109 Tasting Notes
My new favorite tea, I always had a soft spot for white tea, especially bai mu dan. This is now my new favorite white. After doing a very short steep about 30 seconds in a 110 ml gaiwan. I got an almost clear liquor, but the aroma coming from it was absolutely divine. And as soon as I sipped it, I got this intense, floral, jasmine sweetness, without even a hint of any astringency, it was so smooth and easy to drink.
Im… stunned.. this is my new favorite tea.. its mellow, but at the same time its got intense flavor and aroma but its never overpowering. Im getting more and more impressed with Verdant tea as I have not been disappointed with anything ive gotten from them including the samples.
In subsequent resteeps it keeps it’s aroma and flavor very impressively. I still get the intensity even after third and fourth steep. I know silver needle always holds up well, but still im again pleasantly surprised, if you ever order from them, do yourself a favor and get a sample of this, as the price is incredibly reasonable too.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Sweet, Vegetal
First tasting of the day is Rou Gui Medium roast and this is very nice, its has a very strong roasted flavor and scent. It practically pops from the cup. A nice sweet aftertaste follows , the aroma of caramel and wood.
I didnt get some of the subtler flavors mentioned in the tea description, there is a strong sweet, roasted and wood aroma’s and flavors, but I didnt pick up on the other flavors or aroma’s mentioned.
Its very nice though and easy drinking, a dark almost caramel liquor is produced, and it holds up to multiple steepings well. The caffeine level seems about moderate which is pretty normal for an oolong. The tea leaves are incredibly dark, almost reminiscent of a black tea.
I would recommend this tea, though I wish I had gotten some of the subtler flavors, maybe on the next tasting.
Flavors: Caramel, Mineral, Roasted, Wood
Second tasting of the day brings us spring 2006 Longyuanhao Ji Xiang Shu. This is an interesting tea as when I got it out of the pack it was very crumbly and required 2 washes to get the particles out. After that with a 15 second steep, I got a dark caramel, almost chocolate colored liquor.
The first scents that hit me was smokey caramel, this was almost overpowering any other tastes or aromas. Sipping it I got a nice vegetal and mineral taste to it as well. Not as much sweetness as I would have expected considering the strong caramel aroma.
A second infusion produced very similiar results to the first, with strong emphasis on the smokey sweet flavors and aromas. There are other subtler flavors and aroma’s there, but I cant quite pick them out.
I will probably do a follow up tasting in a few more days.
Flavors: Caramel, Mineral, Smoke, Vegetal
First tasting of the day, and its a old tree sheng. This is leaves from one older tree mixed with leaves from a younger tree to present a more balanced taste profile.
Brewed in a gaiwan with 205 water, starting with a quick wash to open then leaves, then brewed for 20 seconds for the first infusion and 30 seconds for the second. My taste buds and nose are still failing me with my inexperience.
I get a slightly sour fruity scent and taste, not unpleasant, like a good sweetish sour fruit, but its not lemon or orange. Also a pretty good vegetal taste and aroma as well. There is a slight bit of astringency and bitterness but not overpowering.
Now this one does have a complex taste profile and I get the feeling Im missing some of it. I have an entire 100 grams loose, so I figure I will have more tastings with this soon before I put the rest away for aging for a few years.
Their website says fruit, savory, and floral are the primary flavors with a bit of vegetal. Now I get the fruit and the vegetal but Im not picking up the savory and the floral. I do find this interesting that different people pick up different flavors like that, but then again some of it is brewing, I dont have a yixing yet and that could influence the flavor. Ill report on it again once I do.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Fruity, Sweet, Vegetal
Second tasting of the day, and im very impressed. I had heard both good and bad things about Tevanna but decided the only way to know for sure was to buy a few and test them out for myself. With that in mind, and a sale at the store in hand, I bought a nice little collection of sample sizes.
The first one I will be tasting is Jeju Island green tea, and using my glass teapot and a short steeping time of 30 seconds with 175 degree water. I got a very smooth, buttery, grassy tea with slight floral scents and no hint of bitterness. The taste and scent is somewhere halfway between a chinese green tea and a sencha, if you like sencha you will absolutely adore this. I know I do.
