Verdant Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

Tea two of four from my aunt’s cupboard. The leaves are more akin to a pu erh. Slightly dusty appearance. Not green at all, a mix of browns. Twisted and longleaf. Smells like a cupboard. The initial aroma after pouring in the water is a mix of honey, smoke, …burnt hair from a hairdryer. The leaf looks less brown and more of a putrid green as it steeps… It tastes.. wtf … Coffee? Or dark black chocolate. Bits of compost and wet tree bark. This is all sorts of crazy up-in-my-face vegetal jumbo.

Cameron B.

I cringed at “burnt hair from a hairdryer” ha ha… XD

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My aunt doesn’t drink tea much. She’ll drink tisanes but she thinks caffeine may be affecting her sleep so she is cutting it out. However, I don’t think she realized that the tea people have been giving her, including myself, has a drink by date. And thus I have learned my lesson in making sure to instruct people when to drink stuff from now on. I opened the package and was met with greyish green tea. It should be a pine green. Despite the appearance, I decided to steep a cup. Surprisingly it still has life. You can still taste the vegetal hints along with the bits of grassiness. It’s quite a bit perkier than I figured it would be but you can still tell it’s not what it should be when fresher. The wet aroma is also a surprise. Vegetal and corn notes with roasted veggies. What a suprise.

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66

An okay tea. I got the 2022 harvest of this tea with my Verdant order, and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t anything special either. It had a weak taste and a thin texture, but it was redeemed with a nice finish and really strong and complex aroma.

Flavors: Beer, Cherry, Cream, Garlic, Honey, Leather, Malt, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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61

Not the most exciting tea. I got this tea from my Verdant order. It is mediocre at best. One-dimensional flavour profile with a weak finish and aftertaste, but generally a nice texture and aroma.

Flavors: Egg, Soybean, Spinach

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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43
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
17 tasting notes

Got this as a free sample from my Verdant order. Tasted like a dilute Wuyi Yancha, missing a body, texture, finish, everything. Very few teas make me feel like puking but this one almost did. I’m lucky I only have 5g of this tea.

Flavors: Malt, Mineral

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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86

Waffles require a strong tea. A Dragonwell wasn’t going to cut it, I didn’t want to miss the subtle nuances. And being out of my Sri Lankan and India teas I figured I better look for something else. This was hiding by a package of Hawai’ian herbal I still need to open… Ah, black tea. So I opened it and the aroma hit me. Holy fruity Moses. Mango, pear, slight guava, apple banana (I’ve only had them in Hawai’i but they’re delicious). This will be interesting I thought. But what? Caffeine free the website says. OH! A cousin. So produced like a black tea but actually not a black tea. Fascinating. The first steep was intensely fruity. Worked well with my waffle with the best syrup ever from Faxon Farms. I plug them all the time because I haven’t found any syrup better than theirs. Second steep the fruity subsided and was replaced with woody tones. Light woods and sweet tones. Bits of sugar. For those who are looking for a Chinese black tea alternative, this would be a good fit, however, I do not think it would work for those who like it brisk.

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Another from vallhallow!

Spending the afternoon glued to my bedroom window while I wait for this stray cat to wander into my trap. I don’t know if I’ll catch this one since I haven’t seen it in almost a month, but the spay/neuter clinic is slammed these days so it took me that long to get an appointment. Fingers crossed the smelly fish does its job.

While I’m waiting, tea sounded like a wonderful idea for an idle afternoon. James made me a cup so I wouldn’t have to leave my post. I asked him to pick from some of vallhallow’s samples on top of the tea cabinet and he chose this one. It smells really good before steeping, almost fruity? After, it’s definitely reminiscent of a green tea in both color and flavor. It’s just a touch bitter but not terribly so, and it has a remarkable buttery flavor. It also feels sort of thick on the tongue. Very unique. Ultimately, I’m not a big fan of that green tea flavor so I wouldn’t purchase this one. I do think I’ll enjoy the sample I have though.

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Fruity, Green

Skysamurai

So you’ll find this interesting. In Greece everyone treats strays like pets. They leave water dishes and food out all over. It’s an interesting concept but also a little cringe worthy because many of the strays walking around were covered in fleas and who knows what…

Shae

I love that there are communities that do this, but I also think part of being a responsible caregiver is making sure the cats are taken care of re: fleas, vaccines, spay/neuter, etc. I know money can be an obstacle though for a lot of people so I try to understand where they’re coming from. It can definitely be frustrating though. I would honestly be happy if my neighbors would ignore me at this point, instead of actively pushing against me every time I find a new cat. Some are supportive, but I was shocked at how many were vehemently against me trapping these cats. I think a lot of it comes from a place of ignorance, but then they won’t even listen when you try to gently educate.

Anyway, I’ll step down from my soapbox now. But happy news – I caught the cat last night! I’ll bring him home tomorrow morning and then he can go back to scowling at me from a distance. :)

Skysamurai

I think it’s awesome that you do that!!! And I def understand how frustrating that is. I say more power to you! I’m allergic to cats so its a no go for me but I still think theyre cute

Aiko

Man, I don’t think I’ve ordered from Verdant in like a decade, I should consider that, I remember pretty much loving everything I tried. Good luck with the kitty!

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88
drank Jin Jun Mei by Verdant Tea
1565 tasting notes

Sipdown 52

Spring 2021 Harvest

This was quite tasty! Very malty and chocolatey. An easy drinking black tea, and one I would consider purchasing.

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drank Laoshan Huai Flower Tea by Verdant Tea
1795 tasting notes

This is so interesting! It actually smells nutty. This is probably my favorite of the Verdant herbals that vallhallow sent for me to try. I could see myself buying more of this, for sure.

Flavors: Nutty

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

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97
drank Bai Rui Xiang by Verdant Tea
603 tasting notes

Spring 2020 harvest.

Been a while since I’ve dabbled in yancha. The oily texture and heavy roast usually turns me off but this one has a unique flavor that’s just delightful.

The lovely aroma of roasted peaches and chocolate surprised me. The aromatics resemble a dan cong more than a typical wuyi oolong. I brewed it grandpa style as I usually do with this kind of tea. It has a familiar but gentler taste of wet rocks with floral accents and a fruity finish. Notes of brown sugar and hazelnut. Glides across the tongue smoothly without any ashiness.

A quite refined and elegant yancha with a lot of aromatic complexity and lingering fruitiness.

Flavors: Fruity, Juicy, Peach, Wet Rocks

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Mastress Alita’s Monthly Sipdown Challenge
July 2022 → A tea from a US company

Another herbal from vallhallow and one I’ve been very curious to try. This has an interesting aroma. It’s almost like overripe fruit and iced tea that’s gone sour, which sounds gross but it’s actually not. The flavor is sweet and reminds me of sparkling grape juice. This was definitely not what I expected from this tea, but it’s so unique that it’s definitely worth a try for anyone who’s thinking about it.

Flavors: Fruity, Grapes, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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86

Mastress Alita’s Monthly Sipdown Challenge
June 2022 → A tea with oceanic notes

This was the only non-caffeinated tea in my stash that had anything even close to oceanic notes. Even then, it was seaweed (not ocean air or ocean breeze or anything like that) and I believe only one person mentioned it. Even so, I’ll be using it for today’s sipdown prompt.

I wasn’t sure if I would like this because I thought it might taste like a green tea, but it’s so complex and interesting and I’m really loving it! I like it equally both hot and cold. No additions necessary. In fact, I think adding honey might overwhelm the flavor. It does look like a green tea once steeped, but the flavors to me are more reminiscent of a black tea. I taste fruit and dark chocolate surprisingly enough! I’m really enjoying this and will almost certainly add some to my next Verdant order.

Many thanks to vallhallow for sending some of this incredible herbal for me to try!

Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Red Fruits

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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78

Shared an old a sample with Elinor, obviously a little stale now but still yummy.

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74

When a tea says the style of brewing you should use in its name, you should listen. Steeping this western style really doesn’t do it any justice. Steeped at 160 and now rewarming my water for another go around. It would be a shame to do only one brew with a gongfu session. 10 seconds seems too quick for me. I want to experience some deeper tones. Though it does have some interesting sweet notes mixed in with the twig notes. As you steep longer light compost notes develop. No astringency. It’s an unassuming black tea. Would not be good for milk or sugar drinkers as it doesn’t steep up briskly but also nothing incredible for the purists. A good tea to have in the afternoon during siesta.

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94

Taken quite a fancy to the heavily oxidized oolongs. Verdant does an amazing job with all the tea they procure. And this is definitely up there with my favorites. Dark leaves. Longer oxidation. Dry aroma, light muscatel notes. It has a drying sensation similar to whst you would experience in the dry heat of the desert. Hairs on the bag. Oh little trichomes, how I adore you. Full twisted leaves. A frenzy of flavors. Sweet but woody. Fruity in the beginning with tropical flowers. Mineral. Wet rocks. I’ve run out of water. Sad panda.

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63

Sipdown 3/28

Not particularly astounding or special. A pretty standard tasting tieguanyin- some notes of lilac, but overall kind of forgettable.

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I have had this sample sitting around for a while, but I don’t get too bothered if a puerh sits around because usually it is just getting better!

I have had two endoscopies and two esophageal dilations in the past three weeks. This tea came between the two procedures and I was drinking it because I needed the power of puerh. I was put on max dose of Nexium and got cocky and thought maybe, just maybe, I could eat the crust on fried chicken.

Lies. All lies.

