2848 Tasting Notes
I’m pretty sure I drank some of this before, but didn’t log it… oh well. Anyhow, giving it a shot tonight as I was going through my Verdant blends (and realizing I hadn’t added any of them to my cupboard count. Ouch.) The aroma is very much yabao – that piney, wintry sort of smell. There’s maybe a hint of spice peeking out too, but it’s primarily just yabao. The flavour does deviate a bit – piney yabao with some heat and spice in the forefront (I feel like I’m tasting ginger, coriander?), then a lingering creamy aftertaste which is where I’m finding the “snickerdoodle” spices are more apparent. It’s actually not too bad of a blend, although I personally don’t think that the spices are strong enough to mesh perfectly with the distinctive flavour of the yabao. This could very easily be age though, especially since my half is has been in a plastic baggie (albeit a reasonably thick one) for nearly a year.
Overall, since I like yabao, and the spices included in this blend are to my liking, I am finding this to be a winner for me. Probably wouldn’t pick up more as it’s just not a tea I think I’d find myself wanting too often (I crave yabao maybe a couple times a year when it’s on my mind), but it won’t be a problem to finish off the rest I have, especially since we’re back in the right season again :D
Got my Verdant order today, yay! Most of the rest of the teas I ordered I’ve had before, except this one. So I decided to open it up and give it a shot before getting back to some sipdowns, which I’ve neglected the past couple days…. and… wow! The flavour begins primarily on a smoky note, which fades into a delicious roasty chocolatey sweetness. No lingering smoke-mouth – the aftertaste really only contains a (delicious) hint of it – and there’s no astringency here whatsoever. I am really thrilled with the flavour – I love smokiness, but I’m picky, so many smoked teas haven’t really worked for me (which ends in me adding maple syrup, which usually counters any problems of astringency/sharpness/just too much smoke). This tea, though, needs no additions. A perfect amount of smokiness, giving way to a fabulous black tea with pretty much my favourite profile (chocolate). Can’t really say too much more except that I’m probably going to order more of this in my next Verdant order (coming up soon, hopefully), because it’s a treat.
Awwwwwwww yeaaaahhhhh. This is delicious. Wonderfully roasty and dark, with an aftertaste of cocoa. As close as you can get to black tea without it being in that category, and so very smooth, as well. Love it. Definitely a cold day comfort sort of tea. Thanks again Sil!
ETA: Oh man. I forgot how delicious gulping down a cooled brew of a dark oolong is. Intense chocolate deliciousness. OM NOM NOM.
I didn’t read up on this tea before brewing it up and trying it (I actually hadn’t even heard of the company before, to be honest), so I have no idea what to expect. It looks like a blend of black tea, cacao shells, and a few little chocolate chips, presumably to create an incredibly chocolatey blend. The result is certainly malty, and somewhat chocolatey, but it’s not all that rich – the base tea doesn’t seem to be overly strong here, and possibly isn’t even all that chocolatey itself, resulting in more of a light milky chocolate flavour instead of a rich, dark chocolate. Oddly enough, despite my preference for milk chocolate, I’d prefer dark in a tea, so this tea, though reasonably tasty, can’t top the natural chocolatey notes in Chinese blacks I’ve had. Thanks Sil!
ETA: Got two good infusions out of this tea, but then the flavour was gone. Probably a good thing for someone with such ridiculous amounts of tea.
Thanks to Sil for letting me sample some of this wonderful tea! I’ve had a bit of a rough day, and needed something tasty to cheer me up. This was pretty perfect. Ultra smooth, caramelly sweet, hay… not usually the flavour profile of a black tea that I look for, but it was so perfectly smooth here that it was delicious. Mandala is definitely on my list to make an order from eventually, even though pu’erhs are not my favourite. Thanks Sil :)
This smelled good but WOW is it ever weak. I felt like I way overleafed (very generous 1.5 tsp… probably more than 2, for maybe 8 oz but probably 6 oz water?), and gave it a decently long infusion (4.5 minutes, okay, could have been longer), but there’s hardly any flavour here. I’m debating nuking my cup, adding a tbsp of the mix to the infuser, and seeing if that makes a difference, because at this strength, I don’t really want to drink it. Also, thanks Indigobloom via Sil and Raritea, apparently? :)
Definitely can smell the rhubarb (which is more than I can say for most xx-rhubarb teas!) It is also apparent in the flavour – I can taste the same strawberry (&guava?) that I’ve had from many black blends, along with a distinctly sour note, which tastes to me like rhubarb. And not sour as in hibiscus (thankfully), sour as in tart, yet fruity. Hard to describe (and I’m lazy). Although I’m enjoying this tea, I probably wouldn’t pick it up again, and might instead go for one of the strawberry (+guava) blends, without the rhubarb, just because I don’t really think this is a flavour combination I’ll crave (but hey, I could be wrong!)
