This is the final tea from Verdant’s blends club for the month of August. This was really the only one out of the three that I was any kind of excited to try… I don’t really have any experience with tieguanyin itself, but at least there’s no licorice or flowers in this one. :P The leaves are a dark brown-green color, and they’re somewhat loosely rolled. The dry scent is mostly roasted oolong, but I do get a little bit of citrus and vanilla. I steeped about a teaspoon and a half for 4 minutes at 190 degrees.

Brewed, the aroma is still mostly roasty and oolongish with maybe a little bit of vanilla? However, the other elements are there in the taste, thank goodness! The oolong itself is very light and sweet, with just enough of a roasty punch. There’s a nice orange flavor, especially near the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. It kind of builds as I continue to drink. The vanilla, well… it’s not there as much as I would like it to be. I can taste a teeny bit. There’s also just the slightest suggestion of spice at the end, I guess it must be coming from the sarsaparilla. I have no idea what birch bark tastes like, so I couldn’t tell you whether or not it’s here. Overall, this is a lovely light and slightly creamy citrusy tea, it kind of reminds me of Fauchon’s Sweet Almond & Orange tea. Thank goodness, I at least liked one tea from this box… glares at Verdant.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Orange Zest, Roasted, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Glad that one suited you. Birch is usually a slightly menthol flavour.

Cameron B.

Oh I see, thanks for telling me. :D I don’t think I got any menthol.

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Glad that one suited you. Birch is usually a slightly menthol flavour.

Cameron B.

Oh I see, thanks for telling me. :D I don’t think I got any menthol.

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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m a 30-year-old software engineer currently living in Austin, Texas with my husband and our two pugs, Gobo and Ume. I tend to cycle between my different hobbies, and they include knitting, video games, board games, miniature painting, bento, baking, and – of course – TEA! But really, what I’m best at is collecting hobby related-things… ;)

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and fluctuate between using mugs or teapots with small cups depending on the season. Occasionally I’ll brew Gongfu style when I’m in the mood. I also use a kyusu for Japanese teas.

I am always up for a swap! Just let me know if you’d like to try something in my cupboard.

Current Subscriptions:
Bird & Blend
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Sips by

Tea Preferences:
I enjoy both flavored and unflavored teas in many forms. These days, I drink mostly flavored teas, and I tend to gravitate most toward black, green, and oolong varieties. I do have a special fondness for straight Japanese green teas, however. I also enjoy maté, rooibos, honeybush, and herbal tisanes.

Fruit: All of them! My ‘go-to’s tend to be in the red fruits, stonefruit, or citrus spectra. I also really love apple, banana, berry, fig, lychee, melon, pear, and rhubarb flavors. Tropical fruits aren’t among my favorites, but I still enjoy them once in a while – especially passionfruit, mango, and pineapple. I am not generally a fan of coconut in tea, though there are some exceptions.

Dessert: I love creamy vanilla and marshmallow flavors, along with anything in the caramel family such as butterscotch, toffee, or maple. Chocolate is also a favorite, though I’m often disappointed by it in tea. And don’t forget anything buttery, cakey, or cookie-y!

Floral: I’m a little bit more particular in this category. I very much enjoy jasmine, even strong jasmine, along with sakura and chamomile. But I’m not crazy about rose or lavender flavors, and I prefer hibiscus in moderation only.

Spices: I don’t generally find myself drawn to masala chai, but I do enjoy spices combined with other flavors. My favorite spices are the warm ones, especially cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and cardamom. A bit of heat from black pepper or chili is okay too, as long as it’s not overwhelming! Ginger can be a lovely accent, but I find it difficult to drink as a starring flavor.

Aromatics: I’m obsessed with Earl Grey! I also love cooling flavors such as mint (especially spearmint), pine, juniper, and eucalyptus. I am not a fan of strong rosemary or sage in tea.

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Taiwan Tea Crafts
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.


Austin, Texas



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