Earl of Anxi

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Bergamot, Citrus, Jasmine, Butter, Earth, Floral, Goji, Vegetal, Green, Sweet
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Edit tea info Last updated by Bonnie
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec 4 g 11 oz / 332 ml

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74 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I’ve been waiting for this tea to arrive, so curious about the use of Frankincense in tea. It is curious also that my new blog (soon) is called tea and incense and that the incense I use at home is...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown! I’ve done quite a few of those this week :D anyways, I thought I could sip this one away because today it has been reblended, so if I get a strong desire for it, I can order more before it...” Read full tasting note
  • “Having the cold steep from last night. It is a good mix of citrus and floral, yet smooth. The Frankincense I think is what is making it smooth. It sometimes can toast a little soapy but I did brew...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thought I’d try a couple new teas tonight. I may regret this, as it’s “lights out” in like 11 minutes… Anyways! This was one of the lucky winners. I’ve been super curious, so into the infuser it...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

A unique Earl Grey made with Tieguanyin and laced with saffron and frankincense. . . .
Traditional Earl Grey is a classic, great for every season, but we have always thought that bergamot is such a bright flavor. What if the brightness of Bergamot could be balanced and tempered by darker woodier notes for a tea that could be both comforting and uplifting for the winter months? This was our goal in blending the Earl of Anxi.

We start not with a black tea, but with our famous Hand-Picked Tieguanyin to give the bergamot a cleaner base to integrate with, and reinforce the floral citrus notes. We draw out the citrus sweetness with a uniquely creamy and rich orange peel, and crystallize the florals into a prominent position with jasmine blossoms.

To create the darker more comforting brew we are looking for, we add a creamy, savory base with generous use of Spanish saffron threads. We deepen the sweetness with the caramel fruit notes of goji berries, and to bring it all together we employ the resinous woody notes of pure wild-crafted frankincense sap. This acts as an intriguing base that unifies all the flavor elements and evokes a mountain temple with incense wafting through the air.

Taken together, these ingredients yield a tea that is sweet and creamy, cleansing, and at the same time warming and vaguely intimate because of the saffron and frankincense. Brew up a big pot as a cold-weather companion that evokes the warmth of summer.

Ingredients: Summer Harvest Tieguanyin, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Jasmine, Wildcrafted Frankincense Resin, Organic Goji Berry, Organic Saffron

About Verdant Tea View company

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74 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

I’ve been waiting for this tea to arrive, so curious about the use of Frankincense in tea. It is curious also that my new blog (soon) is called tea and incense and that the incense I use at home is the same type of resin incense used in the tea. FRANKINCENSE

When the tea arrived I wasted no time making a cup. The wet leaves were beyond amazing…with an aroma that transported me by scent association to ‘Places of Prayer’, ‘Honey Cake with Orange and Nutmeg’, ‘Ancient Holy Spaces’, ‘European Museums’, ‘Grandmothers Antiques’ and ‘Lightly Bergamot Scented Linen’.

I was stunned!

I took a sip of tea and the scent and flavor were one and the same.

What to do? The Oolong tea, orange, jasmine and goji berry were woven together so beautifully that the hint of saffron warmth and incense unfurled like an exquisite silk carpet full of intricate patterns.

Impusively, I called Verdant to leave a message of congratulations and David Duckler answered.

(I’m not going to pretend we’ve never talked before, we have. And I’ve chatted by e-mail with other Tea Company owners who make an effort to be friendly like Stacy, Garrett, Bo, Elise and many others.)

We talked about this tea, how he lets the tea (this Oolong) guide him as he pulls down one ingredient, then another in some mystical way until he has the final blend.
I kept telling him how beautiful the wet leaves were, the cream colored puffy jasmine with the dark green Oolong leaves set off by long rusty red goji berries.
Then the scent, perfectly peppery when cold…then almost nutmeg. I kept picking out pieces of jasmine to eat, then nodding my head down again to smell the aroma.

