Initially, I had this very looong, like giraffe neck or elephant trunk long, note rambling on what I thought I was tasting. Luckily for universal sanity, I decided to scrap most of it. Yes… this is the shorter version. Shock and awe.

When I ordered from Verdant Tea for the first time I randomly picked a bunch of sample sizes so I could meet the free shipping quota. Except for a few, I didn’t read any of the ingredients or the notes here on steepster. All I can say is that it was a very big surprise, like redwood big, when I got a whiff of this. It smells like scorched vegetation- burnt and sweet. It made me recall the odor of Palm Spring’s dry desert lands.

First steep: I was intimidated by the scent so attempted to do a hybrid kind of short rinse with two cups. I mostly got a hot woodsy flavour, some jasmine, and a hint of basil. I don’t see this noted anywhere else, but I experienced an almond nuttiness too, which I really liked. The complex profile manages to be smooth, sweet, and creamy.

In the second steep I was able to smell the juniper in the wet leaves and liquor. In the third and fourth steeps I could distinctly taste the juniper berries and the “tree-ness” tasted less cooked. I didn’t get any lemony citrus notes until the fourth steep, which became cold after I forgot about it for hours. It’s sweet and “oily”, with dabbing of vanilla and white leaf creaminess.

I steeped this and Cantaloupe & Cream four times each throughout the day. While C&C was consistent this cup never stopped evolving. There was so much going on in this tea that it overwhelmed my pitiable little brain. Despite that I really enjoyed the experience. This is very unique!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and the not so roasted green oolong varieties are my favourites. I enjoy the odd shu puerh too.

Currently looking for the most buttery and sweet green oolong I can find.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, butter, caramel, cedar, cream, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lilac, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, orchid, pine, rice, rose, vanilla.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike: apple, cocoa nibs, licorice, marine, peach, stevia

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

91-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

86-90: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-85: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.


BC, Lower Mainland

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