Verdant Alchemy Fall Line

63 Replies
Nik select said

I managed to grab a sample of all the current blends except for “Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black,” which is already gone. If anyone wants to send me a sample, I’d be most grateful. =) Please drop me a line, and I’ll get to work on updating my cupboard so we can work out a swap.

Dinosara said

FYI that was a temporary outage and the Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black is back for a few more weeks. :)

Nik select said

Yep, I saw that, thank you! =)

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I would love to see blends without a lot of spices or fruits. I personally love creamy and rich blends and would enjoy seeing Verdant Tea’s take on a kind of dessert-like tea.

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Dinosara said

My favorite parts of fall are pumpkin and apple cider, so I’d love to see blends incorporating those flavors.

Bonnie said

If you wanted to do a French Apple Pie I won a pie contest (Johnny Appleseed Festival) and the pie had yellow delicious apples, vanilla, golden raisins soaked in apple schnapps(This could be a tangy taste instead) a little butter (figure that one out) cinnamon and brown sugar (again…in an all natural tea, the crust and sweetness and butter would have to be figured out). (Pecan’s are OK but so many people have nut allergies?!)

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Thanks for all the advice so far on our Alchemy line. I am getting pretty close to settling on the initial fall line-up. What this means, besides an exciting mad-scientist week for me, is that the summer blends are on last call. I am not restocking many of the ingredients used to make these summer teas, so this is the time to get what you need. I went in and marked quantities remaining on all the alchemy line offerings. Here is what it looks like right now:
Laoshan Chai: In Stock
Chocolate Phoenix Chai: Low Stock (1lb)
Xingyang Silk Road Spice: Low Stock (8oz)
Laoshan Apothecary Green: In Stock
Imperial Breakfast: In Stock
Eight Treasures Yabao: Very Low Stock (4oz)
Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew: Low Stock (1lb)
Holy Basil Spa Blend: Very Low Stock (4oz)
Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black: Low Stock (8oz)

Alchemy index page:
Basically, these should all be gone within a week. For your order-planning purposes, I am going to work as hard as I can to release at least 2-3 of the new Alchemy Blends this Friday, and the rest the following Wednesday or Thursday.

Right now it looks like we will be bringing back the Winter Laoshan Chai with a few modifications to make it even richer and more full bodied. We will also be bringing back the Winter Blend Imperial Breakfast with a few minor tweaks.

We have a pu’er blend with lots of elderberry, licorice root, ginger and a balanced touch of Sichuan Peppercorn, along with a few other spices I am still working on sourcing locally at the MN farmer’s Markets. A Tieguanyin-based Earl-Green oolong with Frankincense is looking really promising.

I won’t spoil all the surprises, but you are in for some thrilling premieres. On Friday I will update to let you know the release schedule so that you can be informed about your shopping.

Sil select said

thanks for the update!

Azzrian said


So excited! The Tieguanyin blend sounds amazing! Definitely trying that one!

Yes- I have been sipping the prototype for the Tieguanyin blend today and contemplating refinements. It is really addictive… I have a self-imposed limit of nine Alchemy blends at a time, but it might have to go up to 12 by winter time for me to try out everything I want to. With all my tins of exotic herbs and flowers to play with I feel like a kid in a candy store.

Dinosara said

Oooh! Can’t wait!

Ag select said

Yay! Really looking forward to the new blends!!

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Here is a sneak peak photo I just posted on Facebook of that Frankincense blend. Still working on a name though. It is bergamot scented- maybe the “Iron Countess,” after Iron Goddess of Mercy, and the female title for earl. But, hmm, Iron Countess is a bit intense for such a lush blend. I will think on it.

Zeks said

Did I already mention you are evil ?:)

Azzrian said


Azzrian said

LOL All I can think of is Iron Maiden – but that makes me think of the heavy metal band ….

Yeah, sorry about that Zeks. I do feel a bit guilty every time I release new teas, knowing how many people just got the last set of new releases. Still, I have a need to keep things fresh and exciting. One of my indirect semi-secret goals is to provide a tea education for myself and everyone who supports Verdant. That means continuing to deepen the selection, continuing to improve, and always offering something different for people to keep developing their tea palates.

@Azzrian- Iron Maiden is a good one. Might be a bit laden with medieval torture device references for a lush and comforting tea though :) I told my family about this blend and they just shook their heads and smiled. Wait until I perfect the other two blends I hope to release on Friday…

Alphakitty said

I really like the name Iron Countess, since Iron is a “hard” word and Countess a “soft” one it conjures some interesting imagery and sounds like it would fit the blend!

Thanks Alphakitty. Maybe I will find a real Countess whose story warrants a tea in her honor for the name. I am trying to bring back old stories like Zhu Rong through tea naming. This would be a good candidate.

Bonnie said

I just looked at the photo and it’s really stunning! Why name the tea after a person at all? Just wondering. With the incense and time of year changing to coolness and the warmth of saffron, this tea makes me think of holy mountains and sacred spaces where a cup of tea warms you in Winter and the scent of the frankincense lingers.

