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Recent Tasting Notes
dry leaf smells like chocolate pudding, cacao powder, the edges of brownies, and warm pumpernickel rye crust
8 infusions gongfu
tastes of sugar cane, hot chocolate made with water, lactic finish
smells like fresh pastry made with yogurt and chocolate
tastes of chocolate pudding, green grape, cloves
smells like sweet lamb stew and carob
tastes of beef stew, malt, chocolate, bread crust
smell like the leaves of undergrowth in the sun, chocolate, honey dried salmon
tastes of carob, with a cinnamon sweetness, and a malty, lactic finish
smells like sweet toasted bread
tastes of applewood, carob, with light coffee notes
tastes of burnt toffee, carob, salmon fat, delicata squash skin, and sweet estuaries
7th and 8th infusions dissipate into malt and warm seabreeze
first few infusions taste the way rich earth smells after rain, kumquat rind, pea sprouts, margerine, notes of pecorino and mandarin juice in the finish
smells like peach juice, dried apricot, grapefruit juice, cranberry, leather
dry cup smells like orchids, raw almonds and dark honey
3rd 4th 5th infusions taste of green bean, edamame, buttercup, lilypad flowers, notes of toffee and butter in the finish
wet leaf smells of hyacinths and apples recently fallen from a tree on a rainy day
final infusions taste of aloe, saplings, reeds, honeyed tonic water, light toffee finish
maple sap and wet linen on the nose
7 infusions gongfu
There has been so much written about this tea I doubt I really have much to add. I was hoping to love it more than I do. This is a traditional Dian Hong black tea that was WILD-PICKED from the remote mountains of southern Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Oooh… wild picked is pretty awesome in and of itself.
The leaves are beautiful golden, downy, and soft. They smell like sweet malt chocolate and graham crackers. The liquor is extremely smooth and brews up a tan rusty orange color. The scent of the brewed leaves is sweet and light. I am surprised by the different tastes each steep brings. I tried the short quick steeps as suggested on the Verdant website but personally felt it needed more time. This is WAY LIGHTER than most blacks. Too light for my taste buds so quite honestly wishing I did not buy so much.
Flavors: Apple, Chocolate, Graham, Malt, Vanilla
Reading the other note on this was interesting.
This was excellent. It was a Dan Cong that was much greener than I expected, but it was INCREDIBLY savory and sweet for a dan cong. I got the butterscotch notes, honeysuckle, honey for sure, lots of guava and orange, orchids, green beans, coriander, and some sublte spiciness with the general roast. This was all Gong Fu, starting with 20 seconds and adding 10 seconds more, 20, 30, and so on until a last Grandpa brew to soak out every aroma and flavor.
It’s a glamorized and expensive Dan Cong for sure, but man was it sweet. I’d rate it a 95 in terms of taste, but a 75 in terms of price. It is worth a pretty penny and I would savor it, but I think it is a little more expensive than what I would pay for….though you can bet your hind end I would drink it. Mega snobs who love Dan Congs, this is yours, and if it does not meet your standards, then you my friend have a very experienced and particular palette.
Interesting. 10 grams to contemplate, and I liked this one greatly but did not love it.
So it had the awesome qualities that we look for on here: it was an oolong, but it was roasty and chocolaty as any of the blacks we all love, so it was smooth and floral. But the addition of the roasted osmanthus adds another weird dimension of EXTRA buttery florals and roast like….popcorn and cherries. Yes, popcorn and cherries. More specifically, kettle corn popcorn with some florals and a hint of cherry sweetness. And then it provides me an image of a calligraphic painting of a deep black cherry wood tree with red blossoms amidst sunny orange and intense white background.
So it should be an amazing tea if it makes me have a wild image, right? Well, I am not sure I would buy it again and again. This is worth it for a small sample, the novelty, and waking up in an intense cold Michigan winter that you don’t want to wake up from, but that’s where it belongs and what I like it for. As for those of you who get this, know what it is before you get it because it really is a unique tea.
I do not have too much to add to this note other than it was a good, mega savory Lao Shan tea with some nice herb notes at the end like sage. It had a lot of cocoa and toasty notes, and it had more fruity notes to prevent anything vegetative from happening. It could barely get bitter, but it was never astringent.
Here were their descriptors which some might agree more with especially with the toasted rice. The others like apricot and vanilla were ones that I could see, but were personally subtle.
very savory – toasted rice, chocolate
very fruity – apricot, cherry
floral – honey, vanilla
I honestly would not say no to another offer, but I would get this one in small batches to savor due to its price. I’d recommend it anyway for Lao Shan lovers who might be able to discriminate more than I can on it. It would be appealing more to intermediate new drinkers, and a decent but not guaranteed converter for those who want to drink teas straight.
Spring 2017 that was described as being:
very savory – chocolate, pastry, marshmallow, graham
fruity – goji, rasin
floral – honey, violet
And I gotta agree with Verdant’s descriptors this time. It was as chocolaty as any Laoshan teas, but it was chocolaty enough to avoid the asparagus vegetative notes while emphasizing the sweeter ones like the violet…and oh the violet was noticeable. This one was a bit more western starting at 45 sec, then a minute and a half and so on. While the profile was noticeably simpler, this tea was my second favorite of the sampler pack for its sheer sweetness. I liked that the chocolate note was picked up by goji to add a fruity edge and I liked that it was savory enough to coat my mouth.
I’d be very glad to try this again to give a fuller review because it was my second favorite black of the recent Verdant order, but I liked it for being an easy drinker or grandpa style tea that I drank rather quickly. Only let downs were price and it was not strong for more than four brews, but it was so awesome to grandpa this and not worry about it using 3 grams. I should try it gong fu again, but only problem is price.
I nominate this tea as my favorite black from Verdant I have tried so far, and I wish I got more than two samples of it.
I tried it western and a sloppy gong fu rendition of it French Press style. What I loved about it: the lack of astringency, the immensely sweet floral chocolatey notes, the cocoa and sweat potato background, and just enough dry texture to contrast with the growing honey notes and mild citrus that come to the foreground. It got lighter, but again, the brew got naturally sweeter. The first few steeps had the most cocoa, but it blends with the rest of the notes. And I could press this seven good times western to serve 4 grams in 10 oz of giant mug goodness.
So I was unabashedly biased towards this one because it is a medium black that blends all the right elements to a cocoa honey finish in notes. This is a smooth enough tea to introduce some newbs with a little bit of sugar perhaps, but it is good enough for lighter hong cha lovers…albeit it was more light to medium for my palette. The price is actually not bad either, but it is not cheap. I’d be interested to see what I can blend with it, but overall, it was my favorite of Verdant’s teas because it combines the elements of black tea just the way I like them. I have no idea if any of this was useful for you to read. Oh well, try a small sample for yourself.
Another from the Dark Matter group buy. I’ve tried Laoshan black once, maybe twice, before…but it was a long time ago and I don’t really remember much about it. For an oolong, though, this reminds me quite a lot of a black. It’s chocolatey, sweet, and most unlike an oolong – I say that because I don’t really like roasted oolong all that much, but I do like this. There aren’t any of those odd burnt-metallic/brasso notes that I associate so much with this type. This is one roasted oolong I’d consider keeping around, and that’s a rare thing for me to say.
A pretty good morning tea but I wished it packed a bit more punch. I’ll have to experiment more with tea quantity and steeping times. Pleasant notes of leather, earth, mushrooms, and a bit of sweetness. Feels velvety in the mouth. I like this tea, but just not sure if I love it yet.
1 tsp tea w/ 8 oz water. Steep times of 30 sec, 60 sec, 90 sec, 120 sec.