408 Tasting Notes
This has really come to be one of my favorite blends, so I’m bumping the rating a little. I love how the bergamot flavor melds with the buttery oolong and sweet jasmine and goji. The frankincense and saffron add a background complexity. It’s just a really pleasing tea, and I like how the flavors change on re-steeping as well – more citrus and fruit.
I got my first Tea of the Month box from Verdant today! I already have some of the other two (Silver Buds Yabao and Golden Fleece), but am happy to have more, and this one was entirely new. And entirely unique! The dry leave is very pretty, large flakes off of what was clearly a cake, silvery white and green and some almost black.
The early steeps were more like a normal, if strong and complex, white tea – floral, smooth, mouth-filling. I’ve steeped about a dozen times now though, and it’s getting quite dark and caramelly as I let it steep longer. It’s like a cross between white tea and roasted oolong, or yunnan buds. I can see why this was paired with the Golden Fleece, the later steeps are quite similar. But this is more vegetal – I’m definitelygetting the winter squash flavors.
I’ve been down with a cold for most of a week now, on the upswing (I think), so tonight we’re going from tea to hot toddies. This one started with a cup of Harney’s Decaf Hot Cinnamon Spice, then got a spoonful of honey, a dash of Apple Pie liqueur, and a large splash of apple cider. Good for soothing the throat and clearing the sinuses!
Oh wow, as soon as I poured water over these leaves I got a huge waft of juicy fruit – pineapple! Maybe kiwi? A dash of carmelized sugar, or dark honey. The flavor does not disappoint either. I used the first steep to rinse, and have made 3 more so far.
This doesn’t fit neatly into my categories of dark and light roasted oolongs, but I’m pretty ok with having to expand my classifications :P This doesn’t have the heavy, nutty, dry, roasted flavor Iget from Formosa oolongs, but neither is it buttery and vegetal like a green one. It has the floral notes of a Tie Guan Yin, but then shifts to honey, fruit and incense.
It is getting a little toasty in later steeps (10 now), but still lots of sweet incense and dark fruit now, like cherries or blackberry pie. Aftertaste is very much like pineapple! Sweet, but also has that enzymatic tingle.
I have a bad habit of forgetting my gongfu teas through the day, so to make sure I got all 18(!) steeps out of this one, I alternated making a cup to drink, and immediately making another cup that I poured into a jar to chill and drink iced later! So I actually got to taste the later steeps this time :) and I’m glad I did, because it started getting rather like a pasty, with flavors of grain and butter.
I got this with a chai sampler awhile back, and it’s been sitting in my cupboard because I liked the vanilla mint one much better. This one I recall being very spicy, yet a bit weak in flavor overall. But now, after the great pu’erh blends I’ve been having from Verdant lately, I thought it might be quite good with a little beefing up. I added about half a teaspoon of Maiden’s Ecstasy – a loose shu pu’er from Samovar – to a couple teaspoons of the chai. MUCH better! Now this has actual body and heft, but I can still taste all the chocolate/coconut/spice from the chai. This is very warming, now, and good for a cold windy day.
Smells like honey, and a bit of sweet potato. This really tastes a lot like the sweet potatoes I had at Thanksgiving last week – they were pureed with butter and spices and probably some brown sugar. So good! The tea also has an astringent bite on the very front, that quickly smooths out into a honeyed sweetness.
I’m drinking this one at work, western style, but I feel better and better about the decision to rechisten my one little yixing pot for yunnan black teas, as time goes on. They have such variety, and nuance, and have really become my standby tea over the last couple of years. Of course, I’m almost out of a them at the moment, but that’s just an excuse to buy more :D
2 level tsp leaf, 8 oz water, 4 steeps
I really love this more than I expected to, as with most of Verdant’s blends. I’ve been drinking it all day – hot and iced since I remembered to stick some in the fridge early on. Spicy and herbaceous, with a fresh sweetness like a garden in spring, this is immensely refreshing.