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From now on, when someone is going to ask me when I discovered tea, I’m not going to tell them about the first time I had a cup of Silver Needle or a smooth Oolong or even when I walked into Teavana and started asking questions and walked out feeling like I had reinvented myself and started walking down a new path in life. No, it won’t be any of those.

I’ll tell them that I discovered what tea truly is on the day I opened my pouch of my 2012 Autumn Laoshan Green and inhaled the aroma. That was the moment I realized what tea can be, what I had been missing out on, when everything I thought I knew about what tea was shifted. That was the day everything changed.

If that sounds intense, that’s because it is. I’ve never had an experience like I did when I saw the handwritten note from David, thanking me for my order, making a personal connection that I didn’t expect. Not when I smelled the dry leaves, when I caught a whiff of the leaves steeping, when I saw the most delicate, beautiful liquor the color of the first stages of oxidized apple flesh, like a fading memory you don’t want to forget. I’ve never seen a color like that.

The leaves smell like dark chocolate and earth. There’s a bright sugary smell mixed with pumpkin and cedar. Its sweet but heavy but delicate. It smells like a contradiction that makes sense.

The wet leaves emit farm fields. Not dry dirt and twigs, like I smelled in my first Pu-erh, but real soil, actual dark earth, musty and deep and gorgeous. Its like I could smell the farm where this was growing. I’ve never been transported somewhere I’ve never been through my sense of smell. My memories have been triggered by shampoo or perfume that makes my heart hurt for the ones I’ve loved and lost but (and this is going to sound crazy but I don’t care) I had this image of somewhere that probably doesn’t exist of a tea farm, of hands picking the leaves off the plant. There was a connection, a transcendant experience that I thought was just a figure of speech (“the smell whisked me away to…”) that I’ve never had. It was like I was on drugs for a moment.

The sip. Its buttery smooth, butterscotch, cool melon, honey, pear, faint vanilla, warm cedar, calm spinach and fresh leaf. Its milky and smooth and light and my god I don’t deserve this. I can’t believe I have this. This is what tea is.

I needed this. I’ve been tearing myself up over her and why she won’t catch on and see that I’m worth it. I keep telling myself that “all I need are books and tea…and someone to share them with me” and I want to believe that its her.

Anyway, this tea couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I found new bands (“Green or Blue” and “City and Colour”) that are helping me through this, the leaves are melting their colors down the trees, and I finally got my diploma in the mail, making my second Masters officially irrelevant ;)

This is the tea that allowed me to redefine what tea is to myself. Thank you David and everyone at Verdant. You’ve got a customer for life.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I loved your review. You would probably love the Immortal Springs Laoshan White and Silver Buds Yabao Puer if I’ve read your notes on loving White Tea correctly.
You might also want to dive into the highly praised Laoshan Black also from Verdant.
I’m looking forward to more of your interesting reviews.

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Bonnie

I loved your review. You would probably love the Immortal Springs Laoshan White and Silver Buds Yabao Puer if I’ve read your notes on loving White Tea correctly.
You might also want to dive into the highly praised Laoshan Black also from Verdant.
I’m looking forward to more of your interesting reviews.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

Hey.

Tea has changed my life. First it was Lipton green tea at work. That evolved into Stash, to Tazo, then to Steven Smith teas. I started wandering down the tea aisle in Wegmans and started picking things off the shelf. Went to Teavana and then picked up Silver Needle and Dragonwell teas. Bought a book called “The Tea Drinker’s Handbook”. Started looking at various tea distributor websites. Found Steepster. Life altered.

I bring tea to parties for a nice drink before a beer or the morning after, which is always a hit. I drink it with breakfast and in the late hours of the night. It wakes me up and calms me down. It feels like a friend who I want to tell everyone about yet keep them all to myself. I love the history of it, the intimacy of it, the entire world of it.

Favs: Love me some green and white tea. Blends are okay when sharing with people but when I’m alone or have the late night blues, then Silver Needle it is. Matcha for when I need to calm down while making it and to refocus after I drink it.

About me: I have two masters degrees (in Education and creative writing), write short stories, draw a comic strip and have ridden my bicycle across the country alone.

Location

Rochester, NY

Website

http://www.crazyguyonabike.co...

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