She was extremely excited to do it too, which was sweet. That’s one good memory I’ll have with this tea.
Edit: I’m still drinking this and every once in a while I get banana peel. Is that strange? I guess it’s the tea’s way of telling me I should stop drinking it.
Second Edit: Things are starting to get interesting. The floral and wheat notes have receded somewhat, allowing for more sweetness. It’s mainly brown sugar but there’s something fruity too.
Sorry I haven’t had the time to read everyone’s tasting notes lately. I’m scrambling to prepare for my fifth and final presentation for the semester, and am simultaneously trying out some of the Verdant teas I’ve been neglecting to figure out whether or not I should order some stuff during this weekend sale.
I cold brewed my sample of this. Dumped it in my 500ml measuring cup and let it steep in the fridge for about six hours. I’m left with a ruby red tisane smelling like… herbs?
I took a sip before reading the ingredients list, and right behind the tart hibiscus note, I thought to myself, “Huh? Am I tasting licorice in here?” And so I am! And there’s a powerful lingering herbal note that I’m picking up. Turns out that’s the coriander. I’m one of the lucky ones whose taste buds interpret cilantro as metal, and while coriander doesn’t quite do that to me, it’s still off-putting for me. This tisane leaves such a weird feeling on the tongue. I can barely tastes the berries in here.
The licorice and coriander are even overpowering the rose, which sucks. I liked the sound of berries and rose together. If I go a couple minutes without taking a sip, I’m only left with the licorice lingering on my tongue, which I don’t mind, as I really like licorice root, but it is so out of place here.
I appreciate the creativity but all this has done is remind me that I don’t like coriander. The more I sniff the concoction, the dirtier/muskier the coriander smells to me. Oh well.
This has been a long day & I’m tired. I practiced for a few hours, I played a gig, I drank this tea while I was practicing. Usually I’d go with a gongfu session, but I wanted to stay focused on playing, so I just did a 3 minute steep, & it was tasty. I wish I had more to say, but that was hours ago.
I had a travel mug of this tonight while browsing the one of a kind christmas show here in Toronto. I was on the hunt for a few unique things for people but i’m not sure if i’ve quite found what i want. This helped immensely once it cooled off enough for me to drink :) so happy with this tea.
Edit: Ending the day at 141 (…+45)
I have a sad confession, I have been staring at my computer screen for about five minutes with writer’s block. I am not blocked with writing about tea, I just cannot think of a good introduction to today’s blog. So just imagine I said something amazingly witty or incredibly geeky and I shall carry on with today’s tea!
Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea is a blend made from Autumn Harvest Tieguanyin, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Jasmine, Wildcrafted Frankincense Resin, Organic Goji Berry, and Organic Saffron. When I read the list of ingredients my mind did this little freak-out and fizzled a bit…that is a crazy decadent tea that blends some of my favorite things! Tieguanyin (or Tie Kuan Yin) is probably my favorite Oolong, Frankincense is one of my favorite aromas, and saffron is one of my favorite flavors, consider my mind blown. The aroma is very sweet, mixing notes of honey, cherries, oranges, and the tangy sweet aroma of Goji berries. There are also notes of orchid and jasmine with a hint of frankincense as I pull it away. The blending of aromas is awe inspiring, I want to ingest it and wear it as a luxurious perfume. I feel myself being transported to an exotic garden on the Silk Road.
I have become a bit bouncy with excitement as I steep this tea. The steeped tea leaves are richly heady mixing the jasmine and orchid aromas from the Oolong. There are notes of chestnut, saffron, and the resinous aroma of frankincense. Lastly is a hint of orange that sneaks in at the end. The liquid’s aroma is intense, mostly notes of chestnut, saffron, frankincense, and orchid.
This tea is deliciously sweet, mixing honey sweetness and fruity sweetness. Orange notes are present and it blends wonderfully with the Tieguanyin, complimenting the orchid flavors of the oolong. There are midtastes of jasmine and goji berries, and it finishes with the resinous and slightly earthy taste of frankincense. Throughout the entire sipping experience is a gentle undertone of saffron which gives the tea a very exotic tone. As the tea cools it becomes a bit more chestnutty. With this steep all of the flavors blend together perfectly, no one flavor dominates, it is very much like an elegant dance of flavors in my mouth.
I was lucky to get a second steep out of this tea, but I was so enthralled with the tea I forgot to take a picture of it, tragic. The aroma is more orchid and chestnut, more ‘oolong’ and less other ingredients. The aroma does not lie, tasting this tea I notice that the Tieguanyin takes center stage. The taste is very mild with gentle notes of oranges and goji berries with just a tiny hint of jasmine. There is a slight mineral aftertaste that adds a delicious finish to the experience. As the tea cools it takes on a lemony quality. I have a hard time calling this tea an Earl or an Oolong, it transcends both and is simply an experience. This tea is exquisite, I could not drink it all the time because even though it is delicate, the flavors are so intense that I feel I would be overwhelmed and sent into a state of transcended reality. I have a special relationship with oolongs. I actually do not recommend drinking this tea with food or anything that would distract you from the experience of drinking it, and I certainly don’t say that very often.
Seeing that this is the 9th time that I’ve logged this tea, I wasn’t going to post a tasting note – but then I had a little bit of a different experience this time. I steeped it a bit on the 3 min side, in contrast to my normal tendency to go 5+ minutes. The first several sips tasted just about like they always do. But then I had the cup close to my nose and happened to sniff – and there was fruit. OK maybe more like sweet potato, or maybe it really is plummy. It was a flash of scent, gone as soon as it came. I taste it when I’m looking for it, just shimmering under the surface.
