Anxi Fo Shou Black Tea

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Black Tea
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Bread, Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
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Edit tea info Last updated by HyBr1d
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g

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96 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I made a decision this morning to get back to working my way through my TOMC teas from Verdant. Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I joined both TOMC & TOMCR, & although I’ve sampled...” Read full tasting note
  • “First Verdant order. Awwwww. My first experience with this was a little bumpy. The first steep was awesome. I really got the dark chocolate many are talking about. The aftertaste really tricks...” Read full tasting note
  • “All eyes have been on ROME for the past few weeks and especially today! I’ve enjoyed seeing the place that I’ve been to and wish to return on TV. It’s my dream to take my granddaughters to Rome...” Read full tasting note
  • “I have been hoarding this tea like squirrel getting ready for winter. I haven’t had it since I saw they weren’t making any new batches for awhile. But I still have like 6 little pouches left so I...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

An experimental hybrid tea with the best of Tieguanyin, Wuyi oolong and malty black tea. . . .
Fo Shou or “Buddha’s Hand,” is a varietal of tea from Wuyi, traditionally twisted and oxidized into an oolong tea. This revolutionary Fo Shou Black Tea is an experimental crop transplanted in nearby Anxi and fully oxidized as a black tea. The fusion of rocky Wuyi flavor, malty black tea flavor, and hints of Anxi Tieguanyin flavor make this a worthwhile and intriguing creation all of its own.

Wang Huimin, one of our dearest tea friends and first mentors has known the Bi family for years, and when they started producing this unique black tea in addition to their better known Tieguanyin, Wang Huimin was determined to help them share their work.

The early steepings have strong rocky notes that hint at the Wuyi origins of this tea similar to a Big Red Robe. The smell is that of German chocolate cake with hints of walnut, coconut and caramel. As the rocky notes unfold, a luscious almost alcoholic taste starts to open up as if the chocolate cake we are tasting has been soaked in spiced rum.

As the infusions play out, the sweetness grows, evoking butterscotch (simmered with almond extract and a mature single malt scotch). The aftertaste hints at floral creamy notes that Anxi imparts to its famous Tieguanyin. In late steepings the chocolate intensifies to the taste of raw cacao powder melted on the tongue with a whipped cream chaser.

Seeing the flavors inherent in the varietal as well as the land come through in such a new and exciting way is well worth trying. This experiment is sure to grow into a flourishing new kind of tea- one that we hope to support with Wang Huimin’s help for years to come.

About Verdant Tea View company

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96 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

I made a decision this morning to get back to working my way through my TOMC teas from Verdant. Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I joined both TOMC & TOMCR, & although I’ve sampled pretty much all of them, I also still have most of them, in 3 Verdant mailing boxes, with dividers labeled by month, etc (done during one of my rare but intense Left Brain Moments when Ms. Theresa was in control)
This is one of the teas from last January’s TOMC.
I guess the fact that I still have some of this is testament to my addictive nature & tendency to hoard tea, right? You don’t really want to know how much of this tea I bought when it was available, but I’m probably the reason it went out of stock, LOL.
I’m down to the dregs of it now.
I love it so much! I’ll miss it when it’s gone. This is the most chocolaty nuanced tea I’ve ever had. It’s been described as German chocolate cake, complete with caramely frosting, coconut, etc. And it is!
I think I’d better go to an NA meeting…


Sounds tasty!


i have it in my stush like maybe 6 pouches. i feel so special about this tea so im afraid to try it, its always a wrong time


Well Terri, you inspired me. im sipping it right now.


i have 2 packages left..hoarding them!

Terri HarpLady

I think I have 3 left…

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1792 tasting notes

First Verdant order. Awwwww.

My first experience with this was a little bumpy. The first steep was awesome. I really got the dark chocolate many are talking about. The aftertaste really tricks you and makes you think you just had a couple squares of dark chocolate. Sneaky! It is a little on the mineral side too, like hot rocks.

The second steep was super weird. I put the leaves in the fridge overnight, excited to take the second round to my three-hour morning class in my Timolino, hoping it would keep things interesting. I woke up with a so-called stomach flu, so not sure if it was the nausea and what not that turned me off, or the Timolino made this taste weird, but that mineral note was amped up to the roof. I only tasted a twangy, almost metallic note that made me hate life there for a second.