(I think I’m just a romantic…)Ruxiang
I like Wang Zhaojun’s story.

David that looks delicious! Iron Countess is a great name considering Iron Maiden is too reminiscent of a heavy metal band to me as well!

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I’m especially excited about the Puerh Elderberry blend, with so many of my favorite flavors…

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This week I was only able to get one of the next new Alchemy blends perfected, but it is a knock-out for sure. Since everyone loved the Eight Treasures so much, I decided to do an Eight Treasure Winter Blend.

This one has Yabao, Jasmine, Juniper, Burdock, Edlerberry, Holy Basil, Lemon Peel, and of course, vanilla bean.

The result is a really warm and comforting dessert blend with notes of redwood and an almost candy grape flavor. Very fun! Pictures and full notes here:

Not sure where else to post it, so I will also mention that I just released our new Fuhai 2007 Sheng. Wang Yanxin and I made a personal challenge of finding a nuanced and full bodies sheng with great aging potential that was smooth enough to brew up right now at a more accesible price. It took a while, but we found a cake of sheng to retail at $45 that has notes of marzipan, plantains, and apricot. This one raises the bar for me as I search out new pu’ers on my upcoming trip to China in October. Pictures and tasting notes here:

As another pu’er-related aside, I got invited by one of the board chairs at Dayi (also known as Menghai), the biggest pu’er producer in China to tour their facility in Xishuangbanna this spring. She wants to talk to me about extending Dayi’s initiative to open tea culture institutes to America, and about doing custom pressings. Such an honor to be chosen by such a respected institution in China for collaboration. More on that in the coming months…

But I’m still waiting on my package to arrive to see if I want to stock up on the other new teas first! You make this waiting to buy more teas so difficult sometimes!

Don’t worry, the new Alchemy blends will be up all season. It is just the pu’er I am worried about. We have had it up for an hour and a half and are already down from 20 to 15. If it is a big hit, I will try to get more from Wang Yanxin next month.

Teas go a lot faster now than they did last year :) I always think I have enough ordered to keep a tea in stock for a few months, but these days my own sourcing is falling behind demand. I am thinking of spending my year part time in China next year so that I can more smoothly scout out the best teas and get them shipped.

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I would love your help with a little experiment. We have been written up a lot recently for strengthening the bond between tea drinkers and tea farmers. I want to take that a step further by allowing voting and dialog on potential tea candidates we are considering. I want to involve tea drinkers with the actual sourcing process by putting forward possibilities and acting on feedback from the community. While I am in China, we will be doing a lot of direct sourcing and custom sourcing with Steepster collaboration, but first.. ALCHEMY.

I have two potential blends, and only one is going up for sale next Friday. One is a Coconut Mint Laoshan Green, and the other is a Chrysanthemum Juniper Pu’er. Check out the direct-sourcing page and vote. Canvassing on Steepster is encouraged :) If community-based sourcing works, I will apply it to traditional teas, and perhaps even tea-wares.

DaisyChubb said

I voted! whoop!

I forgot to mention that after you vote you get a coupon for $5 off your next order. Could be useful with the new Xingyang 2007 Shu released today…

Bonnie said

Ah David, another good idea!

I think the Chrysanthemum Juniper Pu’er would be nice for the coming holidays with the pine/gin freshness from the juniper and then the slightly sweet sometimes peppery chrysanthemum flower and your own additions. With the pu’er base this would be great! Sounds like a good tea alongside roast meats and savory foods. After Thanksgiving Dinner perhaps.

The Mint, Coconut Laoshan Green sounds like Springtime to me (can’t wait to get my hands on it to cook with and well as to drink) and it would make a lovely tea gift-set with the Laoshan Genmaicha (no matter when the coconut blend is made). If I added a pretty Gaiwan and 2 small cups, it would be such a sweet and savory green tea duo.

You know me, opinionated!

David, I really like this idea, but both sound really good and I hope even after you reveal which one won, that you end up making both blends eventually.

Bonnie, that tea gift set of yours sounds amazing, although I would end up buying it for myself!

For me, it’s Chrysanthemum Juniper Pu’er, no doubt about it!

mrmopar said

menghai dayi? thats an honor for you they think a lot of you! i love the menghai dayi brand i have a lot of their tea in my cupboard. if you start carrying their line i will be in.

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momo said

Haha coconut mint sounds like fall to me, but I think that has more to do with the climate where I live to begin with. When autumn means 70 degrees most of the time, mint is more easy to drink than anything more savory/heavy but that’s just me. And something lighter like that in the mix of the other fall blends would be nice to have as an option.

Bonnie said

Shoot, you’d throw in peaches too and brandy!

momo said

I have so many frozen peach slices in my freezer waiting for about now too, if only I thought it out beforehand and didn’t freeze them into bricks to make it difficult for myself!

I know what you mean, the 70 degrees thing. Plus I am sucker for coconut…

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