Brilliant. This has become a staple for me over the past few months. This morning. It’s cold and brisk in my living room. I immediately reach for my Big Red Robe and BRR Yixing Teapot. When one has tea like this everyday it runs the risk of becoming commonplace. I should repent for even thinking such a thought. This tea really is brilliant, and this morning I am getting an assertive Gala Apple flavor in the early steepings, which I have never experienced in this tea until now. This tea is particularly nice because it is not going to just give you that classic caramel that most BRR give. It also has several layers of complexity, ranging from what seems to be sweet apple, to hints of orange, to even a sweet metallic quality…as if you can taste hints of the rocky soil from which the tea was taken. Lovely.
41 Tasting Notes
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This was perhaps the one tea that I was most excited for from the new shipment. I wasn’t sure if anything could beat the Spring Tieguanyin offering from Verdant Tea. If anything could though, it would be this one, as it has the same source and farmers. It has so much of the nice, floral and bright qualities of the Spring, yet it possesses a heartier body while not missing out on any sweetness. The sweetness gives way to a buttery mouthfeel and a sweet-peach, mouthwatering flavor.
Overall, this particular Tieguanyin as well as it’s brother from the spring, are quite simply put…the best of it’s style that I’ve ever experienced. I would not suggest trying this, rather, I would suggest stocking up on it! We all know with tea this fine that it is limited in quantity, so my honest suggestion is to enjoy it while you can.
Well done to Verdant on this one!
I am not a big green tea lover. At all. I actually have a bit of a dislike for it, but I tried this First Picking Spring Laoshan Green once again a few days ago. I had been drinking it in the spring and early summer but had ignored it for a while simply because my preferences of drinking pu’er and oolong was setting in once again.
So I pulled this out and made it in a porcelain gaiwan. From memory, I thought that I could get away with steeping this one a little hotter than usual…I tried 200 degrees and had absolutely no problem with about a dozen steepings. This tea could have easily lasted for quite a bit longer than that, but for me a dozen steepings is enough with green tea. One of the most incredible qualities of this tea lies in its cooling, almost fresh spearmint like mouthfeel which builds up as time goes on. I think that in simply trying and comparing this one to other great Chinese green teas, it is obvious that it is coming from a much different climate. It is not as hearty or grassy as many greens, and is going to have much more of a delicate personality. This is not a weak tea however, it simply insists upon being sweet and candylike rather than just “grassy”. In that respect, it is one of the best green teas I have ever tried! It has so much to say, and is worthy of being a part of a regular rotation of teas, even for those of us who tend to steer clear of greens in the first place.
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I have really enjoyed this tea throughout the past year. It’s light toasted qualities make it a comforting tea and brings back memories of working at the old tea shop in MN. Often times I would come in on a cold day and go back to this tea because of its sweet and warming qualities. The tea doesn’t simply stop there, it also possesses the floral qualities of a classic Tieguanyin. For the true TGY purist, let me say that this is a Taiwanese Oolong, but looking at the tea itself it is still very pleasant.
I think if I were to go in to a tea house and have this served to me I would not be disappointed. At the same time this tea doesn’t really possess the qualities that would make it other worldly. Just a simple and comforting roasted oolong…worth picking up a few ounces for general consumption, but I would pass on it for making with people that I am trying to impress with a tea tasting.
This is easily the best Oolong I have tried from the new spring picking this year. Incredibly creamy and a fresh lilac that is amongst some of the most perfect Tieguanyin I have ever had. Though this tea is not perhaps the highest end in competition in China because of its creaminess, it makes it much more affordable and honestly, it is hard to tell if this is indeed inferior to some of the very floral Tieguanyin’s that are available.
Overall this has been my favorite tea of the new season.
First let me preface this by saying that I don’t like to rate teas this high. I really won’t ever give a tea a perfect 100 score, so 99 is essentially saying that it’s the best thing I’ve had to date. A perfect 100 would in essence be stating that nothing could possibly be better than this tea in all existence, and I’m not ever going to make that claim.
I remember the first time David from Verdant Tea made me this particular tea. I remember the emotions it evoked and how it brought me back to a place of comfort from the past. I tend to relate things to good music, as I am a musician. When I write a particular piece I tend to write something that envelopes all emotions, making myself feel completely content, heartbroken, moved, and yet hopeful without sounding forced. In a weird way this tea does that for me. The aroma and essence of this tea reminds me of sitting in in an old library with books that have absorbed the flavors of the weathered wood surrounding them. It also brings about the memory of sitting on a particular dock at camp growing up, talking with my best friends while fishing and relaxing.
I think because of the pure nostalgia that this tea has brought about for me and everyone I know that has tried it, puts it in to a category all its own. It is not flavor, it is emotion, aroma, and beauty. I only bring this tea out ever so often for a very special conversation or time…to brew this everyday for me would be to make it commonplace, and I dare not offend the tea in that way.
Better than I last remembered. This one could become a favorite for people looking for a familiar and assertive flavor. Yet it is still so light in hue and delicate on the palate. Glad I tried it again.
