I did a session with this lovely old tea yesterday. I’ve had a sample from an old Verdant tea of the month club – possibly from 2015 or 2016? – but never got around to drinking it and figured that, as it was shu in a sealed packet, it would probably be fine to wait for a little while.
On the nose, the dry leaves are just wonderful. They gave me and my boyfriend a really strong hit of wet woodland or of the hold of an old, wooden ship – that sort of slightly dank, nostalgic smell of an old children’s adventure playground in a forest, or a tropical enclosure at a really good zoo. The pieces of leaf were quite large and flat.
I brewed the packet (5g) in my porcelain gaiwan. I preheated it and then left the leaves inside briefly to start opening them. I then rinsed the leaves at around 95C:
- the wet leaves smelled even more potently of the same kind of dark, humid woodland/enclosure. It was a surprisingly nostalgic smell; I just couldn’t shake the way it transported me back to (very fond) childhood memories of walking through the tropics house at Chester Zoo.
- the rinse was pretty mild on the palette, to be honest. I didn’t get much from it, but it also carried the smell of old wood.
Further infusions (at increasing increments from 5s up to around 30, all with 95-96C water) held much the same; the tea was surprisingly mild but the aroma was lovely and nostalgic.
I’m not sure what to make of it, overall; it was such a mild drink, despite the incredibly powerful aroma. I think I still enjoyed the overall experience but probably wished the liquor itself packed a little more of a punch.
Flavors: Rainforest, Wood