39 Tasting Notes
When I got this, I didn’t pay much attention to the story behind the tea. I simply brewed as directed and noticed that, despite being a red tea, it tasted A LOT like an Alishan oolong. I went to Song’s site then and discovered it is indeed a Formosa high mountain variety. Alishan? They didn’t specify, but the flavor is pretty on-the-money. It’s otherwise a pretty nice red tea. Citrus notes within it are abundant and obvious. There’s almost a bergamot quality. Red teas aren’t usually my thing, and oxidized Alishans really don’t do it for me, but this is very nice in spite of it.
Drinking it again and paying more attention to the subtleties, I’d say the first steeping has a very artificial cherry aroma. The second has less of that and a more pronounced sweetness. The third gives way to a more woody/leather vibe, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the flavor.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Malt
I love high mountain Taiwanese oolongs. Roasted ones, like this guy, don’t quite do as much for me. But this one also tastes a little odd. Maybe it’s the GABA processing. Maybe it’s how they roasted it. Maybe it’s something else. I like the calming properties of the GABA, but the tea otherwise isn’t much of a treat.
Flavors: Fruity, Roasted
Yawn. I find black teas are often pretty boring, and this is no exception. While I did get interesting wafts of orange, it was pretty much a run-of-the-mill nice black. Happy to drink it, but there’s nothing dazzling here.
Flavors: Malt, Orange
It’s impressive. The first steeping it sweet, with the exact butterscotch/caramel notes Song’s site references. You MUST savor this first steeping as a tea unto itself. It changes dramatically afterward. The 2nd and later steepings have much more of an earthy, coconutty, woody vibe to them. Delicious in their own right. Even at $75 for 2oz., it’s worth it as a special treat to keep on-hand.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Coconut, Wood
I honestly don’t know why others have reviewed this well or why Verdant’s site claims so many flavor notes to it. It’s a nice tea, smooth, and with a slight minerality, but it’s incredibly subtle in flavor. And I steeped it EXACTLY as Verdant spelled out on their site. For what equates to $1/gram, I’d hope for something far more interesting. I was totally underwhelmed. I almost feel like they packaged the wrong tea.
The scent reminds me of candied Corsican clementines I used to buy all the time in Paris + wafts of lychee. The flavor, too, is a mix of those scents, together with a minerality and pleasantly smooth wave of heavy oxidation. I love it. It’s unlike any other tea in my collection. I’ll be stocking up on it with my next order from Verdant.
Flavors: Candy, Citrus Zest, Lychee
Lovely tea. The notes are hard to discern, although the “apricot” from Red Blossom’s site does a reasonably good job at getting at the experience. Strangely lacking in vegetal tones despite how unoxidized it is. There’s also a “powdery” vibe, though perhaps that’s a psychological effect of the fuzzy/powdery aesthetic of the leaves themselves.
The more I drink the tea, the more I love it. When I first got it in the mail, I wasn’t that dazzled. But a month or two into enjoying these silver needles, I actually look forward to sitting down to it.
Beautifully fragrant with profound floral notes, yet bitter, despite a light touch with time and temperature. Hard to rate. Were it not for the bitter elements, I’d give this an 80’something. But the bitter notes turn me off quite a bit and merit something in the 50s or 60s. I suppose a 65 is about right.
Per the company’s description, there’s a decidedly grape and parsley scent to the tea; can’t say I picked up on any blueberry though. And when consumed, the flavor somehow morphs into more of a rose with a hint of plum, though muddled with a host of other indiscernable elements. Nice. The directions on the package say to give it 5 minutes of steeping, but I found that made the tea WAY too bitter. Taking it down to 3 minutes produced a much more palatable experience.
Flavors: Plum, Rose
Very berry and tasting every bit of a summer Darjeeling. A tad on the bitter side, despite my fairly light touch with the temperature and time. It’s a nice tea. I’d prefer a 1st flush to the summer varieties, any day, but it’s still quite pleasant.