Excellent “Dragonwell Style” tea from Laoshan. All of the teas from Laoshan have a very similar feel which can be attributed to their Northern location. I love the way that green teas from Laoshan actually have all of those great cooling qualities of a good Japanese Gyokuro yet maintain the heartiness of a good Chinese tea. This tea is particularly stunning in color. So fresh! So green! I myself will not drink green tea daily, but this is one that I will pull out as a great example of what Dragonwell style teas can be.
Highly recommended for green tea lovers that are looking for something new.
I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. Very nice Taiwanese Oolong with vibrant notes of lilac and fresh greens. Great for multiple steepings. A great tea for the price, and although it does not have many of the other-worldly qualities that some of the highest quality Tieguanyin’s have, it is still a very nice and floral tea. I would compare it most to Rishi’s Jade Oolong. Wonderful!
I bought a sample of this tea because of all of the hype over Xi-Zhi-Hao on Jas-eTea. I wanted to try what many others were calling the best Sheng out there. This one is younger (2007) but considering several of the highest end bricks I have are that young, I figured this one would be old enough to try.
The sample is a nice loose compression with big arbor buds and leaves. Very nice visually! I had high hopes for this brick. I am using 5 grams of leaf material and around 200 degree water on this one. There really isn’t all that much to say about this tea to be honest. What I did recognize right away is that it is not offensive. Usually with sheng pu’er of this age you will get something unbearably drying and smokey right from the start. This tea tries to steer clear of any of that. It doesn’t necessarily want to say anything however. With some sheng of even higher quality than this one you will get something that is not only non-offensive but also minutely complex and interesting.
This one is not.
By steeping 3 the classic “Sheng” flavor of smoke and a common astringency start to creep in. But overall I would actually say that this is a better sheng than probably 80% of what I’ve tried. Not really worth investing money in a brick but certainly wasn’t a bad experience.
This is an excellent and perfectly balanced brick of shou that far outdoes any of its contemporary shou’s of the same age. The color is translucent and brilliant orange. Taste of burnt sugar, burnt caramel, dark fruits, and chocolate are prevalent in the early steepings. As you move along notes of sweet candy and cooling camphor begin to set in though there is a warming feeling that comes along in the chest…a very ideal brick!
Here is my favorite shou pu’er of the Verdant Tea line. This brick has an assertive mustiness that is not overwhelming, but perfectly balanced with the cleanliness of the color and mouthfeel of this tea. Clean and cooling, the description says it well; the camphor builds up throughout the steepings and gives way to a sweet plum or fig flavor. Well done Verdant!
Incredibly clean and crisp. These fine buds are packed in to this brick of tea. 500 grams looks like it should be a normal 357 gram brick…the density of the buds is intense! The flavor and aroma is very complex. I have tried this tea on 4 separate occasions thus far and it has brought forth a different taste with each try. Such a testament to the quality of this tea! Very perfect and well balanced Shou pu’er. Goes beyond simple flavors and has an intense and perfect mouthfeel. Highly recommended for all lovers of shou pu’er.
This sheng came in a few weeks ago and I already have named it my “Perfect Pu’er”. It is everything a Sheng pu’er should be; sweet, cooling, complex, not drying. If someone that knew Sheng came over and asked me to prepare one tea for them to show them the best of my collection, I would pull out this tea without reservation.
The compression of the brick is unlike anything I have ever seen. Since it is hand pressed in the old fashion it is a perfectly loose and ready for an ideal aging process. As far as flavor, this immediately has an aroma and initial flavor of sweet tobacco, and clove. The tea is completely salivating, with hints of sweet fruits while still possessing floral notes of lilac. Incredibly complex. Steep 25+ times, any less would do this tea an injustice.
The 2004 Single Mountain Yiwu is up there in the top 5 best Sheng Pu’ers I’ve tried. The initial tea color is a beautiful golden that only the best of Sheng’s of this age possess. The aroma of the tea after first contact with boiling water is the refined scent of a damp forest which immediately brings back memories of camping in northern Wisconsin. The initial flavor is that of spiced nutmeg and a prevalent and cooling camphor which lingers and builds throughout steepings. Notes of sweet grapes begin to build on the sides of the tongue in later steepings as well as a warm apple sweetness which is present in the chest and complements the cooling camphor mouthfeel.
Some of the best Sheng available anywhere. Period.
One really shouldn’t go in to Sheng pu’er until they have come to a point of understanding Shou pu’er. At that point one can begin to start trying Sheng to venture in to the realm of understanding what they will evolve in to. Considering this, understand that 95% of the Sheng pu’er that makes it to America is unbearably foul and does an injustice to Sheng. If this has been your experience with Sheng, I hope you take time to try this wonderful tea.
Assertive. This tea knows what it is. It is not at all bitter, but rather possesses heavy notes of hazelnut and a new rain. Incredibly complex. The sheer quality and size of the leaf matter is overwhelmingly beautiful. The tea is nearing ten years in age yet the leaves are in perfect condition because of the delicate and hand pressed manner in which they were produced.
I would say to go for this tea only if you are ready for the highest quality in Sheng and are looking for something unique, assertive, and perfect for aging.