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drank Orchard Spice by Verdant Tea
420 tasting notes

It’s one of those mornings where I’m feeling really sad for no apparent reason. I hate mornings like that, because there’s not really much I can change about my circumstances, and the circumstances aren’t even the problem, anyway. Uggh.

That being said, my verdant order arrived yesterday. excitedly, I shook the box and heard the familiar sound of tea leaves being shaken inside. I tore it open, and then came the delightful part of trying to figure out which tea was which. Orchard spice and vanilla citrus spice.
“Does this smell like vanilla to you?” I asked my fiancé, waving one of the opened packages in his general direction.
“Maybe. Although didn’t you say the other one was orchard something? I’m sort of smelling, like, greenness, maybe some orchard smells, you know?”
“Well I’ve never been in an orchard. Ok but you think that’s orchard spice? How about this one then, vanilla?”
“Oh no, that’s definitely orchard. Way more orchardy than the other one.”
Disgruntled but still thrilled at receiving my order, I facetimed my sister and had her confirm which one was which, and then of course they smelled as they ought to because my brain had already made the association.

So I had the orchard spice this morning. In the bag, it does smell rather spicy, and definitely as though you’re in the presence of greenery and shrubs and all that sort of thing. The leaves themselves actually feel really cute—they almost have a down quality to them, and are sort of fuzzy. I’d never felt tea leaves like that before.
The steeping instructions call for “1 T” (tablespoon perhaps?) of tea for eight ounces of water, and a steep time of two minutes. well, I don’t think I’ve ever steeped anything for two minutes in my life (save for my brief foray with a genmaicha), and so I ignored it and steeped it for four, adding in my usual cream and sugar.
Here’s the thing. The tea tastes a lot more like a typical chai than anything else. Like, if someone had told me this was verdant’s chai, I’d believe them in a heartbeat and even suggest it was decently done. But I was expecting to feel as though I was guzzling an orchard and instead felt as though I was drinking a straight-forward chai. Perhaps towards the end of the sip some of the orchard-esque spices stand out a bit more, but certainly not enough to tip it full on into orchardism, and that’s just a fact.

So, the bottom line is that I’ll definitely finish up the sample, because it’s a fairly decent chai, but I’ll play around with steeping and sugar and such and see if I can’t coax out any more orchardness.

Lily Duckler

Did your tea arrive unlabeled? That’s very unusual! If so, I would love to send you a replacement of Vanilla Citrus Spice and Orchard Spice, where the differences between the two are clearly labeled on the packages. Orchard Spice has pieces of simply dried apple in the blend – you can’t miss them! If the package you opened contained no apple, then you may have been sipping on Vanilla Citrus Spice, which is a spiced black tea blend with citrus and vanilla additions.

keychange

Lily, I’m sorry—I should have explained. I’m actually blind, so I’m sure the packages were labeled just fine. But when I get multiple packages that feel similar to one another, I often get a person with a pair of working eyes to tell me which is which and then label them with a labeling system I have for myself. I really appreciate your offer to replace it, but no replacing needed—I’ll enjoy the rest of my sample for sure!

Bonnie

Keychange, I used to be almost blind before double eye operations and I had nobody to read labels. Often I would pour water in the sugar bowl and miss my tea pot, get the steep minutes wrong all the time. I’d laugh at myself…which I still do. I’m old and forgetful now! What I learned was how to ask for assistance and the difficulties navigating places such as a tea bar I went into with an overhead menu. I couldn’t see the menu and had to ask for.it to be read to me. Signs are what people use to maneuver through the day and don’t think about it. Same with labels and instructions.
I’m glad you shared your challenge with us here on Steepster. We’re a cool bunch!

keychange

Thank you, Lily!
Bonnie, you’re right about you lot being a really cool bunch! and not to worry: I’m the queen of asking for help when I need it, especially if it means I’ll be brewing at the correct temperature and using the right amount of leaf.

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Comments

Lily Duckler

Did your tea arrive unlabeled? That’s very unusual! If so, I would love to send you a replacement of Vanilla Citrus Spice and Orchard Spice, where the differences between the two are clearly labeled on the packages. Orchard Spice has pieces of simply dried apple in the blend – you can’t miss them! If the package you opened contained no apple, then you may have been sipping on Vanilla Citrus Spice, which is a spiced black tea blend with citrus and vanilla additions.

keychange

Lily, I’m sorry—I should have explained. I’m actually blind, so I’m sure the packages were labeled just fine. But when I get multiple packages that feel similar to one another, I often get a person with a pair of working eyes to tell me which is which and then label them with a labeling system I have for myself. I really appreciate your offer to replace it, but no replacing needed—I’ll enjoy the rest of my sample for sure!

Bonnie

Keychange, I used to be almost blind before double eye operations and I had nobody to read labels. Often I would pour water in the sugar bowl and miss my tea pot, get the steep minutes wrong all the time. I’d laugh at myself…which I still do. I’m old and forgetful now! What I learned was how to ask for assistance and the difficulties navigating places such as a tea bar I went into with an overhead menu. I couldn’t see the menu and had to ask for.it to be read to me. Signs are what people use to maneuver through the day and don’t think about it. Same with labels and instructions.
I’m glad you shared your challenge with us here on Steepster. We’re a cool bunch!

keychange

Thank you, Lily!
Bonnie, you’re right about you lot being a really cool bunch! and not to worry: I’m the queen of asking for help when I need it, especially if it means I’ll be brewing at the correct temperature and using the right amount of leaf.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

Well, it’s been slightly over six months since I’ve joined steepster, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about this community. Like many of you, I began my foray into the world of loose-leaf tea by discovering David’s Tea, and although I’ve ventured out and have discovered many other companies that I’m extremely fond of, there are still many of David’s teas that I hold close to my heart and I will always appreciate it as a starting point for my journey.

As for my preferences, I tend to prefer bold black tea, flavoured and unflavoured alike, and I almost always take my blacks with cream and sugar. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good, flavoured white though, and I’m slowly making my way through the incredibly confusing world of oolongs and greens. I am also not a fan of rooibos, although I am starting to suspect green rooibos may be ok, but you know how it is: when you’ve decided you detest a certain ingredient, you’ll notice it everywhere—perhaps even where it doesn’t exist!

Things other than tea: I’m engaged to be married to my best friend, and feel like the richest woman on the planet because of it. I am also a veracious reader, and I also happen to have an obsession with fragrances, and have amassed quite a collection, although it pales in comparison to some collections out there! As a result of this obsession, I also follow several fragrance blogs, and am always up for a chat about scent. I’m also almost completely blind, and this does indeed mean that I come complete with a guide dog, who unlike me, hales from the sunny California campus of Guide dogs for the Blind. I think I’ve rambled on long enough, but if there’s anything you’d like to know or if you just feel like chatting to someone, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.

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Ontario, Canada

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