121 Tasting Notes
And, again, this was a tea I shared with my friend, the first time we had a meet-up for tea and cards. I think he, like me, was really impressed by this tea’s fabulous flavour profile – slightly smoky and sweet, with that lovely black-tea aroma and strength. I don’t think I’ve found a tea that has impressed me so much, on a first try, before. It really is quite fantastic! :D
In the while since I’ve last been online, I’ve drank plenty of this delightful tea. It’s just amazing – I’m really impressed with it and by how much I like it. It’s so smooth, sweet, and delicious – I can find no fault. It leaves me feeling lovely and energised, but with a certain calmness. And it leaves a wonderful, gentle menthol aftertaste that lingers for a little while after you finish your session.
Again, this is one I shared with my friend and he was really impressed. It’s definitely one I’ll be enjoying for months to come :-)
The last time that same friend visited, we have some of this lovely sheng too – it’s just so delicious :D Still working my way through the little “sample” bag, though, so the full cake is still relaxing and growing ever more delicious in a little cotton storage bag.
I think this was one of the best teas we had, that other weekend, actually! I think my friend was quite impressed and I certainly still love it :D Delicious, flavoursome, and refreshing.
Brewed up some of this for the first time yesterday! :D A good friend of mine (and the first local friend I’ve been able to find that also really likes ‘fine’ teas!) was round, so I decided to finally break a bit of the cake off! It’s lovely and compressed, so it was easy enough to break off a little 4/5g piece to brew up (in my beloved Verdant Gaiwan).
It was really delicious :D I think we probably got through six or seven steepings over a few rounds of Magic the Gathering (which, I confess, I lost most of… I think it finished 6-3 or 6-4 overall…). Still, this was a lovely tea to share with a good friend :D I’ll brew it up again, at some point in the future, and focus on it more (and maybe take some notes, etc.), but I certainly do remember it having a surprisingly buttery flavour. It was a really ‘smooth’ sheng puerh, compared to others I’ve had – definitely not when compared with a shu puerh or a smooth white tea, but far more so than other sheng puerhs that I’ve tried. It was also a little sweeter, too, which was really interesting! :D
Flavors: Butter, Sweet
I got sent this in the Verdant TotM club a while ago and, I confess, I was seriously reluctant to try it. I’ve only ever tried one Lapsang Souchong before – it was a cheap bagged variety and, the way it was brewed, it totally overwhelmed me. It just was not for me. Even though I knew the quality of this would be FAR superior, the memory of that other tea just would not let me try this one…
I read a review from Sil, talking about brewing this Gong Fu, and it sounded awesome… It just kept playing on my mind… And then last night, the cravings defeated me and I set this tea as my Monday-morning treat. When I opened the bag of leaves, the smell almost made me regret my choice – I felt nauseous immediately. Still, all of those reviews couldn’t be wrong, surely?? Well…
My goodness. What a tea.
This has got to be one of the most incredible black teas I’ve ever tried. It’s sweet, it’s rich, and it is sooooo fragrant. But in a totally good way. In the liquor, the smokiness is a rich-yet-mild fragrance that makes a perfect background to the sweet vanilla notes. I enjoyed a good 8 or 9 steeps (3 in the morning and 5-6 tonight).
And lastly, I took this to work planning to treat myself on Friday. But I was so bunged up that it almost felt wasteful…
But when I got around to a friend’s house, in the evening, he very kindly prepared me a good quantity of off-boiling water in a latte glass, expecting me to want tea. I felt it would be rude to refuse, and I did kinda want some, so I sprinkled some of the leaves on the top and watched them as they unfurled in the glass. Latte glasses are actually a pretty excellent vessel for greens, whites, and green oolongs, it would appear. Everyone that saw it was pretty mesmerised hahaha.
And this tea is still exceptional. One of my all-time favourites, for sure!
