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Experience buying from Verdant Tea http://steepster.com/places/2886-verdant-tea-online-minneapolis-minnesota

Age of leaf: Stated as harvested in autumn 2011; I received the tea in early winter and brewed it up not long after (I also included notes about their spring harvested Dragon Well style tea in this review). I slightly updated this on 6/5/2012.

Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Looks beautiful! Light and dark green bud sets (or sparrow’s tongues), with some yellow color mixed in here and there. Very mild, but fresh, aroma.

Brewing guidelines About 5 tsp = 5 cups water. Glass Bodum pot used with with leaves floating freely. Stevia added.
……….1st: 175, 1’
……….2nd: 180, 1.5’
……….3rd: 182, 2’
……….4th: 183, 3’

Color and aroma of tea liquor: light amber color; good, fresh aroma.

Flavor of tea liquor Fresh, sweet, chocolate-y, tasty; it has what I think is called a full mouth/full bodied feel. It had great flavor up through and including the forth steeping.

Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: smells fresh and very aromatic; all whole beautiful looking leaves, buds and bud-sets; no broken pieces.

Value: expensive for any tea by my standards: (as of 6/4-2012) it is roughly $10 / OZ when you buy four ounces of it; but it’s worth having some around for special occasions, and great to give as a gift!

Overall: Although, as LiberTeas pointed out in her review of this tea, it is not technically ‘DragonWell’, it is by far the best ‘Dragon Well style’ tea I have ever tasted (it tastes as good as the Laoshan spring harvested DragonWell); and with one or two exceptions, I think it is the best green tea I have ever tasted. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something different about the aroma and the taste of this tea than any other green tea I’ve had. The leaves remained on top of my Bodum for every steeping, which seems to be a good indicator that this is indeed a quality tea. I really like the contrast of the light and dark green colors of the dry leaf; it is clearly one the the highest quality teas I have ever seen. I love the complexity, the sweetness, and the unique flavor of this tea! You go, He family and Verdant tea!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
K S

I noticed the leaves on a few of the Teavivre teas also floated through all the steepings. I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or not – I couldn’t argue with the taste though.

SimpliciTEA

KS: I am not certain if the leaves remaining on top during steeping is an indicator of quality, but for some reason I get the impression it is; that is in part because I have brewed up LOTS of different green teas (at least over 20 different green loose leaf varieties), and it seems that the lower quality stuff sits on the bottom (and most of the teas that start off on top in the initial steepings seem to settle on the bottom on the later steepings). This is actually a good question to put to the community (but I don’t have the time or energy to do it properly just now).

I have also tried some of Teavivre’s teas. They do seem to be good quality for the price. I think I like her White Peony the most, though. And her DragonWell is good too (but not as good as Davids).

It was good to hear from you. Happy New Year !

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K S

I noticed the leaves on a few of the Teavivre teas also floated through all the steepings. I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or not – I couldn’t argue with the taste though.

SimpliciTEA

KS: I am not certain if the leaves remaining on top during steeping is an indicator of quality, but for some reason I get the impression it is; that is in part because I have brewed up LOTS of different green teas (at least over 20 different green loose leaf varieties), and it seems that the lower quality stuff sits on the bottom (and most of the teas that start off on top in the initial steepings seem to settle on the bottom on the later steepings). This is actually a good question to put to the community (but I don’t have the time or energy to do it properly just now).

I have also tried some of Teavivre’s teas. They do seem to be good quality for the price. I think I like her White Peony the most, though. And her DragonWell is good too (but not as good as Davids).

It was good to hear from you. Happy New Year !

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(Updated 6-3-2014)

After about three years I changed my avatar from the picture of a green teacup with steam rising (one I created using Paint) to this dragon gaiwan. This is one of my favorite gaiwans, although I haven’t brewed any tea in it as of yet.

You can call me, Joe.

What, How and Why I steep:

I typically expect, and shoot for, at least three flavorful steepings out of (just about) any tea I brew up.

