174 Tasting Notes

93

It’s a wonderfully cool fall day that made me crave a nice dark oolong. Now that’s something I never thought I’d say about roasted oolongs! Brewed this up in my 12 oz Italian mug with a brew basket. It tastes pretty much like it did before, see previous tasting note, but because I finding myself more tolerant of roasty notes this one has become that much more enjoyable for me. It was the perfect tea for the cool cloudy weather we’re having here today.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I agree. I like the roasty oolongs for Fall and Winter. This one is that kind to me. Not all flowers like a tropical island.

Tea_is_wisdom

This type of Oolong is so good. Also, another darker Oolong that is real good is a charcoal roasted dong-ding ( Tung-Ting).

Invader Zim

I will have to revisit dong-ding oolong sometime. I know I didn’t care for them before, but now perhaps I might.

Bonnie

I drank strong fire tieguanyin last night and tonight that’s really roasty and good. I had it sweetened tonight just to check it out that way. Like it both ways.

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67

This tea was bizarrely different to me. I like to try a tea for the first time without looking at other reviews so as to not taint my own psyche. So, when I was finished drinking this one and then came back to look at how the other reviews were I was quite surprised.

The dry leaf was a light olive green and smelled slightly smokey. The wet leaf smelled like a sheng puerh, of a wet forest with moss and damp earth, The infusion was a nice golden color and smelled earthy to me.

The taste was just as different. The tea was light in general but I got that earthy note, with a hint of floral, some moss, damp earth, forest, wet woods…just so different from what the description says! Now this isn’t to say it was bad, this tea was very pleasant, the only thing that skews the rating on this for me is that there is some astringency at the tail end of the sip…I abhor astringency, I do not have the palate for it what-so-ever! Aside from the astringency this was a very interesting, in a good way, tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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75

Backlogging from this summer again.

Brewed this in my 12 oz mug with a brew basket like usual. The dry leaf was different shades of olive, the leaves looked chopped and smelled slightly roasty, it reminded me of some gunpowders I’ve had.

The wet leaf smelled more like a nice forest after the rain. The infusions was a darker golden color with a slight roasted note and a hint of seafood.

The taste was slight floral note, hints of asparagus and green beans. There was a slight astringency at the end of the sip, it was hardly noticeable. There was a bit of a roasted note, possibly a smokey note in there too, it was very faint. I wonder if I would try this tea again now if I would appreciate it more now that I’m starting to develop a palate for teas that have that roasted quality to them.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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87

Backlogging from over the summer during my little break from writing tasting notes here.

The dry leaf was dark green and slightly curled with a scent that reminded me of my mom’s potpourri. I brewed it in a brew basket and a 12 oz Italian mug. The wet leaf was a nice vegetal scent consisting of sauteed spinach and asparagus. The infusion was a nice golden color and smelled predominantly of asparagus with a hint of a floral note.

The taste was a nice light asparagus with a subtle floral note that I couldn’t pinpoint with a texture that was slightly creamy like milk. I found no astringency or bitterness and it re-steeped well three times.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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94

Tried the last bit of my sample of this today using my 12 oz mug and brew basket. Too lazy for gaiwan. Besides, I was curious if it would be much different this way. It is a little different, but it’s still a massive vortex of flavors and notes.

I noticed I’m also much more tolerant of mineral and roasty notes than I used to be, making this tea that much more pleasant. I just wish my taste buds would have shifted a little sooner so I could have bought more, but c’est la vie.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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92

I brewed this one gaiwan style, boiling water with very quick steeps. Did two rinses like the Verdant site says to. This one smells the way it tastes to me. But let me tell you a story first.

I used to work on a farm when I was younger. Go out in the morning and take the cows out to pasture. Then go out to the fields all afternoon throwing hay bails into the back of the trailer until no more bails would fit. Take the tractor to the barn and then stack all said hay bails.

Before heading out for another run we would have lunch in the late afternoon. Typically something that was easy to make yet hardy. Homemade deer sausage and burritos were fairly popular with homemade corn tortillas. I did this for a number of years. Then one year a business decided to buy the farm. Now all that stands there is a huge warehouse that I can see through the forest from my parents house.

This tea reminds me of the days that I worked on that farm. The corn notes reminds me of the corn tortillas. There are some hay notes I get in this tea as well that remind me of working hard days under the sun pitching hay bails. Underlying all that is the subtle note of forest. Where there isn’t farms, there is forest where I live. This tea is one that brings strong nostalgia for me.

