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Recent Tasting Notes
208 Degrees F, Gongfu, 20 sec + 10 infusions
Verdant tea recommends 10 sec + 2 sec infusions, but I found it way too light. I recommend longer steeping times. Once I pushed the tea a little more, I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. Fresh Tieguanyins can come off as a little too punchy for my palette, but the light roasting on this really mellows out the fresh cut grass and adds a deep sweet honey note to the tea. A very full bodied experience. I love heavily roasted oolongs and this was a nice change up, a bit fresher and greener. Fresh cut grass, honey, sweet potatoes, some light stone fruit notes. Tea is still going strong after 7 infusions.
Season: Autumn 2017
Cultivar: Daping Village, Anxi
Origin: Fujian, China
Elevation: 1050 M
Eyes – Dry Leaf: Rolled olive green and black leaves
Nose – Dry Leaf: Sea Air, Charcoal, Peaches
Nose – Wet Leaf: Butter, Fresh cut grass, Rocky, Stonefruits,
Eyes – Liquor: Pear, very light yellow
Mouth – Texture: Thick and viscous
Mouth – Taste: Butter, yams, Fresh cut grass, honey, spinach
Nose – Empty Cup: Buttery spinach with honey
Mouth – Finish: Smooth, lubricating
Eyes – Wet Leaf: Large crinkly olive green leaves
Body Sensation: Pleasantly relaxed, loving life
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Honey, Spinach, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes
1TB for a tiny yixing pot, steep times varying from 10 seconds to five minutes, water at 100C.
Yes, water at 100C. The farmer said his shou mei leaves could withstand it, so I dared. Steeps range from a gentle, sweet and subtle grass white to a more oolong-like body — complete with cooling sensation on the tongue — to echoes of a gentle black tea. Complex and delicious. I can’t begin t pick out all the flavour notes.
Highly recommend. I only wish I’d remembered I had this tea before now. (It goes lost in my tea stash.)
I can;t wait to try it Western style.
210 Degrees F, Gongfu, 5 seconds + 3 seconds per infusion
I believe this to be a good quality tea, it just wasn’t the one for me. It’s a very serious tea. Very low on the sweetness and fruit notes. Its rather spicy, it has this muskiness to it that immediately reminds me of raw pu-erh. Its like being in a forest with a bunch of sweaty lumberjacks wearing cheap aftershave. Not my thing. On the plus note, I probably got 10+ infusions out of it.
Season: Spring 2018
Cultivar: WUYISHAN ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE
Origin: Wuyi, Fujian, China
Elevation: 600 M
Eyes – Dry Leaf: Dark brown, purple large rolled leaves
Nose – Dry Leaf: Heavy roasted, charcoal, leather, sugar, fruit, fresh pear
Nose – Wet Leaf: Initially a strong tieguanyin note, butter, fruity sweet notes definitely took a back seat and so did the roast, almost smells like a lightly roasted tieguanyin with some fruit and floral notes, pomegranate maybe.
Eyes – Liquor: The liquor is noticeably cloudy, which is strange. golden amber brown.
Mouth- Texture: Thick and soupy
Taste: Wow, spicy, a muskiness very similar to some pu-erhs I’ve tasted. Don’t know how to describe the taste other than manly aftershave but not perfumey. Roasted note is still there a little, fruit notes minimal, sweetness very minimal. To me it tastes like a pu-erh with a tinge of dan cong oolong fruitiness. Very interesting tea, but not necessarily my (cup of).
Nose – Empty Cup: Burnt sugar
Mouth – Finish: Smooth, light astringency at the end
Eyes – Wet Leaf: Large dark olive green leaves
Effect: I swear this one is getting me a little tea drunk like aged pu-erh does, rushy, getting a light sweat on. I tend to not like the effect raw pu-erh has on me though.
