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Recent Tasting Notes
Hmm expected it to be more chocolate-y. But I definitely still enjoyed it. It’s nutty with hints of cocoa. Kinda similar to the Chocolate Genmaicha in my book.
Not too inspired for much today thanks to yet again, family drama.
But it was a nice cup of tea for today. (:
Flavors: Cocoa, Roasted nuts
Overall thoughts: Wow! I did not expect a white tea, and a Bai Mu Dan at that, would bowl me over quite like this. This is very much like homemade marshmallows, or perhaps more accurately like nutty, delicious nougat (montpelier or torrone, your choice!).
I got a free sample of this tea with my last Verdant order, and I decided to have a gongfu session with it this afternoon. My teaching schedule for the next month is totally bonkers; non-stop anatomy lab all day, 4 days a week. It is truly exhausting. It also means that I have no time for tea (which I typically drink at my desk), which adds to the exhaustion. It’s hard to want to do anything on the weekend, and I realized that sitting down and having a gongfu session would be a nice, relaxing activity.
I chose this one because the lightness would be good for a muggy summer day (never mind that I have central AC now, I know that it is muggy outside and that is enough). Also it is a one-off sample, so I would get a sipdown, too!
Bai Mu Dans are never really my favorite white tea (I tend to prefer Fudings), but one of the reasons I love Fudings is the lovely, light marshmallow flavor that they can have. Bai Mu Dans I usually find kind of hay-like, a bit sweet, but lacking that thick creaminess. But not this Bai Mu Dan! Yes, I get the hay notes, but I also get lovely marshmallowy-ness that goes toward a French nougat (montpelier) with almonds and pistachios. Delish! There are a lot of nuances in each steep that are hard to really pull apart, but I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve had a tea that shattered my expectations and made me step back and just say “Wow.” What a lovely harvest.
Flavors: Almond, Hay, Marshmallow, Sugarcane, Vanilla
Time for my first-ever sheng (and really my first-ever puerh)! Sarsonator sent me a surprise sample along with a note that we should do a tasting together. So hooray! The leaves are large and fluffy and lightly colored. They have a pleasant hay or autumn leaf smell, maybe with some fruitiness included. Time for some gong fu!
Method: 4g tea in 4oz water, 212 degrees, 5s rinse/5/5/10/10s
Rinse (5s): Smells like a pond! I taste dried stonefruit, autumn leaves, very sweet!
Steep 1 (5s): autumn leaves, dried apricot, golden raisin, lightly vegetal
Steep 2 (5s): fruit leather, raisins/prunes, mild autumn leaves, roasty
Steep 3 (10s): very roasty, autumn leaves, sharply vegetal, astringent
Steep 4 (10s): roasty, autumn leaves, dill, parsley, slight floral, buttery
Steep 5 (10s): similar to 4 with some fruit leather
Steep 6 (15s): similar to 2 (dried fruit, autumn leaves)
Steep 7 (20s): light autumn leaves, herbs, citrus
Steep 8 (30s): fruit leather, sweet, leaves
Steep 9 (60s): surprisingly not that strong or different, similar to 8, astringent
Steep 10 (2m): deeper fruit leather, autumn leaves, astringent
Overall, there wasn’t that much flavor variation between steeps, which makes me think that Sars’s method of combining steeps into a mug may be better suited to this, or even a western-style steep. The flavor was largely fruit leather (which is like concentrated dried fruit) and autumn leaves with a roasted edge. Quite yummy! The only issue I found with long steeps was some astringency, but that may have not been the case if I’d done a long steep at the beginning. Thanks to Sarsonator for the sample and for trying it out with me! :D
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Herbs, Roasted, Sweet
I did this as a tea tasting with Cameron B. We prepped the tea similarly and then compared notes. Here are mine -
Method: 3 g, 3 oz, 208 degrees, rinse-5-7-10-10 seconds (blended to one cup), ru kiln gaiwan
Aromas: dried apricot, raisins, steamed rice, something roasty
Flavor: This is a winner, fo sho. This has a lovely and very pronounced fruity flavor and a really intense sweetness that lingers. As I said to Cam: I am pretty much chugging this because it’s so good.
