To set the scene, yesterday in Minneapolis was perfectly sunny, just hot enough to make you move a bit more slowly than usual. Humidity was hanging in the air, and the smell of grass and new flowers was wafting in the windows. The fan was on low with a soothing hum in the background. That is when the last box of our spring shipment arrived at the door, and we cut it open to see those vacuum sealed shining gold bags of Tieguanyin.

We had ordered enough Spring Tieguanyin to last a few months, or so we thought when our last batch came in. It sold out in two weeks and we had to rush ship the freshest picking of Tieguanyin in this week. The sensible side of me thought, “this batch will surely taste like the last one,” but the trained taster knew that a few weeks difference in picking time can make a huge difference in flavor. Luckily Weiwei never lets us down with Tieguanyin, so we were not nervous at all to cut open the first bag.

The aroma of creme brulee, saffron, lilac, and flaky pastry burst forth from the bag. Oh, yes, this was something different entirely. The first steeping was juicy, and had the fruity tones of goji berry. There was a tingling spearmint sweetness on the tongue. This was an exciting tea!

That is where it took a sharp turn towards rich and creamy. It really tasted like a saffron and almond laced rice pudding reduced on the stovetop for hours. It was silky and completely enveloping. If the last batch was the essence of a sunny spring day, then this is a later spring day in the afternoon right after a heavy downpour of rain with steam rising off the grass and flowers.

As soon as the orchid flavors, the sweet parsley green notes, the mango juiciness and the vanilla came in, we were in real trouble. It was the first time since college that I had an overwhelming desire to play hooky, ditch work for the day and go pick flowers along the Mississippi River. Seriously- be careful with this one. I was so close to skipping off with a bag of this tea in hand, pulling my wife from work for a “family emergency” and taking off. The tea just does that to you.

Luckily, I came back to my senses despite my strong desire not to. Why, you ask? Because I wanted to get this tea, and the new spring greens up on the site so that I can share the experience around. It wouldn’t be fair to hoard this tea ll to myself, as much as I might want to. I would rather see other people connect with the tea instead.

All the support for our Tieguanyin here on Steepster has really shaped the way that Weiwei sources it. I pass on all the compliments, and she feels more honor-bound to follow up with an even more stunning tea each season. I am not always sure why the farmers part with tea like this, but I am more than pleased to share the tasting experience.

Doug F

Sounds wonderful. Any chance we’ll see some more of that 10-year wood-fired Tieguanyin again? That was one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted.

Angrboda

You should tell Weiwei (again) that she’s doing an awesome job. :)

David Duckler

Perhaps- I got in two samples that were really stunning. What I am holding out for is an aged Tieguanyin without a heavy roast. I had the privilege to try some non-roasted 10 and 20 year Tieguanyins with a tea friend in China, and would love to share the experience, but it might not be until autumn. I am glad you had as much fun with the Aged Tieguanyin as I have!

David Duckler

Thanks Angrboda! I absolutely will! Weiwei is an incredibly amazing person that I feel lucky to know. I am actually shipping out a care package to her today with some goodies from America.

Bonnie

David…when this gets to me tomorrow, I hope there will be a new listing to review it under. Or should it be reviewed here with the previous batch of tea?

some crazy person who loves tea

10 year….wood fired….tieguanyin. wow that sounds amazing o___o

Kittenna

Aged tieguanyins? Sounds so interesting!

Geoffrey

@Bonnie – Hi Bonnie! I hope you’re enjoying this tea today! I just asked David… we would say just review all the spring 2012 pickings under this same listing. It’s hard to say how many distinct pickings we’ll sell through this season, and we’d rather not litter steepster with too many separate listings. Having two different listings (spring and autumn) for each year is already a bit much. This issue was discussed a bit with Jason on the “What features do you want most” thread, if you want more info on the consideration involved. In any case, hope you have a great weekend!

Bonnie

You too! I’m waiting for my tea to arrive today! Can’t wait! Heard you were off for a couple of days and hope you are well. Colorado is fantastic…Verdant should move here!!! Boulder is a tea Mecca for people like Ya’ll who miss small local tea houses. (Less snow too and no humid Summers!) Anyway…that’s my plug!
I appreciate all the great service and beyond that the sense that there is community in the transactions with my tea purchases, not just business.
-Bonnie

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Comments

Doug F

Sounds wonderful. Any chance we’ll see some more of that 10-year wood-fired Tieguanyin again? That was one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted.

Angrboda

You should tell Weiwei (again) that she’s doing an awesome job. :)

David Duckler

Perhaps- I got in two samples that were really stunning. What I am holding out for is an aged Tieguanyin without a heavy roast. I had the privilege to try some non-roasted 10 and 20 year Tieguanyins with a tea friend in China, and would love to share the experience, but it might not be until autumn. I am glad you had as much fun with the Aged Tieguanyin as I have!

David Duckler

Thanks Angrboda! I absolutely will! Weiwei is an incredibly amazing person that I feel lucky to know. I am actually shipping out a care package to her today with some goodies from America.

Bonnie

David…when this gets to me tomorrow, I hope there will be a new listing to review it under. Or should it be reviewed here with the previous batch of tea?

some crazy person who loves tea

10 year….wood fired….tieguanyin. wow that sounds amazing o___o

Kittenna

Aged tieguanyins? Sounds so interesting!

Geoffrey

@Bonnie – Hi Bonnie! I hope you’re enjoying this tea today! I just asked David… we would say just review all the spring 2012 pickings under this same listing. It’s hard to say how many distinct pickings we’ll sell through this season, and we’d rather not litter steepster with too many separate listings. Having two different listings (spring and autumn) for each year is already a bit much. This issue was discussed a bit with Jason on the “What features do you want most” thread, if you want more info on the consideration involved. In any case, hope you have a great weekend!

Bonnie

You too! I’m waiting for my tea to arrive today! Can’t wait! Heard you were off for a couple of days and hope you are well. Colorado is fantastic…Verdant should move here!!! Boulder is a tea Mecca for people like Ya’ll who miss small local tea houses. (Less snow too and no humid Summers!) Anyway…that’s my plug!
I appreciate all the great service and beyond that the sense that there is community in the transactions with my tea purchases, not just business.
-Bonnie

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Profile

Bio

I fell in love with tea while doing work on classical Chinese language in China. I loved it so much that I went back for a year to research tea instead! Over a year and several summers in China I have had the chance to train in gongfu tea ceremony, and test the limits of my palate in tasting competitions. I was privileged to spend large chunks of time with farmers on their tea gardens, and was exposed to some of the smallest and most honest operations out there. It only made sense to go into business and deepen my relationship with tea and the farmers who make it with such care and humility. Now I own a small, but unique tea business importing the best teas that my farmer friends in China have to offer. Some of these teas are from regions that have never exported before. All of them have a story.

I will review teas on Steepster, because I think this is an awesome site, and a great community, but I won’t give them a numerical rating, as I don’t want to skew the system. I am having a great time here, and look forward to meeting more tea folk.

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Website

http://www.verdanttea.com

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