Ahhhhhhh, good memories. Earlier in the week, before this cold set in, I was really craving a rich, warming tea to stave off this miserable weather (though probably mild by some American standards, I’m suffering in this ~5 degrees, rainy weather. Waiting for the bus at 7:15 in the morning has never been so rubbish :P). I picked this one out on a bit of a whim – I had a strong recollection of how roasty it was, but also that I didn’t “get it” so much last time.
How things have changed…
This tea is just a delight. It’s warming, it’s creamy, it’s sweet, and it’s delicious. Like, seriously good. It also just seemed to go on forever. I started drinking it in one of the mornings before my commute and enjoyed three decent 120 ml steeps. I then had some after dinner (four or five steeps). I then enjoyed another two or three steeps the following morning.
I didn’t take notes or anything (as it was either too early or too late by the time I was drinking it to do anything that complicated :P), but it stuck with me as such a perfect tea for this weather. I’m gonna be a little bit lost when this one runs out…
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Creamy
I’ve been drinking this for most of the past week, at work – as I left my little metal infuser basket in the Hospice, I’ve only really been able to do grandpa-style (and related) brews. After such a great experience of making Verdant’s Dragonwell like this, I figured Butiki’s would be fine too.
Of course, it was! This Dragonwell may not have been as intense as the Verdant one I had (though that is quite likely to be because of the age/storage of my bag, as opposed to the sealed, new-harvest sample from Verdant), it was really delicious and made for a great work-drink! Plus, it was really refreshing.
Good times :D
Sorry for my massive absence T_T I got back to work full time a couple of weeks ago and the site isn’t the easiest to use, for posting notes, on my phone…
Aaaaaaaaaaand: I came down with a really heavy cold on Thursday so I haven’t really been able to appreciate much tea over the past couple of days. However, it did make me really crave shu puerh, so I thought I’d give this one a try…
I dunno what it is about Verdant’s teas, but they’re always exceptional. Maybe I just have a similar palette to the Ducklers. Or maybe the teas really are just that good. Who knows.
Either way, like I said above: I have a pretty heavy cold, so I didn’t really want anything that was overly nuanced or delicate. I also didn’t want to use anything that I only have a little of, in case I really didn’t enjoy it and ended up wasting precious tea. Given I have a new 500g brick of this, sitting in my puerh box, I thought I’d give it a go. Plus, my cold is starting to lift somewhat, so my sense of smell is slowly returning.
I didn’t get any pile smell at all from this puerh, which was a very pleasant surprise! It still smelled earthy, granted. But far from unpleasant. I pried off 4g and loaded it into my pre-warmed Yixing Gaiwan (thanks again, Stacy!) and then gave the tea two quick rinses with boiling water. Then came the first infusion…
To my surprise, the infusion smelled like raw honey. I was really impressed. I can also definitely see what they mean by a “raisin” like scent – it’s definitely there. On the palette, it was exceptionally smooth and had a really thick mouthfeel. It was also really sweet, and that honey note actually carried right through. I did also get the elderberry note, along with the herbaceous after-taste, that they mention on the site. I can understand the olive oil suggestion, too – with the thickness of the mouthfeel and that honey-like sweetness, it’s a clearly recognisable note.
I probably won’t get as much out of this tea as I will on a day when I’m not all sniffly, but I really enjoyed it. It was delicious and just seemed to get sweeter and sweeter the more I drank it. Fantastic tea.
Flavors: Honey, Olive Oil
When I did my little blind taste of this tea, I only used around half of the packet and kept the rest to use another time. I started back at work full time, last week, so have been working through teas that work well either prepared Western style or grandpa style.
This one seemed like it might hold up Western style, but my infuser is currently away. I improvised a little and used a tumblr and a glass – I dumped the remaining leaves into the bottom of the pre-warmed tumblr, filled it 2/3 with boiling water and let it infuse. After a minute (maybe two – it wasn’t exactly a scientific affair), I poured the tea out into my glass.
Amazingly, I think I preferred this tea when prepared in this way! It was sweet, creamy (like when made in the Gaiwan), but it also had some cake-like notes. It was really good :O
I got two really delicious infusions like this and a fairly good third one. I think I may stick to making this Western in future – it was really good :O