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I’ve been busy, so this tea has sat largely neglected in my cupboard. I decided it’s finally time to start drinking down my stash or I’ll end up having to throw tea out because it’s so old. Blasphemy at the mere thought!
I went a little heavy on the leaf and steep time since this is two years old, which is probably around the end of its shelf life. Sadly, the leaves only had one good infusion in them. But I was not disappointed! The second I tasted this naturally sweet tea, I sighed with contentment. “Oh my god, yeah.” This is my kind of green tea.
The tea liquor is very pale, nearly clear. The taste is mainly fruity and floral with a vegetal finish. I get notes of apricot followed by honeysuckle and finally asparagus. It almost tastes like a cross between silver needle and tie guan yin. It’s more vegetal than white tea but lighter than oolong. This is my perfect green tea! I’m so glad I made time to enjoy it.
Flavors: Apricot, Asparagus, Floral, Fruity, Honeysuckle, Vegetal
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Flavors: Chocolate, Floral, Gardenias, Wood
I got this as a bonus pack in from an order months ago. It has a very, very strong vegetable flavor. I got wide tastes of root veggies like carrots and beets the whole time. A slight roasted flavor in the early steeps. If this sounds like your kinda thing def buy it. I steeped it for hours on end and it never got weak and the taste stayed consistent.
Flavors: Carrot, Roasted, Vegetables
I think I’m going to open this review/note with a quick life lesson for everyone. Think twice before taking a job with a family business. I have now been working for my family exclusively for over eight months, and I have learned that it is nigh impossible to maintain boundaries when you work for family. Take today for instance. I’m supposed to get the weekends off, but got called in to work prior to 8:30 a.m. I already knew I was going to have to work today regardless of how my schedule is supposed to run, but I was not expecting to be called in first thing in the morning. When you work for family, you are always on-call, you are always the first person to be called in, you can never truly have any peace or privacy, and you can never do enough. Should any of you ever consider leaving whatever job you’re working to work for family, think twice before you do it. You’re welcome.
Now with the above out of the way, let’s talk tea. I picked this tea up back around the start of 2017 and left it sitting unopened in my tea cabinet until I plowed my way through it a couple weeks ago. White tea is something I never rush to get around to simply because it tends to age well. To be honest, as long as you get to it within 24-36 months of harvest, you’re getting to it when it is still more or less at its best. Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a Han Lu white tea, so I had no clue what to expect. Ultimately, I found this tea to fall somewhere between a sweeter, more floral Bai Mu Dan and a cleaner, less astringent Shou Mei if that makes any sense at all. It was not bad, but it faded sooner than I would have liked, and quite frankly, it did not strike me as being unique enough to repurchase.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose leaf material in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 6 seconds. The recommended water temperature seemed high to me, but I opted to roll with it because I know some people do, in fact, favor higher water temperatures for certain white teas. The initial infusion was followed by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaf material produced aromas of honey, malt, straw, carrot, and citrus. The rinse brought out new aromas of hay and radish. The first infusion then brought out hints of dandelion and pine on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered fairly well-developed notes of hay, straw, carrot, malt, honey, pomelo, and pine. Subsequent infusions saw the nose become creamier and maltier with a little more vegetal and floral character in places. New impressions of minerals, cream, butter, parsnip, and autumn leaf pile joined belatedly emerging notes of dandelion and radish. Hints of wintergreen oil and smoke could also be detected in places. The final infusions offered lingering impressions of minerals, hay, straw, cream, and malt backed by hints of pomelo, carrot, and dandelion.
At its best, this was an interesting white tea with a pleasant combination of aromas and flavors, but as mentioned earlier, its peak was brief. Due to all of the broken leaf material, this tea was also very difficult to cleanly brew gongfu, a common problem with teas like Bai Mudan and Shou Mei in my experience. I eventually ended up trying to brew this tea Western as well, hoping that it would offer a more consistent drinking experience, but alas, the Western brew was not nearly as flavorful as the gongfu brew at its best. For me, this tea ended up falling into a gray area. Not only did it fade a little too quickly, but it also had a little too much in common with several other types of more readily available and more affordable white teas for me to consider seeking it out again. I would not caution others to avoid this tea, but I would also offer the opinion that one already familiar with some of the more common Chinese white teas would not be missing out on much if they chose to skip it.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Carrot, Citrus, Cream, Dandelion, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Smoke, Straw, Vegetal
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Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity, Guava, Malt, Wood
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Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Honey
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Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Oak wood
20 second rinse. I am following Verdant’s recommendation of a lower water temperature (190 F) and a longer steep time (starting at 1 minute, adding 30 seconds each time).
The first steep is pretty boring, though I did not have a long enough rinse to break apart the tuocha. It tastes primarily of hay, slightly sweet.
Second steeping: The tea has turned dramatically darker, now more of a reddish amber color than the first steeping. It is a little more bitter than the first steeping. It has a much thicker mouthfeel now. It tastes like hay still, but also a little of sweet char, like you get on grilled fruits.
Third steeping: No interesting new developments, but I’m kind of digging these long but frequent steepings. It inspires me to wash my dishes while I wait.
Fourth steeping: This has lost its thick mouthfeel but tastes pretty much the same.
Fifth steeping: The tea is starting to fade. It is more mineral tasting and much thinner. The color has also lightened up.
Overall, it’s fine.
I really enjoy thia tea. It’s a bit of a one trick pony, hardly any complexity. The taste is coccoa, pure and simple. This tea tastes like hot chocolate and it’s awesome. Really fun to share with non tea drinkers. Steeps out at 3 or 4 steeps. It’s really only good for a steep or two imo but it is lots of fun. I do enjoy it.