This is a pleasant tea that isn’t typically of any other puerh I’ve had. Granted I haven’t had that many, but most are rich with forest and earth to me. This one it is much more subtle, a background note, one that you may not notice if your attention is elsewhere.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
CupofTree

I absolutely loved your story, thanks for sharing it. Its amazing how a tea brings you to these memories.

Invader Zim

Thank you. I was teetering on whether I was going to tell it or not, but it felt right considering how strongly this tea was making me remembering it.

Terri HarpLady

I’m glad you told it! Thanks! I love the stories people tell here! Tea brings images to our minds, & I love that!

ashmanra

Zim: did you ever have peanuts in Coke? All the farm folk around here would get a pack of salted peanuts and dump them in the glass Coke bottle. The peanuts mostly float, and each time you take a swig you get peanuts, too. I have been told that they did this because they needed energy putting in tobacco, but their hands were too dirty and sticky to actually handle food. Peanuts and Coke gave them caffeine and protein, so it was a great snack! My dad taught me to do it, and we still drink it now just because we like it!

Invader Zim

Lol, no I’ve never done it and I’ve never actually seen anyone do it, but I have heard of it!

inguna

“This tea reminds me of the days that I worked on that farm.”

It’s funny that you say that because I had the same feeling/association. This tea makes me think of my aunt’s farm where I stayed as a child.

Bonnie

OK when I go on vacation you can take over the stories for me!
Great job!

gmathis

Never heard of peanuts & Coke! Guess I was raised slightly too far north.

Invader Zim

Inguna: At least I’m not the only one!

Bonnie: Thank you! I’m glad to get such an approval from the story-teller, but I don’t think I have a story for every tea like you do yet.

Gmathis: Definitely not raised to far north! I live in Pa!

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I know it’s been awhile, been busy, but I have to share this one. I don’t like darker, roasted oolongs, but Verdant has me changing my mind with them. Their darker oolongs have more than just roasty notes that smack you in the face that I highly dislike. There are tons of different flavor profiles within these oolongs, the complexity always amazes me.

So, I brewed this one gaiwan style, 5 oz ceramic-ware, with boiling water. Sorry, no info on how many grams of tea used…I don’t have a scale so I just eyeball it.

The dry leaf is very dark brown with a purplish cast to it, very pretty, and slightly twisted. It smells like vanilla. There are some roasty notes but it’s nice and soft, no smack in the face! I get something floral, but not like roses or jasmine, more like orchid. There is a farmers market a few blocks down the road from me that sells wildflower honey (it’s heavier and darker than clover honey), I smell that in the tea too.

The wet leaf kind of looks like a mix of browned fall leaves mixing with mulch. I smell that soft roasted note, creamy vanilla, and green bananas (?) don’t ask!

The infusions are a dark amber color with all the notes mentioned above but later on I smell a nice sweet cinnamon coming through.

The first steep was 8 seconds. I got the soft roasty notes, vanilla, creamy texture, a nice floral note…again I’m going with orchid, and wildflower honey. The aftertaste caught me by surprise…I had the texture of a green banana in the aftertaste! It was weird but not off-putting.

The next several steeps were relatively the same in taste profile as I worked up to 15 second steeps. The floral notes grew stronger and the weird green banana texture faded. The tea started to settle into itself with dominant notes of orchid, vanilla, and soft roastiness. After that I started to get sweet cinnamon notes coming in. Oh how it was lovely!

Again Verdant always amazes me in the complexity and quality of the teas they find.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Sil

I really should try the sample that I have…this makes me think i’ll really love it

Bonnie

I want to drink this on a rainy day by the window!

Jim Marks

I highly recommend a pre-Chingming da hong pao. You get some of that roast, but also a lot of floral softness.

Invader Zim

Sil: a sample is definitely worth trying.

Bonnie: I think this would be great on a nice overcast fall morning when everything is still quiet outside!

Jim: Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to look into that one then.

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81

Another from the sample pack.

Dry leaves are long and twisted with some white ones mixed in and smell of spinach and something floral. Wet leaves turn a nice bright green and smell slightly floral with a grassy-spinach note. The infusion is golden and smells a hint floral.