Now that I’m basically over the illness, I’m giving this a second chance. Again, the first steep was the same, super dark chocolate and malty.

The second steep now is much better. Yes, the mineral undertone is there but it is very subdued, but wheeee, the chocolate is still there, and the maltiness, and something else? Coffee! It’s coffee and cake in a cup.

I like. Would I repurchase? No, but while it hasn’t swept me off my feet, I will gladly finish off the rest.

I was taken immediately either, but the more I drinkit, the more I love it. . . I did re-order it. I tend to prefer mine western, but this one is really good gongfu as well!


I actually don’t have a gongfu setup! And probably won’t get one, at least for a little while, since I’ve been moving around a lot. But you’re right, it just may grow on me too.


You don’t really need a set up. Two mugs and a saucer works well for gongfu. Verdant has a video showing how to do it.


I use a little bowl and a strainer with my mug. I don’t have a gong fu set up either!


Alright, great. I was actually going to something like the above suggestions but was worried it would be too ghetto and a complete shame. Sometimes you gotta work with what you have!


I just want more Laoshan Black!… This one tides me over while I wait patiently.
So happy you are now getting into Verdant tea :)


Oh, it’s SUPER ghetto, lol.
I haven’t bought a gaiwan yet, because no one here sells them! I’m afraid to ship glass/porcelain/ceramic/clay or whatever.

Terri HarpLady

I’ve had a few shipped to me from Butiki. They were very well packaged!


Hope the Laoshan Black will be back in stock soon for everyone else’s sake. I luckily snapped up 2 oz. of it with this order and have yet to try it.

The shipping of such fragile items makes me nervous too, just like with moving.


I bought a gaiwan from Stacy and it arrived safe and sound :)


I’ve been looking at hers for a long time. . . I should just do it.

Terri HarpLady

I really like Stacy’s Earthen Gaiwans, they are adorable, & I’m less likely to slop hot water or burn myself when I use them, & that’s a real perk!

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676 tasting notes

All eyes have been on ROME for the past few weeks and especially today!

I’ve enjoyed seeing the place that I’ve been to and wish to return on TV. It’s my dream to take my granddaughters to Rome (and Greece if I could). Unless there’s a miracle this won’t happen, but I hope they get to go one day.

I wrote about my adventure on my blog with a link to a song by il volo and a few pictures by me.

I like the message of the new Pope. Blessed are the Poor! Remember the Poor!

Even though I am not Catholic, and you may not be Catholic either, I love to hear all words of Mercy. I am reminded and inspired to be better than I am.

My tea today reminded me of the goodness of the smallest of things, in the little leaves that we enjoy as tea.

This tea in particular gave me head to toe warming, like a broom had swept out an interior chill.

I shivered.

Have you ever lifted your cup of tea, taken a sip and shivered with delight?

I am a dark chocolate junkie, a salted chocolate lover.
This tea provided effortless imaginations of salted butterscotch with my beloved dark chocolate.

In my delighted fanciful imaginations, I wanted a buttery, flaky cheese croissant paired with the richness of my tea. I craved the flavors blending together.

Tea for memories, for memorable days…and then again…reminding me that such small things are gloriously important and wondrous…even when they don’t look like much. A small leaf, a dry and plain thing.

What person looks so plain and poor, observed as debris yet has such glorious importance when kindness and attention is given.

It makes me shiver.


Il Volo (Young singers from Rome)

(My blog link was down but is working again.)


it looks like you had a great trip Bonnie. I am totally jealous!

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361 tasting notes

I have been hoarding this tea like squirrel getting ready for winter. I haven’t had it since I saw they weren’t making any new batches for awhile. But I still have like 6 little pouches left so I can splurge every once in awhile. Since it had been so long, I was curious if I’d still like this as much as before.

I like it even more. Holy delicious! Enough people have written about the amazing flavors in this tea so I won’t try and add to that. All I can say is “Ditto, fo sho!!!!”

I’m a dork.


i miss this one :(

Terri HarpLady

I still have a few.
Sister, I’ll set one aside for you :)


I love you Terri lol

Terri HarpLady

Just remember that when I kick your butt this weekend, LOL


We’ll see about that woman…bring it!

