Wild Spring Laoshan Gan Zao Ye

Tea type
Herbal Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bitter, Butter, Fruity, Green, Astringent, Mineral, Almond, Artichoke, Honey, Peas, Roasted Nuts, Toasted, Toasted Rice, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Grain, Peanut, Soybean, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetal, Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Kabocha, Kale, Nuts, Potato, Roasted Barley, Smooth, Squash, Cocoa, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Nectar, Oats, Pleasantly Sour, Red Fruits, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Garden Peas, Malt, Brown Toast, Cherry Wood, Hot Hay, Toasty, Vegetable Broth, Earth, Umami, Roast Nuts, Chestnut, Hay, Walnut, Wood
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Caffeine Free
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Kristal
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 11 oz / 317 ml

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22 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

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.

About Verdant Tea View company

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22 Tasting Notes

2171 tasting notes

Another from vallhallow!

Spending the afternoon glued to my bedroom window while I wait for this stray cat to wander into my trap. I don’t know if I’ll catch this one since I haven’t seen it in almost a month, but the spay/neuter clinic is slammed these days so it took me that long to get an appointment. Fingers crossed the smelly fish does its job.

While I’m waiting, tea sounded like a wonderful idea for an idle afternoon. James made me a cup so I wouldn’t have to leave my post. I asked him to pick from some of vallhallow’s samples on top of the tea cabinet and he chose this one. It smells really good before steeping, almost fruity? After, it’s definitely reminiscent of a green tea in both color and flavor. It’s just a touch bitter but not terribly so, and it has a remarkable buttery flavor. It also feels sort of thick on the tongue. Very unique. Ultimately, I’m not a big fan of that green tea flavor so I wouldn’t purchase this one. I do think I’ll enjoy the sample I have though.

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Fruity, Green

Skysamurai

So you’ll find this interesting. In Greece everyone treats strays like pets. They leave water dishes and food out all over. It’s an interesting concept but also a little cringe worthy because many of the strays walking around were covered in fleas and who knows what…

Shae

I love that there are communities that do this, but I also think part of being a responsible caregiver is making sure the cats are taken care of re: fleas, vaccines, spay/neuter, etc. I know money can be an obstacle though for a lot of people so I try to understand where they’re coming from. It can definitely be frustrating though. I would honestly be happy if my neighbors would ignore me at this point, instead of actively pushing against me every time I find a new cat. Some are supportive, but I was shocked at how many were vehemently against me trapping these cats. I think a lot of it comes from a place of ignorance, but then they won’t even listen when you try to gently educate.

Anyway, I’ll step down from my soapbox now. But happy news – I caught the cat last night! I’ll bring him home tomorrow morning and then he can go back to scowling at me from a distance. :)

Skysamurai

I think it’s awesome that you do that!!! And I def understand how frustrating that is. I say more power to you! I’m allergic to cats so its a no go for me but I still think theyre cute

Aiko

Man, I don’t think I’ve ordered from Verdant in like a decade, I should consider that, I remember pretty much loving everything I tried. Good luck with the kitty!

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89
1819 tasting notes

This is just so.good. So nutty and smooth. It was quite overcast this morning, and sipping this was really comforting. Definitely need to get more of this.

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78
16077 tasting notes

Sipdown (805)!

Thanks Kittenna for the share! I’m not a green tea fan generally, but I couldn’t resist the chance to try out this Verdant pick without committing to a larger amount…

I admit that I did a double take when I tried it because the flavour was so deeply smooth and nutty that for a split second I was sure I had brewed up the mulberry leaf from Verdant that you also sent and confused the two. Mulberry leaf does have a VERY nutty flavour; quite similar to this actually. In fact it was more than a second, because I did go check my steeped leaves to be sure this was the Laoshan. It was.

All that to say… This sweet, nutty and smooth flavour profile!? Yeah, I was into it!

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90
6107 tasting notes

2021 Sipdown 125/365!

A bit overly spinachy if oversteeped, but I really love the nuttiness.

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90
42 tasting notes

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

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91
4210 tasting notes

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

Cameron B.

I was really impressed with both of the Laoshan-style herbal teas I got from Verdant! They actually have a few other ones in stock now, I may need to order those to try…

Kawaii433

@Cameron B. That says a lot coming from someone who has 1481 tasting notes (and @tea-sipper who has 2662).

Cameron B.

Psh, number of notes doesn’t matter!

tea-sipper

ALL the Laoshan haha

Cameron B.

I’m thinking I’d like to keep on of them in my cupboard as a caffeine-free option, so clearly I need to sample them all so I can decide which one! ;)

Kawaii433

hehe I put it on my wishlist :D

Kawaii433

Oh it already is ^^

Cameron B.

@Kawaii – I’ll send you some! I also have the Mulberry Leaf version.

Kawaii433

lol no no I’m ok for now. <3 Like you, working on sip downs hehe.

Kittenna

Dangit! I’ve been eyeing these up for a while, but I know if I start a Verdant order, I’m going to go crazy…

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88
4083 tasting notes

Sipdown! (55 | 329)

Such an interesting tisane. I would definitely guess it was a green tea from the taste, it’s super nutty and also has some cruciferous veggie and squash notes that give it a nice depth. Very similar roasty, nutty notes to genmaicha as well, with a touch of bright grass on the top end.

It’s really quite good, and would make a really good substitute for green tea for someone who’s avoiding caffeine.

Flavors: Bok Choy, Brussels Sprouts, Freshly Cut Grass, Grain, Grass, Kabocha, Kale, Nuts, Potato, Roasted Barley, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Squash, Toasted Rice, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85
1577 tasting notes

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90
4 tasting notes

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

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88
239 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I think the same way with amacha and oolong, only amacha is a little bit more like splenda to me.

Hoálatha

Amacha is too much for me. LP gave me a sample of his new blend, and I wasn’t expecting that sweetness. Too strong! And yes, it’s oddly a little fakey tasting to me.

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