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Recent Tasting Notes
This one is from Shae, thanks for sharing!
A cold front is bringing showers, clouds and cooler temperatures, pretty soon it will be fall tea drinking weather. This tea reminds me of a big red robe, with more toasty bread or hay notes. There is a harshness underneath that is smoothed over by the sweetness of the toasty hay, with a slight nutty aftertaste. Overall not bad, but I expect a bit of chocolate from a laoshan black so I’m wondering if it’s the autumn or the way it was processed. It’s an enjoyable cup, though if I had a whole bag I’d be tempted to blend it with something savory or sweeter to get a more interesting flavor profile. Glad I got to try it.
Flavors: Astringent, Hay, Nutty, Toasty
This year’s Laoshan green is once again a stellar tea. It’s sweet and savory with an interesting interplay of soy milk, honey, toasted grain, and fennel. Deliciously creamy and nutty with mild vegetal tones. Enjoyed this a lot more than the pricier Laoshan Reserve Bilochun.
Flavors: Fennel, Grain, Honey, Nutty, Rice, Soybean
First steep; 5 seconds: Little sweet, but mostly savory vegetal. Mild astringency.
Second steep; 7 seconds: I under steeped, but not bad. Mineral spice and more subdued savory green. Maybe faint floral. Some astringency, but pleasant.
Third Steep; 12 seconds: Smooth, savory, and a little grassy. Creamy mouth feel developing.
Fourth Steep; 17 seconds: Less savory, more sweet with some grassy flavors. Maybe vague honey notes.
Forgot to log the rest of my notes for this one. This wasn’t bad, and it’s from 2015, but it basically tasted like a green tea mostly. I think I might brew this one western style as said on Verdant. The other times I brewed it like that I got better flavors.
Flavors: Grass, Green, Savory, Vegetal
This is from an ancient bag from when I had a Verdant subscription that most likely dates pre 2015. Not gonna rate cause it’s so old, but I did enjoy it.
First steep; 6 seconds: floral, mineral, and honey notes.
Second steep: Creamy mouth feel, cinnamon and other sweet wood spice notes. Darker flavor over all. Some vegetale notes.
Third Steep; 8 seconds: Same as the second steep, but less creamy mouth feel and stronger vegetale notes. Some very mild black tea like astringency.
Fourth Steep; 12 seconds: Seems to have lost a lot of flavor. Mostly just bland mineral with faint tasting notes from before. Seems to taste better as it cools. Mostly just spicy wood notes and maybe camphor.
Fifth Steep & Sixth; 14 seconds: Mild sweetness and spicy minerally, with vegital taste. More sweet and spicy cinnamon when cooled.
Seventh and 8th steep; 20 seconds: Reminds me a lot of the first and second steep combined. Maybe vague vanilla sandalwood sweetness? Maybe it’s floral honey? Tastes better when on the cooler side.
Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh; 30 seconds: Finished it off this morning. Very minerally with some sweetness, woody spice, and hints of cardamon. Wasn’t bad, and went well with a stoop waffle.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Mineral, Spices, Sweet, Wood
This one is more toasty than chocolatey but still an enjoyable cup. I’m on the second brew but it might be able to go for a few more. Caramel, hay, butter, and toast. Pretty yummy, but I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to purchase.
EDIT: I dumped the leaves in my go cup for grandpa style brewing. still toasty warm bread to the last sip. This tea sure goes a long way. Thanks Shae for sharing!
Fantastic. This aroma is gorgeous. Mineral. Toasty. Slight roasted caramel. And this only with the dry aroma. The aroma cup reveals clear and crisp fall notes. The flavor starts off with some roast and then switches to mineral notes as it disappears into the after taste. It lingers on your tongue for quite while. Leavening one feeling refreshed. With each steep the roast notes come out stronger. Third steeping or maybe it’s the forth… Either way brought forth some slight freshly baked sweet bread notes. Cinnamon sugar. Wow! The sixth pour now has some astringency along with some tannic notes. Heavy on the charcoal and burnt buttercream. Better burnt then sour. I experimented with pouring milk on a lime once. Won’t perform that again. What is this wet leaf aroma?! So unique I can’t quite explain it.
