Verdant Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

This tea was in my package from Nicole. I was pretty excited to see it because there are quite a few of Verdant’s black teas that have been stellar over the years. This is from Spring 2020.

The aroma of the dry leaf in the package is filled with high notes – a little bready top with some rose over the classic tea scent. Sharp fruit, light. I was thinking this might not be a good breakfast choice and might be a little too sharp for my liking. (Spoiler – I was wrong.)

Then the steeping instructions – 5 grams leaf to 200 ml water for 10 sec. in boiling water. Seriously?

So I prepared it this way yesterday making two steeps to combine and giving the second steep a little extra time. The liquor seemed a little light for pairing with breakfast…

Surprise! The mouthfeel is creamy, in texture much like a good shu puerh that has been given a short steep, although not that flavor at all. The flavor is nicely nuanced and layered. I get a whiff of sweet potato like in Golden Monkey, a hint of fruitiness, and a hint of floral…oolong? And yes, turns out this varietal is more commonly used for oolong tea.

I had it again this morning and nearly botched everything. I guess I just wasn’t thinking. I started cooking the onion and red bell pepper in the skillet before realizing that I had nit even brought in a duck egg. I had to run outside to the spare fridge and get the egg. Then I realized I didn’t have my frozen waffle things prepared, nor had I chosen a tea. I grabbed this one because it was nearest.

In all the frantic catching up and trying to make it so that all the food would be ready and hot together, I lost track of the steeping. That’s right, the mere ten seconds. But not by much. Second steep was another matter – forgotten a bit longer. I decided I might as well go for a third steep. Noticed that the kettle was set to 190F instead of 212F. At this point, who cares? Combined all three steeps in a pot.

This could be an example of forgiving for us all. The tea was as good as or better than yesterday. Creamy mouthfeel, no bitterness. Lots of oolong vibes. And it is four years old!

I enjoyed this the most when my plate was cleared and I was just sipping and watching the mockingbirds feed their young. This is a refined tea and not a builder’s breakfast tea. I would never add milk or sugar to this. I think it would ruin it, but everyone is different.

I think I will use the rest of this for light snacks or tea time where there is more focus on the tea, because it deserves the attention.

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83

Currently in the process of not buying any tea, whatsoever, until I sip down a good portion of my collection. The outside says 2020. Hopefully, it is not awful. We are doing a good twenty-second rinse to begin. Oh my ^^;… The rinse smells like dusty dust and straight-up dry dirt. Tastes like dry dirt too. Needs to be broken. I broke it apart with my fingers. Hot tea cake. A faint hint of usual oolong notes. Each steeping has revealed more notes. But I had to dump the first too. There’s only so much dirt I can handle. Apparently, I fulfilled that need as a child. I’ve lost count of my session. The dirt notes are now charcoal notes. The mineral notes of wet rocks and granite are also slowly making an appearance with each subsequent steeping.

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Sipdown 44 – 2024

Sipped through an entire 25g bag of this last week at work and now cannot remember a thing about it.

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68

I didn’t love this. There’s a minerality and noticeable charcoal roast, neither of which worked for me.

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Sipdown!

May Sipdown Prompt – a floral black tea

This tea was hoarded a little because it felt too fine to drink just any old time. I love most golden teas whether Yunnan or Fujian or elsewhere. The jasmine is well done – not blasting but not too subtle either.

This resteeps well. I used it at first for when I needed a really gentle pot of tea. This morning it was overleafed because there was too little left for a new session. It was well-suited to my breakfast and the extra strength was not bitter or harsh but simply more like a breakfast blend.

Delightful and would definitely repurchase with plans to drink it both ways as the situation and mood dictate.

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94

From a new Verdant order. Major props to Mrs. Li on this beautiful tea! An absolute treat. I’ve never had pre-Qing Ming Longjing before, so I have no similar comparators, but this certainly blows the other Longjing’s I’ve had out the water.

Medium-high sweetness that is beautiful. Mouthfeel is incredibly unique and chalky (in a good way). 1-2 mins of hui gan. Longevity is 4 golden infusions.

Apparently Mrs. Li has been at tea-making for 50 years. She has certainly perfected her craft. The #43 varietal was apparently bred specifically to bud earlier than classic Dragonwell varietals.

I’d say this was worth ~$1/g :).

Harvest: March, 2024
Cultivar: Longjing #43
Location: Longjing village, Zhejiang Province
Elevation: 300 m

Dry leaf: Artichoke.
Wet leaf: Artichoke, nutty.
Flavors: Artichoke, sweet, nutty, honey, chalk.

Flavors: Artichoke, Chalk, Honey, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Leafhopper

Ooh, I’m jealous! I’m waiting for some pre-Ming Dragonwell from Seven Cups. I also have pre-Qingming Dragonwell from Teavivre and Treasure Green that I’m waiting to open until the Seven Cups order arrives. I’m going to do an epic green tea comparison tasting—but the wait is driving me bonkers!

Marshall Weber

Ohh dang I’ve seen the Seven Cups stuff before and now I’m jealous. Maybe I’ll drop the cash on that good stuff some day haha. I’ve never even heard of Treasure Green though. I can’t wait to see how those Longjings compare to each other though!

