244 Tasting Notes
This is one of the teas from the Verdant sampler pack I ordered last summer (I think?). Although I tried Laoshan Black ASAP to see what all the fuss was about, I’ve been avoiding the rest of the set ever since. It’s not because I wasn’t eager to try the remaining teas, but because I’ve given up on gongfu-style steeping—I just don’t enjoy it—yet sometimes feel like I’m wasting good tea with my lazy Western-style ways. Anyway, today I decided to get over it and jump back in with a (single, large) cup of Autumn Harvest Laoshan Green. And I’m very glad I did. It’s rich and creamy, redolent with flavors of spinach, green beans, asparagus, and even edamame. This is definitely one I’d consider picking up more of at some point.
This is a pleasant tisane, if not an outstanding one. It’s light and very sweet, even without any sugar added, and I’m getting vanilla frosting more than cake itself. I do wish it had more in the way of pastry notes, but as it is it’s still an enjoyable caffeine-free option (if not a standout like Butiki’s Peppermint Patty).
This is a tea Nicole_Martin shared with me at a Steepster meet-up almost a year ago. The NYC meet-ups seem to have died off, but they were nice while they lasted! Anyway, I’ve had it a few times between then and now but have never gotten around to logging it. It’s a little bit sweet and generically fruity—I do get berries, in an indistinct sort of way, but I certainly couldn’t pick out anything that especially struck me a passion fruit, which is too bad since passion fruit is a favorite of mine. The fruit flavors don’t have that artificial candy taste to them; I’ll give it that. The base tea is definitely the dominant flavor here, which seems unusual with these sorts of fruity teas. I’m a bit surprised to see that it’s an Assam; I’d assumed Ceylon before checking the reviews. It’s brisk, and it almost strikes me as vaguely smoky (although I think that may just be me misinterpreting the interplay between the base and fruit flavors). I’ve tried it both hot and iced (cold-steeped), and I like it much better iced. All in all, a pleasant tea but not one I’d buy, since there are plenty of similar teas I like better.
This is a pleasant chai, if not an outstanding one. The tulsi adds a nice touch; it’s present but not too strong. I do wish the rest of the flavors were more pronounced, but I always tend to go for stronger flavors so this could well be just right for someone who prefers a milder chai. I can hardly notice the tea base at all, but still, this makes for a pleasant cup. I do think I prefer Organic India’s rooibos chai, though—if I can’t taste the black tea and don’t get the caffeine kick, what’s the point?
This is a sample I got from Rie last year. I wasn’t expecting much, as in the time since that swap I’ve realized I really don’t care for green oolongs. But I’m pleased to report that this is probably the nicest green oolong I’ve tasted yet. The unlovely flavors I’ve come to know as orchid and honeysuckle are present, but they’re so much more delicate here than in other green oolongs I’ve had. This still isn’t something I’d keep in stock (and it’s a good thing, since I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on any more even if I wanted to), but I’m surprised to find that I’m genuinely enjoying my cup.
This is a sample I received from Rie a very long time ago but just got around to trying this weekend. It’s quite smoky; that’s the dominant note I get out of it. There is some background fruitiness, to be sure, but as I’ve never tasted longan (or anything longan-flavored) before I can’t say if that note is accurate. It doesn’t strike me as too drastically different from a standard bergamot-infused Earl with a smoky base, to be honest—in fact it reminds me an awful lot of Lupicia’s standard Earl Grey (though I admit it’s been a few months since I’ve had that one, so my memories may be leading me astray). That’s a favorite of mine, so of course I’m enjoying this quite a bit as well. I suppose I was expecting some sort of in-your-face exotic fruit flavor, and I’m a little bit disappointed not to be getting that, but I really can’t complain.
This is a wonderful oolong! The honey notes are very strong, and there’s a fruity undertone and aftertaste—while I wasn’t able to identify it myself, I see the official description mentions lychee. That seems about right. There’s a little bit of astringency, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. It’s not super roasty, but it doesn’t have that leafy green oolong flavor I dislike either. This is something I’d definitely be interested in picking up more of at some point. Thanks for sharing, CharlotteZero!
Although I usually love dark oolongs, I find that some have a certain flavor—I’ve never been able to pinpoint just what it is, frustratingly—that I don’t really care for. This, unfortunately, is one of them. I can tell it’s a quality oolong, and it’s delightfully roasty and sweet, but it’s just not the one for me. I’m glad to have had the chance to try it, though. Thanks for the sample, CharlotteZero!
This is an interesting tea. Steeped according to the instructions on the package, I got very little flavor out of the leaves—I should probably note that I’m not a very sensitive taster and often find myself needing or wanting to add either leaf or time to official instructions. Steeped for significantly longer, though—I haven’t been timing myself, but probably a good five minutes or so—the tea really comes into its own.
It’s sweet and fruity and smooth, and only lightly vegetal. I’m not getting cherry (although I am, oddly enough, reminded of Den’s Sakura Sencha, which also did not taste even a little bit like cherry to me), but I am picking up on the corn notes. I haven’t gotten corn from a green tea before, and it’s a pleasant, if unexpected, flavor to find layered in with the usual suspects. I don’t think this is something I’d buy again—I’m a pretty committed Dragonwell fan, as far as Chinese greens go—but I’m very glad to have had the chance to try it.