406 Tasting Notes
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.
That’s the last of this :( I really hope Verdant comes out with a new breakfast blend soon. I love the flavor and the philosophy here: “The sensation of drinking the tea should make you want to start the day.” I am decidedly not a morning person, but this tea always makes them easier.
I got a sample of this awhile back and the second half has been waiting around for me to drink and review it. This tastes just like what it is – a tea that is typically turned into a rich, fruity oolong processed instead into a black tea. All of the fruit and floral notes carry over, but now there is chocolate as well, and a hint of smoke. This may not resteep as many times as an oolong, but I would still prepare and drink it similarly – high leaf-to-water ratio, short time, drunk straight.
This is incredibly light and complex for a black tea, definitely one to make you stop. Take a breath. Take a sip. Relax and enjoy, for a few minutes.
I have the Autumn 2011 picking here, with flavors of honey, jasmine, chocolate, and juicy fruit.