IT HAS ARRIVED! Yesterday, my university mailroom sent a notice that this package had been processed…three minutes before they closed, and I was 10 minutes away. Regardless, I managed to reign in my not insignificant ammount of rage, and calmly waited until they opened this morning. After getting back to my dorm, I opend the bag, and was nearly overwhelemd by the strength of the aroma. The citrus and spice overwhelms everything, and I had to take a moment as I wasn’t quite prepared for such a strong aroma.
After I got over the initial smell, I put some in my brew basket, and fired up the electric heater to test the flavor. I followed the directions on the Verdatn Tea website, and used near-boiling water and let it sit for 2 minutes. The resulting tea smells like a fine cup of Tieguanyin, but with subtle fruit and spice notes that lurk beneath the surface. Contrary to the dry aroma, the taste of the tea is smooth and refined, the flavors of the orange peels and the goji berries working together in harmony to accent the tieguanyin, but not to smother it. The delicate green oolong taste still controls the foretaste, and it fades away while allowing the other flavors like orange, berry, and jasmine to take over during the trasnition to the aftertaste. This is certainly a tea with hidden depths, and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
Second cup, same preparation as the first. The frankincense has started to develop. I know it’s the frankincense, since it reminds me of my great grandmoster, who used to have it in her home, and who smelled like it after she came back from church. It’s really taking me back to my childhood, and is truly an interesting experience. Another interesting thing is that the orange flavor has subsided a bit, but the goji berry is still fairly strong. Teh jasmine seems to have subsided for now, but the saffron shines through during the aftertaste, which results in a pleasant and flavorful finish. After this cup, I can’t wait to see what else this tea has to offer.
Third cup, four minutes. The frankincense is really, really strong now in both the aroma and the flavor of the tea. There are still otehr flavors, mostly the orange peel and the saffron, lingereing yet not strong enough to really shine amidst the frankincense, but I’m not really complaining. This tea has undergone such interesting transformations, and I suspect that it will continue to do so for a long while yet.
Forth cup, two minutes. The tea is actually pretty cloudy. It’s like a fine Japanese green tea, but the color is wrong. I suspect that this is because the frankincense is really starting to disolve into the tea, since that is still the dominant aroma and flavor. Unfortunately, stuff has come up, and I can’t take the tea with me, so I have to cut this one short. I’ll try to get another cup or two in before I go to bed.
…Well, real life decided to crash with me tonight (figuratively, not literally), so I’m not going to be able to taste more of this tea today. Sorry about that…
Music of the Day – Prelude (oud) dir. Jordi Savall
This is from another album that I bought (I really, really, REALLY can’t resist historically-informed performances), which is another book/CD combo. It’s a lovely album, full of music with rich histories, and the book has lovely essays on the history of Jerusalem.