103 Tasting Notes
This is a smooth and ultra-bergamoty earl grey. A damn fine morning tea. One of those teas where it doesn’t matter how sleepy you are when measuring and brewing, because it is near impossible to screw up. Too much tea? No problem, it’ll wake you up quicker than a pot of coffee. Too little? Don’t worry, the bergamot is strong enough to cover it up.
Long Jing and Dragon Well are the same thing? I’ll be damned.. Hm. Wish it hadn’t been so long since I had my last Dragon Well so that I could compare them more accurately.
This tea, like most I’ve tasted in Steepster select, is strong and bold. The vegetal flavor is dry and serious, and is accented by a nutty base flavor. The Long Jing doesn’t taste springy as some ultra-green teas do, but it reminds one of roasting vegetables to put in a slow-cooking soup. A great winter tea.
I occasionally regret my decision to become a sophisticated loose-leaf tea-drinker, especially when all I want is a nice, bitter cup of tea to stave off weariness. I love a full bodied tea, where the flavors hit your tongue fast and heavy, like one often finds with CTC bagged teas. I’m not always up to the intellectual task of sorting out what tastes like water and what tastes like tea, as I frequently find myself doing with the best of loose-leafs (read: Verdant).
This tea is the best of both worlds – a full, bitter black tea that hits your palate like a battering ram, but with a complicated, almost sweet, tobaccoey finish. Beautiful.
Sometimes I love the descriptions of tea most of all, “aromatics of coffee, brown sugar, concord grapes…” I always find myself wondering whether the describer truly has such a sensitive palate, or if she simply has an innovative and lyrical grasp of language.
I had thought the claim that tea could taste like coffee and brown sugar a particularly inventive piece of whimsy, but I do taste something dark and coffee-ish in this cup. It is somehow comforting and down-to-earth in the way coffee is, without those light floral notes I’m so used to in oolong. However, I can’t say that I taste grapes, much less a taste as specific as concord grapes, but I like to think that someone can.
The second cup is every bit as strong and satisfying as the first.
If Hot Coconut were a beverage, in the same way Hot Chocolate is, this would be a perfectly delicious example. The sweet, thick coconut flavor rounds out the cup and ensures that the Rooibos doesn’t taste tart and watery, as it sometimes can.
I’d recommend making a huge pot on a cold winter evening just for yourself.
For me, the recommended brewing time wasn’t quite long enough. I let the tea steep for an additional 30 seconds, which brought out both the caramel and black tea notes. In a lot of black teas, any caramel sweetness comes out below the tea flavor, like the sweetness requires thinking about and parsing out. This tea seems to lead with the caramel, with the soft round black tea coming in second.
I have to say, I love the name of this tea. It makes me feel like an ultra modern tea tasting pro; like I should be sipping this tea while criticizing performance art instead of enjoying it over a poached egg.
While brewing, it smells like fresh sushi is being prepared nearby.
Flavor is a strong and up-front grassy green with a bit of a darker seaweed type flavor underneath. A lot of grassy teas taste a bit one-dimensional, like they’re just hitting that high, springy note over and over again. That is definitely not the case with this complex, oceanic tea.
Not quite getting that ‘hazelnut finish’ by the second brew, unless the package is describing the overall nutty well-roundedness of the cup.
A perfect tea for a dull, monotonous early winter morning. The flavor is so green and grassy that it reminds me of easy spring days and lawn mowing. It’ll be a long time before we see anything green again here in Utah, but at least I can taste it in my cup.
Other teas I’ve tasted from Verdant have been too subtle for my palate, but Laoshan Green is a heavy mouthful of flavor. Perhaps it’s because I over-brewed.