Hmmm not sure what happened with this one. I had a sample of this before that I definitely enjoyed, and now I have a small sample tin again. I made a cup of this tea this afternoon and it wasn’t really tasty at all. I can’t even put my finger on it, but I didn’t enjoy really enjoy it and I even felt a bit nauseous with a headache after drinking it. I dunno, I am going to try it cold brew, and maybe I’ll give it another shot hot since I did like it once, but otherwise it’ll be swap fodder. :/
1216 Tasting Notes
I can never say no to one of Verdant’s bergamot-based blends, nor can I say no to one of their tieguanyin blends. So this? Had to happen, I was just waiting for the right time to order it. And the right time came last month, when I went a little tieguanyin crazy.
Steeped, this bears the familiar aroma of buttery tieguanyin combined with jasmine, orange and saffron. Hmmm, Gardens of Anxi reborn, with more ingredients? I don’t think I noticed that before. There is an added spiciness, to be sure, which must be a bit of the frankincense, and the brightness of bergamot as well. But definitely a comforting familiarity with one of my favorite tea blends of all time (now retired forever).
The flavors are lovely. Saffron always seems to bring out the rich butteriness in tieguanyins, and this is no exception. Sweet and citrusy, with a darker, slightly spiced background, and over all a high floral orange-blossomy note. I will very much enjoy this blend, although it may suffer a tiny bit from “too many ingredients”… at least for me. It’s a very very tasty tea, but there is so much going on, and they compete a bit. But if I weren’t mentally comparing it to a simpler, beloved blend I might be more entranced I suppose.
Sipdown, 165. Cold brew.
Let me tell you, this tea was freaking awesome cold brewed. Like, I want to buy a tin and keep it around just for cold brewing. Except that probably wouldn’t be very financially sound. It was so deliciously almondy, creamy, with light, juicy fruitiness. Here, it tasted like a macaron, delicious and sweet. If I was just rating the cold brew I would rate this into the 90s for sure.
I had an anxiety-filled morning during which I had to write an email to my advisors requesting to delay my dissertation defense, which was emotionally draining. Everything worked out, but at the time I was very stressed. I wanted something in the morning that would be comforting, and I grabbed this one out of the box it is currently residing in.
I am all out of sachets of this tea (that I had bought in Mongolia), which is a shame, because it is a tea I love to take with me while traveling. It is delicious and comforting, with a yummy black tea base and citrusy notes that complement it so well. A delicious tea that is comforting but also that I can just drink without thinking about it too much.
Added the teas from my Verdant order and I’m only back up to 166 in my cuboard! Yay.
Still have kind of a headache (and I don’t really want to take any painkillers), and I don’t quite feel like going gongfu at the moment. At first I was going to brew up one of the random teas I have around here with additions, but then I remembered I had just gotten this one in the mail!
I had the pleasure of trying the unofficial first draft of this tea, and it was delicious. So I was super excited to try this one! The steeped tea smells toasty but not too chocolatey, more like toasty rice cereal. The chocolate comes out more in the flavor, although I think I probably could have added more leaf to this pot because the flavor is a bit thinner than I’d like. In any case it definitely has a toasted rice/toasted grain flavor to it, almost like honey smacks cereal (which I have been eating in the morning, lol). It’s kind of lightly sweet, and I can also detect the wuyi oolong in this as well, giving it some slight rocky, minerally notes. All in all I am very much enjoying this pot of tea.
I enjoyed the first draft blend slightly more than this particular blend, but that could be in part due to my slightly weak steeping of it, and also likely due to the inclusion of the wuyi oolong, since those are not really among my favorite teas. Still, I’m happy to have my ounce of this and I think I may go through it moderately quickly! I only got an ounce because some people have said that the autumn Laoshan Black (which this batch is made with) is roastier and less chocolatey than the previous spring batch (which is the one I have and love). It is of course impossible to really tell with this blend, but if I do drink this one down quickly and decide I need more I might go for more of the spring blend.
I brought the rest of this one home with me to have it with milk and sugar; I had just enough for my tea pot at home but too much for my cup at work, plus I decided I would negate any further bitterness in this one by taking it with additions. I have to say, it was comforting and delicious. I woke up this morning with a headache and this tea has done some good in relieving it. It went well with my waffles for breakfast as well. Vanilla, caramel, and a robust black tea. I quite enjoyed it.
So I’ve become pickier and picker about my flavored tea bases over the last year or so, to the point where I only really trust certain tea companies to deliver. However, just recently I have come to very much enjoy a nice pot of flavored black with additions, which cover all manner of sins. I guess it’s good for my potential of getting through some of the older flavored teas in my stash!
