916 Tasting Notes

84

More ppl need to try this tea! It’s in my travel mug today, holding up quite well too, altho I think I oversteeped by 2 mins. Still tasty, although I kind of wish I made a summery tea today, +7 C out today!! I almost wish winter wouldn’t tease like this, pretending to be spring, but I definitely won’t complain!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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92
drank Sichuan Caravan by Verdant Tea
916 tasting notes

So other than in The Skinny, I have never had a pu’erh where the pu’erh is the main component, and am anxious to try it. I have a sample from Verdant of the 07 Xingxang I believe, and I also ordered the big 250 g brick of Old Comrades back during Cyber Monday. But I have been nervous to try them yet. And I’ve had a sample of this sitting here waiting patiently until I was ready. And tonight, I am going for it!

The dry smell is soo heady and spicy! Yum! It’s fiery and beckoning, I don’t know how to describe it other than spice. I did a rinse with boiling water, and then steeped for 1 min. In my infuser, I put a big hunk of the pu’erh, and tried to get about a tsp of the other ingredients as well.

I will admit, once removing the steeper and smelling the leaves, I got a lot of spices, but a scent I at first couldn’t place…then I found it! It was like a cedar planked salmon, mmm, then I thought what fishy? No way, it was like a yummy roasting dinner in the oven type of fish, and that may have partially been due to my super short rinse (not an expert at that yet at all haha). However, no fishiness AT ALL in the smell of the cup, just in the infuser. Mmm, the tea itself has a light spice, and I can smell that ginger…yes, I love ginger.

This tastes so good. It’s very difficult for me to distinguish what the pu’erh on its own tastes like as I haven’t had any straight pu’erh, but this tea is realllly good. It’s spicy, and warming, and yummy. It feels like I am drinking a savory meal almost. I do get a slight tingling on my tongue which is very intriguing, as I read about it but did not expect to notice it as much. There’s cinnamon too, and a bit of sweet to go with the warm spice of the peppercorns.

Overall, I am very excited to have tried this, and I like it! Yay! Hopefully I can get the nerve to try my straight pu’erh soon now that it’s not as scary. I just looked on Verdant’s site, and this is sold out, so I can only hope it comes back so I can get either another sample or maybe an oz to play with. Meanwhile, I will enjoy re-steeping this all evening.

ETA: On my third cup of this and it is still absolutely delicious. The caffeine isn’t messing with my stomach at all, I actually think the ginger and pu’erh combo are perfect for it! This is so tasty, I want more, but I must sleep at some point tonight haha.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Have no fear, I was a nervous wreck the first time I began with puerh and I didn’t know who to ask about it. I kept looking for vidos and instructions. Now, bah it’s easy. So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me or ashmanra or mrmopar or look at videos on verdant or mandala websites.
Rule 1 is, always rinse it for 20-30 seconds in boiling water and toss the water. I use 20-30 second steeps, some people like shorter, some longer. You can experiment. Some sweeten the puerh, some add milk and drink it like coffee. Up to you!

MissLena

I’ll be sure to ask you guys as I delve deeper into this tea :) i see my first error, i just rinsed for about 10 seconds. Verdant is very good for videos, i’ll have to check out mandala too, haha, i’ll probably want to order more tea though! Once I delve in further I’ll experiment with sweetners too :) thanks for the support!!

Bonnie

I was talking about the other tea’s you hadn’t tried yet, the pure pu-erh’s not the blends.

MissLena

Oh yes oops I meant ‘this tea’ as in puerh in general, hmm speaking of which, how would I go about breaking into my brick of old comrades? You can pm me if you want :)

Bonnie

Some puerh is hard and some flaky. If you have a sharp knife (like a steak knife) find a loose area at the side. Use a cutting board with a cloth under so it won’t slide (don’t want you to get cut). Begin to PRY the knife sideways into the brick then lift up, like sheets of filo or puff pastry. The object is not to make lots of pu-erh dust or to create broken leaves. You want ‘sections’ of pu-erh for brewing. (Some dust is going to happen, don’t worry)

MissLena

Ok I will have to try that this weekend when I have lots of time to devote to tasting and preparing it. Thanks, I’m excited I finally know how to break into the beast! :)

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67

Backlog from this morning, blahh, this tea is not improving as I drink more of it. I shortened the steeping time to about 3.5 mins as this is near the bottom of the bag and always ends up bitter from bits of something. But today it was still bitter, ick…. I drank half of it and poured the rest. :( this tea used to be so much better! Hoping to eventually sip this down. I won’t change the rating, because I’m pretty sure it’s just the bottom of the bag syndrome that’s ruining it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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67

It was my grandma’s 80th bday today, so we had a nice brunch with extended family at a hotel. Nice to chat with all the cousins and see all their little kids :) anyways, they had a small team selection of mostly tazo, and i was between this and an orange herbal, but this was needed as I over ate and stomach was super full and needed calming down lol. This is a standard mint, nothing special, couldn’t taste anything except mint, mostly peppermint. I enjoy mint tho, so it was decent :) should have taken a bag of that orange one to try later, oh well haha.

