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41 Tasting Notes

93

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.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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99

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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93

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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94

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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93

Another incredibly rare tea offering from Verdant Tea. There are only 2 families that produce this varietal of tea. I have seen it in a few other American tea houses, but take heed: this particular Yabao is far and away the best. Such a versatile tea; notes of cinnamon and nutmeg spice with a sweet and warm mouthfeel. I currently have a brick of Yabao as well as the loose leaf in my possession (from Verdant Tea), both of which are incredible.

Yabao is particularly nice because of its ability to steep indefinitely. This tea is a perfect candidate for throwing to the bottom of a travel mug and leaving there all day. I have also steeped this Yabao for 2+ hours and had no problem with it lasting throughout.

One more note: I have a 15 year Yabao in my possession and it is particularly mind blowing. This tea is GREAT for aging long term and will only continue to build in complexity. My honest opinion for any tea lover would be to buy a half pound of this…some for now and some to age long term. The price is right!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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86

Intense corn aroma dominates before the tea even hits the palate. Corn flavor is less intense than the aroma would suggest though notes of sweet corn on the cob are prevalent through all steepings. The sheer quality of this tuo cha is remarkable; a cooling pine exists throughout and by steeping 5 or 6 a minty cool feeling begins to numb the mouth. The complexity of this tea makes it hard to believe that they are only three years old. I made the mistake of only buying an ounce. Must go back for more!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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58

This is a nice brick of younger Shou pu’er. I have actually picked up a brick of this for myself and plan on drinking some of it now for sure, but this is one that I think could age decently. Most people are confused by the word “musty” in relation to tea, but in high quality pu’ers there is an indescribable sweet mustiness that is hard to mistake. Needless to say it already possesses some of these qualities. The leaf size is large and it brews up lighter than some lower grade pu’ers that are so commonly found from most American tea companies. Sweet notes of honey remain even through the strongest brews. And of course, make sure to brew this one multiple times.

To sum up: Nothing too out of the ordinary but a nice, sweet and promising brick of Shou.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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75

Don’t be fooled! I hate Jasmine Tea. I really don’t like it at all. That was until I tried this tea. I don’t know where in the world Garrett found these pearls (well presumably China) but this is by far the best Jasmine tea I have ever had. There is no astringency at all. The pearls are completely whole buds with no broken tea leaf to be found. Not only are these the most incredible Jasmine Pearls I’ve tried, they also go on and on for steeping after steeping, never losing flavor.

I really did despise Jasmine Tea. This one is so good I would not only drink it but would buy a few ounces for myself as well.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Garret

I’m with you on this, Nathaniel! I couldn’t find a jasmine tea that ever did it for me and tended to stay away from it. But with these I actually find myself brewing them up in my tea thermos at least once a week. And that’s pretty frequent, really, considering my love for hundreds of teas :) Thanks for the review!!!

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62

Imagine the best Golden Needle black tea you’ve had, but fermented. Since this is a budset tea it is much sweeter than your normal Pu’er. The hue is a deep yellow-gold color that is rich in pu’er goodness. Very different from what most usually associate in their mind as a classic Pu…but don’t let that dismay you, this is very good!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I am a lover of everything good. Rivers, fields, plains, forests, lakes, mountains, valleys, deserts – people, tea, beer, cheese, wine. But mainly, more than anything, I love God. None of these other things are worth a cent without Him.

P.S. If you’re ever in Milwaukee and looking for someone to drink tea with for an afternoon, don’t hesitate to send a message.

Location

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Website

http://verdanttea.com/

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