I made this over a very rushed lunch today and it bowled me over with its character – somehow I got the prep conditions just right to make it juicy, rich, and flavorful. I took a deep breath, and relaxed, and it was perfect.
“My allergies are going haywire this morning – yesterday it was raining and today it’s sunny. I just checked Weather.com and the pollen count is high today and will be for the rest of the week....” Read full tasting note
“I just realized this is my 999th tasting note! What? Really? How did THAT happen? Of course, many of my notes are repeats of teas I’ve already reviewed, because once I find something I love, I...” Read full tasting note
“Verdant green tea #3 for the evening. First infusion: Hmm, my nose isn’t detecting any aroma. Maybe it’s tired. Mmmm, this is clearly different from the other two. I almost got the sort of tea...” Read full tasting note
“Revisiting this tea this afternoon. This is one of the very best green teas that I’ve had. It is sweet and delicate and has a complexity all its own. I managed six infusions from these leaves...” Read full tasting note
Jingshan is a little-known mountain village in Yunnan province that has quietly been producing some of the best green tea out there. Anyone who enjoys the more delicate Chinese greens like Dragonwell, will love these sun-dried fresh spring 2012 buds.
The aroma of the dry leaf is incredibly reminiscent of dried lychee fruit, with a sweetness that you can almost taste as you breathe in the aroma. The wet leaf has much darker more savory tones to the aroma, edging towards nutty.
The flavor of the first steeping is incredibly sweet and refreshing with a mouth-watering juiciness to the texture. The predominant flavors are citrus lime notes and a certain creamy grassiness that reminds us of matcha. The texture is far more sweet and juicy than last year’s harvest.
The second steeping goes in an interesting direction towards the more savory notes we got out of the aroma. There is a creamy nutty flavor like cashew. The darker elements paired with a crisp green flavor reminds us of fine genmaicha. More of the traditional silky Yunnan texture comes through in later steepings, along with hints of fresh sage. This tea brews up great hot or iced.
ICED: Flavor notes of lime, basil and aged basmati rice. Delicate florals. Linen texture, and mouthfeel reminiscent of rice milk.
Company description not available.
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Dry smell: The dry smell of this tea was very typical of a green tea, I picked up some citrus notes but overall it smelled like your typical green tea.
Wet smell: This is when the tea begins to shine. As soon as water hits the tea it begins to give off this strong, wonderful aroma. It reminded me of a sencha at first but as I smelled further I began to pick up on some spice smells, not unlike cinnamon. After this I hit a smell that was almost like a tropical fruity smell but tart as if it wasn’t ripe.
Liquid: As the tea first entered my mouth the first thing I noticed was it very dry and vegetal. The first tastes are like fresh cut grass and hay. As I began swallowing I picked up the same tropical fruity taste as the smell and it was mixed with the perfect amount of tartness. The aftertaste is a darker, cinnamony citrus taste combined with a great smooth feeling.
Overall this is a very good tea even though I prefer darker teas and I will probably be keeping it stocked up in my cupboard for a long time to come.
I accidentally oversteeped this. Eeeeeeek!!!
No fair. I was so looking forward to a full round of cups. Hmph.
Oh well, that’s what I get for trying this at work. and the cup was still very drinkable, just rather heavy is all.
I did get three steeps out of it. The second one was the best, very lemony and sweet.
There is enough there in my sample for another cup so I will be extra careful with that one!
Thanks SO much for sharing Kristaleyn!
Wait, I saw that Azzrian has sent some of this out as well. I hope I didn’t mix them up!! I know it wasn’t you Bonnie, because yours had tape on them. Hmmm.
I was not planning on doing a review for this tea just yet, but I think I need to. I’m getting so much from this tea and it’s only my first cup. For that reason, genetics will have to wait a little bit longer as I have missed this so much.
1st: Very light, with a slight sparkle on the top of my tongue. Bursting with succulent guava and papaya flavours oddly enough. This is why I just had to write about it. It’s way too intense of flavours not to. There is a touch of smoke perhaps.. maybe just dry grass/ hay.
