2101 Tasting Notes
So my goal this weekend is to try all my Verdant Blends Club blends that I have neglected and make a decision on whether to continue the club or not. I like the idea in theory, on the whole I’ve not been overly thrilled with the blends. Some of them I’m super glad to have (Jolly Earl, Master Zhang’s Genmaicha), but others are super not for me (Licorice Mint Herbal, the tulsi box). I’m just not sure if it is worth it; not the money, but the accumulating pile of tea that I won’t drink.
Side note: sometimes I feel like I’m one of the only ones in the Blends Club (with CelebriTEA, haha). I usually add all the teas to the database right when I get them, but I didn’t this month and I just had to add one of the May teas today.
Of course, I started with this one and it’s pretty good. I think I need more leaf, but it’s a nice blend. Rich, chocolatey tones from the Zhu Rong and the cacao husks, bright, tart fruitiness from the goji berry. Blends like these tempt me to stay in the club, and the fact that the blends that I love never actually make it to the blends page of the site. Then again, if I love it and then can never get more of it, what’s the point? The reserve club was educational, and I drank all of those teas happily (plus there actually was a way to get more of those). Then there’s the fact that it seems like half the teas contain things that I strongly dislike (licorice, mint, fennel), or can’t drink (rooibos).
So anyway, this tea was tasty, but I seem to be talking myself out of the blends club. We’ll see how the rest of the tastings go!
I steeped the rest of this sample a little longer because I wanted a bit more flavor from it last time. That may not have been the bestest of ideas for me.
See, this tea already had some of the notes that I don’t like in Taiwanese black teas, the specific fruitiness that doesn’t agree with me. In the weaker brew they weren’t enough to turn me off, but I didn’t think about the fact that in the stronger brew they might become more prominent. BUT I still find the overall tea tasty. Fruity, honeyed. If you like Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black it might be worth checking this one out as well.
I suppose it is time to start working on sipping down some old teas in my stash. Starting with this one! I remembered that I only had a bit of this left, so I decided to make it a sipdown. I used a bit more leaf (but it is quite old), and hopefully left behind the tea crumbs in the bottom of the bag. I also looked at some old tasting notes that mentioned a bit of bitterness in this, so I went full green tea with my steeping temp.
It seems to have worked pretty well. Nicely almondy, no bitterness. Not much interest from the base teas either, but it’s hard to win with a black/green blend. Nice to finally get this one out of my cupboard, it’s been in there forever!
My other Naivetea restock. It’s one of those teas that you just can’t wait for it to cool down enough to sip it.
Ahhh, my perfect lychee oolong. Lovely lychee flavor, lovely oolong flavor. A great balance between the two, and incredibly authentic lychee in the blend. So thrilled to finally have this back in my cupboard.
With this tea, I’ve gone all the way through my cupboard. I skipped a few teas here and there, and I still have a pile of new Verdant Blends club blends that I haven’t gotten into (but they are at home, and I haven’t been drinking a ton of tea at home. I’ve been on my cupboard chronology so long I don’t hardly know what to drink next now that I’m done!
I am so thrilled to finally have this tea back in my cupboard. It’s been a while since I first got a sample of this, and I’ve finally gotten comfortable enough with the size of my tea cupboard to buy a tin of it (and the Lychee Oolong).
It really is an astounding tea. I’ve never had a tea that tasted so much like a fresh, ripe passion fruit before. Not passion fruit flavor, not passion fruit juice/nectar… actual passion fruit. SO GOOD. Naivetea is really outstanding. They were more popular a few years ago on Steepster but aren’t as well known recently, but if you like flavored green oolongs (or high mountain Taiwanese oolongs in general) I highly recommend you check them out.
Mmm, another tasty tea from MissB! Thanks! I am really loving nougat-based teas lately… where have they been all my life? Oh right, Canada, apparently. This is an oolong + nougat so I am definitely interested.
I am basically comparing this to Divine Temptation from Bayswater Tea Co., which OMGsrsly sent to me once, and which has a black base. This is quite tasty, with a good amount of nougat flavor. My one wish for this one is that for more oolong! This seems like the base is probably a traditional tieguanyin, but it’s a little lackluster. I want more roastiness and breadiness. A higher quality oolong base would send this one over the edge. Maybe I should try it steeping at boiling, which has become my default temp for most oolongs; the steeping instructions called for 80°C (~175°F), but I wouldn’t dream of steeping an oolong that cool! They are more robust than people think.
So this is a very tasty tea, but I do prefer the black base of Divine Temptation because I think it’s a bit more interesting. Will play with my steeping parameters a bit and see how things change! Thanks MissB!
My other coconut green tea from MissB! Thanks! Brewed the same way as the last one.
I think I like this one a bit more (which is convenient, because I have a lot more of it!). I mentioned that the previous one had a bit of a fruity note to it, a brightness, but this one is all creamy coconut. It’s not really toasted coconut but fresh coconut. Now I’m flashing back to eating a “jelly coconut” (young, not really ripe coconut) in Madagascar… Whack it open with a machete, drink the milk, then scrape the jelly-ish insides out with a “spoon” made out of a chunk of the husk. Few things are more refreshing on a hot day! Coconut with green tea reminds me of that since the green tea adds a bit of green freshness to it. Yum!
I got a couple of coconut teas from MissB in our Tea and Yarn swap, and this is one of them! I love coconut pouchongs so I am interested to try out some coconut greens.
This is certainly extremely coconutty! Sweet, creamy, and yet still light and fresh. I guess coconut works with green tea for me! The combo of coconut and green tea can result in a kind of fruity note as well, and I’m getting that a bit here. Definitely a tasty tea. Thanks MissB!
So in my last note I said I would steep this for longer to see if more eggnog flavor would come out, but then it turned out that I had just a little extra leaf, so I added the rest of my sample to the cup and kept my parameters the same.
It turned out well! It was way creamier than last time, and I did get some eggnog flavor from it, although it is a far cry from actual eggnog. Which would be weird hot anyway, so I’m ok with that. This is still primarily a nice creamy green tea rather than something that shouts holidays at me. I enjoyed trying this one out!
Yay, another sample from Sil! I am happy to try all of these TTC teas since Taiwanese black teas are a little hit or miss for me. They can’t be too fruity, which is weird to me, but there it is. I didn’t quite know how to steep this one so I dumped about half my sample in the cup (long, squiggly leaves always making things interesting) and tried out these parameters first… will likely try others with the next half.
This tea certainly smells very fruity. Apricot, perhaps, with a hint of whatever that note is that I dislike in Taiwanese black teas (hard to describe). A bit honeyed as well. I would say this cup is a little under brewed. I think I would go hotter and also possibly longer. The flavor in the main part of the sip is thin, but there is a lot in the aftertaste. This does remind me of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black but it’s been so long since I’ve had that one that it’s hard to remember exactly. I am happy to say that the note that I tend to dislike has smoothed itself out in the flavor, and the honey and pastry notes make themselves a bit more known. As it cools the cup gains a smooth, almost creamy texture that is quite pleasant.
Overall this is definitely an enjoyable tea, although it edges toward the side of Taiwanese blacks that I’m not in love with, or at least I would never really crave. But obviously a very nice example of the type if you are into those sorts of things.