We spoke about my use of Frankincense and how older cultures used resin instead of chemical incense, how my brother uses a long censor with 12 bells on it to bless the people during Vespers on Saturday nights. With a flick of his wrist, out goes the censor using a technique that looks like he’d be super great with a YOYO.
(My brother is a Deacon)

In the cultures where this type of resin incense is used the smell goes into carpets, furniture, wood and fabrics usually creating an association with a ceremony, season of the year or holiday.

We went on to talk of other things, other tea’s and the trip to China in the near future. I kept coming back to this tea, however. I couldn’t help it.

I said, “David, I’ll probably review the Earl of Anxi tomorrow since I want to think about it to do it justice. It’s remarkable! Earl Grey lovers who love the strong taste are going to complain probably, but I think you were right to keep the bergamot very light! It’s in harmony with the other flavors!” He agreed that it was better this way, saying that the softer and lighter nuance doesn’t overpower the blend.

This was absolutely a mind-blowing and unique Verdant tea!


I had some more tea later in the day at my tea pub and by the 3rd steeping the Frankincense became more pronounced in a very fragrant, flavorful way which blended with the Oolong tea and Jasmine beautifully.


Can’t wait to try this one!


omg, I’ve been trying not to buy tea for a while and I just…might…have to. This and the Genmaicha…

Thanks for the review.


Bonnie – once you get your tea blog up, please let me know. I’d love to feature you as a CelebriTEA on my own blog! keenteathyme.blogspot.com


What a great review! and very much looking forward to your blog.
Also? I love Water Night. Have you heard the BYU recording?


Thanks KeenTeaThyme!
Spoon- I think Water Night is beautiful. Eric’s website also posts lots of other creative material from poetry to art which is inspiring. My granddaughter has written a couple choral pieces and loves his work. Thanks!


Bonnie I have some resin both Frankincense and Myrrh – I can dig it out and send you some! Unfortunately I had to use my blending room for an exercise room after my daughter’s surgery but now we are re-converting it into a bedroom.


Thanks Azzrian, I still have Frankincense and some others (I can get resin type at church from Mt. Athos) I found a site that discusses lots of incense types from all over the worlk and rates the quality in a way that sounds like how we describe tea. olfactoryrescueservice.wordpress.com


i think your blog will be cool! be sure you let me know about it.

Michelle Butler Hallett

Wow. This sounds amazing. And I love frankincense.


beautifully written! thank you for this vivd note that i would imagine is the next best thing to an actual tasting first hand :-)


Thank you! I’ve already ordered more because I gave all mine away!

Terri HarpLady

Thanks, as always, Bonnie, for the wonderful review. I brewed a small pot of this today & shared it with my son Drew.


I ended up ordering 2oz of this tea with my latest order! Lol Bonnie, “My name is Jim, and I have a Tea problem!!” It’s actually funny for me to say that, as I did have a very bad drinking problem, and went to rehab and AA…4 years and 3 months without drinking! Although I’ve only started drinking tea profusely in the last 8-9 months, it’s become a “good addiction” for me! I just love how there is always something new to try, even different harvests of the same tea! I am interested in seeing how the autumn Laoshan Black is different from the harvest I have now…spring I think. Also I’m going to try the new harvest Zhu Rong! Also had to get some Mi Lan Dancong Black, and I’m finally trying the Yabao Silver Buds :) So I am going to be very busy this winter trying all of these teas! Next Sunday cant come soon enough! I’m ready for a little R&R :)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

even tho Im kind of allergic to it, that scent always reminds me of mass too

Michelle Butler Hallett

I;ve just ordered some of this. It will take well over a week to get to me. Very excited.


This tea just came in the mail today.
I thought my nick was so original… :-/ …lol
I am going to check your blog


Wow! This review takes me back! Somewhere on pinterest, I have a picture of a cake I made infused with a syrup from this tea last Christmas.

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1186 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’ve done quite a few of those this week :D anyways, I thought I could sip this one away because today it has been reblended, so if I get a strong desire for it, I can order more before it sells out! This is usually my tea for bad days, and today wasn’t actually that bad, I’m just burnt out from school and I need a pick me up. I could have made matcha, but eh maybe later, this feels like the tea for today because it’s bright and sunny out and warm, just like this tea!