Leafhopper

Treasure Green is a company from Vancouver that offered the three Mingqian teas I was interested in: Longjing, Bi Luo Chun, and Anji Bai Cha. I haven’t heard much about them, but their 2024 Meng Ding Huang Cha, which I also bought, is pretty nice. The other contenders, including Verdant and Tong Xin She, didn’t offer Anji, and Bitterleaf doesn’t appear to be doing Longjing samples at all this year.

ashmanra

Ashman loves Teavivre’s pre-Qingming Dragonwell. We haven’t tried any others and haven’t had dragonwell in a while. I need to paw through my samples.

Leafhopper

Ashmanra, I had samples of their pre-Qingming Dragonwell several years ago, so I’m expecting good things. It will be interesting to see how it compares with pricier Longjing.

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Sipdown

This was such a mild sheng! I did a rinse and it was still so tightly formed that I did a second rinse and let it bask in the steam for a bit. The first steep was very mild, and my neighbor who was trying puerh for the first time said it was a bit weak for him. I let the second steep go longer and he liked that better, and the third steep still longer and stronger, and he really liked that. He said the initial aroma reminded him of suntan lotion that had been applied much earlier but it wasn’t cocoa butter smell. He didn’t think it tasted the same as the aroma he was picking up.

He and his wife felt like they initially got asparagus flavor but they were frustrated to identify the familiar something that they couldn’t pin down, something that happens a lot when we first start drinking good tea and try to describe it. I told them the third steep onward seemed to me to have mineral flavor followed by menthol/minty/camphor and he said YES! That is the sunscreen part! They noticed how the menthol built up in ontensity the more the drank.

I gave them lots of samples to take home and sent the rest of this with them as well, so this is a sharedown!

Kelmishka

“Sharedown” — I love it!

ashmanra

I can not lie – I got that from CameronB! :D

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Backlog

I was preoccupied when having the session, but I was able to record notes.

Notes: alcohol, gentler than expected based on the ethanol vibes from the aroma. Not punchy or too heavy in the roast. A good tea for a tea newb.

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Sipdown

A decent oolong, but somewhat unremarkable if you are seeking lots of layers and nuance. Toasty and reminds me of Dong Ding. Wonderful with breakfast. I would definitely buy it again if I wanted something with a toasty profile.

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90

Sipdown 25- 2024

This was a sample given to me in my last Verdant order, so barely a sipdown but I’m still counting it!
Really pleasantly surprised by this. I don’t know what I was expecting- I love floral scented teas, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a yellow tea before. This is absolutely fantastic. I brought a mini gongfu set to work and enjoyed it that way at my desk. I’m pretty sure I audibly ‘wowed’ when I first smelled this brewed. It’ s a field of fresh orchids. Incredibly fragrant and it translates really well into the flavor. While I got mostly the flavor of the orchids, the yellow tea provided a really gentle base- somewhere between a white tea and a mild green tea? It also held up to 7-8 steepings with little impact on the flavor.
Just an overall fantastic tea. I’ve already added more to my Verdant cart.

Flavors: Gardenias, Hay, Honey, Jasmine, Lily, Magnolia, Orchid

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Sipdown

I am sipping this tonight while working, but I failed the last sipdown due to missing lunch or break to give it a moment’s thought.

TGY is one of those teas which make me reminiscence since it was the first tea that set the tea journey rolling. However, there are some which are similar to that first tea (Monkey Picked from Teavana); which the fondness left after years of finding better oolong. I’ll note that Verdant had some promising TGY samples along the way, but this one isn’t one of the few that I loved. It’s too much like the Monkey Picked from long ago – seasonings, unknown (basil? bay leaves?), and not really meeting my palate’s quality control. I do understand the appealing aspects of this brew, but it’s not for me…

Leafhopper

My interest in tea also began with Monkey Picked Oolong from Teavana. It must be a common gateway tea. Good green TGY is hard to find.

MadHatterTeaReview

Truly is, this was alright, but I’ve learned to appreciate far more complicated oolongs. :/

Daylon R Thomas

Rishi’s tieguanyin was my gateway oolong with baozhong from lupicia

MadHatterTeaReview

I’ve not had their TGY, but oolong seems to be a good gateway tea.

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78
drank Qimen Maofeng by Verdant Tea
1815 tasting notes

Sipdown 35 – 2024

Never quite connected with this one. It was pretty good. I found the sesame flavor unique, but I didn’t ever love it.

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78
drank Qimen Maofeng by Verdant Tea
1815 tasting notes

This tea is so interesting! I’m getting a really strong sweet nuttiness- like sesame brittle or halva. There’s a deep fruity flavor on top of the nuttiness as well- like sugared fruits, or a candy coated apple. Pretty tasty!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Candied Apple, Nutty, Sesame

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70

Sipdown

Drinking this before work. My body and mind are at a low social level today, so I’m trying to drink some teas to get ready to head out at 1:00.

Notes: Nutty and reminds me of sweet potato chips. There’s a weird aftertaste that I can’t quite pinpoint.

