David generously provided this sample to me with my last Verdant order! I do so love a good black tea, so I was quite excited to give this a shot. Especially given how amazing every tea from Verdant has been so far!

Preparation notes: Entire sample in the Breville, 500 ml. water. According to the Western brewing parameters on the site, it was recommended to steep the tea initially for one minute (seemed a bit long but I’m trusting the powers that be with this one), pour it off and then steeped at the below parameters.

The smell of this dry – guh. Gives new meaning to the word cocoa, really. Very fresh cocoa powder with an undertone of fresh earth. That is a smell that never gets old.

The steep, at 4 minutes, is a little light on flavor, but I’m really betting its due to that one minute I poured off (kicking myself so darn hard for that now – ugh!). But I do get a thick oily texture – and it does have a sort of olive/peppery bite to it. And it’s kind of nutty toward the end of the sip as well – most like walnuts I think. For the darkness of the body itself, I was surprised that it wasn’t heavier really. But it is still quite smooth and full on the tongue. It has a brightness to it, too – like a Darjeeling or Ceylon. Maybe that is where people get grape? Given Darjeelings have that quality?

Hmm. I’m not as blown away with this one as the Laoshan black so far, but that is more to personal taste as I love bold, heavy blacks. I’m curious to see where the taste is going to go, though, so I will be trying a second steep tomorrow. I’ll update then!

EDIT: Second steep, 8 minutes. I actually ended up having this cold because I forgot about it before work yesterday :(. But it was not bad – just lighter on flavor. In general I think this just isn’t robust enough for my coarse palate. :) But I’m super glad I was given the chance to try it!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I’d try this in a Gaiwan. Didn’t have this any other way and loved it.

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I’d try this in a Gaiwan. Didn’t have this any other way and loved it.

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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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