Sipdown, 160. Somewhere along the way I drank the rest of the other sample I had of this but didn’t log it. Ah well.
I went home early today (but still doing work, unfortunately), so I am doing this gongfu while I write. I definitely think I prefer this one western style. The gongfu brewing really brought out the vegetal notes. The first steep was probably 15-20 seconds (no rinse) and tasted like vegetables and sugar, which is kind of an odd combo. Later steeps brought out more of the florals and became increasingly vegetal and less sweet. It was a pretty tasty TGY, but I am getting pickier and pickier lol. If I had to have certified organic (which I don’t really care about), this would be a good pick.
Ugh, ate too much at lunch today and now I am stuffed. I wanted something light, so I decided a green or a white tea, and this only had a serving left so I decided to go ahead and sipdown.
This does remind me a bit of a white tea… I think it’s all the fuzz and the hay-ish, alfalfa-y flavor that accompanies the vegetal notes. Quite tasty, though it does give me a bit of tickle in the back of my throat.
This is a lovely floral green oolong. It is similar in feel to a magnolia oolong, but the florals are lighter and less thick. Reading the description again, I think this is actually not a scented oolong but just one that has natural osmanthus-like florals to it, and that’s exactly what it seems like. The florals are very “oolongy” which is to say that they seem inherant, not added after picking through a scenting process. It just has so many natural floral notes that it seems like it could have been scented.
It reads as very spring/summer to me, which is appropriate given the weather (warm, rainy). Fresh, green, vegetal, with a hint of butteriness and lingering sweet floral flavor. A very lovely tea.
Sipdown, 163. Cold brewed, took two sips, and then dumped. Don’t know what happened with this one… when I tasted it this morning it was just nasty. I was trying to come up with what it tasted like but all I could get was cucumbers and bitter buttery beans. Sometimes I like buttery beans as a flavor in green teas, but in a cold brew, just no. Yuck.
Yay, another surprise sample from Shmiracles from our last swap. Thanks!
I have been drinking more unflavored puerhs (mostly shengs) as part of the Verdant Reserve club, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a flavored shu. I didn’t rinse this one, because I didn’t think about it.
The brewed tea is dark as the night and it smells very woody and earthy, overlain by a definite blood orange aroma. The flavor is quite nice! The main part of the sip really is the blood orange, both sweet and a hint tart, and then it is supported by this woody background. It’s a pretty simple flavored tea, but sometimes simple is great.
Grr, I am having bitterness problems this afternoon. This tea is also bitter for me, unfortunately, also potentially a problem of overleafing, but I would have thought the cooler steep temp would have taken care of it. Oh well. Guess I know better now.
Just sent off a dissertation chapter, and I now I get to celebrate by… starting to write another chapter. It’s always so hard to be motivated right at this moment.
This one is tasty today, but it’s a bit harsh on the tongue. There is a slight bitterness that I haven’t gotten before; maybe I slightly overleafed my cup of this. Still nicely tamarind-y, and the base tea is really reminding me of all the misc stuff you get besides the pulp when you eat tamarinds (strings, seed coverings, etc), kind of earthy. Indian/Nepalese teas have never been my favorite, but this one I do enjoy.
Sipdown, 164. Cold brew. I took the rest of this one out of the TTB-A for a cold brew in order to make room for some new teas!
I had hoped that a cold brew would bring out the fruit flavors in this, but alas no. It was very rosey, slightly cookie-ish (in that weird rose-cookie way that some teas get for me… I wish I could explain it better), but thankfully not soapy or perfumy. Still, it got a little old by the end of the bottle.
Much thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample to review. Another busy busy day so this will have to be a tad short, but I will try to do it justice. Fortunately I have a few more servings for future tastings.
I used half the sample pouch with 12 oz of water. After two minutes it was a nice light yellowy-amber color, with a light nutty-sweet aroma. Even with a fairly light flavor (I might use more leaf/more time next cup), this is super delicious. So sweet, and oh so nutty. It is way chestnutty, with soft vegetal notes behind it, and perhaps just a hint floral like lilacs.
I am reminded by this cup that although I am losing interest in flavored greens, a high quality unflavored green like this can be heavenly. This tea really is “without parallel” among green teas. I looked at my tasting notes for the regular Huang Shan Mao Feng that I had from Teavivre a while ago, and although I really liked that one, this one is quite amazing. I think I have a love for Huang Shan Mao Feng I never realized before!
