This is so good. I definitely need to get more of it. It’s just so full-bodied and flavourful, sweet, nutty, rich, vegetal, roasty. Yum.
“Sipdown! 272/365! This is so good. I definitely need to get more of it. It’s just so full-bodied and flavourful, sweet, nutty, rich, vegetal, roasty. Yum.” Read full tasting note
“This is exactly what I needed. Toasty, flavorful, rich aroma… mmmm ahhh :) Really enjoying this tea. It has a sweet toasted nutty aroma: roasted almond, soy, peas, puffed rice, barley on the back...” Read full tasting note
“I’m trying to tackle some of the samples that Cameron B sent first from that amazing stash sale! Thanks again Cameron! First mistake: looking at this it looks like green tea so I brewed it like a...” Read full tasting note
“Home – 10:00 PM The Great Cupboard Excavation Untasted teas remaining: 1 I wasn’t quite sure how to steep this one, and ended up treating it as a green tea. Wow, this is so surprising as an herbal!...” Read full tasting note
Gan Zao Ye (Wild Jujube) is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that grows unmanaged and wild on the slopes of Laoshan. The He family forages a limited quantity each spring and hand-processes it just like a traditional green tea with withering, firing and curling. The final result is packed with just as much flavor complexity (and antioxidants) as traditional tea with a striking barley and walnut flavor.
Company description not available.
Imperial Grade "Gan Zao Ye" Wild Jujube Tea from Laoshan Village * Spring 2017Yunnan Sourcing
Classic "Gan Zao Ye" Wild Jujube Tea from Laoshan Village * Spring 2017Yunnan Sourcing
Wild Spring Laoshan Suan Zao YeVerdant Tea
Yong De Wild Purple "Ye Sheng" Black Tea * Spring 2016Yunnan Sourcing
Yong De Wild Purple "Ye Sheng" Black Tea Spring 2015Yunnan Sourcing
Wild Laoshan Mulberry LeafVerdant Tea
This is exactly what I needed. Toasty, flavorful, rich aroma… mmmm ahhh :) Really enjoying this tea. It has a sweet toasted nutty aroma: roasted almond, soy, peas, puffed rice, barley on the back notes even honey or caramel. At the same time it is light and refreshing, there is not bitterness or astringency. Just a delicious cup every way you look at it.
Flavors: Almond, Artichoke, Honey, Peas, Roasted nuts, Toasted, Toasted Rice
I’m trying to tackle some of the samples that Cameron B sent first from that amazing stash sale! Thanks again Cameron! First mistake: looking at this it looks like green tea so I brewed it like a green tea. Turns out, it has no caffeine so it should have been my nighttime cup! But the no caffeine/looks like a green tea is exactly why I wanted to try this…. I just forgot that aspect. Now, I’m the biggest fan of Laoshan green. It’s probably in my top 10 teas, certainly as unflavored teas are concerned. I just HAD to try this. I had to look up how to brew it though. So what makes this caffeine free when the flavor is so similar to Laoshan green? The dry leaf is the wiriest yet tiny green leaves, though they expand quickly. The flavor is similar to the usual Laoshan, though not quite the same. This one certainly tastes like potatoes, with a bit of nuttiness that the original Laoshan has and an underlying sweetness. The sweet reminds me of amacha: incredible sweetness but also no caffeine. It’s great to have a no caffeine version of Laoshan when you’re craving this flavor at night. The second steep was my late night tea. :D I tried a third steep the next night but the leaves lost that specialness that made it seem like a green tea – it was mostly just sweet. But that may have been the result of how I steeped it. This is certainly a unique leaf but I think the flavor of a typical Laoshan just can’t be better!
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 20 min after boiling // 3 min
Home – 10:00 PM
The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 1
I wasn’t quite sure how to steep this one, and ended up treating it as a green tea.
Wow, this is so surprising as an herbal! I’m not sure I would say it tastes like a green tea. It does have some similar vegetal notes, like edamame and broccoli. But it also has some almost Yunnan-black-tea-like sweet potato notes that border on butternut squash. There’s also a genmaicha-esque flavor of toasted rice and grains, along with rich roasted peanuts. And through it all, there’s a lingering natural clear sweetness.
Very tasty! I wouldn’t mind keeping this around as a caffeine-free option for the evening.
Flavors: Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Grain, Peanut, Peas, Roasted nuts, Soybean, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
Placed a large Verdant 5g sample order this week. Here’s my first pick of the pack, the Spring 2018 Laoshan Gan Zao Ye. It was my first time with jujube leaf, so I followed Verdant’s guideline for gongfu as closely as possible. 5g, 150mL glass gaiwan, 175F, initial steep of 8s + 4s each steep. No rinse, as the leaves are very delicate and I didn’t want to extract any flavors. Messy gaiwan session – strainer is necessary.
Dry leaf looks like a Laoshan green but finer with lots of thin stems present. It smells upfront like potato sticks snacks and deeper like a dark-roasted barley used for brewing stouts.
First steep, the wet leaf smells like russet potato skins and roasted broccoli. It produces a mostly clear orange-yellow liquor that smells like potato sticks, brownies, edamame and maybe a light sweet cream. The taste is very sweet but light and fruity, not as thick of a sweetness as chewing on fresh sugarcane. It’s almost like a very watered down vanilla sweetened oat milk mixed with those potato sticks.