Flavors: Floral, Leather, Musty, Pear, Smoke, Sweat
210 Degrees F, Gongfu, 20 seconds + 15 seconds infusions
Wooo, the smell of those leaves, yummy! Sugar, honey, lots of stone fruits. I went off of the Verdant tea website’s recommendations and increased time by 15 seconds every infusion, haven’t really brewed like that before. Its usually a 5 or 10 second increase at the most. It made each infusion really consistent and might’ve actually gotten a little stronger each infusion until number 5. I was still getting excellent flavor through infusion 7 though. I really enjoyed brewing this way. The tea was great, I like heavy roasted oolongs with a good amount of honey sweetness and fruit and this was a great tea session. The fruity notes were rather unique as well. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what fruits I was getting though. An interesting, delicious heavy roasted oolong. I love it! Will reorder. 8 Infusions.
Season: Spring 2017
Origin: Fujian, China
Picking: Up to 3rd or 4th leaves
Elevation: 600 M
Eyes – Dry Leaf: Heavy roasted, dark dark browns and blacks, twisted, large leaves
Nose – Dry Leaf: Mmm, honey, very fruity, heavy peach preserves, maraschino cherries, so much fruit!
Nose – Wet Leaf: Granulated sugar, Honey, Still lots of fruit but not necessarily peaches, mustiness, thats all I’ve got.
Eyes – Liquor: Amber Brown
Mouth – Texture: Medium
Mouth – Taste: Heavy on the floral notes at first, orchid, then rounding out to a fruity cherry sweetness and a light charred wood finish. Not quite as sweet as I thought it would be.
Nose – Empty Cup: Burnt sugar
Mouth – Finish: Smooth, slightly drying
Eyes – Wet Leaf: Dark olive green
Body sensation: Mood uplifted, I am in a great mood right now.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Honey, Orchid, Stonefruits
205 Degrees F, Gongfu, 10 sec + 5 per infusion
A very pleasant, super smooth tea. Started to get a little dull after 5 infusions. Upped infusion time and was able to get 7 Infusions. I originally rated this tea at an 83, but I am taking it up to a 90. This is a tea unlike any other Ive tasted and I could drink this every morning.
Season: Spring 2018
Cultivar: Linking Region
Origin: Yunnan, China
Picking: Large Buds
Elevation: 2000 M
Eyes – Dry – Hairy, golden brown buds, a little black, dusty
Nose – Dry – Fresh Cut Hay
Nose – Wet – Buttered Biscuit, Brown Sugar, Medicinal, Menthol, Sour Grapes
Eyes – Liquor – Dark Golden Amber Brown
Mouth – Texture – Thick and Syrupy
Mouth Taste – Hay, Biscuits, Extremely Smooth
Nose – Empty Cup – Burnt Sugar
Mouth – Finish – Extremely Smooth, Refreshing, Lubricating
Eyes – Wet Leaf – Dark Golden Brown Buds
Effects – Mildly Energizing, Centered, Peaceful
Flavors: Butter, Grapes, Hay, Medicinal, Sour
This was another Spring 2019 Laoshan green tea sample. The downside of buying so many samplers is when you do come across a really good tea, you don’t get to enjoy it for very long. I managed two sessions with this and consider it one of their better greens from this harvest with a flavor distinct from other Laoshan varietals.
The dry leaf smelled of spinach and lima beans. A pine nut aroma emerged after letting it sit in a warmed shiboridashi. Wet leaf smelled like cabbage and spice. The first couple of steeps were light and cooling with a clover like sweetness and notes of toasted pumpkin seed. The next 2 steeps had a zucchini-like vegetal flavor with light spice, broth and balanced with a soft sweetness. Absent were the soybean and anise flavors that characterize most Laoshan teas.
Flavors: Broth, Lima Beans, Spices, Vegetal, Zucchini
Review for the Autumn 2018 version. This oolong was greener than I expected, given that it’s a dark roast – but that seems to have led to some absolutely delicious creaminess! Combined with the mineral notes and almost a… boiled corn flavour? I’m really enjoying this tea. Much more than expected, actually. And it tastes a lot to me like it would be fantastic brewed gongfu, but it’s also quite nice when brewed western style and sipped slowly (key!) Perhaps my favourite oolong so far of the bunch I ordered.