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863 tasting notes

Steep notes: no additives, 1 packet of leaf to my gaiwan (6 oz. capacity)

Dry leaf smell: chocolate covered raisins? Wow. Fruity and cocoa-y all at once…

steep one: 10 seconds, Um, smell has changed to burnt french fries. I remember this. I also remember not really preferring this particular iteration, if I’m honest. Still, as long as we’re getting into semantics, this isn’t smoky – it’s just char. So I don’t outright dislike it. As it cools I taste a starchy bread undertone. maybe a hint of burnt sugar/caramel. Come to think of it, I don’t think anything burnt was actually in the taste – just the smell. I can live with this.

steep two: 20 seconds, mostly because my hands just aren’t fast enough to get everything poured any faster. This steep smells more like burnt sweet potato fries. Taste is more chocolaty – dark cocoa powder.

steep three: 35-ish seconds. Leaves smell ashy/charred but the liquor smells caramel sweet. This makes me happy. Taste is sweet, smooth vanilla caramel.

steep four: 1 minute. I’m amazed at how those leaves smell so different than the steeped liquor or taste. Now the caramel has transitioned into a honey note. But its got kind of a roasty flavor in the background, so…honey on toast? Its interesting how the liquor seems to get sweeter with each steeping, which I am loving!

steep five: 3 minutes. Multiple steepings are always so hard for me because I just don’t drink alot of any drink at once, unless I’m eating dinner. The fact that I’ve gone 5 rounds (so, 30 oz) with this in an hour is actually pretty darn impressive. Flavor has changed to what I thought the initial smell of the leaf reminded me of – chocolate covered raisins. It’s more of the unsweetened cocoa powder than milk chocolate though. Still a very nectary mouthfeel, even though I’m five steeps in. I’m not going to be able to hold any more tea tonight though, so I’ll save the leaves in my gaiwan for tomorrow.

I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve had this – long enough that its not in stock anymore. Still, it was a nice relaxing tea to end the weekend on. Time to get ready for bed and start a new week!

Flavors: Bread, Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes

Boiling 5 g

Wow, burnt french fries! Never experienced that with this one before.


it’s never coming back either..and that make me a very very sad panda

Terri HarpLady

I still get to drink this a few more times…sigh…


It’s not? :O


Nope. It was an experiment….last I checked with verdant, not likely


I still haven’t tried mine and I’ve got a bunch of packets. I’m NOT a fan of smokey so it may go up in a swap/sell at some point.


ooh Starfevre — if you find you don’t like, I will snatch up all yours!!! I LOVE it and am so sad it’s gone!

Terri HarpLady

TastyBrew, I’ll arm wrestle you for it :D

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6106 tasting notes

Another tasting note backlog… somehow I have less time for Steepster post-Masters than I did before I was done. Heh. I also haven’t been drinking quite as much tea, although the flurry of notes I’m about to post will make you believe differently (they’re from the past week or more, though, so not many per day).

So this tea. I swear, everytime I brew it up, I’ve forgotten how delicious it is. It’s so burny and toasty and chocolatey… mostly burny (but not in an ashy sense), and I quite like it. Stands up well in a travel mug, and for multiple western-style infusions. I think I have maybe 3 packets of it left (I use a whole 5? 7?g packet when I brew it up).

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

i am so jealous of your 3 packets..


I have one and am hoarding it for the right day!


Sil, I found some in my cupboard… I’ve set it aside. :)

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15049 tasting notes

I feel sad that there are people out there who will never try this tea. I realised that this marks 4k tasting notes since i started hanging out on steepster. 2 years, 400 pages of tasting notes, 1738 teas tried (give or take a few) and i only just now feel like i’m starting to understand what i love about certain teas. When i realised this was to be 4k…i went into the special box. the box of teas that i hoard because they will either be gone for too long or because i feel like it :P There are 3 teas in there….this is one of them.

This was graciously passed to me by omgsrsly when i bemoaned the fact that i only had one single packet of this tea left. I still only have one package of this left – the other one from my tea sister terri. I really hope that someday verdant is able to get this tea back, or some variation on the theme from the family experimenting more.


Congrats on 4000!!!
This is how I feel about Mandala Black Pearls…


yes… i agree with you on those pearls as well..they too were in my box. but then i drank them. and now they’re gone. sad.