Flavors: Nutty, Sweet Potatoes

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84

One of the “Meet the Farmer” teas at Verdent in their $5 for 5 (5g) tea special. This is a lovely little Wuyi, I brewed it in a 100ml pot, but probably would go bigger next time. Seemed to like short steeps which helps keep the astringency at bay, but more sensitive to temp than I’d expect. If you nail it, it delivers, but if not, it’s solid.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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88

A delightful black tea for folks who may not traditionally love black tea. The tannins here are tame and make way for lovely fruity notes with honey and cream. I really enjoyed this one.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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70

Sipdown

From the Verdant Tea Club

This a pretty gentle sheng puerh – forgiving, too. I let the first tea ball steep 5+ minutes yesterday while I was in the middle of exchanging laundry. I realized that I left hot (boiling) water in the pot. However, I was surprised that it wasn’t bitter. It had a thicker mouthfeel and heavy florals. Whenever one brews it slowly, such as I am this morning, it’s a little floral, but there’s a soft ‘fruity’ note making it’s debut. A good tea, but nothing I’d personally buy.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

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drank Laoshan Huai Mi Hua by Verdant Tea
1573 tasting notes

Pagoda Tree flower buds. Very interesting! The brew smells savory like marinated then grilled skirt steak and a dash of cocoa with soft cinnamon? The tea is a golden color, sweet and thick and creamy with some background complementary astringency. Very floral perfumey and nectarous — they are flower buds after all. Nutty like sesame-honey candies. Then a flash of that cola flavor. It feels very warm going in but then this most excellent cooling feeling emerges and lingers long with the perfume and natural nutty sweetness.

I never prepare Verdant’s teas according to their parameters because they’re so generic but this time I did. 5g to 8oz, 175F for 20s. This turned out very well in a glass mug with glass infuser. Steeping the second cup now for 30s.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cola, Cooling, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Nectar, Nutty, Perfume, Sesame, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
derk

5g of flower buds is a lot. Made 3 cups last night and still going this morning. I will switch up the brewing parameters to see how little material I can use to make a brew that tastes as good as this first attempt. It tastes so much like something that I can’t quite figure out. Honey-nut-cinnamon-cocoa-floral something.

ashmanra

Interesting! I need to look up pagoda tree. I had not heard of it.

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70

Sipdown

I had this before heading to bed this morning. I wanted tea, but 12 A.M. seemed a bad time to drink any. However, I spotted the remaining few grams of this in my sipdown stash, so I figured it’d make for a great read & tea before drifting off.

Notes: Nutty & savory (salted nuts, potato chips, & umami). It’s a good alternative when one is craving a roasted oolong or puerh, but it’s too late to indulge on the mild caffeinated teas or an herbal like chamomile.

Flavors: Nutty, Potato, Savory, Umami

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84
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
3 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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91
drank 2023 Zhu Rong by Verdant Tea
3 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 11 OZ / 325 ML

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This is from a 2020 sample getting long in the tooth, but unopened until now. It appears to have held up well, even under my sloppy western-style office steeping. Nice, springy peach and nutmeg flavor notes.

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I had this as a quiet celebratory tea this afternoon after a long morning of scans, but I got cleared at this six month follow up. Nothing that looks like cancer, they said!

My brain, when I heard those words, immediately projected a picture of the box of Bissinger’s chocolates that I got for Christmas and have only eaten three pieces of. Angels were singing and bells were ringing, and of course, I wanted to have tea with my chocolates.

This good sized sample has been hanging around here for a while and I chose it for my celebration. I was going to take out my Awakening Bell from Woodstock Chimes but as I began to set things up, the wind chimes on the porch began to ring beautifully.

I decided to toss the rinse as it was very clear even after twenty seconds. There wasn’t much aroma yet, either.

I only made two steeps because there was a good bit of leaf and I was making a fair amount at the time. The first was 30 seconds and the second was 45.

I didn’t get any strong chi but I was already high on my good news so that could be why. But the flavor was quite good! This was a very easy to drink sheng. There was a bit of camphor, a bit of chilly cave with mineral scent, a fleeting fruit note, and some light and fresh vegetal flavor, slightly savory like a root vegetable. The sides of my tongue tingled just a little but not enough to be perceived as sour or harsh.

This would be a great starter sheng for someone afraid to dive into the sheng pool but interested in easing in one toe at a time. Have saved the leaves for more sessions tomorrow.

Kaylee

Such good news, congrats!

ashmanra

Thank you, Kaylee!

tea-sipper

Congrats on your awesome news! Extra enjoy those chocolates. :D

MadHatterTeaReview

Glad to hear scans were good! :)

ashmanra

Thank you, everyone!

blueeyedsurprise

Congratulations, sending you all the best!

ashmanra

Thank you, blueyedsurprise!

Michelle

Yay for good news!

Tiffany :)

Always nice to receive good news :)

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Backlog

I made brief notes on this one last night, as I was handling various work matters during the time in which I was sipping.

Notes: “Spices & yams. I’d prefer a Wuyi Oolong to this tea. Not the most intriguing red tea I’ve purchased.”

Rating: 6.5/10

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