Sampled Spring 2017. The tea was pretty green, it was not especially fragrant. My issue with this tea was a very thin body that steeped out exceptionally quickly. There was very little depth in flavor. It did posses that souring tounge feel I’ve had with
Other tgy but really, it was a one trick pony. And that trick lasted about a steep or two. The tea was flavorless in four or five steeps.
Wow! This tea is wow and it matches our wow weather.
Here on April 15th, despite the crocuses and tulips having previously begun to peek out of the earth, we are in the second day of an ice storm complete with weather warning. Thousands of people are without electricity. The streets are silent. People are already cancelling things for tomorrow.
This Jin Guanyin is a Master Zhang creation.
Such sweetness and full rich cream. Rather like honeyed butter custard milk oolong times a gazillion. Honeysuckle, and possibly orchid, melding into more gently vegetal notes with subsequent steeps.
Earlier this week, I was drinking Jin Guanyin Wuyi Oolong created by a different tea master which was absolutely another thing altogether: processing and so on. Tea is a fascinating thing. The discoveries continue.
Thank you, CrowKettle, for this sample.
Today, when I went for my acupuncture treatment, I discovered that tea, both green and black, are drying and contribute to a yin deficiency, which appears to be a problem for me and my constitution.
So the suggestion was to stop tea drinking.
Oh hell no, there won’t be that. I will do all the things before I go that route. Stop the insanity—I need to hold on to at least some bad habits.
This tea is magnificent. To me, it tastes like spring. That’s it and that’s all.
Thank you to Crow Kettle for a sample of this. Despite the low reviews, I think this is a very solid oolong.
The floral notes are less typical (a more rounded floral and orchid instead of roasted and heavily orchid). The roast is very light. Some sweetness and creaminess. The vegetal notes are typical of a jade oolong. Overall, this is more balanced in its floral flavour, which makes me prefer it over most ben shan or similar oolongs.
Flavors: Floral, Orchid, Sweet, Vegetal
My green and oolong adventure continues.
This is the second time that I’ve steeped up this Jin Guanyin Wuyi Oolong from the Li Xiangxi Collection.
The first time I steeped this last week, I used water at a lower temperature, something like 180 degrees—user error, apparently— and what I got was a flat murky, woody, earthy, spice type of brew. Not great.
This time, however, I steeped with boiling and kapow! The flavours in my cup brightened and new distinct flavours emerged. Wood, earth, spice, char, a teeny bit of smoke, slight bit of sourness, and a roasted caramelized sweetness in the lingering aftertaste. A bit of prune if I squint.
And this is all from steep one. Remarkable cup.
The honeyed caramel sweetness stays well into four or five steeps.
Mindblowing how the correct water temperature influences tea and enjoyment.
Flavors: Caramel, Char, Earth, Pleasantly Sour, Roasted, Spices
This TGY came as part of a Verdant tea sampler in early 2018. I brewed it gongfu style. Everything about this tea was mild. The liquor, aroma, and taste were all pretty subtle.
Liquor is a very pale green. Wet leaf aroma is polished wood and walnut. Later brews brought out a strong floral aroma and a hint of (blue?)berry.
The taste: Green! Wet grass with mild spice (pepper?). Sort of like arugula. There’s a mild vanilla at the front, too.
Overall, a nice relaxing TGY, but nothing so special. I might make this my everyday tea if it were cheaper ..
Flavors: Grass, Green, Pepper, Vanilla, Walnut, Wood
At long last I return, and not only that, but I bring all of you Steepsterites a review of sketchy Verdant pu-erh. Me and Verdant pu have a turbulent relationship at best. I know it’s bad for me and I know not to believe anything about it, but I just can’t leave it behind. In other words, I know better than to believe the marketing and I know I can get better tea elsewhere, yet I still have to dip my toes into the murk and try some of their offerings every now and then. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by the experience and other times I’m bitterly disappointed. Fortunately, this proved to be one of my better Verdant pu experiences.
I gongfued this tea. After a 20 second rinse, I steeped approximately 9 grams of compressed tea leaves in 5 ounces of 205 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 18 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves emitted very mild aromas of old books, must, moist earth, cedar, and straw. After the rinse, I found new cream, butter, and yeast roll aromas. The first proper infusion then brought out a scent of moss on the nose. In the mouth, I noted flavors of earth, cedar, straw, cream, butter, yeast roll, must, and moss underscored by brown sugar sweetness. Subsequent infusions introduced malty impressions and hints of sticky rice to the nose. In the mouth, I began to find notes of malt, caramel, sticky rice, roasted almond, candied orange peel, lotus, cocoa, custard, minerals, and plum to go with stronger notes of brown sugar. There was something of a spicy, grainy note as well. Verdant described it as tatami, and I can see it, so I’m calling it that. In a few places, I also found some subtle impressions of black cherry. The later infusions offered notes of minerals, malt, moist earth, cream, and moss backed by lingering traces of must, straw, plum, sticky rice, and brown sugar.
As mentioned above, I enjoyed this ripe pu-erh. I tend to be a fan of gongting shu, and I am especially fond of the mini tuocha form, so it should not come as much of a surprise that I was willing to open myself up to this tea. This reminded me a great deal of some of the better shu mini tuos I have tried to this point; specifically, those produced by Haiwan kept coming to mind. Overall, this tea was worth trying, and since it was so smooth and approachable (no real fish pond funkiness), I think it would make a near perfect introduction to shu pu-erh for those who are curious.
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cedar, Cherry, Cocoa, Cream, Custard, Earth, Floral, Malt, Mineral, Moss, Musty, Orange, Plums, Rice, Spicy, Straw