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84
drank Laoshan Genmaicha by Verdant Tea
916 tasting notes

Sipdown – 2 in one day! This one is late haha, but better late than never? I used about 1.5 tsps for this cup to finish it off. It smells HEAVENLY! Lots of puffy rice in this one, with the Laoshan green just present enough to round it off. I will enjoy this lovely cup, and it might possibly be added to the re-order list as well once I finish a few more teas. Oh, and see previous notes for details on taste :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

it’s still today so it totally counts! :)

I really enjoy this one from verdant…it made me think i might really like other genmaichas and got me to try a bunch. sadly this is the only one for me really lol

MissLena

Hmm interesting, this is my first and so far the only genmaicha I have tried – maybe I should just stick with this one then for the future :D

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85
drank Dulce & Banana by DAVIDsTEA
916 tasting notes

Backlog – had a cup of this last night, and a few others this week. I must admit, as sweet as I thought this tea was the first time I had it, I am starting to really enjoy it and crave it. I might just be in a sweet phase though haha, anyways, see previous notes, and upping rating a little as I’ve been having this quite a bit this week.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
916 tasting notes

I still don’t drink black teas too much yet for fear of the caffeine messing with my stomach, but I’ve been craving some dark malty goodness lately and this morning I had to have a cup of this. This is a sipdown – I have soo many more verdant black teas to try in my possession so I won’t be reordering this immediately, but it is definitely a possibility in the future :D

I decided to try this western style this morning because I’m not fully awake enough to fiddle with short steeps lol. I used the remaining half of my sample with boiling water for 3 mins. Mmm for some reason, the steeped smell is taking me back to my childhood, to my grandparents when the alfalfa plant would be going in the morning, it’s not unpleasant just a vague memory popping up. Must be the toasty maltiness of it, Mmmmm. And the slightly charcoal note, a bit of a burning smell, but not a bad burning. Haha, a bit difficult to explain.

This tea. Ugh it makes me wonder again why I don’t drink more black teas! It’s SO GOOD. Dark Chocolate, with a hint of maybe hay? Ah, just looked at the description, definitely the barley. And malt, and toast, and yummmmm. Perfect balance of sweetness.

Overall, I slightly prefer the shorter steeping method, a little bit more variety and pop, but that could also be because it was my first time having this lovely tea. I will have as many steeps as I can get out of the leaves and very much consider getting an oz of this at some point. I did just order some Laoshan village chai, and im pretty excited to see how this tea plays in it.

ETA: Second cup at 3 mins is soo yummy too, a bit softer, more chocolate, not quite as much malt, still delicious. Mmmm happy I get to drink this for most of the day :D

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmm i really like the laoshan village chai – it’s an interesting blend :)

MissLena

I can’t wait to try it! I am a ginger fanatic, and I am in need of a good solid chai, so this looks like it may fit the bill perfectly :) mmm and with Laoshan Black in it, how can you go wrong haha

Terri HarpLady

I noticed yesterday that I’m getting low on Laoshan black, & I’m out of the Chai, which was very gingerbread like, as I recall. Sounds like yet another verdant order in the planning phase…

MissLena

Mmmm I love gingerbread and ginger cookies! The anticipation builds..yeah, I’m always planning Verdant orders lol, I try new teas and I say hmm, that would be good to have an oz of..and so on, lol

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87

Yum, this does pretty good in a travel mug! Speaking of which, I might be needing a new one soon, my current timolino is getting tainted by different teas on the rubber seal and makes most of my teas taste a bit more off.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Yeah I’ve had a bit of trouble with my timoline. Everything tastes off, but I don’t really want to give up and just use it for coffee. :|

Shmiracles

noooo i love my timolino! i don’t want there to be a problem :( maybe i’ll soak the lid parts in some natural cleanser on a regular basis? to help keep this from happening? humph.

ashmanra

Would baking soda help? Then airing it?

Cavocorax

That’s my next move!

MissLena

I’ve tried baking soda a bit but might not have left it on long enough, I’ll have to try it again sometime. I absolutely love this mug haha it has lasted over a year with heavy use, so I might just buy a new one, the investment is definitely worth it. It’s super annoying that it’s just the rubber pieces that retain the smells of different teas, I’d definitely try soaking it regularly Shmiracles, try to prevent it if possible! :)

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93

Mmm this is tasting awesome with cranberry salmon, asparagus and rice tonight. I’m almost out of this tea :( see previous notes on the buttery, vegetal flavor.

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84

I’m alive again! Yesterday was very rough, whatever I had (flu or food poisoning) had me down all day in bed, achy and unable to move, plus upset stomach the night before. Blargh. Also couldn’t eat until the evening. But that’s over at least, and I am slowly regaining my appetite and getting back to having teas. This is soothing and not too harsh today, perfect for recovering from stomach sickness.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

Hello all, I’m a newly graduated electrical engineer as of 2013 (read:NERD :D), who is a bit obsessed with tea! I discovered loose tea in 2011, DAVIDsTEA in 2012 and it took off from there. I really started drinking/enjoying tea because it’s excellent to take to class in the morning and because I can’t handle coffee! (unless it’s a really good cappuccino or latte haha)

I enjoy a variety of herbal, white, green, oolong and black teas. I have also tried a few pu’erhs and matcha I am a bit sensitive to caffeine, but I find that in moderation I can still indulge in black teas and matcha.

Oh, and I have a severe peanut allergy and try to avoid most other nuts, just to be safe. Limits my tea choices a bit, but that’s ok. However I recently tried almonds and found out I can eat them, so I have been trying a few teas with them in them.

MissLena’s rating system
(as of 04/19/13)

95+: Absolute favorite, will try to always have it in stock, and when I don’t I pine over it!
90-94: Awesome teas, will probably purchase again a few times
80-89: Very good tea, may restock at some point
70-79: happy to have tried and will gladly finish, but not restock
60-69: not horrible, but not the best, will finish if I have some though
50-59: not a favorite, probably will have a tough time finishing the bag
-50: yuck. I don’t want to have it ever again.

I am happy to say that my caffeine intolerance seems to be subsiding! This is allowing me to try a wider variety of teas :)

Location

Canada

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