2229 Tasting Notes
Hmmm. Not sure what I think about this one. I’m getting quite a bit of pepperiness over a very dark, almost burnt-tasting base black. There are hints of chai-y flavours reminiscent of Chocolate Phoenix Oolong Chai (? that’s not right…), particularly in the aroma, which smells like gingerbread, but at least straight, it’s a bit too heavy on the black tea/peppery flavours for me. I’ll try it with milk/honey at some point, and I’m sure it will be divine, but at this point, it’s nothing special beyond Verdant blends I’ve already tried. (That said, it’s tasty. Just not overly different/special IMO.)
The first “Verdant Blends Club” tea that I’m reviewing! I have tried one of the others from the previous month… but can’t recall which it was, nor really what I thought of it… so I’ll have to try it again and write something later.
Of the 3 November teas, this one sounded the most interesting to me. Some of the ingredients in these blends are making me a bit hesitant – I tend to dislike a bunch of herbal add-ins that are used – but nothing here is an ingredient that I know I hate, and the previous Verdant blend that I’ve tried in which coriander was a feature ingredient was quite delicious.
Aroma-wise, I’m smelling a bit of toastiness, a creamy oolong, and definitely a gingerbready sort of aroma, which is probably the coriander (although why coriander comes off as gingerbread, I have no idea). Flavourwise, this is a delicious mash-up of oolong, genmaicha, and spice. The sip starts off with the spice, morphs into toasty genmaicha flavours, and ends with oolong and a bit of a spicy kick from… the cinnamon? I’m not really sure. Either way, this is quite a delicious blend. I’d like to compare it to… that other one with coriander (I sent some to my mom at some point, so I’m sure I can achieve this at Christmas); I’m not sure if I like the toasty oolong or green beany laoshan green better as a base tea.
Wow… apparently it has been two months or so since I last wrote a tasting note? Whoops! That’s not to say I haven’t been drinking any tea, I’ve just been busy/lazy/sick/on holidays. Although my tea consumption had dropped significantly in the last little while (I drank a bunch while in New Zealand, but almost none since.)
Anyhow, I decided to try to get myself back to my more usual tea habits, and made 3 thermos-fuls of tea to go watch the boy play soccer this weekend… I hadn’t realized how much I missed drinking tea! I had forgotten how incredibly amazingly delicious, dark and raisiny PTA was. Perfect tea to lure me back into drinking tea more often again.
It also appears that I need to acquire more of this sometime soonish… I’m running dangerously low!
So far, I am thoroughly impressed with Yezi Teas. Great customer service, our samples arrived in record time (seriously… I never would have dreamed that I’d be able to deliver them to Sil this weekend!), the samples are a perfect 2-cup size (5g), and all in airtight packets (oh how I love when samples don’t get contaminated!), and not only that, but the first tea I tried from them (this one), is great! Reminiscent of Laoshan Black with chocolatey/roasty notes, but a bit less full-bodied. As well, I was catching a different sort of flavour that I would attribute to “scotch” (though I’ve never tried it). A very good, very interesting tea. Not quite a flavour profile I’ve previously tried, and although I was worried it would be too potent for me, it’s definitely not. If black tea isn’t really your thing, and you like Laoshan Black but only because it tastes like chocolate, this probably isn’t a tea for you because those notes aren’t overly dominant, but for black tea lovers, I think this is a big win.
I would like to thank Yezi Tea for this generous free sample offer, and would suggest that lovers of straight teas give them a shot!
Thanks for sharing some of this, Courtney! I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by this tea – there was tons of freeze-dried raspberry, making for a strong, true flavour, and the genmaicha was perfectly toasty. I couldn’t really taste blackberry, but it’s easy enough for me to lump that in with raspberry flavouring. I did find that for a few sips, the genmaicha was a bit overpowering, whereas other times it was the perfect balance of fruity and toasty. Certainly a significant number of notches above some of the other genmaicha blends I’ve had (though nothing can beat the original Marshmallow Treat or Cherry Cheesecake).
Roasty green oolong? Unsurprisingly, this one was a big win for me. Absolutely delicious. Roasted, creamy oolong notes, and if there were floral notes, they were masked by everything else (or toned down, and I didn’t notice them). I’ll have to try this one next to an unroasted dong ding oolong, as well as an aged tieguanyin, because in my head, the flavour profiles are all quite similar (and I don’t think that’s quite true).
Second infusion was very similar to the first – these leaves pack a lot of flavour!
A huge thank you to Angel and Teavivre for including this sample in my package!
A huge thank you to Angel & Teavivre for sending me some oolong samples! It was perfect timing, since I have just been refining my ability to taste the differences between different oolongs (instead of saying they all taste oolongy) and be able to figure out which ones are floral (not my favourites), creamy (yes!), roasty (even better!), or various other flavours.
I kind of randomly selected this tea as one of the first two I brewed up (I couldn’t choose…) I was expecting a tea on the lightly creamy side, since it’s a high mountain oolong and that’s the association I have in my head, but instead, it had much more of a green, floral profile, like a tieguanyin. There was perhaps still some creaminess, but floral notes definitely dominated. As I’m not the biggest fan of floral teas, this wouldn’t be one I’d purchase myself, but it’s pretty tasty if you do like that sort of flavour profile. If, however, you want a milk oolong-type tea, my first experience with this one makes me think that you should try something else first!
Weird… loved this the first time I had it, but the second time? Couldn’t even taste any black currant. Still have another cup’s worth left, so I’ll have to see what went wrong… (there’s a small chance I confused it with Boston, which I brewed up at the same time, but I swear the tea I described in that tasting note had no black currant flavour whatsoever, and it was quite prominent in this tea, in my recollection).
Put some of this in a travel mug earlier this week as well, since I wanted to try it again after having had ATR’s fancy schmancy tea that I don’t remember the name of… oh, Brioche. Right. I think I preferred ATR’s, but this one is pretty tasty, and neither would make it onto the “must have” list, so in my mind they’d end up being more or less comparable. Which is fine by me! A side by side comparison might be interesting, but that’s not likely to happen for me anytime soon (or ever, truthfully).
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this tea does taste like almond sugar cookies. Or perhaps almond biscotti. Definitely almond, but not leaning too far towards amaretto.