VERDANT TEA NUMERO DOS!
I actually have no idea if that’s how you say the second because I take French not Spanish :P. I was going to try and make the Spring Tieguanyin but I don’t have enough patience or the right environment to do that in right now, so I figured I’d make this one! I’m realllllly hoping that this ends up tasting like the reviews say it does because they make this sound like heaven in a cup.
I’ve never seen a tea like this before. I am familiar with pu-erh bricks and I’ve seen those before, and I’ve seen loose pu-erh, but I’ve never before seen a nugget…. They’re actually kind of cute in a way! I’m brewing this one western style as I still have not gotten my hands on a gaiwan or a yixing teapot, but I do know that Teavana has yixings (alright, well not true ones, more like mass produced ones, but a yixing is a yixing right?!?) and I’ll be near one when I go to Pennsylvania next weekend, so I plan to pick one up while I’m there! Anyways, back to the point at hand, I put two full sized and then one little baby nugget in the infuser basket and did a double rinse with 208 degree water, both for ~15 seconds.
First Infusion-205 degrees for 3 minutes. This is interesting because it didn’t brew up to that dark color that every other shu I’ve had (not that I’m experienced, because I’m not by a long shot!) has done. It looks more like a regular black tea, with a deep amber color, almost like maple syrup. It smells somewhat earthy, maybe a little hay-like. Oh my goodness (on a side note, I can’t handle how many times I’ve said the phrases “OMG,” “oh my god,” and “oh my goodness” in these past few reviews, it’s actually getting kind of ridiculous). This tea is so amazing. There’s nothing added to my cup and yet it tastes so naturally sweet. I can see why this would be compared to angel food cake! There’s a nice graininess that lends itself to the actual cake, and then there’s a nice sugary note that sweetness the entire thing. I am not disappointed at all. This is so incredibly interesting and delicious. I could easily see myself drinking this all day but unfortunately until I have a method of gongfu brewing, I can only really make 4-5 infusions with one set of leaves :(. le sob that’s actually so upsetting because if I used a gaiwan I suspect that I could easily make this tea all day without the leaves ever running out of steam. But, regardless, there’s no use crying over spilled milk (or in this case, there’s no use crying over milk that you don’t have), so I will have to live with my (more than functional) current brewing vessels.
Second Infusion-208 degrees for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I just noticed how much I rambled on the first infusion notes and I would like to apologize for making you read my incoherent babbling :P. This infusion has a lot more of an earthy feel to it, though there is still a nice sweetness. I don’t know if anyone else has gotten this, but I get a wine-like flavor as an aftertaste…. Maybe it’s the elderberry that David mentions on the website? I’m not familiar with elderberry so I have no idea, but there is definitely a dark, fruity flavor. This is also really nice. It’s pretty late and I’m beat so it looks like this session will only get two infusions, but this was SUPER good, and I’m so glad I asked for this! Thanks again David and the folks at Verdant Tea!