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Recent Tasting Notes
I never thought I tea could remind me of chocolate, but this does just that. It is like a dark chocolate in liquid form. It didn’t have the bitterness I expect from something with a dark chocolate taste, and it doesn’t seem to have a full flavor profile.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Sweet
Though I have seen others’ images of blossoming teas, I had never actually experienced their beauty in person until we tried this one. We used a clear teapot so we could see the flower open up, and we actually removed the lid after a couple minutes so we could smell the aroma being released, as well. This tea was both aesthetically pleasing and delicious. It wasn’t super strong, which can be nice sometimes, but it packed a very full, floral taste.
Flavors: Earth, Floral
Dry leaves smell sweet & vegetal. (5 second wash.) Wet leaves bring out a little more spinach/kale, and more sweetness. Brewed gongfu, 5g in 5 oz water just off boiling for 10 seconds, adding 5 seconds each infusion after. Steeps 1-4: pale yellow color, sweet & buttery aroma. Taste is delicately floral, a little creamy, and lightly sweet. Not much green vegetable taste at all, though the smell of the wet leaves at first suggests this. Very pleasant overall, very smooth with not a hint of dryness or astringency for the first several infusions. Sweetness gradually diminishes but florals become more prominent. A bit of dryness & astringency just barely start at around 5th steep. 5-6 begin to suggest an acidic fruit in the aftertaste, like peach? After 6, still smooth, creamy, and very floral. Placed leaves in 8 oz water for cold brew.
Update: Cold brew is good. Rather than florals, the flavors are more of green grass (but pleasantly so).
Really enjoyed this. I’m still an oolong newbie, but I keep reading/hearing that many oolongs don’t fully wake up and reveal their flavors for at least an infusion or two. Definitely the case here for me. The dry leaves smelled toasty & a little sweet. Did a rinse, then brewed 5g in 5 oz in just-off-boiling water for 5 seconds. The color was very pale yellow. Flavor was faintly sweet, a little toasty, with a woodsy & dry effect at the end. It also tasted fairly diluted, so this infusion seemed more like a second wash.
For the 2nd-4th steeps, I reduced the water to 4 oz & started with 10 seconds, adding 5 each time after. The sweet & floral aromas & flavors really started to jump out in the second steep and increased each time after. Each infusion also became smoother, and notes of hay or sweet grasses came out in the third, and some mineral in the fourth. By the fourth I was thinking that it just tasted “yellow” – golden honey, dandelion, hay – and sunny. And the wet leaves between infusions smelled heavenly!
I’m sure there’s a lot more in these leaves, so when I ran out of time after 4 steeps, I put them in 12 oz water to cold brew overnight. Hope to get few more infusions still.
Update: Cold brewed in 12 oz overnight after initial 4 steeps. Flavor is a little muted compared to hot, but still good.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with this oolong, it’s just relatively unexceptional considering the price. Fairly malty, slightly fruity, low floral, low sweetness, low acidity, not much else going on. Good but underwhelming.
Flavors: Fruity, Malt, Wood
This was far more interesting than Verdant’s regular Jin Jun Mei. Lots of bold flavor, beautiful color, and a rich body with hints of malt chocolate. On the nose, I get sweet cocoa, malt, and cherries. The wet leaf adds some ash and woodsy notes.
First steep is thick and malty with a little molasses in the finish. Bittersweet chocolate notes come out as it cools. The second steep produces a deep dark cherry red liquor. Much stronger flavor with some hints of bitterness. This was probably because I oversteeped it. The next few infusions tasted like Golden Monkey with lots of brown sugar and malt. A syrupy, honey like sweetness sets in during later steepings.
I enjoyed this one a lot. It was robust and delicious. However, I won’t be rushing out to order more as its similar to some of the Chinese black teas I already have.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Malt, Molasses
(Prepared gongfu style, about 8 steepings.) Enjoyed the smell of the dry leaves (sweet, earthy, toasty). First few steepings start off light, almost thin, but a little creamy. As it cools off, richer flavor of buttered green vegetables starts to come through. Further steepings get slightly richer, but also dryer. Flavors started to wash out after 8 steepings. I have the leaves cold brewing in fridge for tomorrow. Overall, probably a little too delicate for me. I kept waiting for the flavors (which were good, but light) to stand out more.
