41 Tasting Notes

Brilliant. This has become a staple for me over the past few months. This morning. It’s cold and brisk in my living room. I immediately reach for my Big Red Robe and BRR Yixing Teapot. When one has tea like this everyday it runs the risk of becoming commonplace. I should repent for even thinking such a thought. This tea really is brilliant, and this morning I am getting an assertive Gala Apple flavor in the early steepings, which I have never experienced in this tea until now. This tea is particularly nice because it is not going to just give you that classic caramel that most BRR give. It also has several layers of complexity, ranging from what seems to be sweet apple, to hints of orange, to even a sweet metallic quality…as if you can taste hints of the rocky soil from which the tea was taken. Lovely.

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This was perhaps the one tea that I was most excited for from the new shipment. I wasn’t sure if anything could beat the Spring Tieguanyin offering from Verdant Tea. If anything could though, it would be this one, as it has the same source and farmers. It has so much of the nice, floral and bright qualities of the Spring, yet it possesses a heartier body while not missing out on any sweetness. The sweetness gives way to a buttery mouthfeel and a sweet-peach, mouthwatering flavor.

Overall, this particular Tieguanyin as well as it’s brother from the spring, are quite simply put…the best of it’s style that I’ve ever experienced. I would not suggest trying this, rather, I would suggest stocking up on it! We all know with tea this fine that it is limited in quantity, so my honest suggestion is to enjoy it while you can.

Well done to Verdant on this one!

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I am not a big green tea lover. At all. I actually have a bit of a dislike for it, but I tried this First Picking Spring Laoshan Green once again a few days ago. I had been drinking it in the spring and early summer but had ignored it for a while simply because my preferences of drinking pu’er and oolong was setting in once again.

So I pulled this out and made it in a porcelain gaiwan. From memory, I thought that I could get away with steeping this one a little hotter than usual…I tried 200 degrees and had absolutely no problem with about a dozen steepings. This tea could have easily lasted for quite a bit longer than that, but for me a dozen steepings is enough with green tea. One of the most incredible qualities of this tea lies in its cooling, almost fresh spearmint like mouthfeel which builds up as time goes on. I think that in simply trying and comparing this one to other great Chinese green teas, it is obvious that it is coming from a much different climate. It is not as hearty or grassy as many greens, and is going to have much more of a delicate personality. This is not a weak tea however, it simply insists upon being sweet and candylike rather than just “grassy”. In that respect, it is one of the best green teas I have ever tried! It has so much to say, and is worthy of being a part of a regular rotation of teas, even for those of us who tend to steer clear of greens in the first place.

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I have really enjoyed this tea throughout the past year. It’s light toasted qualities make it a comforting tea and brings back memories of working at the old tea shop in MN. Often times I would come in on a cold day and go back to this tea because of its sweet and warming qualities. The tea doesn’t simply stop there, it also possesses the floral qualities of a classic Tieguanyin. For the true TGY purist, let me say that this is a Taiwanese Oolong, but looking at the tea itself it is still very pleasant.

I think if I were to go in to a tea house and have this served to me I would not be disappointed. At the same time this tea doesn’t really possess the qualities that would make it other worldly. Just a simple and comforting roasted oolong…worth picking up a few ounces for general consumption, but I would pass on it for making with people that I am trying to impress with a tea tasting.

Overall: Nice!

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I am a lover of everything good. Rivers, fields, plains, forests, lakes, mountains, valleys, deserts – people, tea, beer, cheese, wine. But mainly, more than anything, I love God. None of these other things are worth a cent without Him.

P.S. If you’re ever in Milwaukee and looking for someone to drink tea with for an afternoon, don’t hesitate to send a message.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin



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