I made this over a very rushed lunch today and it bowled me over with its character – somehow I got the prep conditions just right to make it juicy, rich, and flavorful. I took a deep breath, and relaxed, and it was perfect.
380 Tasting Notes
I was dubious about this when I first smelled the dry leaf, but the taste is actually rather amazing. Verdant’s pu’er blends are really bringing me around. The smell is mostly spice (edit: no elderberries, just juniper, coriander, and holy basil); a bit strange on it’s own, but the flavor of the brewed pu’er really brings it together. That earthy sweetness unites everything. It tastes like coming in from the cold – sweet air from outside, with woodsmoke and spice and warmth inside. This will be lovely to have on hand as the weather gets colder.
I’ve steeped 4 times so far and expect several more.
3g leaf, 4oz water
I ended up unexpectedly out in the cold today (free outdoor Aerosmith concert less than a mile from my apartment, on a day I took off from work? Ok!) so needed a real warm-up tea by the time I got back. Fortunately my Verdant winter order has been patiently waiting for me to have time for it.
This is delicious. Quite fruity, from the goji and bergamot, but also very creamy in taste and texture, and the Tieguanyin really ties it all together. I wouldn’t present it to anyone as an earl grey; the bergamot is there, but it’s one note among many. I don’t know exactly what frankincense tastes like, but this blend definitely achieves it’s goal:a bright tea with bergamot that it also uplifting, comforting, and warming.
Getting lots of lime citrus and floral notes with this today. I need to use cooler water (or maybe less leaf) if I’m brewing jingshan style though – by the time this was cool enough for me to drink it was quite thick and verging on oversteeped!
I’ve been drinking a lot of Laoshan and Dragonwell green lately, and this has a much fruitier, brighter taste in comparison. I will probably buy more once it’s available again in the spring!
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I’ve been racing through tea today, because the power could go out anytime and it makes me greedy for hot things :P This one has been easy, sweet, and calming to just keep refilling through the day.
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I got a sample of this with my last Verdant order, and had trouble describing it. Very different from an un-aged Tieguanyin! If I were tasting this blind, I probably would have thought it was a roasted oolong, but a very rocky/mineral tasting one. It did give me a little bit of the happy energy that pu’erh often does though. A very interesting experience, certainly :)
Drinking Laoshan-style at the office (green leaves in the bottom of a glass mug draw some attention!) to make way for the new order coming soon :) Drinking the Laoshan Apothecary Green helped me learn to recognize the spicy-sweet notes in the this, as well as the leafy green ones
I just pre-ordered the Autumn Dragonwell Style Laoshan Green that should be coming out in the next week, so it seemed fitting to drink some of my actual Dragonwell today, to prepare :) I was much more relaxed about making it this time (last time I definitely fretted about doing it “right”). A heaping tsp of leaves was enough to cover the bottom of my glass mug, pour sub-boiling water along the sides, then straight down the middle to stir up the leaves – drink as soon as it’s cool. The leaves all sink to the bottom after a few minutes, which makes for easy drinking.
The flavors are sweet, grassy, mineral, rather juicy… none of the dryness, so far, that I was getting last time. My palate isn’t up to cashews or cherries :P but this is very enjoyable.
Got a sample of this in my last order – it has a lovely true jasmine scent, and big fluffy silver needles. The taste is surprisingly smoky, and there’s a hearty – almost brothy – texture. I just dumped the whole sample in my mug, started drinking once it was cool enough, and plan to re-steep by adding water through the day. I think my steeping practices peaked in diligence… awhile ago, and are shamefully casual now. I jest – it’s more that I’ve learned enough of tea culture to articulate my own philosophy, which hinges on appreciating and sharing tea rather than fretting about it _ If it tastes good and makes me smile, then I’m doing it right.
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Lime + cheesecake matcha! Not exactly was I was hoping for (key lime pie) but still quite good – more like that opaque green jello you get sometimes, in the jello salad or the layered jello desserts :P
Prepared hot, with milk and a dash of honey. Matcha seemed finicky to me at first, with all the whisking, but now that I’m used to the prep I love how quickly I can get my caffeine fix in the morning, compared to waiting for tea to steep :D
Guys! Guys. This is a really good combination. You know how rooibos is kind of sweet, and kind of mild, and earthy, and almost spicy at times. And how pumpkin is also sweet, and mild and earthy, and then pumpkin pie has spices? You see where I’m going with this. There is some serious synergy in how the rooibos and the pumpkin pie flavor go together here, and the color is GORGEOUS and the whole thing is CAFFEINE-FREE so I get a pumpkin pie roobois latte for my bedtime snack.
The backstory is that I’d been over caffeinating a bit with Red Leaf’s matcha promotion so I decided to try the red matcha, which is powdered rooibos and thus caffeine free. It is very light and powdery,almost chalky in texture, and the color is a pastel version of normal rusty rooibos color. I’d say it has an even finer texture than the green matcha, and it mixes in really easily in comparison – a bit less tendency to clump.
This is ok plain, but it really shines latte-style with a bit of milk and sweetener (I like brown sugar or maples syrup); rooibos is slightly sweet on its own, definitely not bitter, but a little sweetener enhances the pumpkin pie flavor – less like just spices, and more like PIE! This is definitely one of my favorites so far!
You can buy this at http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/pumpkin-pie-matcha.html
It’s pumpkin season! When I opened the packet it smelled like a very spicy pumpkin pie – lots of cinnamon and clove, maybe a little pumpkin. I prepared it hot this morning, planning to add milk and turn it into the latte, but have been drinking it straight so far. I really like the level of spice and don’t want to mute it, and there’s zero bitterness to begin with. I spoiled myself with my experiments, so I have the royal matcha base – bright green, richly sweet.
