This review is for the Autumn Harvest
Ok, I suppose I should review this.
This was probably my first completely Steepster-driven purchase. I’ve never looked forward to trying a new tea more-gobs and gobs of 90+ reviews from independent, knowledgeable reviewers here on Steepster, coming from a small farm, a small service and quality oriented company, blacks my preference-I looked forward to loving this tea.
But I don’t.
Today is my 3rd or 4th day I have brewed this tea-hoping at some point I would become enlightened to what everyone else sees in this tea-or just get used to it. And I am kinda used to it, but although familiarity has not bred contempt, neither has it brought love.
I love that it’s experimental-tea would be boring without experimentation. This is different tea to be sure-certainly not too much like various Keemuns and Yunnans I have tasted. The dry leaves are rolled tight with some slight bends. They appear to have little aroma unless you take a big inhale, then I get slight chocolatey and floral notes. The leaves are very dark-almost jet black-I was half expecting the liquor to be as dark as black licorice.
Fortunately, liquor was just a deep coppery brown. Brewed leaf aroma is roasty with a slight resemblance to a roasted oolong, a little resemblance to keemun and not sure what else. The first steep flavor is kinda roasted with a touch of chocolate, but not much. Can’t really describe the dominant flavor. It’s different and just okay. It’s very heavy in the mouth, but relatively smooth until it starts to cool when some bitterness appears.
The 2nd steep tastes a little more chocolatey. Can you taste the tannins? Because it feels like I can really taste the tannins. Third steep-the liquor is deep amber colored. It now has a medium heavy mouthfeel. Flavor is improved a little. A touch milder, more grainy perhaps. Also tasting a bit more oolong-ey than previous steeps-especially the aftertaste. Still, nothing too exciting-don’t really like oolong anyway. I’ve done 4 steeps before, but have no notes for a 4th steep. If I have a 4th steep today, I’ll edit this note to include the information. There’s lot of tannins and caffeine in this tea, and with my reflux, I can’t afford 4 steeps of this if all I feel is “Meh, I don’t understand all the fuss.”
I am happy with my experience buying from Verdant Tea-they are personal, responsive, and committed to quality. They have several other teas that I look forward to trying. I might even try the first flush of this tea-if someone can convince me it’s significantly different. But I doubt that I would buy this Autumnal Harvest again.