Ohhh this is soo creamy, bright, delicious. I might just have to reorder more of this in my next Verdant order…and some of that Laoshan Black Genmaicha too of course! I will try to wait until April at least…lol

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Haha I will be lucky if I make it to the end of the weekend before I order some of this and the Laoshan Black Genmaicha!


I am going to try haha I signed up for the TOTM so I’m hoping one of these comes in it :D, I also just got my last Verdant order last weekend and still have to try a bunch of new ones from it!


Just ordered some today. Can’t wait for it to come!


Awesome! Hope you like it :)

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143 tasting notes

Having the cold steep from last night. It is a good mix of citrus and floral, yet smooth. The Frankincense I think is what is making it smooth. It sometimes can toast a little soapy but I did brew it for 24 hours instead of a smaller bit, but it’s still good.

Also I need to learn this song


Water: 20oz
Time: 24 hours about
Pot: Glass
Leaf: 4 times infused 1 tsp amount


You’re kidding. Love potion #9 ?! I think of Rachmaninoff’s Vigil.We are different.


Eh it is a little corny, but I love the instrumental cover the Ventures do. Wait, did you think I was describing the tea with the song?


Yup! Tea matched to music.


Oh, I was just talking that I wanted to learn it; not matching with tea. Otherwise I think yours would fit better for that…


Ha! I’m silly! When I drink black tea or puer (which is black tea for the most part) at Happy Luckys Tea House, I listen to old jazz, swing or big band. Some teas I want silence, some classical and some smooth jazz, piano or guitar. I remember that song though when it came out. Liked poisen ivy, hully gully and green onions. Bitchin!



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6107 tasting notes

Thought I’d try a couple new teas tonight. I may regret this, as it’s “lights out” in like 11 minutes…

Anyways! This was one of the lucky winners. I’ve been super curious, so into the infuser it went! The floral-y/citrusy aroma is oddly familiar (can’t say I know what either saffron or frankincense smells like, so I’m not sure if it’s that), but underneath the familiar aroma is definitely Verdant’s distinctive tieguanyin. The flavour is much the same – a solid base of the vegetal, delicious oolong overlaid with citrusy and floral notes. I was going to mention that I wasn’t really getting bergamot in here, so it wasn’t really working as an “earl something” for me, but I see that there is no bergamot – the citrus is orange peel! I think I personally prefer this choice of citrus, and am finding that it compliments the oolong very well. The jasmine is likely providing the floral note that I’m picking up, but I love that it has been so delicately used such as to not overpower everything else. (Now that I read there’s jasmine in here, I imagine that the familiarity in aroma may have been in part attributed to it.)

I am really enjoying this blend – all of the different elements are making it quite a treat to drink, and I have to say that I could see myself preferring this to a straight tieguanyin just because it’s so interesting, yet retains the strong oolong character.

Great tea for tonight!

ETA: Second infusion (didn’t pay attention to parameters) is super strong today! It probably got around 3 mins, and the aroma is definitely of jasmine, and the orange peel is still a prominent flavour, along with what’s likely the frankincense? Either way, it could stand to be a bit more dilute, but it’s quite delicious. Can still taste the oolong as well. Mmmmm.

ETA again: This tea does not quit! There is still a ton of flavour on infusion 3 (lovely orange, light oolong, probably frankincense, less jasmine). Delicious. Also, I noted waxy stuff on the bottom of my last cup – must be that the frankincense melted and sank to the bottom during the infusion. I opted to use a metal infuser in case wax got on it that I needed to clean… I guess I’ll see how it fared after another few infusions!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Glad to hear it’s orange peel and not bergamot! I’ve been curious about this one for a while now.


If you like tieguanyin, I’d recommend picking up a sample!


“I may regret this, as it’s “lights out” in like 11 minutes…” LOL! I just can’t stop reading your tasting notes even though I’m late for work. They’re too good!!


Glad you did more than one infusion because the frankincense blooms with each infusion since it’s a hard resin that softens with the hot water and releases flavor and fragrance.


Bonnie – it definitely seems to have come out more in the second infusion, if the flavour I think it is is correct! I think I will do a third today if I have time!


