Backlogging and based almost entirely on my notes
Experience buying from Verdant Tea http://steepster.com/places/2886-verdant-tea-online-minneapolis-minnesota
Date of Purchase/Amount of Leaf/Age of Leaf/Date of Steeping: I received a 15 grams sample of this from David in the fall of 2011; I believe it was harvested in the spring of that year; I steeped this on 12/10/2011.
Appearance and Aroma of dry leaf: All I remember here is that the appearance and aroma of the leaves reminded me of the best qualities of an expensive spring green tea I tried from a local Asian market months earlier.
Brewing guidelines: < no notes here, but I vaguely remember using most of the sample with six cups of H2O, and I probably steeped it loose in my glass six-cup Bodum, with stevia added >
……….1st: 165⁰F; 1’
……….2nd: 180⁰F; 1.5’ (“180F was intentional due to it being a sun-dried tea.”)
……….3rd: 185⁰F; 2’ (“Much later in the day.”)
……….4th: 188⁰F; 2.5’
Color and Aroma of tea liquor: Pale yellow color; < no notes on aroma >.
Flavor of tea liquor (by steeping):
1st:… mild, but good flavor;
2nd:.. a little more flavorful then the 1st (probably due to the higher temperature)
3rd:.. still good, but very mild
4th:… minor flavor
Appearance and Aroma of wet leaf: No notes here other than, “Leaves were on the top during all steepings.”
Blends well with: I tried blending the remaining amount of this sample with another green tea, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out well; my guess is that the other green tea had different brewing requirements. Needless to say, I make it a goal not to mix samples any more (I was bummed, as I really liked this tea)!
Value: This wonderful green tea is about as expensive as the other green teas Verdant Tea offers (as of 6/5/2012 it is on clearance, but I believe it is normally about $40 / 4 OZ); it’s too expensive for me at regular price, but I may decide to acquire some if I can get a ‘deal’ on it at some later date (i.e. during a sale) when the fresh stuff comes in, or possibly as part of a sampler pack.
Overall: It’s been over seven months since I brewed it up now, but I do remember thinking at that time that this was one of the best tasting green teas I had ever had. Although I have enjoyed tasting all of the green teas he carries, I think I liked this one the most. “It reminds me of a Teatrekker tea that tasted like artichokes. I like it!” Notes on 2nd steeping: “I think I should have done the first steeping hotter. Slight astringency (bite/dryness) here that was absent on the first steeping.” My understanding is that since sun-dried green teas are processed a little differently than the Chinese green tea processing methods normally used (basket or pan fired) it needs to be brewed a little differently. I think I would start at about 175F-180F the next time I brew this one up. I am hoping to be able to get my hands on some of this great Tea again sometime in the near future!