ETA: Resteeped once for a reasonably tasty cup, but the flavour fades quickly with this one.
Sil totally didn’t drink her whole half of this, heh. I suspected as much and seeing her rating….. Anyways, since I do not have the same aversion to blergamot, I hoped I’d like this blend better… until I opened the package. Surprise, lavender! In retrospect, joining the Verdant Blends Club was not the best idea for someone who doesn’t like a lot of “herbal” ingredients, which pretty much all of the blends are full of. There was the odd blend that didn’t contain such things (and it was usually a hit!) but… not often.
Enough said, onto the tea. I initially thought that I might like an earl green with a high quality green base, but I did not anticipate the lavender. I’m not generally a fan of it in tea; it reminds me of soap, and usually takes over in a blend. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it’s doing here, too. Aroma? Lavender with a hint of…. citrus? No… that’s actually also lavender. Sigh. Flavourwise, there’s a big hit of lavender, followed by a very refreshing and lovely citrus (definitely not bergamot). It’s actually quite lovely, and I’m surprised that it’s able to emerge from the lavenderfest (which is still lingering, mind you). Actually, to be fair, I think I can smell a touch of citrus from the cup, as well as a touch of creamy jingshan. It’s just very difficult to detect. The lavender is just far, far too dominant here – a more apt name would have been Lavender Jingshan with a Hint of Citrus.
Overall, I’m pretty disappointed, especially since I think that minus the lavender, this might actually be really tasty. I might try removing the lavender buds another time, but I’m pretty sure that the essence has been thoroughly transferred to the other ingredients, so it’s probably not worth the time. If you like drinking a cup of lavender, this tea is for you. If not, don’t bother despite the enticing name.
ETA: Kind of the same as the Sleeping Bear blend for me; on the third or fourth infusion now, and there’s still too much lavender in the forefront, but I’m really enjoying the creamy aftertaste of the green tea. I feel like there would be so much potential here if there wasn’t any lavender! Or, just a touch.
Sipdown! 970. (Added all my samples from Sil to my cupboard… hopefully this number won’t hit 1000…) Anyhow, thanks Sil for sneaking out a cup of this one for me, since I was super curious about it. I can definitely see why you wouldn’t like it – it’s actually fairly jasminey. Nice jasmine, yes, but it’s not just a hint, either. Beneath the jasmine I can taste a hint of pine, and then jasmine appears again. The base is smooth and creamy, without a lot of distinctive flavour, which is ok.
Overall, this tastes too much like a jasmine green/white for me to bother ever purchasing. I love the idea of the pine needles, but they’re drowned out by the jasmine. It’s a nice tea, but just not distinct enough. I’ll see if subsequent cups bring out the pine notes more. Fingers crossed.
ETA: Enjoyed the resteep of this blend as well, but still too much jasmine. I think it’s possible that the jasmine and pine are complementary flavours, and I’m having trouble distinguishing them a bit, but there were times when I took a sip and definitely tasted pine notes – I would love more of that.
ETA again: On my third or fourth infusion of this one, and although it’s still too much jasmine, I’m really enjoying the creamy, almost cheesecakey(?) aftertaste. Sign of a good base tea, if nothing else :)
My first impression when I opened up my bag of this tea was that it smelled like fake bananas/banana medicine. Bleh. I think I had been hoping more for a banana split sort of flavour. Thankfully, it’s not quite so potent once brewed, and the banana mellows enough to taste more like a real (though quite ripe) banana – but I can’t really taste any chocolate whatsoever, so it ends up tasting like a fairly basic banana black. Not really my thing. Oh well – it’s not a bad tea per se, since it’s still pretty smooth, but it’s not what I was hoping for.