676 Tasting Notes
Good News Mi Lan Dancong Black is now available on the Verdant Website
Pre-release Preview Review Thank you David Duckler for this Sample
Last week I received my order of Laoshan White Tea…so happy to open the Verdant box. There was a note from David Duckler and 2 pouches of samples with handwritten labels that both said ‘Pre-release Preview’ and the name of the tea!
I’ve waited days to try the first tea. No distractions. I wanted to do a proper job of being quiet and still. Sometimes I tell a story with a tea review. A vision will come easily. Today, I had many visions of moonless phosphorescent lagoons and tropical flora. An Island lived on and others traveled to. The visions were many and mine alone. I don’t know why.
The flavors and tastes I am able to share with more ease.
Here are the directions:
4 tsp. tea leaves, 4oz. boiling water
rinse 1 second
steep 3 seconds and add 1 second for each additional steeping
(I followed this method for 3 steepings then switched to Geoffrey’s method of 6 oz water and 8 seconds on the 4th steeping)
The wet leaves smelled initially roasty and vegital, then more and more like tobacco.
The color of the liquor began as a light gold then changed and remained vibrant golden ocre and clear.
1. Shock! Is this a Black tea or a Dragonwell?
The first taste was such a surprise of sweet, succulent juiciness.
I was caught up in a rush, cream and floral smashing at full force then zoom…all the way to roasted pork loin with crispy skin and the scent of sugared stone fruit at the bottom of my cup. Wow! That was fast! Like the first Star Wars hyperspeed to warp speed…then jump to Lightspeed!
2. I experienced a little tannin and bitterness for a split second up front. Then, it was all gone. A sweetness swooshed around me like a golden cape of perfect burre blanc sauce with salted yellow plantain. Thick, sweet… ending with freshly sliced mango dripping with fruit sugar. Impossible! This was so tropical for a black tea!
I had to stop and catch my breath!
3. The tea smelled like risotto with a hint of saffron. This was the best flavor. There was no bitterness and the tannin was way back on the tongue. Sweet, honey, creamy with the mango lighty coupled with D’anjou pear. Um um um lick your lips good!
4. Following Geoffrey’s (Business Manager at Verdant) sensibility, I steeped the leaves a little longer to see what would happen.
This was the first time I could absolutely tell this was truly a black tea. (I thought there was a mystery involved earlier. A cloak was disguising this Black Dancong.)
Now I remembered some black teas from Napal. Those lavish border blacks that have fruity lightness and are deeply rich that I adore.
The sugar noted in earlier steepings had become wildflower honey and there was a new nutty, salty, pecan flavor in the background that was so light and delicious. The previous fruit and a new floral softness was playfully dancing in my cup as if they had always been present together.
At that moment, all of it came together. The swirl of all three previous tastings and this final one ended with clarity…. of settling down.
I have never experienced a Black Tea like this one. It was like an oolong, a darjeeling or dragonwell and then not. Then again a Black Tea!
Some tea’s are exquisitly Beautiful! Full of private visions!
This Mi Lan Dancong is one of those special tea’s filled with Radiance.
This is one of the Teavivre tea’s that I decided to purchase in bulk for daily use. Why?
Originally this pu-erh wasn’t even part of the sample program that many of us have enjoyed receiving from Teavivre.
During the sample mailings I noticed that there was this one lonely
pu-erh with no reviews so I asked Angel if I could have some so that a review could go up on Steepster.
She sent me the sample and..I ended up liking this tea.
But what made me purchase it for daily use? I looked for four things flavor, quality, the company and cost.
I have more expensive pu-erhs than this one, jewels that have exceptional flavor which I drink on special occasions and some just once a week.
My daily pu-erhs tend to fit a flavor profile that I don’t get tired of. This is of good quality from a company that I love doing business with and at a price I can afford. (I am living on a fixed income!)
The tea is a little bit salty and bready which is something I find appealing. The earthiness is not too strong and there is great richness and body that stands up to sweetening and milk if I want a morning latte.