I generally start at the times and temps below ( = minute(s), " = second(s) ), then add 5F and 30" for each successive steeping:
Chinese Green - 175F, 1’ ;
Japanese Green - 160F, 1’add 15F, then decrease by 15";
White - 160F, 2’;
Oolong - This varies;
Indian Black/Chinese Red and Herbals - a little off the boil, 2’; why do I start with such low temps & short steep times? So as to ‘spread out’ the flavor over multiple steepings. I have found this to work with every tea I have tried so far. Also, I am not looking for intense flavor in that first cup (i.e. Western style), I would prefer to taste it—and savor—it over many steepings.
Pu-erh - Beginning in 2014, I finally chose to dive into pu-erh! Standard parameters when I brew ripened pu-erh in my 150 ml gaiwan (I also own an 11 oz Yixing):
First I do a 15" rinse with near boiling water. Then for each successive steeping I add Stevia.
……….1st: Near boiling, 0.5’
……….2nd: Boiling , 1’
……….3rd: Boiling , 1.5’
etc. Until there is no flavor, or I ran out of time and energy.

I hope to ‘streamline’ my reviews going forward, so, hopefully, they are a little less technical and dry (and perhaps even stilted), and a little more organic and experiential (and hopefully, flowing); this somewhat new approach to reviews is a kind of metaphor for where my life is headed right now, and is one reason why I write reviews: as a kind of time-capsule of where I was in my life at that time.

Tea Rating scale:

1 – 29: There is no reason to even think about drinking this stuff again.
30-49: I may drink it if someone else brewed it up, but I would not bother brewing it up myself let alone bother buying any.
50 – 59: I like something about it, and I may brew it up if I already have some, but I would not buy any more of it.
60 – 69: I like a few things about it, and I may buy it if the price is right.
70 – 79: This is a tea I enjoy and would drink fairly regularly as long as it is reasonably priced.
80 – 89: A tea I will drink as often as I can, and will likely try to buy some when I run out (as long as it’s affordable).
90 – 99: This has everything I look for in the best of teas: beauty in appearance, a delightful aroma, and most importantly, depth and yummy-ness in its flavor.
100: Perfect.

My primary interest is in artisan loose-leaf Chinese green, red and ripe pu-erh tea, although I enjoy a white and an oolong tea every now and then as well. Here and there I brew a few of the other true teas and an occasional herbal.

Since I choose to live on a very limited income (‘Voluntary Simplicity’), I have to be very conscience about how much I pay for tea. In reading their Tea Enthusiast’s books, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss sold me on the wonders of artisan teas. Thankfully I have found that there is affordable, artisan tea out there; it’s just like anything else that has true value: it takes hard work, dedication and at least a little persistence to find it.

I came to tea out of a desire to find something to help calm and focus my mind as naturally as possible. My mind is very active, so to speak, and at times I find it very difficult to focus and keep myself centered. For years now I have been practicing Yoga daily along with others things to help me to stay relaxed and present, but I found I wanted a little something extra to help me start the day; the theanine in green tea seems to help me in this.

I have been enjoying loose-leaf tea since November of 2010.

I enjoy connecting with others about tea.

I drink Stevia with just about all of my tea (no sugar or artificial sweeteners).

I drink a pot of green tea every day in the AM (usually steeped three times over the course of the day), sharing it with my wife.

Each tea in my cupboard is carefully and colorfully labeled in a tin or in a jar that used to hold something else (I love to reuse things!) .

I have three teapots: a glass Bodum – I don’t use the metal infuser/press anymore (greens), a 16 oz glass Victorian (to brew greens and whites, and to use as a pot to decant other teas into), and an 11 oz Yixing (ripe Pu-erh only). (New in 2014) I also one a number of gaiwans ranging in volume from from 125 ml to 250ml.

I tend to be direct, straightforward and honest when I post anything to the discussion boards. I take the approach that everything I say is stated with the implied disclaimer: In My Humble Opinion (i.e. IMHO). I may occasionally emphasize this point, where appropriate. I view your comments in the same way. You are in no way obligated to read what I have posted. And I am in no way similarly obligated to you.

Sitting with my cup of tea I greet the day in anticipation of new discoveries along the way.

Location

Midwest, USA

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