25 Tasting Notes
This has the most amazing aroma. I only wish it tasted a bit more like it smells. It really is quite good, but I guess I’m used to sencha. One thing I found distinctly remarkable is that I was getting that tangy-sweet flavor in later steepings, simluar to that experienced in later steepings of sheng. It was definately intriguing. The smell, alone, is by far one of the best aromas I’ve ever encountered. I tried it western-style length, in gaiwan, and it was definately too strong. Therefore, I might’ve liked it better had I not over-done it.
Being my first shu, I can’t really rate this by any measure, other than my general impressions. I have to admit, to me, this actually tastes simular to a dark roasted oolong, or black tea, except that it has an earthy, sedimenty… something. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it when I first smelled it. But thankfully, it doesn’t taste like it smells. I can deffinately see why it’s an aquired taste. Although, I do find it enjoyable. I can totally see why people like shu. Again, I can’t vouch for this one in particular, being my first. However, I can say that I like it. I chose it as my first, mainly because it was sent as a sample in a plastic baggy and exposed to the light. So, I worried about its shelf life. Also, I figured it would be the least popular out of all the shu samples I received, and I didn’t want to spoil myself, and give it a prejudiced rating. I never read anyone else’s ratings, or reviews, and so I can’t compare it to what other people’ve said. I thought I’d go the unbiased route with all of my samples from Verdant. As good as this one is, I’m looking forward to trying the others. If they’re any better, then I’m certain I’ll enjoy them, too.
I loved this tea! I received it as a sample from Verdant Tea. Thanks David! This is a relatively green tieguanyin, and not bitter, at all. It’s robustly floral, creamy and sweet. Not thinking, I used boiling water, and so I didn’t make it to 30 steeps (It was a long day, and I was pretty brain dead). However, it didn’t hurt a thing, and it was still quite excellent, and not bitter, at all. In fact, there was a distinct evergreen, sort of pine, flavor and aroma. It was most delicious, and a big part of why I rated this so high. After a dozen or so steepings, the floral and evergreen flavors started to taper-off, and the sweet, creamy flavor began to take center stage. After 15 or so, this started to take on more of a classical tieguanyin flavor. It’s very clean and smooth, and the beautiful color really held on, well into the later steepings. The sweetness lingers in my mouth, and keeps it watering. I can totally see this becoming a favorite!
Wow! Now, this being my first pu-erh, I was a little nervous, because so many times people say that it’s an acquired taste. What are they smoking? This is awesome! I liked it right away. It has a brisk, oolong-like, taste. It has very appealing color, too. It’s sort of blush, like apple cider. In earlier steepings, I noticed a faint earthy, sort of mushroom-like, background. It wasn’t musty, though. It was still sweet, and floral. I can sort of taste the sweet tobacco flavor, too, but it doesn’t have that sharp bite. It’s very smoothe. In mid-later steepings, just when I thought it was done, judging by the lighter color, it was not giving up! In fact, it took on a honey, raisin-like flavor that is soooo good. It’s now taking on an even more floral, plum, tangy, somewhat citrus, flavor. It just keeps getting better! I can probably push it even further, still. I guess, we shall see. ::sip sip:: mmmm
So, I got to around 20 or so steepings (lost count), and the flavor is still there. I have to steep so long the water cools, now. That’s my fault, however, because I’m not very skilled at gongfu cha, yet. Some of my steepings were too long, and tasted slightly bitter. I was over-focused on the color. Now, that I know that it’s OK for it to lighten, and it’ll still pack a flavorful punch, I think I probably could’ve managed 30+ steepings out of this. I’ll have to chalk that up to live and learn, I spoze. Definitely worth the experimentation! Plus, there’s still plenty left. This is a very delicious, and flavorful tea. I totally enjoy it better than oolong.
The only thing missing in the experience, is that intense cleansing, centering feeling I get from drinking sencha. It’s more fun, though. Due to the fact that it requires so many steepings, and some skill, I can’t call it the perfect tea. The perfect sheng pu-erh, however? Definitely maybe. Even though, I haven’t experienced anything else to compare it to, I can’t imagine it being any better.
As always, I love Mellow Monk. This tea is delicious! It has a stronger, more refined flavor than the Top Leaf. It’s more vegetal, and has mild berry notes, which I love. It’s buttery, and has a creamy texture. The color is a beautiful, and deep shade of green. I would definately order more of it, and keep it for those special times.
::Edit:: I just decided to try this in my gaiwan, instead of my kyusu, and wow! If I’d known that tea could taste this good, I would’ve been living off the stuff! I had to bump the rating up, and edit the preparation details. This is a truely special cup of tea.
I love Mellow Monk. All of their teas are great, and this one is no exception. It packs a potent bitter quality, which makes it a nice after-meal drink. I enjoy it enough to order it again, but not enough to keep it in stock considering that the Top Leaf steals the show, and gives me everything I need. It was quite special.
This is my favorite! I love this like no other. I also love the company. Their customer service is awesome! I love how they use the personal touch. Their shipping is fast, and inexpensive. I especially love how they listen and respond to, not only their own customers, but also the tea drinking community, in general. They are very in-touch. They are also a green certified company, and all of their teas are organic.
Top Leaf is my top choice. It is sweet and berry-like, and has that slightly citrus tangy lip smacking quality. There’s also a hint of sweet butteriness, like corn on the cob. I love the smell of the dry leaf, too. It smells of sweet mellon and honey suckle. The color is quite beautiful. I always order a lot, because I drink it down, fast. It leaves me feeling centered, clean, and relaxed. I crave it all day long.
I thought that this tea was enjoyable. It wasn’t as yummy as Rishi’s tieguanyin, though. It may have just been a little old, too. There was a slight dinginess to it. It was only slightly perfumed, and had a creaminess to it. It wasn’t sweet, or roasty, as you’d expect. I was also put off by the price. Way overpriced! I tried it both gonfu style, and mesh basket style. Neither seemed better.