2nd: The wet leaves smells like green bean water. The taste is delightful. It reminds me of cucumber, with a creaminess to it. There is also a sweet melon taste.. honeydew like. Honeydew for sure. I also keep getting a spice I am not very familiar with. Perhaps saffron? cumin? I don’t know but it’s really needing me to identify it. And asparagus. Creamy creamy asparagus.
3rd: The leaves now smell like creamed asparagus and I am getting extremely sweet tingles in the back of my tongue. Sweet like honeysuckle. Oh my! Taste – hmmm. I feel like this cup is changing. Maybe the leaves are in transition of flavours. I get glimpses of creamed asparagus (or peas) on my tongue, which then disappear and I have a hard time finding again. Sneaky tea.
I need to get back to genetics now. Sadface. I wish I could just review teas all day. I will have to soon when some samples come in. =)
I have been saving this tea for a sunny day where I could sit quietly and enjoy this beautiful tea. I am glad I waited, and this morning brewed up a small pot to start my day. What a joy it was to sip and savor the complex, yet very subtle flavors. If you enjoy delicate white teas, or gentle greens, then this is one you have to try. I actually used a kyusu (Japanese tea pot) that holds about 6 ounces with about 1.5 teaspoons of dried tea leaves.
1st infusion: 2.5 minutes, at about 180F gives a very pale yellow green brew that smells and tastes of sunshine, sweet grass and maybe a touch of shiso ( a knid of Japanese basil/mint).
2nd infusion: 2 minutes, at about 180F yields a slightly more green brew with even more of the same flavors, just a bit more intense.
3rd infusion: 3 minutes, at about 195F brings out more vegetal tones, with maybe a bit of fresh hay smell in the aroma.
Yet another wonderful tea from Verdant Teas. A Yunnan green worth note! :)
WEll, I finally got arround to trying my sample of this tea. It’s been sitting burried under a lot of other, larger bags, but that’s not a good excuse. The first infusion was prepared with my Finum brew basket and just steaming water, which was let to steep for three seconds. The result looks more like a white tea than a green tea, butthe taste quickly removes my doubts. The flavor is sweeter than any white tea that I’ve ever had, with just the lightest hint of grass. I also totally agree with David about the creaminess, which really stands out as you transition into the aftertaste, where it lingers for a good minute on the roof of the mouth. Truly and exceptional green tea.
Second cup, also 3 seconds. Teh result isn’t quite as sweet, and the flavor profile is a lot more complicated now, but I’m not sure what exactly I’m tasting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great cup of tea, it’s just that it’s in the middle of a transition, so I’ll reserve judgement until the next cup.
Third cup, same as the previous two. The flavors are settlying out, with an interesting nutty flavor that is vaguely similar to cashews being quite noticable. Again, I agree with David about this being similar to genmaicha, but ther edifferences are what makes this tea interesting. The nutty flavor is a bit less refined, and it’s sweeter than most genmai cha, and the grassiness is less prominent. Overall, it’s a vey interesting experience.
Fourth cup, preparedd with the same wter temperature, but steeped for 6 seconds. The tea is back to beaing subtly grassy and very sweet. The creaminess is also back, which is a wonderful surprise, and and interesting spicy flavor has begun to assert itself. This tea seems to have a lot more depth than I initially thought.
Music of the day – Existential Blues
A strange yet funny song from the Dr. Demento show, which a friend’s dad pointed me to earlier this week. I had a hard time listening the first time, since I was laughing so hard.
I mentioned that I love reflective leaves in my previous post and I’m happy to say that this tea is also reflective with silver tones. :)
The raw leaves are thin, curly and long with reflective silver and a mixture of dark green and golden brown colours. The blend does contain some twigs/stem and the some leaves are also patchy in colour (from dark green to light golden brown almost yellow patches in colour).
The tea leaves have a subtle floral and grassy scent but it’s very mild.
Once steeped this tea is yellow in colour with a grassy and nutty aroma.
Flavour is sweet, grassy, nutty, floral and a little fruity. Crisp but mellows quickly, perhaps like peony and roast apple with grass and nuts. Fresh tasting but also a little dry in the after taste.
