I’ve had my eye on this tea for ages—in fact, it was the first Verdant product to make me go “OH GOD I need to order from here immediately.” Sadly, the second tea that almost pushed me over the edge (Thai Ginger Fire) is now discontinued. But hey, at least I finally got my paws on some of this! That $10 off coupon was just too tempting.
I made this two ways: I cold brewed some leaves (buds?) last night and then steeped them Western style this evening. I wanted to do fancy gaiwan style but I had to do a photoshoot and there were lamps all over the table where the tea setup would go. Oh well, I got a full 2 ounces of this so I definitely have tons to play around with! I actually drank the hot tea before the cold brew, so I’ll start there.
Hot: This smells like pure, heavenly jasmine. Given that it’s the first ingredient, not surprising! I was a bit worried because it smells like JUST a jasmine tea, but the floral scent was hiding a lot of depth. Yes, there’s jasmine—sweet, lightly perfumey and perfect—but there’s a whole lot more going on as well! There’s a soft sweetness and an underlying berry taste (probably from the goji berries, but I don’t have enough experience with them to go “oh, this is goji!”), and a strong plant-y presence. It’s not grassy or even vegetal, it tastes like… plants. Like fresh leaves! It’s really interesting, especially with the jasmine, and it gives the tea kind of an outdoorsy feel. Like one should drink this on the porch of a cabin in the woods, overlooking golden fields as the sun goes down through the trees. Lastly, there’s a bit of a bite at the end of the sip—grapefruit, though it took me a while to identify it as such. It’s got that hint of acidity that brings everything together!
Cold Brew: This was done before the hot, so I suppose it got the majority of the flavor…. not that the hot tea was lacking in any of that! This is quite different cold, more softly floral and grassy. The grapefruit does add bitterness, moreso than in the hot tea for sure. But it’s cut by an almost creamy sweetness, possibly the vanilla? I didn’t get any berry taste this way (which is odd, they sat in water for 12 hours!) so I think it is definitely the vanilla beans. And oddly enough, while the floral taste hot was all jasmine the rose comes into play more this way.
I honestly don’t know which way I like it more—both bring out different flavor profiles, and I adore them both! This tea is definitely a keeper. Like, an “I must have this in my cupboard at all times, I’ll eat ramen for a week to afford it” kind of keeper.