Experience buying from Verdant Tea http://steepster.com/places/2886-verdant-tea-online-minneapolis-minnesota
Age of leaf: Stated as harvested in early summer; I received the tea in mid to late fall and brewed it up right away.
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Tiny tightly curled, wiry dark-green leaves and buds. Aroma is earthy, and my mouth started watering when I really started taking in the smell of the leaves; it was as if the aroma triggered some autonomic reaction in my body to remind me of the importance of eating healthy green vegetables! That was a very interesting experience! (I suspect this may happen with other quality green teas) It seems that there is a nutty note hiding somewhere in there, too.
Brewing guidelines I have taken information from more than two separate steeping sessions into consideration for this review (I list the parameters for only two). On the first steeping session I used my standard green tea parameters, including using one rounded tsp tea per cup of water; on the second session (below, in parenthesis) I used hotter water, steeped it longer, and I used a little more than one rounded tsp of tea per cup of water. Glass Bodum pot used with with leaves floating freely. Stevia added.
……….1st: 172, 1’ (182, 1.5’)
……….2nd: 177, 1.5 (179, 2’)
……….3rd: 182, 2’ (187, 3’)
……….4th: 185, 2.5 (190’, 4’)
Color and aroma of tea liquor: < Later on the color >; Slightly sweet and vegetal aroma, pleasant.
Flavor of tea liquor It’s funny that I can’t find any details in my notes for this, the most important detail! However, what matters most is that my wife and I both like it. And I *can* remember that it tastes fresh, vegetal, slightly sweet, and I think there is a hint of chocolate running around in there (but I may be thinking of the Laoshan Dragonwell).
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: Smells of fresh cooked spinach. <I still need to do my standard wet leaf analysis, but from what I remember when I composted it, I think the tea will be comprised mostly of whole leaves and buds>
Value: Good. This is David’s least expensive unflavored green and at his ‘bulk’ prices (or on sale) this tea is affordable for me.
Overall: The appearance of the dry leaves (and later, the wet leaves) impressed me right away, as I have never seen anything like it before. I like the aroma of both the leaves and the tea liquor. Yet, while I liked so many things about this tea, I was not impressed with the flavor in the first steeping session; not that it was bad, it was simply weak. So I emailed the owner, looked at the reviews on Steepster, and used the information from David’s reply and the reviews to make adjustments to my steeping parameters: go with higher temperatures for longer periods of time, and slightly increase the tea to water ratio; Lo, and behold! I got much stronger flavor! It does have a bit of astringency if brewed too long, but it doesn’t really distract from the enjoyment of the tea. I enjoy watching the leaves as they steep while hanging on the top and bottom of my glass Bodum pot; none of the lower grade green teas hold themselves in such high esteem! I really wanted to like this tea; and it turns out my perseverance—giving it a number of chances—paid off! I do really like this tea. Thank you David, and a big thank you to the He family in Shandong Province, China.