99
drank Gardens of Anxi by Verdant Tea
1938 tasting notes

After my previous tea I needed something I knew would be high quality and not over-flavored. I reached for this tea from Verdant Tea’s new Alchemy line because it seemed like it would likely fit the bill. The scent of the dried leaf seems to confirm that: the first thing I smell here is an herby green oolong with delicate floral notes over the top. The tea is chocablock full with jasmine buds and small chunks of orange peel, but the rolled up Tieguanyin leaves still predominate.

This one brewed up a pale greenish yellow, and the aroma has a base of buttery green notes along with a light sweet jasmine. First sip was still a little too hot for me, but I can tell it’s going to be good. Scratch that, this is going to be one of those teas that blows me out of the water. My first impression is that of a buttery jasmine caramel if that flavor combination makes any sense at all. The natural sweetness in this tea is amazing… it’s a light, smooth sweetness like sweet cream butter. Combined with this oolong, the jasmine takes on a totally different character than I’ve ever tried before—warm, rich, sugary, almost herby—but is somehow still distinctly identifiable as jasmine. The orange rind doesn’t really make itself known in the flavor, and I have a feeling that it, like the saffron, is just lending a supporting role to the other notes. As the tea cools it just gets sweeter and sweeter, playing up that buttery sweet jasmine flavor. A++ on this tea, David… it totally rocks!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-85: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
84-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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