Second steep turned cloudy and a darker yellow-orange-brown. The wet leaf smells more steamed broccoli than roasted, but both plus baked potato skins. The liquor smells like potato sticks with nectar and light cocoa, light red fruit and vanillin. Tastes lightly sour going in the mouth but the potato sticks take over followed by that sweetness and fruitiness. There is a persistent aftertaste of potato sticks, a lingering sweetness and very light drying quality. Bottom of the glass smells like cocoa and sugarcane.
Third steep retains the qualities of the second with a clearer cup and the addition of edamame in taste. Feels a tad thicker in the mouth. Lingering sweetness is building.
Fourth steep clears more and lightens in color to a golden yellow. I used my fingers to wipe the clinging leaves off the lid of the gaiwan and my fingers are a little sticky. Taste is much the same with the potato sticks turning more into baked potato skins.
Subsequent steeps get lighter in liquor color, aroma, taste and texture, though the lingering sweetness continues to build. I feel very warm and perhaps more relaxed, who knows. I ate some of these very delicate leaves. They chew like overcooked greens, feel fuzzy and a little gritty and taste like edamame. My tongue feels tingly on the sides now.
Color me surprised, this herbal tea is pleasant and is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I think the qualities of the brew make it suitable for a good nightcap, especially in the cold months but I don’t think I could handle the persistent sweetness every night. It could fit into my herbal rotation a few nights per week. Seems like it would do well in a teaball western style but I like the slight change in flavors when brewed in a gaiwan. I look forward to ordering a bigger bag of this.
Flavors: Broccoli, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Nectar, Oats, Pleasantly Sour, Potato, Red Fruits, Roasted Barley, Soybean, Sugarcane, Vanilla
This is probably one of my favourite herbals. It is so unique! One of my friends attributed it to a bowl of chicken soup. That hearty satisfying contentedness one can only get from soup on a cold day. It feels thick in your mouth, but there is a soft quality to it. We have pretty mineral rich water living close to the Rockies, but for some reason, this tea softens the water.
The biggest flavours I get from this one is are grass and earth. There is a slight maltiness to it that I attribute to laoshan tea.
It definitely embodies the spirit of spring.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Garden Peas, Malt
This was surprising. I pulled this out thinking it was a green tea. It brews like a green tea. It tastes like a green tea. I didn’t find out it was herbal until after I had looked up the brewing instructions.
It’s warming this morning, buttery with a little peas and rice kind of flavor. There’s an earthiness that kind of reminds me of a white potato? It’s really, really pleasant.
The only disappointment is that there’s no caffeine! Guess I have a new go-to herbal though.
This tastes like potato skins. Potato, Earthy, slightly umami and vegetal (perhaps best described as vegetable broth?). Very weird, but tasty if you are in the mood for it. It also re-brews well and doesn’t oversteep.
Flavors: Earth, Potato, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal
This really does resemble a Laoshan green tea in its taste, color, and aroma. To the unacquainted, it might be difficult to tell that this is an herbal…it tastes more like camellia sinensis than any other herbal tea I’ve ever had.
Since I only had a 5g sample, I decided to steep this western style and it worked out well. This is a pretty potent tea. Steeping 1g in a 150ml gaiwan for 1 minute produced a rich brew with a thick liquor, deep green moss color, and fruitiness reminiscent of bi lo chun. As it goes down there’s a mix of soft, oat like nuttiness and lentils.
I am impressed by the longevity of this tea especially considering the small amount of leaf used. The flavor remains strong after many steeps. I quit after the 5th steep but the tea still had a lot left to give.
Worth checking out if you’re a fan of green tea seeking a caffeine-free alternative.
Flavors: Fruity, Grain, Nuts
I wrote a review for this tea yesterday. Then I was making a correction on it and wiped the whole thing out. I hate when that happens.
Verdant sent me a sample of this tea with my order in December and I was pretty excited to try it. This is a herbal tea and it’s supposed to be something like their Laoshan green. I love green tea. If I could drink green tea in the evenings I would; but for me all caffeine is cut off late afternoon and I switch to herbal teas. I thought this tea was going to be a replacement for a green; but I don’t think that’s the case. It is a very different tea on it’s own.
Dry, the leaves certainly look like Laoshan Green. You can see that on Verdant’s website. They don’t smell the same though and brewed up it’s very different. I brewed this gongfu method following Verdant’s methods on their website. First infusion was very strong of roasted flavour. Like roasted barley, toasted rice, & roasted nuts. I am not a fan of roasted teas but I will enjoy them occasionally. I just found it was a bit strong. By infusion 4 the roasted flavour toned down a bit and it was a little more vegetal.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the tea but anyone who loves roasted flavour will love this. I also would like to know what plant this tea is from and what are the health benefits/concerns with drinking it. On Verdant’s website they say it’s from the Jujube leaves. When I do a search for Jujube it’s mostly about eating the fruit of the plant and never the leaves.
Flavors: Roast nuts, Roasted Barley, Toasted Rice, Vegetal