Really tastes like honeysuckle, a little creamy, but not too overpowering floral.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Honeysuckle, Vegetal
“Quick note Really tastes like honeysuckle, a little creamy, but not too overpowering floral.” Read full tasting note
“It’s floral, flavourful, and smells good, but I don’t think it’s going to stick out from the 15 or so Tieguanyin samples I have right now… and before you ask, no, I don’t know why I have that much...” Read full tasting note
“So, here we go with another oolong review. I have been dedicating my time to drinking more oolong teas lately, and today we come to Verdant Tea’s Ben Shan. Part of Master Zhang’s collection, Ben...” Read full tasting note
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It’s floral, flavourful, and smells good, but I don’t think it’s going to stick out from the 15 or so Tieguanyin samples I have right now… and before you ask, no, I don’t know why I have that much Tieguanyin, especially since I’m a simple Milk Oolong person.
Steep Count: 4
The second steep brought the sweet and lilac cream custard Verdant advertised, with lingering tart fruit notes.
Third steep I left a minute over. The liquid’s aroma has taken on a quality like powdered sugar on light pastry, with a dash of tart. It’s sort of dessert-like and light.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Lime, Pear, Powdered sugar
So, here we go with another oolong review. I have been dedicating my time to drinking more oolong teas lately, and today we come to Verdant Tea’s Ben Shan. Part of Master Zhang’s collection, Ben Shan is a type of oolong that many tea drinkers may be familiar with only in passing. It is well known in China, but in the West it doesn’t seem to get a ton of attention. I have heard that some vendors mix it with Tieguanyin in order to emphasize floral aromas and flavors.
I brewed this tea using the gongfu method suggested on Verdant Tea’s website. I steeped approximately 7 grams of loose tea leaves in 208 F water. The initial infusion was 10 seconds, with an increase of 2 seconds for each subsequent infusion. I conducted 9 total steepings for this review (steep times of 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 14 seconds, 16 seconds, 18 seconds, 20 seconds, 22 seconds, 24 seconds, 26 seconds).
Rather than detail the results of each individual steeping, I will simply provide any potential readers with my overall impressions of how this tea changed over the course of a single session. Initially, the aroma was quite delicate, offering mild aromas of lilac, jasmine, chrysanthemum, cream, and custard. The aroma became more subdued over the course of the session, as traces of mineral and vegetal (lettuce, watercress) scents began to emerge. In the mouth, initial steepings offered a balance of delicate chrysanthemum, lilac, jasmine, cream, and custard notes with faint impressions of pear, lime zest, and puff pastry, though mineral, lettuce, and watercress notes began to emerge in subsequent steepings.
In the end, I am not sure how I feel about this oolong. To me, it kind of falls into a gray area between a greener Tieguanyin and something like Huang Jin Gui. The flavor is pretty evenly split between creamy, savory notes and sweet, floral notes, but there really isn’t enough of anything else to provide some needed depth and balance. After drinking this tea, I can kind of understand why Ben Shan is supposedly often blended with Tieguanyin-it really doesn’t seem to hold up very well on its own. In my opinion the aromas and flavors that are here are really pleasant, but they are too light and superficial to keep me intrigued over the course of a lengthy session.
Flavors: Cream, Custard, Floral, Jasmine, Lettuce, Lime, Mineral, Pastries, Pear, Sweet, Vegetal