( Please, Rinse the dry leaves 20 seconds)
I recommend Western Style brewing because the Brew takes a good amount of tea leaves (3-4 teaspoons per 8oz) and a short (1-2 minute) Steep.
I have done this method over and over successfully with a rich and dark liquor each time.
I wouldn’t suggest using a gaiwan unless you were cutting the leaf to a minimal amount for 4oz.
Resteeping produces great results!
The price is very good $9.90 for 100 grams.
Thank you ME for buying this tea!
I broke down and paid for Teavivre tea! Hee Hee!
So I have to thank myself for doing the right thing and buying one of my top 5 Black tea’s of all time (Truely this and Verdant’s Laoshan Black are #1 and #2 but I’m not telling in which order)!
My tea cupboard is awesome! Filled with bins of tea from the great to the wanna be great’s. I’ve become emotionally attached to some tea (hate to say this, but I’m a tea hoarder when it comes to some tea..you’d better not touch some of them…I’ll jump all over your…)
to the point that letting them go is almost out of the question. Sinful!
Writing reviews about some of the lesser quality tea’s can get to drag me down. UH! Burn out!
After awhile…I run..to my jewels, those beautiful special tea’s I can always count on for relief. Oh yes! Great tasting tea again! My precious! (I couldn’t resist!)
I am saved!
Today, I needed saving from the bad tea blues. My Bailin Gongfu Black could save anyone from the blues. It’s the best of Black Malty, Cocoa, Rich and Smooth, Bready, Golden Goodness!!!!!
Slurp, Gulp, Sweet or with Cream! Exceptional!
I Love, Love, LOVE THIS TEA
Thank you DHart1214 for this tea sample!
This is my very first tea from The Tea Spot. I know they have a shop in Boulder,(for goodness sakes that’s the headquarters of the company) but with so many shops to choose from in that tea wealthy town…I have yet to get around to it.
I chose Bolder Breakfast this morning for DUH obvious reasons. And, the tease of chocolate with pu’erh was begging me for a review. Please little package of tea from Boulder, Colorado…(I thought) don’t make me lose face and look like an idiot in the tea community! This State has awesome beer, great tea houses, but can’t we please have some decent Colorado blended tea (I’m leaving Celestial Seasonings out of this)?!
I brewed my 8oz in a mug with a finum filter for 4 minutes.
The scent was delicious with cocoa steaming a promising cuppa tea.
The first sip was Very mild. I could taste cocoa, no pu-erh, and a very mild black tea. Nothing but mild, non-assertive and middle of the road tea flavor. Even a bit sour probably due to the flavoring.
I didn’t like it.
I added sweetening and cream. The additions helped the tea but the black tea base is so bleh that I didn’t enjoy the tea. Probably people who are sensitive to strong flavor would like this tea. I can’t imagine why though. And the sourness. And lack of pu-erh flavor. Oh no! Yucky!
I would never choose to buy this tea. Thumbs Down!
Appreciate that Dhart1214 sent me some of her The Tea Spot teas for me to try!
Thank you Stacy for this tea Sample
What a pleasure to have overlooked a Butiki tea sample. How on earth did that ever happen? I look forward to every little bag.
Whatever the reason, it’s been found at the right time.
Today I don’t feel good. I’m sure this will pass soon enough.
My weekend was great so I can reflect a good time with my granddaughter Schey! (I forget that I have disabilities and do more than I should at times, especially when the weather is hot. I live in a fantasy world and think I’m in my 40’s!)(or younger!)
First we went to Church Sunday morning and then stopped by the H.L. (Happy Luckys) tea shop for a pot of Puerh. This was Scheys first Puerh! I have to say the experience was like ‘Steepster Live’! We were at the bar, the shop was quiet and the servers had been tasting samples I brought in the day before. I was hearing verbal reviews. Schey was giving me her review of the Pu-erh (LOVED IT!), and I was in heaven!
I drank more tea later when I arrived back home…and then…I couldn’t sleep till 2 am! I’m trying to set up a blog. No zzzzzzzzz’s
I felt ill this morning at 7 am….burned out and not good at all.
I saw this little packet from Butiki. Hum.