I swear, tea is halfway a psychology experiment.
Oolong #3. I have NO idea who gave me this sample. Thank you to whomever was so generous. :)
I did a couple short steeps of about 10 seconds to taste, then just went for it with a 2 minute steep.
This is really not a kind of tea I care for. I don’t really like the roasty flavours, it somehow tastes a bit like burning grass or hay to me.
I’m glad I got to try this one, but it’s not for me.
mmmmmm…..just had this in some hot apple cider…..YUM!
This tea is quite lovely.
As an Earl Grey fan, I could say the taste of Bergamot was lacking, but only slightly…
and to be perfectly honest, it perfectly suits this tea.
You can taste the perfectly balanced Bergamot & Saffron (I love BOTH)…
The Frankincense is ever so subtle, but definitely there both in taste and in the perfume
of this tea. I am finding I am loving this tea more at room temperature.
I might add, it only takes one packet of Truvia to sweeten the entire pot.
This tea leaves the lingering feel of silk on your palate…mmmm….
You MUST try this tea.
The more I drink, the more I want…not one tinge of bitterness or astringency.
What a smooth, creamy, oh so lovely tea.
I love every element of this tea~
saffron, cedarwood, frankincense,jasmine, goji berry,bergamot~
what a lovely balancing act performed within this one tea.
This feels like Christmas, and my silly mind can imagine
the three kings who traveled to see baby Jesus sipping THIS tea.
I survived Black Friday. First time ever participating in the event. I got some stuff at BBW and the Bay, and got a free gift from Rocky Mountain soap company. I walked into Teavana and was there for all of five seconds before walking out, and neeearly bought the last tin of Sloane’s Peaches and Cream at Chapter’s but then realized I probably wouldn’t like it despite the $3.75 price tag (yes, you read that right. I’m strong-willed).
OH YEAH, NEVERMIND, I MADE A BUTIKI ORDER AT 2AM LAST NIGHT.
Despite the fact I have a final presentation that I haven’t even started preparing for yet, since I feel like I’m getting sick again (oh great…), I thought I’d try my sample of this I ordered back in August and put off the schoolwork even more.
Frankincense! That’s crazy talk. This actually smelled very peppery when I opened the packet. And I’m afraid of the jasmine but this will nevertheless be an experience.
This kind of tastes like freshly cracked black pepper. I haven’t had a steak in fifteen years, but I swear this tastes like a mix of black peppery seasoning that you’d slap on a steak that just had its arse BBQ’d off. Or like black pepper-encrusted beef jerky. I think you get my point. And that’s not really a bad thing.
Perhaps the frankincense is giving off that smokey vibe. Not smokey at all like a lapsang, and not earthy like a pu-erh either. For once in its life, the jasmine has decided to pipe down. Usually it won’t shut up. This is an interesting tea, alright.
The golden liquor is most likely due to the saffron but unfortunately, I don’t get any saffron. But considering all the notes it’s competing with, you really can’t expect to detect it.
I better get to my work because I’m getting Earl of Anxious here.
This morning I told Sil I wasn’t going to be ordering much during the black friday sale. That was before I visited the Verdant website & found out that Golden Fleece is back…sigh…ah, the golden fleece…
Needless to say, that was the beginning of a binge that wound through 4 tea companies, emptied my playpal account, & has Ms Theresa yelling from somewhere in the back of my mind. I will probably never be allowed to buy tea again, & I probably already have enough tea around here to last for the rest of my life.
So I made myself a cup of this. It’s a lovely tea, but for some reason today it tasted very beanie to me, & I wasn’t picking up on the sweet flavors I got as much last time. Most likely it has something to do with my tastebuds, rather than the tea. It was still an enjoyable cup, enough that I went back for a resteep.
God I love this tea!
I started off drinking it in bed this morning, with resteeps, & once the leaf was spent I made more. I’ve been drinking it while planning & executing a rediculous black friday order from verdant. Let’s just say I will be well stocked on all of my favorite black teas from there for quite some time!
sipdown on this one, though it’ll be something i drink all day long. However i didn’t want to lose sight of it, since this was what i started my morning off. The lovely terri sent this my way and i’ve been saving it for a day when i really needed something nice to get me though. Today is that day! and man..first impressions? really amazing! more to come later…
still going… wheee!
I had a cup of this way early this morning to get me going. I’ve got an insane day of work ahead of me followed by the annual christmas party if i decide to go (though either way i’m out the money for the tickets)… I quiet like this blend, though i’m not sure if i like it more than the individual teas that make the blend up. hmmmm i’ll have to give that more thought :)
aaand the other morning tea i had and loved and smiled about :)
Huh, so reading over the tasting notes, I feel a little bit better because apparently in August they changed teas (but kept the name). Really wish I could have tasted the first batch and compared the two.
This was another flop tea for me. I got the tasting note of cloves and sweet potato and with the chocolate base. But this isn’t like any Yunnan I’ve had before. And sadly I’m not that big of a fan of it. I don’t like cloves that much (I did try Verdant Tea’s Chai and that was pretty good! Its all over Minneapolis.) so maybe that’s why this tea didn’t impress me.
Dunno, what I love about a Yunnan is that caramel sweetness that leaves you with a full mouth feel. This just felt flat and bitter. It sadly falls into my “would not order again” category.
Definitely not a re-peat tea for me. Its got a dark chocolate taste that is quite bitter. I also got a cigarette ash after-taste. Really not too much complexity or development of tones in my opinion. Maybe it improves after another infusion but I couldn’t finish the first.
A nice malty barley tea, with rich salted (maybe almost burnt) caramel. Good for several infusions, this has restored some of my faith in Verdant teas.