Verdant Tea

Edit Company

Recent Tasting Notes

72

Backlog.

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 88 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

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

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
1776 tasting notes

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

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec 3 tsp

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

mmmmm possible miss for me. I’ll have to try this again and play with the steepings and water temp. So far though, not really a far, though that’s not really surprising as i’m more shou than sheng. May need to pass this along to someone who will better appreciate it but will play with it a bit more first :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Bai Mu Dan by Verdant Tea
3 tasting notes

White teas are my favorite so far and I really enjoyed this one. I had this via the gong fu method. Nice vegetal flavor with some spice to it. Very floral both in aroma and flavor. My palate isn’t the strongest, so I didn’t taste everything Verdant’s website mentions (as in the peppercorns or papaya). I’ve had white peonies with more depth than this one, but it still ranks high and I plan to continue buying it in the future.

Note: I didn’t use enough tea in this method, so I will likely update this review in the future.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Cucumber, Lettuce

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank Golden Earl by Verdant Tea
736 tasting notes

I have this back from when it was in the tea of the month blends. So… it’s old…. I taste bergamot. I’m not sure what else I’m tasting but I’m enjoying this tea.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

This is a tea I have been meaning to review for awhile now. I kind of have this goal of reviewing at least three examples of each Wuyi oolong cultivar I can get my hands on, but had always put off reviewing a Shui Xian because they tend to be so easy to come by. Well, I finally got so sick of seeing this shiny silver sample pouch staring at me each time I opened the kitchen tea cabinet that I decided to gongfu it after work yesterday evening. I found it to be a truly exceptional tea, though I am not certain the price I paid for it was justified.

As mentioned above, I gongfued this tea. I only had 5 grams to play around with, so I worked with what I had. After a quick rinse, I steeped the full 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 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, and 7 minutes.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of char, wood, rock sugar, and saffron. The rinse brought out touches of jasmine, chicory, moss, damp grass, cinnamon, and aloe. The first infusion brought out enhanced floral and spicy characteristics on the nose, as well as touches of moist earth and cream. In the mouth, I picked up nice and surprisingly robust notes of cream, aloe, jicama, chicory, damp grass, char, wood, rock sugar, cinnamon, saffron, and moss. I didn’t pick up any jasmine-like flavor, but it was there on the nose. Subsequent infusions brought out cannabis, burdock, dandelion, wet stones, minerals, roasted almond, stewed apricot, and butterscotch notes. The later infusions were heavy on mineral, stone, moss, wood, and damp grass flavors, though I could still pick up some cream and some vegetal touches. I also noted the emergence of a buttered popcorn note, which I often find in many Wuyi oolongs.

This was an interesting and very enjoyable tea. Unlike a lot of oolongs, it let me know what to expect up front and then only changed subtly afterwards. Still, there was a lot going on with it and a lot to appreciate about it. If the price were not so exorbitant ($25+ for 25 grams, nearly $6 for a single 5 gram serving), I would probably order more. Overall, this was definitely worth a try, but I’m not at a point where I can once again justify spending so much on such a small amount of tea.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butterscotch, Cannabis, Char, Cinnamon, Cream, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Jasmine, Mineral, Moss, Popcorn, Saffron, Sugar, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

76

This tea is a dark oolong with a baked orange aroma. I get a fruity citrus taste with flavors of orange and maybe a hint of floral on the back end. It is not a flavor profile that appeals to me, but it was not a bad tea with decent sweetness and no astringent aftertaste.

Flavors: Citrus, Orange

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank 2017 Huang Jin Gui by Verdant Tea
127 tasting notes

I’m enjoying this one a lot. Floral and creamy with a hint of citrus when pushed with high temp.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

Gave the rest of this away. Drinking some of the 2016 autumn version. Tastes amazing too! Great tea!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

This is hitting the spot. I’ve been holding off on the best homemade caramel rolls and needed something sweet like this one.

I’m finding this oolong to be nicer than the Laoshan black teas that I’ve had, but those are some of my favorite teas too. I have yet to try the greens, but those are on my list.

Daylon R Thomas

Hands down prefer the oolong to the black despite the black’s excellence.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

I really liked the Laoshan blacks from YS and wanted to try this one for a while. It’s some tasty tea. More mellow than the black teas, but smoother IMO.

I think Verdant’s tasting profile fits well: http://verdanttea.com/teas/spring-laoshan-roasted-oolong/

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

Cold brewed after third steep; often I’ll stretch a tea by cold-brewing it for a few hours after it starts to weaken in steeps or go bitter but this tea just doesn’t have enough lasting power to go this way. Next time I get a batch I’ll try cold-brewing it fresh.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

Open-brewed in a glass pitcher, let the leaves rest in cool water between infusions. 5g/6oz 30sec- 40sec- 50sec

I clumsily spilled a little on my desk; it was a great tragedy. This is my first foray into dragonwell. I know it’s a famous one, I know it is often a little overestimated, I’m still pretty impressed.

raw leaf smells like sweet dry hay, first infusion is so delightfully fresh and nutty! Strong fresh cashew flavors but somehow without a heavy umami like I’ve noticed in other nutty greens. A wonderful full green flavor, a hint of toasty crackers, fairly round body, eeeeever so slightly spicy, with a very pleasant sweetness left on the palate.

In the second infusion the spiciness strengthens but doesn’t overwhelm the cashew notes, the body remains full and pleasantly vegetal.

In the third steeping, the tea has suddenly lost its body! A very light floral flavor remains and a tiny hint of mineral spice is still in there somewhere. Still not a hint of bitterness, which is nice, but where did the nuts go?!

