47 Tasting Notes

83

Nearing the end of my verdant sample collection here.

Dry aroma fits the description on the site to a T: Cocoa, wood, and caramel.

The wet aroma (following the wash) is very… interesting. Very strong aroma, you can smell the roast very apparently. It smells a bit like dark roasted coffee, with wood and cocoa notes. A rather spicy aroma as well, kinda like nutmeg?

First steep. The flavour is way different than the dry aroma. Very spicy with a light roasted taste in the background. A bit of wet wood as well, and slightly earthy to boot. Nutty as well. Drinking more in the steep, I can definitely taste minerality like wet stone as well. If I were to sum up this tea on the first steep, its a spicy, earthy tea. Also quite a bit of caffeine content, which is a great companion to a research article that I am writing concurrently with this tasting note.

Second steep is much like the first, if not a tiny bit stronger.

Third and fourth steep carry in style. Less flavour as steeps progressed, but spicyness and minerality is retained.

Overall a pleasant and ‘spicy’ tea, was not expecting this at all from a dark roasted oolong. I do have to say there was no fruity flavours as verdantly famously misadvertises with most of their teas, but despite that this tea is a very nice roasted wuyi oolong and it is not astringent at all. A pleasant tea to sip for a bit of relaxation, tipped with a bit of tangyness.

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Mineral, Nutmeg, Roasted, Spicy, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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65

Just from the dry aroma it has a very milk chocolate flavour to it. Probably a less harsh cousin of the laoshan black, lets see.

The aroma of the wash smells strikingly like laoshan black. Chocolate, Cocoa, wood, malt, and a bit mineral to it too.

But we’re here for the flavour, no?

First steep, this tastes nearly identical to verdant’s laoshan black, just not as bitter. Steep was around 7s. Definitely predominant cocoa, toasted, wood, and malty notes. I would say there’s a faint honeysuckle as well. Overall very similar to laoshan black.

Second steep was done a little longer (13s). With a longer steep, I can confidently say that this tea is practically identical to Laoshan black, just has a lighter taste in comparison (expanding: less chocolate, roast, and malt flavour). If you ever had a laoshan black and steeped it several times, you’ll notice how the flavour tends to wane a little bit near the end with a bit of bitterness becoming more present. This is how this tea tastes on its second steep.

Third steep tasted as if the tea exhausted its flavour. A little bit of the chocolate notes remain, with the maltness present too. Bitterness exists as well, but that can be attributed to steeping it for a longer period. Granted there was like 30 minutes between steep 2 and 3 (dinner), but the tea was left to dry without getting steamed.

This tea started strong but ended weak rather fast. It tastes like a lesser cousin of both the laoshan black and laoshan roasted oolong. Overall not impressed. If the flavour was unique, I would rate it highly, but it’s completely dwarfed by laoshan black and roasted oolong. I’d have to put this on my very low rating list. Barely survived 2 steeps and overall mediocre.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Honeysuckle, Malt, Mineral, Roasted, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75

Short review:

Getting close to the end of my sample stash. This was a neat little oolong tea that honestly does not taste like regular tieguanyin at all.

This tea is quite savory and has a similar smoked wood/charcoal flavour as houjicha. Unlike houjicha, there is a bit of sweetness that can be gleamed from the tea. There is no bitterness, no matter if you do a short steep or a very long one (forgot one steep, was suppose to be 20s and ended up to be 5 minutes. Was completely fine though, not overbearing at all).

Strong sandalwood notes and I would say there’s a bit of vanilla or sugarcane sweetness in the back. This tea is a more woody, charcoal than compared to regular tieguanyin, which is floral instead. If we could say that tieguanyin is a sort of ‘light’ tea, this one’s a rather ‘dark’ tea. Decent tea overall, but too ‘rough’ to be taken as a light tea — requires the mood and time to truly enjoy it.

Flavors: Roasted, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85
drank Huang Mei Gui by Verdant Tea
47 tasting notes

Short review:

Another sample from verdant tea. This is a strong wuyi oolong (with the caffeine to accompanied it). There is a light to medium roast that can be tasted with this tea. The minerality is on the stronger side of things, with the astringency to boot.

What’s neat is that it tastes as if it’s a combination of a dancong oolong with a wuyi oolong. There are definitely floral notes tasted within the minerality and flavour traditionally found in wuyi oolongs. Definitely a bit of jasmine and rose, but interesting orange notes as well. I would like to say that the tea is sweet, but the bitterness that comes with the minerality is always fighting it — an interesting balance.

Overall not bad. If you like floral teas (mainly dancong, as this tea has a massive dancong taste to it), love wuyi oolongs, then definitely try this one out. It does have a pretty decent caffeine kick to it as well.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Jasmine, Mineral, Orange, Orange Zest, Sweet, Wet Rocks

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

Short review:

Got this as a sample. It’s very good wuyi oolong. Strong cinnamon and bark notes, along with a bit of pumpkin seed as mentioned on the website. The traditional mineral notes are tasted with a bit of dryness and astringency as well. However, it is not overpowering.

If you’re looking for a wuyi oolong that has strong flavour, decent minerality, and soft astringency, this one hits all those notes. I almost want to give it a full 90 or 95, as I don’t think any other “straight” wuyi oolongs can top it (say, compared to big red robe which has a fruity flavour added to it).

Flavors: Astringent, Bark, Cinnamon, Drying, Mineral, Pumpkin, Wet Rocks

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

short review: one of the best roasted tieguanyin’s I’ve tasted.

The roast isn’t overbearing nor is it absent, it’s just perfect. It’s like the little sister of the Qiyan from Verdant Tea. Smooth and delicious, with full of flavour. Delicious sample, can’t wait to get more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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90

Short review:

Got this in a sample pack, wish I went for more. This tastes almost just like the laoshan black, but without the harshness or acidity. Just saw now that someone else wrote that it’s the ‘laid back little sister of laoshan black’ and I couldn’t agree more. Definitely prefer this over the black version of it

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cherry, Chocolate, Cream, Oats, Roast nuts, Roasted, Toasty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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60

Can’t get that tasting profile at all. Similiar to a gaba oolong I tasted a while back, mainly wet wood with a hint of some sort of sweetness. Rather ‘dark’ and very ‘musky’.

Flavors: Sweet, Wet Moss, Wet Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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Profile

Bio

My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Phenomenal tea right here. Drinking this is just a wonderful treat.

85-89: Extremely good tea but it’s just missing that one thing to make it exceptional.

80-84: Very good tea. May not be the best, but it certainly is excellent for the times that you crave them.

70-79: Good tea. The types of teas that have that one characteristic to them that makes it worthwhile despite lacking in all the other areas

60-69: Average tea. Doesn’t excel at anything but isn’t’ horrible in anything either.

40-59: Below average tea. I can see how someone else would like this tea but I definitely don’t like it. Could be an issue with my brewing or just my taste in general. If it’s a brewing issue, rating will be adjusted accordingly.

0-39: How is this tea. Better beverages could be made by grabbing a clump of dead grass from my front lawn.

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El Paso, Texas

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