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #214 overall / Tea #38 for May
Wednesday 5/26 — Verdant Tea Spring Tieguanyin 2020 25g packet. I like this tea, it was so pleasant as two cold brew pitchers (not at once, just to use up the packet). It has a light floral taste which is okay considering I’m not generally a floral person. I might pass the other packets I have of this tea into the next TTB or swaps with other tea people just because I have soooo many other teas to go through.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown
Autumn 2020 Harvest
Date of Picking: October 2020
I again failed to write a tasting note for this as I was drinking it, but my main takeaway was that it tasted like bread crusts. Is that weird? Or even a thing? It’s not the fluffy middle, but the darker almost burnt ends that I’m getting here. I noticed that lovely chocolate aroma from the dry leaf but was completely missing it in the cup. Compared to yesterday’s tea, this one didn’t quite rise to meet my expectations.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate
Date of Picking: May 2020
I didn’t take many notes on this one as I was drinking it. Instead I wrote down some words as I made my way through the cup. The dry leaf had a chocolaty aroma, but the flavor was surprisingly fruity. I was able to narrow it down to berries and then strawberry and finally strawberry jam. That’s it – it tastes jammy! What a really delicious tea with so many layers. I’m sure those with a more refined palate could find so much more.
Flavors: Berries, Chocolate, Fruity, Jam, Strawberry
oh now, THIS is tasty! sent as a free sample with my recent order of some oolongs, i hadn’t really ever tried green tea of this style. i used my glass easy gaiwan and after a quick rinse in 175 degree water, steeped the 5g sample in around 6 oz of water for the recommended 6 seconds. it was yummy, but it wasn’t until rounds 2-5 that the tea really bloomed into a brothy, buttery, vegetal harmony. i’m done for the day, but going to put the gaiwan in the fridge and see if i can get a bit more out of this particular tea sample.
Flavors: Asparagus, Broth, Butter, Cake, Vegetal
Spring 2020 Harvest
Date of Picking: Late May 2020
On to my next Laoshan Black from Verdant. This time I made it the way I would normally steep my black teas. In the bag, it has that chocolate syrup aroma that I love so much. Baked bread while steeping, that same mineral note in the first sip that I found in the Autumn 2019 harvest. The chocolate is more forward in this cup than in the last, which I enjoy, but I also did a poor job steeping the last one so it wouldn’t be fair to compare them too closely.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Fruity, Mineral
Autumn 2020 Harvest
Date of Picking: October 2020
Dry leaf smells nice and chocolaty. The taste isn’t doing it for me today though. I know in my mind I’m comparing it to the Jin Jun Mei I had earlier this week. I guess I should have had that one last, since none of my other Verdant teas can seem to compare.
Autumn 2019 Harvest
Date of Picking: September 2019
I made an order with Verdant a month or so ago and decided to grab a small amount of each of the Laoshan Black harvests available so that I could try each and compare them. I should have used more tea and/or more water for this one; the flavor is much lighter than I would have liked. I think I’ll resteep and see how it holds up. Holding on the rating for now.
6 ounces water + 212 degrees + 20 minutes
The second cup leaves a lot to be desired, and I’m certain it’s because I botched the first cup. There is a mineral flavor in this steep that I hadn’t noticed before, plus something else I can’t quite put my finger on. Overall, it’s far too light for my taste.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Vanilla
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #216 overall / Tea #40 for May
Thursday 5/27 — Verdant Tea Spring Laoshan Green 2020 25g packet. I have a LOT of this tea; I bought some last year then bought more this year on clearance (not realizing I had also purchased last yet). Decided I better start sipping down and it is very nice as a cold brew – got 3 pitchers out of this packet (approx. half each time, and one re-steep). Looking forward to drinking greens this way year-round.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #169 overall / Tea #40 for April
Monday 4/26 — Verdant Tea 2020 Spring Laoshan Green 25g(?) pack. Last cold brew pitcher I started rebrew of leaves 4/22 for a day or so I can’t remember but then brought to work to finish tea 4/26. Strong green tea. Need to try brewing it less when cold brewing to see if the flavor can taste a little lighter. I have a lot of this since I apparently acquired some last year and I didn’t realize so then got a bunch on change of season sale at Verdant.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge
Y is for…Yu Lu Yan Cha
Thank you Sil!! Turns out I have 3 “Y” teas. All are straight black teas. 2 were gifted to me from Sil and this is one of those two.