I get more of the pumpkin in the taste than I did in the smell of the dry matcha – it’s a little tangy, a little sweet, a little earthy. The blend of flavor and green tea is a little strange this time: they’re both very good individually, but the whole is just the sum of those parts, no more. It’s a little like green chai, actually.
I got distracted and let this sit for awhile, so now it’s cold and stronger, so I’m adding a little milk. The creaminess is a nice addition – less like chai, more like pie! It would probably be really good with a little sweetener, but I didn’t think of it until just now – even with flavored matcha lattes, it still seems weird to sweeten green tea :P
Overall this is very good, I would definitely recommend, and you can buy for yourself here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/pumpkin-pie-matcha.html I got the delicate flavoring, which is fine for me, but if you really like pumpkin I’d go higher :)
Drinking this again today, probably my favorite of the 5 Nature’s Tea Leaf teas I got to try. Something about the interaction of the pu’erh and flowers just keeps tasting spicy to me! I’ve resteeped this a couple of times today; it’s a great choice for a rough day as it’s very forgiving of different steep times and temps, re-steeps several times, and the pu’erh gives me a good non-jittery energy kick.
But drinking this reminds me – as a thank you for reviewing, Nature’s Tea Leaf gave me a shareable coupon for 10% off! Feel free to use STEEPTY10OFF if you’re thinking of buying something! It expires at the end of October.
I’ve had this one a couple of times now, because I wasn’t quite sure how to describe it after the first. Very floral, very mild – I can barely taste the pu’erh – but the flavor depends quite a bit on which particular flowers make it into your teaspoon! The first time I tried it, it smelled like chamomile but tasted mostly of lemon and mint. This time it still smells like chamomile (or rather, Chrysanthemum I suppose), but tastes more like hibiscus with a hint of rosemary. The color of the liquor is a lovely pale orange, and the dry leaf is goreous, between the lemon, rose, jasmine, Chrysanthemum, and everything else – all different colors and textures.
I found the steeping instructions on the website (2tsp, 185 degree water, 2 minutes) worked better than the ones on the bag (1tsp, 202 degree water, 1 minute); the flowers are way too fluffy for 1tsp to do much, and the flavor came out better with a longer steep time.
I couldn’t help comparing this one to the Nature’s Bloom Pu-erh, since the composition is quite similar. I liked that one much better for having a stronger flavor, and more of the flowers I like (rose, jasmine) than those I don’t (hibiscus, Chrysanthemum).
I’ll probably be putting up a swap soon for this and a few other things that haven’t suited me, so if this sounds up your alley comment here or watch the swaps thread :)
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I rediscovered this at the back of a cupboard yesterday and was chagrined to see that it’s more than half full – the bunny has been neglected. But when I checked the steeping instructions I remembered why I set this tea aside: it confused me! 7 minutes with almost boiling water for a white tea? That seemed too complicated, so I decided to just try it Dragonwell style – tossing a couple tsp of leaves in the bottom of the mug, fill with hot but not boiling water, top up whenever the water gets low – and that’s working quite well so far. The liquor is a rich dark honey color, more like a light roasted oolong than a white tea. The flavors are also a bit roasty, as well as floral. It’s not getting bitter, but it is a little astringent. Hopefully this will be a nice & easygoing tea to last me through the day.
Ohhh, hello caffeine. Funny how it just hits me with some teas lately.
ETA: This did last quite well – I’d say I’ve refilled the mug about 6 times today, and it still tastes like tea, not just hot water _
Rich bagged tea, almost breakfast all on its own with some milk and honey. I’ve been keeping a box of this at the office for those mornings when I’m too bleary to think about making a nice loose-leaf cup
Drinking the last of this today – I got a half ounce in the black tea sampler – and sad to see it go. I had a bit over a teaspoon left, so I brewed it somewhere between western and gongfu styles: I put all the leaf in my tiniest post (about 3.5 oz) and let it steep just long enough to develop some good color, around 30 seconds as it turned out. Two steeps like that made a good mug-full, and I’m hoping to get at least another 2 or three steeps out of it.
The flavor is delicious as ever, creamy and chocolatey in a way that you just don’t usually see in a black tea. Yum yum yum, I probably need to buy more of this once it’s in stock again. In the meantime, I still have Laoshan Chai and Bergamot Rose Black to keep me company _
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I discovered this when I moved to Boston and went to a vegan cafe that sold no coffee because they didn’t want to compete with the independent coffee shop next door; they served Dandy Blend instead. I tried it with almond milk and I was hooked! It’s an instant herbal tea, essentially, that naturally tastes and feels very similar to coffee. It is a little milder – there’s no real bitterness – but prepared hot with milk, the feeling is “yep, that’s a latte.”
I found a store that sells the powder, and have been drinking it at home ever since. Two things to love beyond the fact that it’s delicious: it’s completely caffeine free, and instant. It’s made from the water-soluble parts of several plants (dandelion, chicory, a couple more) so it actually dissolves in water (unlike matcha, which is technically a suspension, and that’s why you have to work so hard to get it to whisk into the water).
One of my favorite ways to prepare this is instant chai: a shake of ground cinnamon and nutmeg, a teaspoon of dandy, and it’s ready to go! Hot or cold. I also like to stir fancy local honeys into it – with a little less powder, the flavor of the dandy blend is mild enough to let the taste the honey shine.
Anyway, it was long past time that I start logging this. I’ve gone through a full 7oz over the last few months and just bought another bag (at $12 for a bag with ~100 servings, it’s pretty economical too). I drink it whenever I’m craving strong tea late in the day, but don’t want the caffeine, and to experiment with crazy flavored drinks.