So. I love black tea, and I love dan congs. Far and away they make me the happiest of any other teas out there. And when I saw this – a combination of dan cong AND a black tea – on Verdants website, well…. let’s just say that it didn’t take much to make me decide to add this to my cart when I finally placed an order.

I went with their western style brewing recommendations mostly because I don’t have a gaiwan but I do want to try it that way in the future as well. So – I guesstimated about 4 g. of tea and started with a 35 second infusion.

It smells strangely like a roasted green once steeped – like genmaicha or hojicha, maybe. But the texture is buttery smooth. I see avocado because of the texture alone, but combined with the ‘green’ smell I really think it becomes the prominent note. Once cooled honeyed flavors emerge as well. But I’m definitely not getting the salty/peachy dan cong elements I love so much. Maybe in a steep or two I will?

Steep two: 45 seconds – 1 minute. Even more avocado! This is absolutely amazing. Its the texture mostly. As it cools a maltier, cocoa note peeks through. Chocolate avocados. Who knew that would be so perfect?? Now that it’s cooled off completely the peachy aftertaste that is indicative of my beloved dan cong oolong is shining through, only it’s more of a grilled peach, which I’m assuming comes from the fact that the tea base is a black rather than oolong. I would say there are no words….but this small novel seems to show otherwise.

Steep three: One minute. Hmmm… hot I don’t get anything, strangely. Like – hot water, nothing. I’ll wait until this guy cools a bit….and once it’s cooled I only get the fainted notes of…genmaicha?! I’m going to let this steep a bit more to see if I can eke out any more flavor, but I love how mercurial this tea is. Green and black and oolong and fruity and honey and roasty all together and separate at the same time. An extra minute or two of steeping time brings the genmaicha-esque flavor out more but also adds a smidge of astringence. Not bad, just…I can tell it’s reaching it’s peak, you know?

I think I’ll just finish this infusion and call it good, but it was quite the adventure while it lasted! What a fun tea that was well worth the splurge!

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I have come to the point (as of October 2014) where quality in tea is more important than quantity. Especially because I’m a seasonal tea drinker where hot tea is concerned, and a SLOW one to boot. I generally don’t resteep only because I’d be here all day if I did, though I do break out a gaiwan from time to time.

I adore French teas in practically every iteration, Japanese Sencha (specifically from the Uji region, as they offer the most seaweed flavor), and Dan Cong oolongs. I am trying to focus on plain teas and so companies like Verdant, Upton, and Butiki are on my favorites list.

When it comes to tea, I feel like the 10th Doctor says it best:

“Tea! That’s all I needed! Good cup of tea! Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses. "


Medford, OR

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