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Recent Tasting Notes
Lewis & Clarke TTB
Yum, genmaicha. I’m very interested in trying this one so I can see how it compares to my beloved Minnesota Blend, since it’s the same thing but without the vanilla and flower petals. I love that they use two types of toasted rice, it adds a lot of visual interest. The tea itself is one of the Laoshan Greens, and the leaves are dark evergreen, very thin, and curled. It smells toasty and creamy and absolutely lovely. I went for a 2 minute steep just because. :D
Mm, the brewed aroma is luscious… Toasting, comforting rice mixed with sweet and creamy vegetal green tea. Oh yum. The toasted rice is very toasted, so the flavor is deep and rich and amazing. And the green tea is that lovely sweet and creamy Laoshan Green with its gentle vegetal flavor. This is delish, and will absolutely be an acceptable substitute for my Minnesota Blend once it’s gone (aww).
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
I ordered three teas from them this past week, after being a HUGE fan of their Laoshan Black and Qilan Wuyi, and was pretty disappointed. I’m not getting much of anything from the aroma other than an unpleasant smoky smell. I also got a bag of the Laoshan Black 1st picking which smelled very similar to the later harvest version, but with a noticeable vegetal aroma… the problem is that it was so sour I couldn’t even drink it. I’m not sure if this was from improper storage that allowed bacteria to grow, often attributed to really sour tasting tea, or if this is how it was supposed to taste. Really disappointed with this most recent order from them. I will not be ordering from them again.
Flavors: Smoke, Wood
Just brewed it for 1.5 minutes and I am nervous that it will taste too light. But here goes… The scent of the leaves, pre-brewing, was like chocolate. But now the scent from my steaming cup is an earthy one.
Not being used to oolong, this is an interesting taste for me. It’s mild and earthy, like a green tea with roasted rice.
I let it brew longer (4 mins) and tried again… This time the smell is deeper and even more earthy. The taste is much stronger, but again – so earthy. It reminds me of brown rice tea, which I don’t really like- so maybe I’m not an oolong person.
Flavors: Toasted Rice, Wet Earth
This is a strange and interesting tea. It tastes heavily of mint, I would have guessesed peppermint, but apparently it contains spearmint. What it does not seem to taste of is chocolate, however when you let the tea cool the chocolate flavor comes out. I found this out by accident when I was busy baking for 30 minutes after making this tea.
It is one of those teas you are not sure how to rate. There is the strong flavor of mint and the secondary flavors of chamomile and chocolate. But all in all I liked it enough to probably finish what I bought.
I brewed this western style for 3 min in an 18 oz teapot with 200 degree water and 3 tsp of leaf.
this is delicious. tastes exactly like Laoshan Black! in fact, it steeps up darker than LB and infuses quicker! and it’s an oolong which has to unfurl, so i imagine it would take a longer time to impart color than its black counterpart but apparently it doesn’t? okay!
i added honey to this as i do with LB. tastes yummy yummy yummy is all. would never guess this were an oolong….
the only difference i can really note is in the smell of the dry leaf….u don’t get the wonderful chocolaty note which jumps out at you as it does in Laoshan Black. but drinking it, you would never know otherwise ;)
Flavors: Brown Toast, Dark Bittersweet, Honey, Toasty
Where to start? I’ve been feeling kind of blue for the past couple days, so I thought I’d treat myself to something decadent, just because. Brewed up a pot of this . . . and here we go!
I’m so pleased, as always, to find that this tea brews up and tastes just like the dry leaf promises. A delicious mouthful of honey, raw sweet potato, and mushrooms. I can’t get over how thick and creamy it is, while being so “drinkable”. It feels like a cozy autumn evening, curled up in an armchair. Does that make sense? I would snuggle this tea if I could.
On the later sips, there’s this wonderful new layer of flavour that comes out—like the aftertaste of a bite of a really flaky, buttery croissant. Similar to puff pastry, but richer. There’s an unexpected savoury bite to this tea, for all it’s so sweet on the tongue, and it’s making me grin kind of crazily into my cup. Imagine Violet Beauregarde tasting Wonka gum. So many flavours and meals, all in one ;)
This might not be my favourite from Verdant, but I’m so glad to have it in my cupboard!
I tasted this tea when I was visiting Verdant’s store, but this time around it’s quite different from how I remember it.
A rinse with boiling water, and then very short steeps (pour on and immediately pour off.)
On the nose I’m getting minerals and a whole lot of lilac with some earth and smoke.
The start of the sip is woody, almost getting into nutty, but that quickly shifts to spectacular amount of the characteristic mineral taste, so much that I can feel the minerality on the back of my teeth.
