My latest order from Verdant arrived and no, I do not need any more caffeine today but I couldn’t resist this anyway. mwa ha ha! By the way, thanks to David for answering my anxiety ridden e-mail about where my order was. I am paranoid because the mail person leaves our office packages in an unsecured location.
I read other people’s tasting notes and I wasn’t sure how to make this but in the end I decided I would have it Western style today and gong-fu it at home.
The aroma of the wet leaves is definitely malty and peppery! I’ve heard about this peppery quality before but have never experienced it myself.
The first cup I steeped for 3.5 minutes which may have been too long (because my cup is very dark), but this is pretty tasty. My first impression is of a slightly bittersweet chocolate, it’s very rich and full. I am getting the fruity element as well that others have remarked on. I can see why Verdant likens this to a lightly roasted coffee because I feel the same way about it, except it isn’t bitter like coffee can be. In the finish I’ve gotten a bit of tannin and peppery element which then slowly is transformed into sweetness, how odd. I am hoping the tannin will decrease with a shorter steeping time.
I decided to do a second steep for 2 minutes and got a medium reddish brown cup, so this is probably closer to what it should be. Definitely a rich and smooth cuppa. With the shorter steeping time I am getting more fruity notes and more sweetness in the finish, which I kinda like (okay, I am a wimp). Now it’s a bit more like caramel. Someone just commented that my tea smells like tobacco. Interesting… complex and full of flavors. Perhaps a tad bit heavy on the tannins for yours truly but we’ll see what happens when I gong fu this. :)