Wild Spring Laoshan Gan Zao Ye

Tea type
Herbal Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Freshly Cut Grass, Garden Peas, Malt, Brown Toast, Cherry Wood, Hot hay, Peas, Potato, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Toasted, Toasty, Vegetable Broth, Fruity, Grain, Nuts, Roast nuts, Roasted Barley, Toasted Rice, Vegetal, Butter, Chestnut, Dark Chocolate, Hay, Walnut, Wood
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Caffeine Free
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Kristal
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 10 oz / 292 ml

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8 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    88
  • “600 mL of 96 deg water with 1 tsp leaf Steep 1: 2 minutes Light flavour of toasty, hay, dried grass, and root vegetables. Steep 2: 4 minutes The flavour strongly resembles unseasoned potato chips....” Read full tasting note
    76
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    87

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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8 Tasting Notes

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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76
1560 tasting notes

600 mL of 96 deg water with 1 tsp leaf

Steep 1: 2 minutes
Light flavour of toasty, hay, dried grass, and root vegetables.

Steep 2: 4 minutes
The flavour strongly resembles unseasoned potato chips. Slightly sweet, no salt, flavours of vegetable broth, canned peas, dried lichen, toasted chickpeas, and toasted green tea. This is an extremely interesting herbal. It is quite savoury, but since it is also sweet, toasty (not roasted/smokey), and woody, it is enjoyable as a beverage.

Steep 3: 3 minutes
A lot of woody flavours, but not pine/sap. More like dried wood shavings. Liquor is much darker in colour (previously light tan, now moderate amber) and more flavourful. It tastes like fries or those potato rings (Hula Hoops Potato Crisps). It is really interesting. I have mixed feelings about this tea. Will post another tasting note when I’ve brewed a few more pots. I might be caught up on the main flavours and missing a lot of subtitles. I tend to find new flavours in teas once I’m familiar with them.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Cherry Wood, Hot hay, Peas, Potato, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Toasted, Toasty, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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87
218 tasting notes

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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75
629 tasting notes

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

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33 tasting notes

This stuff is amazing. Tastes like shoestring potatoes in a can (potato stix) and nuts and roasted veggies and green tea and butter. Good for many steeps. Really nice conversation tea, something unique to share with friends. Also has a nice bold flavor for your friends who aren’t into picking up on light, subtle notes of light teas.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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99
334 tasting notes

Sometimes I allow curiosity to get the better of me, but other times I err on the side of caution and deny myself the opportunity to try new things. As a rule of thumb, I tend to steer clear of anything that sounds too good to be true, so when Verdant Tea released a caffeine-free tisane that was supposed to taste very similar to a quality Laoshan green tea, I was highly skeptical. I was, in fact, so skeptical that I simply dismissed this new product. I couldn’t find much information on Ziziphus Jujuba, so I figured it must be one of Verdant’s patented 1000+ year old tree deals and promptly moved on with my life.

Fast forward a few months and I decided to order a bunch of samples from Verdant. When my package arrived, I sorted through the nice new packets of various Chinese black and oolong teas, curious to see what my free sample would be. It ended up being 5 grams of the Spring 2016 Wild Laoshan Gan Zao Ye. Last night, curiosity finally got the better of me and I tore into the sample. Well, it turns out that sometimes the marketing doesn’t exaggerate as much I expect it to. That was certainly the situation here.

Since I had no idea how to brew this tea, I closely followed Verdant’s gongfu guidelines. I steeped 5 grams of loose leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 8 seconds. I followed this initial infusion up with 11 additional infusions, increasing the steep time by 4 seconds per infusion. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 24 seconds, 28 seconds, 32 seconds, 36 seconds, 40 seconds, 44 seconds, 48 seconds, and 52 seconds. At this point, I would also like to add that I dropped the lid of my favorite gaiwan at the end of this session and chipped it in two places. GRRRR!!!

After a quick examination of the dry leaves, I could have sworn that this was an actual Laoshan green tea. A sniff of the dry leaves, however, revealed the difference. I noted a pronounced nutty, vegetal aroma that reminded me of walnut, toasted rice, and cooked peas. I couldn’t recall any of the Laoshan greens giving off such a nutty aroma from the get go. After infusion, the leaves emitted even stronger aromas of roasted nuts, cooked peas, and toasted rice. There was also a grainy scent reminiscent of roasted barley. The liquor produced was much darker and cloudier than I expected. In the mouth, I noted incredibly robust notes of roasted walnuts, roasted chestnuts, roasted barley, cooked peas, and toasted rice. The next three infusions produced similar results both on the nose and in the mouth. From the fifth infusion on, the roasted barley, nut, and toasted rice sensations mellowed and faded just enough to allow some other impressions to shine through the murk. I picked up on subtle aromas and flavors of wood, butter, hay, bitter chocolate, and what can only be described as vegetable broth. There was also just the slightest hint of sweetness on the back of the throat. The folks at Verdant described it as honey, but that’s not what I would call it. In fact, I have no idea how to describe it. I also noted that the color of the liquor changed substantially over the course of the session. Early infusions were dark and hazy, while the later infusions were a clear yellow-green. Even though I probably could have pushed on with at least one or two more infusions, I decided to call it quits after number twelve.

Honestly, I regret not trying this tisane sooner. I found it to be exceptional, and though part of me is annoyed by the idea of assigning an herbal tea a numerical score higher than any proper tea I have reviewed to this point, I really did find this one to be that good. Seriously, if I were able to drink this every single day, I probably would. While I would not say that this Gan Zao Ye is identical to a Laoshan green tea, I would concede that there are more than enough similarities to please or at least intrigue fans of Verdant’s Laoshan greens. Even if you are not a fan of Verdant’s Laoshan green teas, I would still encourage you to try this tisane because I would take it over any of them most days.

Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Dark Chocolate, Hay, Peas, Roasted Barley, Toasted Rice, Vegetable Broth, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Wow—that good, huh?!

eastkyteaguy

Yeah, I liked it that much. I really did not expect to either. I think that part of it for me is that I love toasty, grainy, nutty flavors and this stuff had a ton of them.

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99
415 tasting notes

Oh. My. Goodness.

I pre-ordered this tea more than a month ago and I got it yesterday. Verdant is already out of stock. Why didn’t I buy more (I only ordered 50g)? I had never heard of Gan Zao Ye (Wild Jujube) before and I checked amazon, etsy and googling it but it appears to be a rarity. This tea is sooooooo delicious. Brewed 5 cups (I recommend stopping around 4) using 4g, 20 sec to start and adding 10 sec each time in 8oz of 175 F water. It tastes like roasted nuts, veggies and butter; no bitterness/astringency. This tea is divine and caffeine free so I can enjoy a green tea taste without caffeine! This is sooo much better than any decaf green I’ve had. Highly, Highly recommend this. If Verdant finds more of this tea to source I’m buying a ton of it-even after having only a couple cups. I love this tea.

Flavors: Butter, Roast nuts, Vegetable Broth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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