With subsequent steeps there’s a bit of creaminess on the back of the tongue developing, and a very tangy vegetal finish, that includes some grass and spinach (which is reinforced by the mineral teeth feel.)
I really like the experience of this tea, even though the woodiness at the start of the sip isn’t a flavour I’m really into. But holistically, this is lovely.
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Nutty, Smoke, Spinach, Tangy, Vegetal, Wood
This tea rounded out a lovely meal at The Harriet Brasserie. They provide a good amount of tea in a single use filter, a cup and a pot of hot water, so you can steep it however you like.
I did three short infusions of roughly 30 seconds each. My first impression on the nose and palette was a lot of sweet corn, followed by a bit of vegetal, grain and hay. There was a small amount of bitterness and astringency but not unpleasant.
The second steep was more mellow, but with the same notes. The third steep was a little long and more of the bitterness and astringency came out.
This is a beautiful green. I’m glad to have tried it and I would love to get my hands on some for my cupboard.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grain, Hay, Vegetal
I was very excited to get a sample of this from Dexter. I really enjoy sichuan food, and this sounded down right intriguing. And it is.
The dry leaf smells like cinnamon and vanilla – really lovely but not that unique. Steeped for 2min after a quick rinse, the smell of it changes completely. Instead of the sweet smells of the dry leaf, I notice ginger sharpness, sichuan pepper and a mustiness. The same notes come out on the palette. Ginger, sichuan pepper, mustiness, earth and just a hint of sweetness and licorice on the finish. And of course, the characteristic numbing effect. As it cools there’s also a bit of smokiness.
Second steep is much more ginger, earth and sichuan pepper. The mustiness falls away and I don’t detect any more licorice.
The third steeping is mostly ginger and earth.
This is really different from anything I’ve tried before and I think I quite like it. My experience with pu’erhs is pretty limited, but this is in a whole different ballpark than any of the flavoured pu’erhs I’ve tried.
I doubt everyone will like this, but I think it’s worth trying.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Ginger, Licorice, Musty, Pepper, Smoke, Spicy, Sweet, Vanilla
What more can be said about this tea? Delicious tea that I really think deserves to be tried by every serious tea drinker at least once. Blew my mind the first I tried it a couple years ago and one of those teas I serve to people who don’t drink tea very often to show them the possibilities. I guess you could say I like it!
This is beyond a doubt one of the best puerhs I have ever drank. Part of me is angry at Verdant for putting this on sale today. It was on sale for only one hour and I didn’t happen to check my email during that time. Part of me is happy they made the sale so unfair, because I don’t need more tea anyway. Now I won’t rush out to buy more. I do wish I had bought more than an ounce. I will eventually have to buy more. Maybe they will read this and decide a one hour sale is very unfair. One day maybe, but one hour?
That being said I steeped this eight times. First for 10 sec, then 10 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min. I used 5g of leaf in a 140 ml Yixing teapot. It was basically smooth from the start and the fresh leaves had an incredible fruit like aroma. There were some bitter moments too but it was mostly sweet tasting and smooth. I didn’t notice any of the chocolate or dates notes often found in good ripe puerh. I think you need an aged raw puerh for that but this was good. I wish I had bought more than an ounce, but it is expensive.
This is a tasty and complex tea. It was also hard to get right. I brewed it in a 220 ml gaiwan with 7g leaf. First I tried boiling water and 20 sec. It was way too weak and way to bitter. I lowered the water temperature to 190 degrees and gave it 3 min. I then steeped it again for 4 min and 7 min. This yielded a very tasty tea, still with a slight bitter taste, I think from the rice. The chocolate notes were much more subtle than I expected. I would have liked stronger chocolate notes. Overall it was very good. I went out and bought this tea because of the reviews of a couple other people on Steepster.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
This was a sample from Stephanie, also known as “Lover of Dancongs”. I’ve been trying to get some more experience with these teas, so I requested this one in our recent swap. The leaves are beautiful – they’re very long and straight, and tightly twisted. Very dark in color. I asked Stephanie for her Western-style brewing parameters and I ended up doing 190 degree for 5 minutes.
Brewed aroma is very strongly apricot. And it’s a rather tart-smelling apricot! Yum. There’s also the ubiquitous roastiness and a bit of floral. Whoa, the taste! Very strong due to the long steep, and the stonefruit flavor is very strong and lovely. There’s also a darker dried fruit flavor, maybe prune or raisin. It’s roasty and there’s a bit of autumn leaf, but it’s in the background which is unusual in my experience. My only issue with this tea is that the floral element is fairly strong, and it almost borders on being soapy near the end. And that kind of prevents me from wanting to drink this again. Curse you, floral! Not rating because of the bias, lul. :D
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Roasted