172 Tasting Notes
I’m feeling good right now because it’s a monday night and I have the day off from school tomorrow, so I can sit back and relax and know that I can drink as much tea as I want without having to worry about getting to sleep on time (it’s a daily struggle choosing between that last cup of tea and a good night’s sleep). It’s a nice, cool day here in eastern Pennsylvania. It’s been raining quite a bit and the air is nice and crisp as a result, I just love the smell and feel of the air after rain, and it’s setting the perfect tone for drinking this tea.
First of all, I just LOVE the way the downy buds of a silver needle look. I love the look of any bud-only tea. I also love the texture of silver needles when you drink them, that funny drying feeling on your tongue as the little hairs of the tea buds mingle with your taste buds.
Rishi’s silver needle is one of only two silver needles I’ve had previously to this one, and it’s definitely my favorite and is far sweeter compared to the other one that I had which was from Teavivre. As I imagined, that sweetness works really well with the flavor of jasmine. The sweetness of the buds blends perfectly with the intoxicating aroma and sweet taste of the jasmine, but the tea base still has enough oomph to it to balance it out (in the odd way that white teas can have oomph).
Right now, with this cup of tea in my hands, with the scent of sweet, floral jasmine wafting up at me through billows of hot steam, I am happy.
I was craving bergamot and I had this lying around (untouched for ages) and out of desperation I brewed some up. Now I remember why I left it sitting. This stuff tastes how I imagine lavender scented perfume would taste, with a slight aftertaste of soap. On the bright side, I’m re-watching a fantastic documentary called “Wild China”. It shows different regions in China and explores each regions nature, wildlife and culture and let me tell you, it’s a BEAUTIFUL country with amazing people. On my list of top 5 places to visit in the world, China would be number one (with Japan and Canada following). But now I’m rambling a bit. But if you’re bored or looking for something with substance to watch and you have Netflix, you should definitely stream it or rent the discs. It’s a great documentary about a beautiful and culturally rich place (and, of course, the motherland of our precious tea).
Man, a little jasmine tea is good for the soul. Nice and smooth with that fragrant and relaxing sweetness that only jasmine possesses. Not quite as sweet as other jasmines I’ve had, but it’s very good. The leaves are beautiful (albeit not quite as beautiful as pearls) and have little pieces of jasmine petals scattered throughout.
Alright, I’ve been playing around with it and the best flavor came on the second one minute steep at around 170 degrees. Nice and vegetal with a silky mouthfeel, a mineral flavor, and a trace of sweetness. There’s also a bit of a mouth-coating effect. Not mind blowing to me (that usually only happens to me with Japanese greens), but it’s very good. I just placed an order for the Yanxin’s Reserve ’04 Shu Nuggets, Yunnan Golden Buds, and Zhu Rong Black so I look forward to trying those.
This sample was generously provided to me by Bonnie (still haven’t figured out how to make words bold). I was very curious about trying a smoked tea, and just a bit apprehensive. The aroma of the dry leaf is INTENSE pine smoke.
My dad makes his own venison jerky in a backyard smoker using a combination of pinewood and hickory, and that’s what the smell of this tea reminded me of.
The flavor proved to be more mellow, and I have to say I liked it a lot. I didn’t expect to like it this much. It was smooth and surprisingly light, and there is something very refined about it. It reminded me of grilled vegetables and a good cigar. Thanks again, Bonnie!
Side note: I take my SAT’s tomorrow morning, wish me luck!
Another tea from my second round of samples provided by Teavivre. This is my first time trying a bi luo chun and the reason I chose it was honestly just that I thought the leaves looked cool, hehe. It’s definitely a beautiful looking tea. I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the taste, but that’s not to say that it’s not a good tea, I’m more casual with my reviews and usually rate based on whether or not I personally liked it. This tea was just a little flat tasting for me.
I definitely agree with what Ian said about the “saltiness”. There’s a definite alkaline taste to it, and other than that all I’m getting is your typical vegetal green flavor. All in all, I’ll happily drink it every now and then…it just didn’t captivate me in any way. Still a big fan of Teavivre, many thanks to them for the samples.
I’ve been drinking this a lot, the aroma of the dry leaf is out of this world and the taste is smooth and complex. I wish that Verdant would print individual tea steeping instructions for the specific kind, because on the label it says three minutes but on the website it says one minute and it’s MUCH better following the website’s instructions. Anyways, great stuff.
I’ve enjoyed the other teas from Verdant so far very much, but I’m gonna refrain from rating this one as I feel like I HAVE to be brewing it wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I like this tea and I think it’s quite a good one, but I’ve been trying hard to see why everyone seems to be blown away by it and why I paid so much for it, but I can’t. To me it tastes very similar to the dragonwell that I have in my cupboard. I’m really not trying to be critical, I just want to figure out if it’s my fault before I waste the rest brewing it incorrectly. Any suggestions?