I might not have been impressed by it’s appearance in raw form but the flavour is making up for it.
A further steep reveals thicker grassy tones and a little astringency. Also more dryness and less of a nutty flavour. Not as nice as the first steep but still enough flavour to be pleasurable.
Overall I honestly didn’t think much to this tea. I had high hopes for it being from Yunnan and my love of their teas but unfortunately this one is just not for me. Again it’s not something I would buy but I would drink it again.
I woke up with a very nice cup of 52teas’ Butterbeer and then remembered that I had meant to brew up a new tea. Whoops! So after having a second cup of Butterbeer, I washed out my tea paraphernalia and began anew with this sample from Kittenna.
The brewed tea aroma smells strongly of nori (seaweed). The taste is a fresh, spring green and luckily not grassy. I’m surprised this tastes so wonderful considering it’s a rather old sample and hasn’t been stored in ideal conditions. But it tastes great! No bitterness or astringency. Just a nice nori flavor.
The description on Verdant’s website describes this as sweet and juicy with citrus lime notes and a creamy grassiness reminiscent of matcha. I’m definitely getting all of that! Although I do have to say that in my opinion, it’s more sweet/juicy/citrus than creamy/grassy/matcha-like. Which is a good thing for me because I’m not 100% sure that I like matcha yet. But a sweet, juicy, fresh, spring green?? Oh yes!
On to steep number two at 175 degrees for 2 minutes. Hmm, maybe I should have let it steep just a little bit longer. I can still detect nori, but it’s much quieter now. I am getting a bit more creaminess than in the first cup. For steep #2.5, I tried putting the tea back in the second cup for another minute, but that was definitely a mistake. It brought bitterness to the forefront of the sip, although the aftertaste retained its lovely nori self. I won’t hold that against the tea though. It’s my fault for shoddily infusing it.
On to steep number three! I’ll try 175 degrees for 2.5 minutes. Success! This third cup is back to the perfection of the first. Not a trace of bitterness to be found. Mmm, yum! This is such a lovely tea. I’ve had a very relaxing Sunday. I slept till noon, laid around all day with my kitty cat watching Halloween movies, and now I’m enjoying a truly wonderful tea from Verdant. Thanks for making it possible Kittenna!!!
I was very pleased with this sample after having a bum session with Songyang White yesterday, though I have plenty of leaf to revisit it another day. While they do not taste similar they leave the same feeling on the tongue, a bit dry and tingly, what I am learning to identify as lineny, a trademark of Yunnan teas, this one even reminds me of some blacks. I am even beginning to appreciate this texture for what it is, though I personally prefer teas to leave my mouth buttery, juicy, sparkling or cool.
Taste wise they are very different teas, while the Songyang was very quiet for me, this one is vibrant and evokes several tea memories for me. The first steep is mildly perfumey (in a nice way) with a touch of cocoa, it reminds me most strongly of Golden Jade and now reading the description I can relate this to sweetgrass. It gets more interesting in the second steep, which is all piney and rosemary and calls to mind more pungent white teas, even Yabao. The third steep is a blend of the first two with a nice sweet kick at the beginning and gaining an artichoke note, though I totally get the basil and lime. The fourth is less sweet but just as bright.
Unfortunately I had to move on to dinner and was a bit tea-ed out, I’m excited to try the 2012 picking and all these Verdant Yuannan black teas. I also think I shall pick up a bit of Lavender Earl Green with my Alchemy Blends order. 100th tasting note, woo!
Update: Yesterday I tried the sample David sent of the 2012 first plucking thank you. I could tell as soon as I poured the water that this was different. It smelled so very vegetal, even though the steep was only 5 sec and rendered a perfectly clear liquor. The first two infusions tasted more like Laoshan green. The third through fifth reminded me more of last years Jing Shan but I wouldn’t draw the Golden Jade or Yabao comparison this time. It still has that same Yunnan texture to it but is so much more green and I dare say a bit sweeter! So it tastes like itself only more, if that makes sense. In the end I’d say its a very well balanced and delightful green.