I highly recommend a short steep in a small amount of water, even if you have to resteep it, as it seems to eliminate the bitterness that is often reported with this tea. Now the glass teapot bleeds heat very quickly and is ideal for teas that get bitter easily. And in this case, I got absolutely none.
Second steeping had a slight bit of bitterness and an impression in both scent and taste of asparagus. Still very nice on the second steeping, that butter and sweetness is slightly diminished on the second steeping.
I HIGHLY recomend a bit more leaf and short steeps for this tea, in a very small pot or Gaiwan.
Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Floral, Grass, Sweet
First tasting today is Jin Guayin from Verdant tea. The first thing that struck me both in scent and taste is butter, its also quite smooth and easy to drink with a nice thick mouth feel. There is just the bare hint of vegatal in it as well, as well as a floral scent, that I cant quite pin down.
I really like this tea, and I made a bit of an oops in the third steeping I oversteeped it because my eggs were burning. This didnt actually change the flavor profile at all, Im guessing because oolong teas are pretty forgiving for steeping. I know they are often used in grandpa style brewing because of that. The primary flavors are still floral, butter and sweet.
There are other scents and flavors in this , but I think Im going to need to wait for a second tasting for that. And I really need a yixing teapot… lol.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Sweet
Second tasting of the day, laoshan black from verdant tea, I got this as part of their sample pack for 5$. Now I usually dont like black teas all that much, well other than chai. But I was incredibly impressed with this one.
The first thing that struck me as I poured the water into my gaiwan is nutty smokey scents. Very strong and very nice after letting it swirl on my pallet a little, I got a bit more smooth sweetness. I didnt pick up the cream or butter flavors that are often reported for this tea.
I brewed this in a 100ml gaiwan for 30 seconds, tasted the first steeping and then the second. The second was slightly darker and sweeter. A third infusion was closer to the first. Im guessing the leaves needed to open up a little with the first infusion with the short steeps I was doing.
Im very pleased with this tea and wont hesitate to place an order for a full package on my next order. Give it a try if you like nutty, sweet black teas without a hint of bitterness.
fourth and fifth steepings, I got a bit of astringency and moderate burnt/toasted sugar or caramel from it.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Nutty, Smoked, Smooth, Sweet
Ive had a rough time with this tea. This is a tricky one to brew, as you have to keep the steep times short to not let it get bitter. The first time I tried this tea, I got a very bitter brew, where the bitter and astringent flavors overpowered everything else. Then on advice from the seller I reduced both the brew time and leaf.
Much better results on the second brewing, instead of the primary flavor being bitter and astringent, I got smoke.. which is I believe the proper primary flavor for gunpowder green. There is of course a strong vegetal and grassy notes which is pretty common in green teas. There was a strong astringent quality to it as well, but more like what Ive seen in many other greens, and alot more pleasant.
The color was a deep golden and I was very impressed who rich and thick it looked for such a short brew with less leaf than the first one.
Being rather new to tea, im rather surprised how 15 seconds and a gram and half of tea can change the results so dramatically. Well I have enough left in the sample for 1 more tasting. I will update with the results in a few days, I want to give my pallet a bit of time to clear before another tasting.
One more thing, this thing has got a caffeine kick that will make coffee run home in shame.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Smoke, Vegetal
Now this is a tasting from an inexperienced tea drinker which why the flavors are so… vague. I’m starting to get the general sensations but not the very specific.
So I got this last week and brewed it and was very impressed, its mild, soft and sweet, with only a very slight astringent taste and no bitterness. There is also a strong floral scent to it, as well as a vegetal taste, but I cant point to a specific flower or vegetable yet to be more specific.
Now I watched a few videoes from Mei leaf and Tea DB and both of them recommended a quick brew in a gaiwan, under a minute for Sencha, which this is actually rather similiar to. . This is what I did, about 4g of leaf for a small gaiwan. This gave one of the best tasting Japanese teas I’ve had yet.
Ill be tasting this again a few more times and trying to update the flavors and scents to be more specific, but I highly recommend trying it.
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal