Okay, here is the third and final review of the day. This was another of the oolong samples from Verdant Tea that I had been meaning to finish for some time. I finally got around to it a little earlier in the week. I tend to be a big fan of jade Anxi Tieguanyin, as I am much less inclined to display traditionalist leanings with Anxi oolongs for whatever reason. This one I found to be pretty good. I could not count it among the best Tieguanyins offered by Verdant Tea, but it was certainly worth trying.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of orchid, lilac, violet, custard, and sweetgrass. After the rinse, I noted emerging aromas of cream, butter, and saffron. The first proper infusion then yielded hints of pastry and rose on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor offered delicate, subtle notes of butter, cream, custard, and pastry balanced by hints of sweetgrass, lilac, and orchid. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger sweetgrass, orchid, and lilac notes while the saffron and rose started to make themselves known in the mouth. New impressions of garden peas, minerals, green apple, and watercress also appeared. The later infusions offered lingering traces of minerals, sweetgrass, and butter as well as occasional touches of lilac, violet, and rose.

A very mild, smooth Tieguanyin, I enjoyed this tea’s accessibility and approachability. That being said, I also found it to be a bit boring. As oolongs go, it did not display a ton of depth and did not change much over the course of the session. At the end of the session, it was pretty much just a less aromatic, less flavorful version of the tea it was at the start. I could see it perhaps making a decent introduction to jade Tieguanyin, but for someone who has had a large number of such teas (like myself), this tea was only somewhat satisfying overall.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Garden Peas, Grass, Green Apple, Mineral, Orchid, Pastries, Rose, Saffron, Vegetal, Violet

Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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