Taste is notes of orchid and grassy-spinach. There is also a slight creamy texture that I presume goes along with the orchid notes. There isn’t really a distinctive note of grass, but the spinach isn’t quite like you’d get from the store. It’s almost like it’s wild spinach that picked up scents of the grasses that grow around it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76

Another from the sample pack.

The leaves look like bright green spears, not bright vivid green as matcha is, just bright green like grass is. The smell of the dry leaves is very light, I get only hints of something that isn’t quite smokey, roasted perhaps. It’s so light I can’t quite put my finger on it.

The wet leaves have a little stronger smell, not much, allowing me to get hints of something floral and green. The infusion is very pale and has a very light scent that just smells like tea, nothing more specific.

Taste is so very light. I tried brewing this in my 12oz mug and also in my 5oz cup. I did the 5oz cup second and with more leaves to try to coax out some more flavor. The smaller cup with more leaves did get a little more flavor but this tea is just so so light, not to be confused with weak.

Actual notes I got were floral notes in the front and a very light crispness throughout. Not much in the way of mouthfeel or aftertaste. It reminded me of an early morning with soft rays of light breaking through the clouds and warming up the dew on the grass. Bringing up one of the blades of grass and putting the little sun-warmed droplet on your tongue. So very light, so very soft.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Mark B

Sounds like you glass brew frequently. I haven’t found a Gaiwan that I’m reedy to commit to, so usually brew using the tall glass method in two different size double wall tumblers that I have. I prefer this method, though with more delicate teas, unless they will clog it, I use a glass tea infuser (glass w/ slits within a pitcher kinda thing). Great reviews BTW! Added a few of your teas to my shopping list!

Invader Zim

I don’t actually glass brew, where you keep the leaves in the cup. I always use an infuser, I’m too afraid of the tea becoming bitter to leave the tea in.

As for a gaiwan I don’t have one, I just use a small cup (5oz) with an infuser and a lid with short steeps. I like to refer to it as gaiwanish style. :)

I hope you enjoy the teas you’ve added to your list when you get them. It’s always nice to know that others are enjoying the reviews and being inspired to try news ones. Thank you.

Mark B

I glass brew, but decant. My tumblers have removable filters.I too worry about the tea becoming bitter. Sometimes I let the last steep sit a good long time though. Often pleased with the results. Best to you!

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92

Backlogging from yesterday.

From a sample pack, makes me glad I ordered it when I did since there were four different green tea sample packs and I believe there is one left, maybe two.

The dry leaves are green and twisted with some white leaves mixed in and smell very fresh, crisp and grassy. I even said yum out loud! The wet leaves smell buttery and grassy with the slightest hint of a roasted note hiding in there.

The taste is not quite like I’ve experienced before. It was grassy and brothy, like a miso soup, it was so good! Very umami, very yum! There was a silky-creamy texture with a nice mouthfeel. I couldn’t get over the brothiness of the tea, I’ve never experienced it quite like that, it was sooo good! I kept writing yum in my tasting notes!

This was a tea that I had been eyeballing since I saw SimpliciTEA’s review. I will definitely be getting more!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

Yum! Even the name sounds delicious. I love umami very much and will have to get my hands on some of this once they are back up and running =) Thanks for the review!

SimpliciTEA

I’m glad you liked this one. It is still the strongest tasting of all of the pure green teas I have had from Life in Teacup so far; I’m almost out, and will be sad when it’s gone.

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Bio

I’m an avid tea drinker, it’s what I drink all day and why I’m here. I don’t sweeten my teas except for the occasional iced tea or cold-brewed tea. I typically brew my teas with a brew basket in a 12 oz cup. If I brew another way I will always note it.

Dislikes: black teas, milk flavored oolongs, hibiscus, red rooibos, licorice, dessert teas, mate, guayusa.

Loves: straight teas, especially Chinese green teas, sencha, jasmine, dan congs, mint, coconut.

My ratings are based mostly on the smiley faces. If a tea is of good quality but not to my taste preference I try not to rate it because I think that is unfair.

I drink a lot of the same teas and will not record every time I drink them. I log them the first time I try them and then again if I did something different and/or got different results.

I also try to keep my cupboard updated to what I actually have for those that wish to swap, although some of them are merely samples.

100 – http://steepster.com/teas/verdant-tea/32720-hand-rolled-top-grade-jasmine

Location

Pennsylvania

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