Lights out? AS in they make you go to bed at a certain time or is this your own lights out rule?


Hahaha, definitely just my own attempt at better bedtimes. I am so far failing. Sigh.

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2291 tasting notes

Tea of my heart, you are so tasty.

I love this. The jasmine and frankincense are amazing together. The super floral oolong is just amazing with it. I definitely get how people can say oolongs can taste like lilacs – no doubt that is enhanced by the jasmine. I keep thinking I should drink what I have, but then I never do because the idea that I need to wait and save it for something special overpowers. Hah. That’s ridiculous.

So I’m enjoying it now. I hope the incense is easier to get out of the glass steeper than it is the metal ones…

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Going on my shopping list :)


Haha. Definitely a good one if you like floral. :)


I’m glad you’re in love with this one haha.


Crowkettle gave me some in the initial meetup we had in Victoria, and I also ordered more. I can totally see this as a love-it-or-hate-it tea. :)


I should note that this is a well-aged sample, too!


note the “…if you like floral…” bleeeeeeeeechhhhhh haha


Florals yummm! I do love this one.


Florals, yeeeeeeeeeeesssss, lol


LOL! Sil, you are in the minority here. :)


Omgsrsly, It’s ok, she is uniquely awesome :-)

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1220 tasting notes

Oh why did I only get a sample of this?!

I like Earl Grey but I prefer a lighter bergamot flavor, so this is already off to a great start before I even drink it. It brews up a very pale yellow and smells full of flowers.

It’s citrusy, like you know there is bergamot, but at the same time it doesn’t really feel like it, if that makes sense. The floral notes are even better. Jasmine goes so well with orange, I want to seek out more teas with that combination…it especially goes well with the tie guan yin (I’ve pulled up a green tea base one, meh).

I was really curious about the frankincense. I had to try a piece from the dry tea. It’s a bit waxy and now stuck to my back teeth but it was worth it. I thought maybe it was going to taste too much like a church, but it’s a very intriguing taste. I don’t even know how to describe it…definitely is like eating incense but in the cleanest possible taste. It definitely has all the elements of this tea in there, though.

I had two steeps of it and it was amazing, and I hope to make at least 2 more cups from the sample packet. And then get more. Because yum.


It is hard to describe but cleansing in a way. When I drink this tea, I feel like I’ve swept out all the cobwebs in my head (there are lots of cobwebs).


Interesting! I bought a sample but it’s in Ontario while I’m now in Saskatchewan. Guess I’ll have to try it in 2013!


Trust me, you will get at least 2 more. This tea steeps really well.


The frankincense softens in the hot water and releases it’s flavor more after the first steeping and onward.

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15147 tasting notes


(and man do i need some of those…) My verdant orders arrived tonight and as a result, all the hard work i was doing to get my cupboard under control before the girls descend upon my house next weekend is all out the window. BUT in the spirit of those orders I figured that I might as well finish off this sample that’s been hanging out in my house for a little bit.

I still don’t love this blend. There’s something in it that makes me unhappy. Later steeps are a bit tastier but still nothing i need to order again. Still always love trying verdant’s new blends :)


I’m not shocked that you don’t care for this one given that it has a green oolong base :P


It’s actually not the base…it’s one of the ingredients. Makes me sneeze. Could be th frankincense.


Hmm, possibly! I quite liked it. Just ordered a sample and had it sent to my mom (along with some Holy Basil Spa Blend).

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4843 tasting notes

Thank you to Azzrian for sending me a bit of this tea … it’s awesome!

This is a totally interesting and unique take on Earl Grey – so much so that you’ll question whether or not you’re actually drinking a bergamot flavored tea! It is so amazingly balanced to create an amazingly smooth beverage unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.

The goji berry accents the tangy notes of the citrus, while the sweetness of the Oolong offers a balance to the acidic nature of these ingredients. The frankincense offers balance to the fragrant notes, while the jasmine accentuates the floral tones but not in a way that comes off too flowery. The saffron offers an undertone of savory bitterness to the overall cup and together the ingredients create a delicious new way to taste bergamot.