What was a Guranse? Another one of those high caffeine tea’s that Stacy has?
(I had no idea!)
With a good deal of blind faith and trust that whatever was in the packet would be good because it came from Butiki, I followed the only information on the label and used boiling water then steeped for 3 minutes.
What a shock when I tasted the tea!
“Wow, this is good!” I said.
(I think in my foggy brain that I half expected an unflavored Guayusa.)
This tea was light and sweet with the essence of Freestore Peach and Assam. BUT, without being as dark or malty as an Assam. WAH?…A totally different kind of Black Tea than I’m used to!
To compare this tea to a Darjeeling would be a mistake also. There was no acidity or tannin, just smooth and juicy light and fruity tea. (Sounds like a jingle)
I let my cup cool. Sipping again and again…trying to reach deep into the soul of this tea. Always the floral sugary peach(could there be a vanilla cream with the peach I am still not committed to that idea as yet)vibrated in my mouth.
Guranse has my attention! At no time have I tasted a light Black Tea like this one. I have 4 Black Tea’s from 2 companies that are my favorites and all 4 are FULL BODIED! Very rich and unmistakably distict! My… BONNIE’S TOP BLACK TEA LIST!
This little tea slid in under the radar and slapped me awake!
I love the subtle beauty of this drippy, succulent, peachy liquor!
High Praises Stacy!!! You will hear from me!
Later that same evening…
Tonight I steeped this tea again nice and strong, cut an apple into cubes, heated the apple in the microwave and then poured the tea over the apples to infuse them for a bit. Later, I drained some of the liquid off, added a pat of butter and some brown sugar crystals and popped the apples into the oven next to a breast of chicken that was cooking in a mixture of brewed Butiki Tangerine Creamsicle Guayusa, and bacon. (Yes I’ll have some spinach greens too at the end).
Don’t know how this will turn out…going to check on it now…
Oh Wow! The Chicken is really good! Um…I think I’m going to have the apples alongside the chicken because they’re soft and mild. The apples in this tea is mild (no spice added).
Perfect with the cream citrus poultry.
If I had company over I’d turn the juices into a beautiful glaze and chiffonade some basil and mint over the top. This would be so good with rice. (no apples though) And add artichokes or asparagas.
Yoo Hoo! Canned Tea!
How low can you go? (get it, CAN…ha ha)
Granddaughter Schey came over and we wandered over to Old Town for
a light dinner at the ‘WAFFLE LAB’.
Oh yes boys and girls, Fort Collins boasts a wonderous black box of a food truck that has the best waffles on the planet! AND, it’s in the parking lot smack dab next to one of the many Breweries our town is know for. (What’s not to like about this scene so far.)
Now Schey is 18 and can’t go to Pub’s unless, she’s sitting outside with Grandma eating WAFFLES! This was lot’s of fun for her. Some young women in platform heels going to a bachelorette party came by for waffles. Lots of good looking young men came by for waffles. A great people watching venue to be sure!
I ordered a chedder, mozzerella, smoked ham with fresh basil maple waffle sandwich. Oh ouch it was soooo good! (no tomatoes, allergic)
Then with it a Super Sized 23.5oz. Green (has Black tea too) naturally Mango Flavored, Pure Cane Juice, Honey and Ginseng TEA. CHILLED! In a CAN!
Uh huh! CAN, CAN, CAN!
Right about then, (as we sat down at the outdoor covered Brewery and Waffle Lab shared lounge) music came on and it was party time. People at the nearby tables were friendly, we met some neighbors…chatted and laughed. This was the best small town Saturday Night magic.
My can of tea was refreshing and light. Yes, I was skeptical about the ginseng and cane juice. Would this be one of those too sweet drinks? Absolutely not! The natural favor was soft and the sweetening just right and not too sugary. The blend of green with black tea gave body to the blend without bitterness.
In all, a very nice CAN of tea!
Perfect with my Waffle Lab dinner.
(Here’s a piece of trivia…Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland is
modeled after College Avenue, Fort Collins…in Old Town.)