Is it typical of Dragonwell to give up all its flavors so readily? Should I not have rested the leaves in water in-between rounds? I’ve heard that greens can steam or oxidize themselves bitter if left without a little water on top. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

Flavors: Asparagus, Floral, Grain, Grass, Hay, Mineral, Nuts, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

I recently received one of these cakes as a random gift. Never had a chance to check out a pu-erh yet, so it was great that this opportunity came along! I broke all the rules and brewed this up just how I would with a black tea, which is what I usually drink. 13.5 grams of separated leaves and 48 ounces of boiling water in my teapot for a 3 minute steep (no initial rinse). I was kind of worried that it would be overly strong, but that thankfully was not an issue. I cannot compare this to any other pu-erh because this is my first, but I was suprised to find that this was a very mellow and agreeable tea. I drank it straight with no milk or sugar. Definitely has mossy and vegetal aspects, but some sweetness is in the mix plus maybe a “medicinal” quality? Sorry I’m not too good at describing the taste. I did follow up the next day brewing 27 grams in 48 ounces of boiling water for a 5-minute steep, and poured the tea into a pitcher with an equal amount of ice plus 4 tablespoons of white sugar to make an iced tea. So far I think this tea is better iced than hot, but I’ll continue to play around with it until I run out. Not a bad experience, but I probably will not go out of the way to drink pu-erh teas in the future. I’m happy with my black teas.

Update: After drinking my iced tea concoction some more, the cinnamon/clove notes mentioned by others are jumping out at me – I guess they were always there I just didn’t recognize them for what they were. As it often happens, the tea has grown on me and I find it pleasant and interesting. Revising my original score of 70 up to 85.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Medicinal, Moss, Mushrooms, Musty, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 48 OZ / 1419 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

I finally managed to get a new 4 ounce gaiwan and I have been working on getting a feel for it. One thing I liked about the one I unintentionally broke was that it fit in my hand extremely well and was super easy to pour. This one is prettier, but it is also a bit squatter, which means that it does not fit in my hand as comfortably. It takes a little more effort than I’m used to, but I’m making progress. This Anxi approximation of a Da Hong Pao was the first tea I brewed in it. I found it to be a solid tea that reasonably approximated the character of a traditional Da Hong Pao.

Obviously, I gongfued this tea. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was followed by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 15 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 tea leaves produced mild aromas of wood, char, and roasted nuts. I also thought I picked up some smoke and possible hints of flowers and caramel. The rinse released intriguing aromas of butter, cream, pipesmoke, nutmeg, and saffron. The first infusion brought out hints of grass and vanilla. In the mouth, I picked up on gentle notes of caramel, cream, butter, wood, char, and roasted nuts underscored by smoke, nutmeg, and saffron. Subsequent infusions better brought out the smoke, nutmeg, and saffron while the vanilla and grass also began to express themselves on the palate. The vague roasted nut notes began to take shape, increasingly reminding me of roasted almonds, chestnuts, and cashews. New aromas and flavors of osmanthus, lilac, rock sugar, minerals, and apricot also appeared. The later infusions continued to emphasize butter, grass, cream, vanilla, and wood notes balanced by grass, char, and a gentle minerality, though the popcorn note I tend to get from the later stages of Da Hong Pao sessions popped out at this time too.

As mentioned earlier, this tea did a reasonably good job of approximating the character of a traditional Wuyi Da Hong Pao. I would assert, however, that the lack of a sharp mineral presence and the distinct floral impressions were dead giveaways that this was not the real deal. Still, this was a worthy experiment. It was very much worth trying, although I think the next time I’m in the mood for yancha, I’ll stick with actual yancha.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Caramel, Char, Chestnut, Cream, Floral, Grass, Mineral, Nutmeg, Nutty, Osmanthus, Popcorn, Saffron, Smoke, Sugar, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

This will be my last Verdant sampler tasting before I give Verdant a break for a while to focus on the What-Cha samples I just received.

This tea basically reaffirmed grandpa style as my brewing method of choice for yanchas. Steeped in a tumbler, I got a smooth blend of chocolate, cinnamon, woodsy notes, and wet rocks. Gongfu brings out some of these flavors as well but these were too aggressive for my taste. There was lots of wood spice and black licorice. The texture also became very thick and oily. I feel some of its subtleties of the tea are lost by steeping it gong fu.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Spices, Wet Rocks, Wood

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

An enjoyable cup!

This tea has been steeped several times, and has given up a consistently light green/silvery liquor with a refreshing floral edge – much like jasmine or orchid. There’s something in the body that reminds me of a delicious custard, making the cup very satisfying.

There’s much to love in this tea, and I’d order some now, but I just checked, and there’s such a limited stock (sample size only) that I’ll have to wait.

Flavors: Custard, Jasmine, Orchid

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74

This is a rather atypical oolong. It looks and tastes more like a green tea. You have to look real hard to find any trace of oolong in it.

It has a very similar profile to Verdant’s other laoshan green teas. In the nose and on the palate, I get toasted soybeans, nuttiness, and grain. Around the 5th or 6th steep, the mouthfeel becomes fuller and you get the barest hint of some light fruitiness and butter. For the most part though it’s vegetal and doesn’t distinguish itself from a green tea. There’s none of the floral, fruity, or mineral flavors that characterize oolongs.

Flavors: Grain, Nutty, Soybean

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 135 ML
Daylon R Thomas I liked the roasted one more; that was a little too green for me when I tried it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.