I keep forgetting about this tea and tea note. I feel that’s not the best sign for this tea. It’s good. Got a lot of cinnamon notes. Honey as well. It’s just not capturing my attention much apparently. If I were someone who drank a cup of black tea daily to get a caffeine fix in, this would be alright for that because its got just enough flavor to be delightful without being something you would get bored with. However, I drink tea for the flavor and this just isn’t standing out. Still fun to try though so thank you again Sil!
This will be my first time trying a Roi Gui. I’ve heard a lot about it from other tea people but just never tried it until I bought the Master Zhang oolong tasting pack from Verdant. Verdant is hard enough to pass buy without buying as it is but mention Master Zhang and the chance for buying increases tremendously. The dry leaf is so fresh smelling. Slightly floral, some tropical notes mixed with mineral notes. The mouthfeel on the first cup was incredible. The silkiest mouthfeel I have ever experienced. It’s so smooth. Like licking the smoothest rock. Licking a piece of silk sheets? I’ll stop. The wet aroma is slightly like buttered popcorn and baked bread of some sort… Like pudding bread. With nominal orchids and other unique florals.
Brewed Western-style. First steep was excellent—had a roasted, coffee flavor with an underlying sweetness and a warm, spiced quality. Would’ve rated this quite high, but it lost complexity on the second and third steep. Still very drinkable, but not as interesting.
Flavors: Allspice, Caramel, Coffee
An Ode to Tea, X entry!
Squeezing in another gong fu session during my weekend off. This was also a sample I grabbed from the final Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thanks to all that contributed to that box and tea-sipper for organizing it! I had 5.38g of leaf and steeped in my 100ml shiboridashi.
100ml shiboridashi | 5.38g | 205F | Rinse/10s/15s/20s/25s/30s/35s/40s/45s
The rinse smelled so strongly of dirt that I admit that after having such a pleasant pu’erh experience yesterday, it was right back to dirt, swamp water, or nasty tobacco for me. And the first steep did pretty much just smell and taste like dirt. The aroma reminded me of dirt, mushrooms, and a faint BBQ smoke quality. In taste, it had that strong earthy dirty flavor, but it was much smoother than I’m used to… a “fresh” tasting dirt. A bit of a mushroomy note as well, and a flavor I can only describe as plantain (though I’ve only tried dried plantain chips once… as someone with strong banana aversion, they aren’t high on my list of must-have foods). It was almost a banana-like flavor, but veered just enough toward a potato/yam note to not trigger my extremely strong “Danger! Danger! Banana present!” gag reflex. It was easily the worst steep, because after that, the tea mellowed and tasted much less like dirt to me, and instead a smooth and refreshing petrichor note. It was a wet earth and rocks taste but crisp and lacking the vegetal “pond scum marshiness” I’m used to accompanying such flavors in pu’erh. About mid-session, a very strong oat/grain flavor popped toward the end of the sip and lingered in the aftertaste. As I approached the end of the session, I noticed the plantain/yam note creeping back in subtly amidst the petrichor.
I enjoyed this one as well! Not as much as the sheng I drank yesterday, but this was a nice session. I think the cha qi for this one is sitting with me better than the tea yesterday, which knocked me out for several hours; I feel a mellow but alert awakeness right now.
Flavors: Dirt, Earth, Grain, Mineral, Mushrooms, Oats, Petrichor, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Yams
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Smoke, Stonefruit
This was a good tea but seemed to suffer from a loss of freshness. Partly a result of Covid related shipping delays and partly due to sitting in cold storage for several months. I feel like delicate greens such as first flushes don’t hold up to refrigeration as well as dragonwells and sencha.
At standard green tea temperature (170 – 175 F) the tea has an odd note of overly ripe pear and banana. Upon bumping up the temperature, it went away and the familiar Laoshan flavors of soybean, fennel, and green lettuce appeared with an underlay of nuttiness.
Not terribly complex and as mentioned had lost some freshness yet still a pleasant drinking experience.
Flavors: Fennel, Lettuce, Pear, Soybean