Iced Zhu Rong Yunnan Black!
I seldom review a tea 3 times! But, because Verdant Tea has created a buzz about cold brewing and icing various tea’s, I thought I’d experiment with one that they suggested.
A long, long time ago. When there were no laptops and no wi-fi! (Yes children, no Facebook or Twitter!) There was Chocolate Soda.
I can’t remember who made the stuff, but it was dark chocolate soda and I liked it.
It was a sad day when it disappeared. I couldn’t even go have coffee or hic’ Tazo hic’ because Starbucks didn’t exist either!
Not until now could my cool Chocolate craving be satisfied.
Here and now, I come to that chocolaty goodness in a cold beverage without it containing milk!
I do not like milky things when it’s hot! No chocolate milk, no hot chocolate.
Even if I have a gelato I’m looking for water right away because I don’t like the milky residue. It makes me thirstier.
What I prepared today was a pot of tea western style and then I continued with 4 steepings. I poured the tea over ice, quickly transfered the tea again before the ice melted into a covered pitcher and then into the frig. it went. That’s all I did!
Hours went by and it was time for the cold tea reveal!
I think the best way I like to enjoy this tea is to pour it into a fancy water goblet. The color sparkles like golden Russian Amber!
When I brought the glass close to my nose…oh the aroma of baked potato chips and cocoa was as full as rising steam.
I Swirled the Tea with my hand cupped over the top and then sniffed again as I would with a glass of wine! Slightly Smoky, Cocoa Honey!
There was no more time to wait. I wanted a sip of this glittering liquor.
With cool tea you can let a good amount swish and roll around, then back… taking your time before finishing the sip.
The coolness is noticed first as you would imagine, and then bittersweet chocolate, smoky orange honey and potato chips in an altogether impossible way. Something elegant rushes like stones skipping on a pond through your mouth. Yes, like skipping stones. So much rich, smooth, cool flavor.
My chocolate craving that has been going on for years (I ain’t tellin) had been satisfied.
OOPS! I must say that I sweetened the tea a ‘little bit’ but not much.
I also cold brewed some Laoshan Chai STRONG and used Ginger Syrup with it then Chilled the beauty…oh yes! This I would use with a liquor like Rum.
Tasty, cool. CHOCOLATE!
I really thought hard about what to do with my 300th review. It should be special. Memorable at least to me. What tea would I choose?
I received tea in the mail today.
Still, I couldn’t decide.
Stalling, I stopped by Happy Lucky’s Tea House after mailing 5 packages of tea off to Steepsters, and all my buddies were at the bar. I was greeted warmly as always.
My purse was jammed with gifts…a Butiki Good Morning Sunshine Guayusa, Verdant Laoshan White, Xingyang 1998 Golden Leaf Puer for Andy from Verdant, Butiki Blue Nettle Green Tea, all samples for my friends to try. Even the owner popped in for a taste. A gaiwan and little gonfu pot flashed into action.
I sat smiling and drank Lapsang Souchong, watching with glee as my Happy Lucky’s tea shop friends enjoyed their tasting.
Which brings me to the point of my 300th review.
My tea journey is about community. I have never tried to write a certain number of reviews per day, or crank out reviews to beat a record. It’s all about YOU really.
My relationship with you on Steepster…and my family, my community, my past, the environment, the whole World and God!
That sounds deep and you know I get funny, silly, crazy even.(That’s my celebratory side. Joyful abandon! The love of life.)
How can tea do this?
It’s like a mirror. Reflective. When you take a moment to stop…to be quiet in life and to be present in the moment…amazing things can happen inside. Amazing and healing things can happen.
I want to thank Happy Lucky’s Tea House for being friendly to me at a time in my life when I have had no other friends.
For accepting me at their tea bar as I am.
For picking up my cane when it falls.
For always smiling at me when I walk in the door.
For accepting my small gifts of tea.
Thank you so much! (sniffle)
Lion and Lamb is a Lapsang Souchong with a tender side. This is a blended smoky tea for those who just can’t hang with the full strength China Lapsang Souchong. There’s a bit of orange peel and a large amount of the best freeze dried Jasmine I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s just like Jasmine popcorn (which I said in my first review).
