Soooo delicious, what wonderful thick, creamy, dark sweetness. At first I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the smell and taste of this reminded me of, besides my two other favorite shu. I wanted to describe it as caramel but no, I had a caramel cake at Fridays tonight (my gods, delicious) but definitely not it. Then my mother-in-law asked me to bring her down a bottle of old fashioned cream soda, bingo! I’m much more pleased with this non sickeningly sweet, non teeth rotting version :)

Just before bed, in the fifth infusion (I think) the tart elderberry note became very present and has thankfully stuck around till morning for five more infusions. I’m going to keep reinfusing for as long as I can, amid the toddler’s birthday party preparations, because I’m having a love affair with this tea. I definitely like the original better than the Elderberry creation it inspired, yet that totally helped educate my palate to find the notes inherent in this most amazing shu.

If I win the Tea Cat’s contest I’m ordering more of this and it’s getting its own tin along with the Eight Treasures Yabao. So if you haven’t voted already go check out the gorgeous felines and consider voting for Pan http://verdanttea.com/tea-cats/crouching-kitty-copper-dragon/ I should not that it didn’t stay “thick” for long, it has a much lighter body than I first described, but still very, very flavorful and yes very “clean”. I only rinsed once, but did actually like that second infusion, ::shrug::

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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