In just four short hours I’ll be DONE with my last paper and last bit of work for the whole semester! It’ll require some solid effort to finish this off, though, and something to reward me as I’m writing…and this is where the Laoshan Northern Black comes in.

I decided to steep this gongfu style, because I’m getting better at that now. After the ~5 sec rinse, I steeped it about 5 sec (with 2 teaspoons to 5 oz water).

Oh man. Oatmeal raisin toast. It’s been too long since I last had some of this! It’s so creamy and smooth. I almost feel like I put some creamer in here, but…I…didn’t. I am consistently amazed at the stunning smoothness of the black teas I’ve gotten from Verdant.

I think I’ll be able to finish this paper in no time. Bring it on.

UPDATE: I’m on the fourth steeping now, and I’m getting this fantastic sweet, light but full cocoa-y note that’s filling my mouth. Also, I have to mention that when I’ve been steeping this, it’s been hard to come out of my hanging-my-face-over-the-cup reverie because the steeping aroma smells so much like cocoa, particularly like this fantastic cocoa mousse my dad always makes to serve with angelfood cake. Mmmm.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I’ve been drinking this allllll day. I’m on the eleventh steeping now, and it’s still soft, sweet, a little dark and raisiny, and perfect.

THE UPDATES, WILL THEY EVER CEASE? I made it to fifteen infusions. Then I had to go to bed. These leaves have lasted longer than I have.


Best wishes as you write … it always feels so good to hit SAVE that last time. (Or SEND, if you’re emailing it in!)

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Best wishes as you write … it always feels so good to hit SAVE that last time. (Or SEND, if you’re emailing it in!)

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I’m a college tea drinker.
I cook feverishly.
I draw.
I make movies.
I knit.
Someday I wish to own chickens.

I love tea because of the complete sensory experience it offers me. Clock time fades away as I lean into my cup, watching the delicate cascades of steam waft up from the brew. Peace. Stillness. Feeling centered. It’s my meditation…

To give you a little background on my tea preferences (which will put my ratings into perspective)…

I love teas that are strong without bitterness and have earthy flavors to them, like rooibos or a really good black tea. (A few favorites in this category: Toffee Almond Supreme, Popped Rooibos, Oh Canada, Nutcracker Sweet.) Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutty are some of my favorite flavor notes. After about a year of warming up to greens, I absolutely love them—from the sweet, nutty, green-tea-ice-cream-like to the bold, grassy earthiness of Gunpowder Temple of Heaven. I also enjoy a nice white every once in a while. Fruity teas aren’t my favorite. I do have a few fruity teas that I love though, like TeaSource’s Green Tea with Pomegranate, Lemon Solstice, and Blueberry Fields.

I drink all of my teas unsweetened; if a tea needs sweetening, I usually don’t like it. A couple of notable exceptions: I sometimes sweeten straight green teas and matcha, and I drink my chai with soymilk (but no other sweetener). I sometimes like my black tea with a little dollop of soymilk.


Northfield, MN

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