The first thing I do before brewing is pick out a few flowers for myself and crunch away. (so tasty and puffy light)
After 4 minutes, the pour is light and smoky without being overdone. You can taste a hint of roastiness from the Jasmine somewhere along the line of corn.
I like to have my smoked tea sweet, so I added a little bit and enjoyed my cup even more. ScottTeaMan likes this blend. He has no idea that I just picked some up as a gift for him. Surprise Scott! Happy 300th from me to you!
My review makes sense now doesn’t it. I brought my 300th home to where I am right now.
Here’s hoping that everyone can find a place like the one I have right
here in Fort Collins that welcomes you as a friend and serves you a good cup of tea!
http://youtu.be/bnvGwpO3bms My Town
I’ve been bagging samples to send off to people all day. I really mean it, ALL DAY.
For a person (me) who has no ability to multi-task (my brain misfire issue), bagging, labeling, making notes and keeping a list of who’s been sent what tea takes triple time. The only easy part is sweeping tea debris off the wood floors.
At about 5pm, I was beginning to nod off to sleep on the couch. Garumph! That would never do! “When was the last time I had some tea today?”, I asked myself. “Too long, too long ol girl.” So I rummaged around for a lonely tea that I’d been ignoring (feeling tea guilt).
Oh yes, the Green Tropical. I almost forgot about this little plastic bag. It certainly looks like it came from a spice store all green see through as though it’s filled with Rosemary or Greek Oregano. Hum. The tea had not impressed me the first go around at all.
I was very careful to steep the leaves 3 minutes. The flavor is flat at high heat…those who drink this tea comment on how much better it is cool or chilled. So I waited.
There is a strange astringency…not like a bite at the finish that lingers, but a stinging on the whole surface of the tongue. I don’t see the point since the tea is so faintly flavored. There’s hardly any pineapple to speak of. No strawberry. Almost nothing to hang onto.
The best thing this tea has going for it is a nice floral/fruity scent when dry…like a room freshener.
As a tea, not that interesting.
Really a boring, boring tea. But the caffeine will keep me awake! ;)
Tucked in a familiar silver package, the 3/4 full remains of my Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds Pu-erh had been urging me to come and enjoy the gift of goodness I remembered once again.
Others have been writing reviews lately and I was tempted…pushed the thought away…but the urge kept coming back. I wait for the right time for certain tea’s. And for Puerh’s especially.
I can safely say that I pick a tea to drink according to my mood.
I’m unable to review certain kinds of tea without a very clear and centered mind.
It’s the difference between reading The Cat in the Hat (which is cute and charming) and a novel like The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (one of my favorites) only here we’re talking about tea.
(Half of you just walked away making that twirly motion next to your head indicating CRAZY!) I don’t care!
My steep time was 2 minutes in a glass pot Western Style. (I wanted lots of tea!)
The color of the liquor was dark Chocolate fudge brown and smelled like expensive Italian leather shoes. New ones. A very nice smell indeed.
I poured myself a cup and took the first long sip, rolling the liquid around in my mouth blissfully. The juicy, mild Puerh had the essence of gentle air after a hard rain. I imagined myself in North Ferriby, U.K with an umbrella in my hand…standing on a corner… waiting at a bus stop with the smell of rain, wet paving stones and fresh moss. I could see the Humber Bridge Span in the distance through the misty drizzle.
It’s a warm enough day though.
The tea smells and tastes like plumped up, wet tea buds and the aftertaste is Thai grilled chicken.
I wouldn’t mind taking this cup into an ancient musty library at Nottingham University hurrying past old stone and polished creaky wood, my body would enter and find a lone soft chair and plop down, limp like a discarded marionette.
Tea and a place can come together as a singular vision. A story and a novel,fragrance and a flavor stirred up at the right moment.
I’m glad that I waited for this tea. It’s a good lesson for me to trust my own instincts about where I am on the tea path. I have so much to learn.
(This review is for Steepster Roughage from the U.K.)