The 5-6-7th steeps (10-15-20) are super also. These have less fruit and more of a brothy flavor. They’re very comforting. These steeps are more buttery. Cam said she gets some specific herbs. I can’t pick out the specifics, but this reminds me of a light soup.
It’s kind of like starting with dessert and then having your dinner. Which totally works for me! Thanks to Cameron B for tea tasting with me!
Glad I got a chance to try this because I’m always hearing great things about Laoshan Black blends. I was a little hesitant because of the rose but it was not too rosy. The bergamot was more in the front and very nice. I don’t think it would be one I order because I’m normally not in the mood to drink roses. I kept enough to try a small cup iced and it is lovely and I didn’t notice any rose this time just the crisp and bready. Someday I will place an order, I don’t feel I’ve matured enough on my tea journey to take the time and appreciate Verdant teas enough to merit an order.
The only reason I can write these reviews right now is because I already had them pulled up to review before Steepster started acting up and it is helping me be busy as I wait for the AC guy.
Another tea sent to me by the lovely and benevolent Sarsonator! Apparently she doesn’t much care for this one. It looks like a mix of various stuff. There are huge pieces of something that resembles bark, is this what carob looks like? It seems to be mostly dried orange peel with some wild rice, elderberries, and spices mixed in. It smells quite similar to Elder Grove by Whispering Pines, probably because of the cinnamon. I steeped 1.5-2 teaspoons for 5 minutes.
Wow! Brewed, this smells exactly like hot, gooey cinnamon rolls with orange glaze on top. Yummmmm. I must say, I don’t understand how anyone could not like this tea! It tastes like a combination of cinnamon rolls and apple pie! Somewhat similar to Elder Grove but with pastry notes and orange included. This is super delicious! Sarsonator, you crazy! ;)
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cream, Orange, Pastries, Sweet, Vanilla
I recently ordered an ounce of this tea.
Its certainly a good quality tea as usual with verdant. For some reason the dry leaf aroma and and potency of aroma and flavor of the tea itself was not nearly as strong as early spring tieguanyin that I have had from verdant a few years back. I suppose this could be due to many factors, including the time that passed between harvest and when I sampled the tea, as well as temperature influences during shipping.
When I opened this bag a wave of pure dark chocolate hit me. Holy Shanghai it smells amazing!
As for flavor it is pretty nutty. The chocolate is more subtle compared to the nuttiness.
This tea is basically genmaicha with hints of dark chocolate. Not as amazing as I thought and hoped it would be. But nutty and roasty flavors overpower everything else. Well not horrible, just not what I expected, and I probably won’t buy this again.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Roasted
I received a sample of this tea from the verdant tea 5 for 5 special.
Utilized the entire bag in a 120ml pot, one rinse, and a 5s steep using just boiled water standing for a minute. Added 5s to each steep until about 4th or 5th steep. Initially, I felt a great punch of caffeine from the first steep that I’m not really used to with teas. Keep in mind I’ve only had maybe 2 or three pu-er in the past. Unfortunately, this tea didn’t really live up to the 20+ steepings that I read it could do per verdant’s website. This may be due to my own inexperience with steeping pu-er.
I also noted that almost right away during the first steep, I tasted the flavor I usually get with certain oolongs after the 6th or 7th steep or with any low-grade tea steeped western style for more than a few steepings. This flavor continued throughout the steeps I’ve had with this tea. I did notice some honey elements to smell and almond elements to taste, but not much else.
I was unfortunately disappointed with this tea. I may be steeping this wrong as I am pretty new to gong fu methods of making tea, or I may just not like pu-er’s. Either way, I’m glad I tried it, I probably wouldn’t buy it though.
Flavors: Almond, Honey
I don’t really get this tea. It doesn’t taste like much and the taste that is there is subtle and leafy, but not really in a good way. Tastes nothing like the Shu Pu’erh tea I’ve had before, and this is my first Sheng. I’m not a huge fan of Pu’Erh in general, but this is worse than others that I’ve tried. Don’t take my negative review as canon, however, I’m sure some people really enjoy this.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile
Holy wow! I received a sample of this tea and decided to give it a try after having some problems trying to brew the WP arbor mist version.