Backlog again. This was my second cup of the afternoon. It was quite nice, creamy and a tiny bit caramelly, and then nicely floral. I am noticing this time around that the base oolong is a bit boring for a green oolong… I mean, it’s fine, but it’s also less buttery and even less floral than I might have expected. Still, this was quite tasty and a nice blend of these flavors… I do love vanilla orchid blend.
Backlog from yesterday. Too busy! I made a cup of this one because I have only had it in sachet form in my travel mug, so that is less than ideal circumstances. I got my current sample of this one from toitoi, thanks!
There was a ton of tea dust in my cup of this one, although this wasn’t the bottom of my sample or anything. The apple in this is very crisp and green, and definitely not a fakey candy green apple flavor. It reminds me of the smell of a granny smith apple when you are chopping it up. The green tea base was buttery and a bit grassy, and reminded me once again that I am not enjoying hot flavored greens so much anymore. But I’m sure I would enjoy this as a cold brew, so I will take it home for that!
I made this cold brew (2 sachets steeped for 8 hours in 16oz of water) and it was DELICIOUS. So tasty! Fruity and quenching and lovely, without any of the too-strong, too-grassy green tea flavor that some flavored greens get when cold brewed. I will likely fly through the pouch I got in my happy bag this summer because this is definitely a tea I want to come back to.
Have had this tea for a while but never got around to tasting it. I think it came from a swap with Azzrian, but I can’t quite remember! But thanks for sending it along.
I often go along with odd steeping instructions from trusted retailers (like Butiki) but I cannot for the life of me bring myself to steep a green tea at boiling. So I didn’t. The resulting tea smells green and a bit nutty. The flavor is very smooth and pleasant. Sweet, a hint floral, buttery, and a bit of savory-umami notes. I am quite enjoying this one! The flavors are light and subdued, but present enough to make a tasty cup.
Mmm, fruity, caramelly, a hint floral. If it wasn’t for Paris and Tower of London from Harney, this might have a permanent place in my stash. As it is, I feel like it is a very similar flavor profile to those two blends, but a tiny bit rougher around the edges. I think the black tea base is a little bolder, and the fruits possibly a bit more candy-ish. It’s certainly tasty, but not as well nuanced as either of the other blends, I think. Still, I’m happy to have it!
Sipdown, 165. Thanks to Shmiracles for this sample!
Got back, exhausted, from DC, and wanted a nice comforting tea. I asked for a sample of this from Shmiracles because even though I dislike cherry-flavored things, I trust Dammann to blend it right. Nevertheless, I was a bit hesitant to try this for a while.
Well I drank one cup of it, and then immediately decided: I want to have another cup. So I brewed up the rest of the package. There is certainly cherry in here but it is not CHERRY to me. This is actually one of those blends where I can’t quite suss out all the flavors. They are just there, and well blended, and I want to keep drinking. I do taste a flavor that reminds me of the Melange du Cherubins that I had a while ago… Dammann’s chocolate flavor. It is perhaps not the most chocolatey of chocolate flavors, but it is pleasant and nutty and slightly cookie-ish to me. So all in all, quite a tasty blend to me.
The boyfriend’s nose says (knowing nothing previously about the tea): smells like flowers… then chocolate… and maybe some fruit. Haha, I am training his nose at least, even if he doesn’t drink the tea!
I grabbed this one at Teaism after my work day was over to relax with on the bus on the way to my friend’s house. It was floral and buttery, but it suffered from both a paper cup and a paper tea sac. Mmmm paper. Blech. Still better than having no tea, but I am so sensitive to papery flavors in my teas.
Sipdown, 166. Backlog, cold brewed this sample from the traveling tea box.
I have had this tea once before hot, but I decided to grab this sample out of the tea box to cold brew because I love earl grey cream cold brews and I haven’t had one in forever. This was pretty good, though it did have some kind of off taste to it that got worse as it warmed up. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I wouldn’t necessarily go for this one again.
Traveling again! A quick two-day trip this time. I am in DC and got up way earlier than I needed to this morning because the friend I’m staying with had to be at work way earlier than I can arrive at the museum. The place where we had breakfast didn’t have any tea, but lucky for me this tea shop is very near the museum.
I’ve never had a golden dragon tea before, though if it’s Chinese and has “golden” in the name I’ll try it. This is pretty tasty. I can feel the energy slowly flowing into my body as I sip it. It’s a bit malty with a kind of earthy note toward the end of the sip. As I drink more its definitely reminding me of some kind of black tea-puerh hybrid. Not entirely my thing, but decently tasty nonetheless.