Wow!! Impressive…Congrats!! I wanted to try this one, but sadly discovered my passion for tea too late:(

Terri HarpLady

Woo Hoo on 4K!!
I am still hoarding 2 little packets of this tea. I’ll drink them eventually… :)


Yay! Congrats!


Congrats on such an amazing number of notes! Yay!

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1186 tasting notes

Sipdown! (That wasn’t in my cupboard lol) I got another packet of this from my friend who wasn’t a fan. I’ve been in a bit of a weird tea rut lately, I am enjoying the teas I’ve been drinking, but none have been the one to satisfy my craving. I think I found it, though, in this one. This turned out spectacularly tonight.

I followed TerriHarpLady ‘s parameters for western brewing a bit, since I’m too lazy for a gaiwan tonight. I used the whole little red packet in my big 16 oz DavidsTea mug, but I couldn’t steep it for 3 minutes, just did 2 :P (chickened out, and it’s pretty late here, but man I needed this tea). The resulting I inhaled the aroma the whole time it cooled, chocolate cake and caramel, but a different tea than LB.

And the taste? Wow. So good. Dark chocolate, caramel, I can picture it now. It is slightly reminiscent of my favorite dessert of all time, chocolate steam pudding (essentially dark cocoa cake smothered in caramel sauce made of brown sugar and cream). It isn’t nearly as sweet as that dessert, but I definitely taste notes of it in here. And it is soooo good.

Hitting the spot. Just what I needed. Perfect. I am sad because this is currently not in stock, if I had tried it like this, I probably would have picked up an oz. This might bump LB out of the top chocolatey black that I’ve tried now! Ooh, and there’s this lovely slightly burnt note in the start of the sip, making it feel like the cake has been slightly burnt in the oven, just enough to have a crisp layer on top…mmmm.

Ok, I will stop rambling, but this is seriously good! Have no fear in trying this tea with a lot of leaf! So good! See previous notes for this one done gaiwan style :) and upping rating a bit due to the pure awesomeness of this cup.



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807 tasting notes

Full Review on on the 31st but here are my snippits:

Anxi Fo Shou Black Tea from Verdant Tea is scrumptious! When I was opening the bag I could smell the chocolate notes just jumping out at me. I was surprised to find yet another sealed bag inside the first bag which told me this tea was very heavy with flavor notes considering how strong and wonderful the aroma was through not one but two sealed bags!

If you notice the flavor notes listed by Verdant Tea “NOTES: chocolate, scotch, caramel, walnut, coconut, jasmine” I want to note that every single note is easily detectable.

The distinct note in the beginning is the chocolate note but caramel peeks through nicely. As the tea cools down some there is a note of a single malt scotch and a light lilting note of coconut! The walnut note lays nicely all over the tongue giving a slight drying sensation like walnut typically does, yet this tea is anything but drying! It is refreshing and juicy!

Yes friends, this is a true winner and if I had any tea funds I would jump right on the Verdant Website and order more RIGHT NOW. I am so excited to have had a chance to get some of this tea and will be cherishing what remains of my stash. Hopefully soon I can order more if there is any left to order!


You should try this one :

I find them to be somewhat alike but I like JK’s a bit more.


Never tried JK teas that I recall .. will have to in the future. :)


You did :) I remember you having note on some JK tea :)


Ah, I missed the reviewer on the bottom of the page – it was actually liberteas

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171 tasting notes

I did NOT sleep enough last night. Day from hell yesterday, nearly everything that go wrong, went wrong.
Underwire broke, power outage while straightening my hair, battery died in my jeep, lawn mower ran out of gas, burnt supper. I was ready to lock myself in my room. So, anxiety kept me awake last night, as well as fb.
Today is a new day, this tea will help me get through it all.
I still want to be a house wife so that I never have to see 6am again.


Hope you have a much better day today!


What a bummer of a day! Was today better?


Don’t get chickens, then. LOL!


Hope today is better!


Today was great. The jeep is no longer out to get me, I bought a new bra. . . but my favourite jeans ripped. sadface

Terri HarpLady

Glad it was a better day, sorry to hear about the jeans…I hate when that happens!


Me too! Especially when you happen to find the same pair for 75% off and they are one size too small.

Terri HarpLady

ackckck, what a nightmare!

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