(First attempt at gongfu style; first tea from Verdant)
5g tea, 6 oz water, 175. 10 second 1st steep, +5 seconds following
Dry leaves have strong, fresh, but toasty green scent – reminds me of homemade kale chips. 1st steep – very sweet vegetal smell, but still with toasty note like kale chips or roasted green vegetables; taste is savory, smooth, a little buttery. 2nd steep similar, but ends with touch of dryness. 3rd steep is less roast-y so sweetness stands out more, a bit more dryness & touch of astringency at end. [Stopped after 3rd, set leaves on tea towel for later.]
I’m a big green tea fan but the hype surrounding dragonwell has always puzzled me. I’ve tried it from multiple vendors and using different brewing methods yet the flavor never quite lived up to expectations. This spring when Verdant tea released a series of new dragonwell varietals, I decided to give longjing another shot. I ordered samples of all their new dragonwell teas to see if any of them could win me over.
This particular tea is a rare semi-wild varietal with an intriguing flavor profile. I had another wild dragonwell from What-Cha recently that was very fruity and delicious. This one though was quite vegetal and had a roasted note which I dislike in green tea. I caught some of the classic chestnut along with stir fried broccoli and a sheng puerh like bitterness. Leaf quality isn’t the highest, lots of broken pieces in my sample pouch.
Neither this nor any of the other dragonwells I’ve tried from Verdant this spring converted me. I prefer my greens to have fresh and grassy flavors. The smoky notes put me off and reminded me of gunpowder tea. I appreciate the ability to order inexpensive samples from Verdant. This is a pricey tea and it was nice to able to try a few grams without risk.
Flavors: Broccoli, Chestnut, Smoke, Vegetal
Short gongfu session with about 4-5 steeps, each one more bitter and drying than the last. First steep was lightly melony sweet and little toasty toasty, nothing too exceptional, the second steep coming in with a sudden brash and unpleasant astringency and char flavor that only intensified with each steep. Not until I finally did I give up on this tea and trash it did I realize it’s an oolong, maybe I should have used cooler water? I only had a 5g sample so I guess I’ll never know!
Flavors: Char, Melon
So I was a bit busy this morning and didn’t set any kind of timer or stopwatch… so I steeped this approximately a min give or take a few seconds. It didn’t seem to suffer though as far as I can tell. I was a bit impatient to drink my tea so I burned my tongue again… (happens when I’m too eager to get my tea fix). So I can’t pin down exactly what I’m tasting but it tastes yummy! I swear I’ll do a better job tomorrow on my day off. It was from a Verdant Tea tea of the month sample ages ago. I will clear up my tea stash :D
Gongfu style brewing. First time trying this type of review
0:30 – Surprisingly tasty. Some smokey flavors with a hint of chocolate?
0:45 – More full-bodied with stronger smokey flavors. I taste some fermentation as well.
1:45: Less smokey flavor and more fermentation flavors. I still taste a bit of chocolate.
1:10 – more fermentation and good black tea taste. Less chocolate.
3 tsp leaf
First steep 450 mL hot water(under boiling), 3 minutes with soy milk added
The milk rounds out the cocoa and make it creamier. Dark bittersweet cocoa and fire/pan roasted notes. To a lesser degree, minerals and carob.
Seconds steep 600 mL hot water (under boiling), 5 minutes steep (no milk)
this is great plain. In fact, I don’t recommend using a high quality black in a latte, but I was really in the mood for a latte.More mineral and dark woody notes, unsweetened cocoa powder, dark chocolate, caramelised brown sugar, molasses, honey, roasty. It is exactly what you expect a Laoshan black to taste like.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Honey, Molasses, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Tannic