If you’re a fan of bergamot, you really should try this. It really changes the profile of bergamot, while keeping some of the basic qualities of it … and the end result is a really wonderful and new way to experience the exotic fruit.

I really, really like this. David outdid himself with this blend! It’s amazing!


Wish I could have sent ya more, I only had a little left. xo


I hope you steeped this several times, the incense comes out fully at about the third steeping. I didn’t figure that out on the first time around.


Wow, this tea never appealed to me before reading this review but now it does. Very good job of describing the “alchemy” of this tea. I feel like I didn’t understand it before but now I do. Haha


I’m actually on my third infusion now … I had a dinner date with my oldest daughter this evening so I’m just now settling in and enjoying this tea a third time. It’s really amazing… it becomes smoother and yes, I know what you mean about the incense sensation, it smells just like an incense shop … when you walk past it in the mall, I can smell the frankincense very distinctly. It’s really a remarkable tea … I can’t get over how well everything works together.

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2201 tasting notes

This morning I was feeling a little off, primarily because of some events that just have me really down. It’s one of those things where you start to feel physically bad because you feel emotionally bad. There’s nothing I can really do about it so hopefully I will start feeling better as time passes.

Anyway, I didn’t even really feel like having tea, but this one was next on my chronology and I thought the herby blend might settle my stomach a bit. It actually made me feel a lot better all around. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the frankinsence in this blend but I enjoy it. This may make for another nice oolong to have when I’m not feeling so hot. Will have to keep that in mind.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

This is another tea I’d like to distill as a perfume. :)

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3294 tasting notes

I really want to like this tea. The title is cool, the ingredients sound good. I know all of the ingredients are top quality. I followed all the instructions. It smells wonderful, & is visually appealing.

The first steep, which I shared with my son Drew, was nice, with flavors & aromas of Tieguanyin, jasmine, & orange peel, but after I drank it my tummy felt funky. Drew enjoyed it.

The 2nd steeping (a few hours later), which was mostly served to my daughter Arianna & her friend, also gave me a quasi-nausea, even though I only took a few sips. They both loved it, saying things like, “This tea is so mysterious! I taste the jasmine, but I don’t know what these other flavors are.”

The 3rd steeping is when the Frankincense really comes out. I have ‘real’ frankincense resin here, which I burn on occasion (I also burn sweet grass & sage on other occasions), & I love the smell, but the taste isn’t really doing it for me. Also, I think my body is saying “no”, because after a sip, I could feel that Quasi sensation again. Ari & her friend really loved it! They totally grooved on the incense smell & taste.

I will put this away for a few weeks, & then try again… If it doesn’t work for me, I can use it as ‘tea currency’ on a trade.


Haha indeed – I have yet to try mine.

Autumn Hearth

Quasi queezey? I have yet to order mine. Yea currency indeed, though I do hope you have a better reaction next time.


Now I’m torn. I’m always so nervous to try new things. I planned to order some of this with my next order. Bonnie made it sound so good, now I’m nervous. lol

Terri HarpLady

Boxer, want me to send you a sample?

Terri HarpLady

Autumn, I can send you one too

Terri HarpLady

I just have to say this: Everyone else here who tried it loved it. Keep in mind, I have a lot of wierd allergies & sensitivities, so you guys will probably love it. I’m just posting my experience.


I certainly wouldn’t object! I love earl grey, but I have no idea what frankincense is. lol

Terri HarpLady

Frankincense is a resin (sap) of the Boswellia tree, which was basically the first incense people burned, or at least one of them. It’s quite different from stick incense. Anyway, send me a message with your address, & I’ll send you a sample.


I feel the same way about this tea.

Terri HarpLady

Not everybody is going to like everything…


The second steep seemed to overpower me with ginger. It was beautiful to look at and it smelled great though.

Terri HarpLady

The ginger part I love, I grate up ginger & make a to sane with it often. I haven’t given this tea a second chance yet, there are just too many others to try out. I will get back around to it eventually!

Terri HarpLady

hmmm….just realized, the earl doesn’t have any ginger in it. I hope I didn’t mix the labels up on your samples…


Maybe it just reminded me of ginger… lol

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