Hmm, this one was just above ‘meh’ for me. The flavor hardly bore any resemblance to the oolong tea that its derived from. Leaves smelled like cocoa and tobacco. The brewed tea was slightly earthy and tasted of yams and cocoa powder. Lighter and less malty than your typical black. I didn’t taste the floral honeyed notes they described nor any of the fruitiness of Mi Lan Dancong.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Yams
This is a review for the Spring 2018 version. Buuuuut I don’t have much to say. It was not as good as the TGY Jin Jin Mei, not nearly. Tasted much more like a “regular” black tea, and in comparison, I wouldn’t pick it up again. I don’t know that it was anything unpleasant, though, but couldn’t possibly compare to the JJM.
This year’s early harvest Laoshan green tea was superb. Lush aromas of soy, leafy greens, nori, and oats. The steeped tea is fresh and full bodied, sweeter than the later flushes with pronounced notes of anise and kettle corn. I prefer slightly cooler brewing tempertures, around 175 F, to bring out the delicate sweetness. Hotter water makes the savory, toasted notes stand out more.
Flavors: Anise, Kettle Corn, Lettuce, Oats, Rice, Roasted Barley, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach
Hmm, looks like I’m falling behind on sipdowns again. I haven’t been drinking as much tea; feeling too busy to manage to! And I’m still on leave! (Yikes.)
Anyhow, this was pretty delicious. Creamy classic green oolong flavour with some florals. Would definitely drink this again, and may in fact purchase more. Upping my rating from 75 to 85. I think I maybe oversteeped a bit last time, which made it a touch less creamy. It’s perfect tonight!
Thank goodness, a quick sniff of the leaves triggered my memory and I recalled my thoughts on this oolong I drank a couple weeks ago. I found it fairly similar to Verdant’s classic green TGY offerings, with a creamy but fairly floral profile filled with lilacs and other such things. Can’t remember specifics. It was not what I’d expected – keeping in mind that I had not even realized that this was a green oolong before I smelled/saw it – but it was pleasant and I enjoyed it. Enough left for one more cup, hopefully one that I pay more attention to.
My package says this is from Autumn 2018. Feeling a little intimidated by all the love for this tea but it didn’t do it for me. I mean, yeah, I made this while at work so it didn’t get the love it maybe needs. And while I knew one of the teas I bought could go through multiple steepings, I could never remember which it was (it was this one). But regardless of all that, it was too dirty for me. Not earthy, but dirty.
This first flush green is actually processed as a Bilochun style tea. It definitely had the fruitiness of Bilochun along with the usual toastiness of Laoshan green tea. There are chrysanthemum-like florals along with notes of fennel, pine, and jujube. Overall, less grassy and more fruity than regular green tea. It tastes good but the flavor profile is just not really my thing. I prefer a grassier/greener cup.
Flavors: Fennel, Floral, Fruity, Pine
I only managed one session with this tea and the rest of it was brewed in less than ideal situations while traveling. Nevertheless, I remember this being a tasty tea. Creamier and more full-bodied than regular grade Pine Needle Laoshan tea. The taste is a blend of soymilk and crisp lettuce with a little honey and rounded out with a touch of nuttiness. The description says this tea is fed by sweet mountain spring water and it really does taste like it. There’s a fresh, pure quality to it that reminds me of drinking water from a spring.
Flavors: Fruity, Grass, Lettuce, Milk, Soybean
I’m pleased that I have enough of this to enjoy at my leisure. Sometimes when your cupboard is filled with samples, it’s difficult to just grab teas to drink mindlessly, because you only have a few cups’ worth. Not this one. 25g gives me plenty, so I can just brew and enjoy, and then have nothing interesting to write about. (I drank this with Thanksgiving turkey?)