I followed the package instructions by using boiling water, 10 second rinse followed by 5 second steeps in my ingenuitea.
I’m still getting used to the flavor, but the sheng feeling is great! My tongue got a little bit tingly there for a bit!
I definitely have to try brewing the arbor mist the same way.
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #20
This oolong might not have been steeped perfectly, but there are better oolongs from Verdant that I was able to sample. The first flavor that hits is a tangy, tart green vegetable, I’m not sure which, but then a cream flavor followed by creamed corn. Verdant describes this one as kettle corn (just like the other oolong I had the other day) and I’d have to agree, if only on the end of the sip and not what hits the tongue first. A very sweet creamy aftertaste. It’s a good one! I can’t forget that Verdant’s Autumn tiguanyin was a magical thing. If I was steeping these perfectly, I’d have much better experiences with these.
Steep #1 // 3/4 tsp. // mug 3/4 full // 10 min after boiling // 45 sec
T&C TTB Rd 2
I want to like oolongs…I really do. However, they all seem to have this salty note to them that I can’t quite get past.
If I ignore the saltiness, this one is actually rather tasty. It’s fairly mellow and the flavours remind me of the smell of a forest after the rain…but I still can’t quite enjoy the cup, so it’s not a favourite.
I’ll refrain from rating it since my palate clearly isn’t tuned for oolongs.
Dry Leaf: Whoa!!!!! Smells like lavender and tea tree oil type cleansers that I’ve sniffed in the health food store. It is a very pretty mix of large, twisted dark green leaves; orange peel, and dried lemongrass blades.
Method: Large Western style brew basket, 1 tsp tea per 8 oz water,,, 212F for 4 minutes
Wet Leaf: They are calling this an herbal but there is Oolong tea in it so I will note there are some buds and the tea looks very nice in this blend.
Liquor: Light champagne yellow color, a little cloudy. Definitely smells herbal, like an herbal medicine. I can smell the tea too and it is very vegetal green- tea-smelling.
Flavor: Herbal, medicinal, not my thing but very pretty dry leaf. This was in the Steepster Select Box for July with a focus on Iced Tea. I did not make it to iced tea and was tasting this hot. I chose not to chill it because if I don’t really care for a tea that is hot, I don’t care for it chilled either. So this might change in flavor as a chilled tea but I will wait for other reviewers to see what they came up with :)
From the Steepster Select Box, July 2014
Flavors: Lavender, Lemongrass, Medicinal, Orange Zest, Sweet, warm grass
A really nice black tea with a slight hint of bitterness and no astringency. The flavors of baked bread and chocolate combine really nicely into a great tea. The smell of the wet leaves is reminiscent of wine. Many steepings are possible gongfu style.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate
Wow. This is the creamiest pure green tea I have ever had. I received the sample from Verdant with my last order. I still don’t swoon over green teas so I opened all the other stuff first. I wanted a new tea today and this is the only thing I have that’s unopened and untried. (Not in the mood for all the pu’ samples I have in a box from a tea friend).
I ripped this open and I sniffed it out right away. The sweet creamy peas are so fragrant! Ok, there’s no peas in here but that’s what you smell. Now that the pouch has been open it is not as strong but man, that first sniff was delicious. If I take some in my palm and keep smelling them, they smell so sweet, and somewhat toasty. But only if you insist on sniffing, it is not apparent at first.
I used a sort of western/gaiwan method for brewing because the verdant site said 4 grams of tea for a “medium” gaiwan. Errr, what’s a medium? I mean, we measure the time, the leaf and temperature, I’d like to measure the water too. So the western instructions said 6-8 oz water. I put it in a gaiwan. And I steeped not 3 seconds like they say (?!?) but 50. I know, I’m all over the place.
I have no idea what their steeping instructions would render but what I made here is so so good. It’s creamy and sweet, like bean sweet, and I’ve never had anything like it. Very pale brew. Drinking it out of tiny cups that came with my glass gaiwan. Pretty. Because, you know, we don’t just gulp this stuff around here! :)