What actually happened was that with the high dose I apparently didn’t have enough stomach acid to even remotely handle the delectable skin and crunchy seasoned heaven from the outside of Ashman’s dinner. (I didn’t steal it, he doesn’t eat it. Honest.) Gastric distress ensued and puerh came to the rescue.

It has a very strong aroma of barnyard, which I like. I love the whole farm vibe of shu. Where some of the golden tip shu has a cedar oil taste and oily mouthfeel, this one lacked the sharp high cedar and was less oily. It did, however, have lovely mineral notes to take the soprano line. There is also the aroma of dried pecan leaves that crunch underfoot for the mezzos and maybe a hint of orange. I really wasn’t feeling well and drank part of it hot and saved some to drink cold later. It was great both ways. I only did two western steeps and I am really regretting that I didn’t do more, but I just didn’t feel up to it.

This is one I would definitely buy to enjoy, and as medicine, I am convinced I began feeling relief pretty quickly as I drank this. Puerh always seems to help me with those bloated “you really shouldn’t have eaten that” moments.

eastkyteaguy

This was one of those pu-erh teas that I tried early in my tea reviewing journey. I loved it back then, and since I bought several pouches of it, I have had numerous opportunities to reevaluate it over the years. In my opinion, it still holds up.

Michelle

I tend to categorize shou into ‘too good to use for medicinal purposes’ and ‘acceptable for a tummy fix but not that interesting’. Its nice to have enough room for both in my cupboard. Hope you are feeling better and that the shou did it’s trick.

ashmanra

I have been neglecting my puerh. I need to get back to drinking it. I still have a bit of the first sheng I ever bought and I really need to take the time to see what it has been up to!

Ilse Wouters

It´s strange : I have stomach problems as well (endoscopies indicated my lower esophageal sphincter does not close anymore) – I´m currently having a mini crisis limiting what I eat to toast, boiled vegetables and no fat yoghurt – and what I have learned through the years is to avoid or limit deep fried foods, sparkling drinks and be very careful with fermented and sour foods/drinks, so when feeling “vulnerable” I won´t touch the crust on fried chicken or take pu erh tea, even when I like both a lot. For me, pu erh gives me the bloated feeling. Jealous now because it seems to help you however.

ashmanra

Ilse: I hope you get relief and can be more free in what you eat and drink! I am trying to formulate my recovery plan, and I know bedtime snacks with Ashman are going to have to be a thing of the past. We had cheese and crackers last night and my stomach was a little angry this morning.

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85

sweet aroma with a gingerbread taste. Lingering sweet aftertaste and a very subtle spiciness.

Flavors: Brown Toast, Coffee, Ginger, Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 220 OZ / 6506 ML

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82

Slight aroma of ocean air and an expensive crab dinner – this is in aroma only, not taste. Very creamy with a coffee roastiness with a slight chalk/mineral note.

Flavors: Chalk, Coffee, Creamy, Mineral, Ocean Breeze, Roasty, Seashell

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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94

Skysamurai’s TTB Thank you!
First gongfu steeping of tea from TTB. Batch: Autumn 2019.

Tea #10
This is a winner! At least so far. I plan to try two more teas.

I decided for gongfu this afternoon and it was the best I could do with this tea. I have used whole 5 grams I had available and steeped in my 125 ml gaiwan. 10 seconds starting time with 10… 15 s increments.

Dry leaf aroma reminds me mostly cacao, slight bitterness and malts.
Steeped? It was a symphony of sweet notes of cacao, chocolate, malt and barley, lightly even a rye, complemented very well with light floral notes and a wee bit of spices.

It deserves a better note.

Flavors: Bitter, Cacao, Chocolate, Floral, Malt, Roasted Barley, Rye, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 125 ML
Leafhopper

I’ve never had the Laoshan Black from Verdant, but the ones from Yunnan Sourcing and What-Cha are great. Glad you enjoyed it!

amandastory516

This is one of my favorites, I always have it on hand because I crave it often.

gmathis

I believe I will not read through all 814 tasting notes for this tea to confirm, but I believe I have had it and remember it being absolutely excellent!

Martin Bednář

I generally tend to like more malty teas instead of chocolate-y ones. But this one was… exceptional!

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87

2022 Sipdown 11/365!

Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge January 2022: Tea with bean notes

Delicious beany/brown sugar green tea, but as I commented in my first note, the “reserve” part is lost on me, as I found it no better than other fresh greens I’ve tried. Perhaps if I’d drank it sooner and in direct comparison to a regular harvest, I’d be able to tell?

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87

5g sample of this tea. It was tasty enough, but nothing really stood out to me from other laoshan greens from Verdant. I think “reserve” harvests, etc., are a bit lost on me. Fresh greens are already quite delicious! Sweet, beany, lots of umami.

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