Third day of the Verdant black tea comparisons and I’ve decided I’ll make a week of it as I have them all. There’s a hint of cocoa as the dry leaves hit the warm mug but its mingled with other fragrances, floral and earthy true to its teroir this smells more like a dancong than a black tea when brewed up.

There’s a hint of smoke coming off the leaves and a scent of roasted veggies. Yet the first infusion is very malty, powdery cocoa dusted over fragrant oolong. There’s a mix of veg and herbaceous, I keep come back to avocado, asparagus, banana and some mustiness.

Disclaimer: I’m not the biggest appreciator of dancongs, there are a couple I’ve liked and a few more than have lacerated my tongue, but I know I like this one, I’ve had it before and even on this second infusion I know I need to lower the temp next time because those roasted veggie notes now smell charred.

Then there it is that greyish purple clay taste I get from dancongs, not as offensive here with the cocoa, avocado and now honey and yup peach. Getting stronger and stronger juicy peach oh swoon now I know what those dancong lovers search for and this peach is with chocolate, seriously just wow. Perhaps I won’t lower the temp ;)

Less peach in the third infusion there’s a woodsy quality with the clay and yes incense and just like my first tasting note I’m getting a dry sheng like quality. Interesting. Can I have that peach back please? Will come back to this note later in the day with observations.

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.


Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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