807 Tasting Notes
A simply STUNNING and DELICIOUS beauty of a tea. Floral, sweet, and soothing! This tea really calms the nerves and relaxes you!
Steeps multiple times and is truly a beautiful tea to watch (glass pot recommended!)
There are just not many words that have not been said about this one. Its lovely. Get some!
Took me a moment to find this here on steepster because my sample package says “Golden Needle Red Tea” not Golden Needle King – but the description is the same so I will log it here:
Well I steeped this completely wrong – forgot to let water cool one minute as package says to do. Got into a convo with hubby and just absent mindedly poured the boiling water over the leaves. Uggg I expected problems in the flavor from this.
In a panic I added a little extra cool water – I guess thinking to bring the temp down slightly. Then I realized what I had done and was just like Ugggggggg whatever – it was my only sample I had to drink it. To waste a precious tea from Shang would be a sin…a SIN I tell you!
So anyway guess what – quality tea can take a beating! This was still fabulous!
The smell was malty and of cocoa. The taste was of molasses, malt, chocolate, and hay.
The hay and molasses combination reminded me of sorghum I think. It brought back memories of when I trained hoses and had a couple of my own. That sticky sweet grain we fed the horses in fall and winter. I have not been reminded of that aroma for years and years. It brought back nice memories and made me miss those days. How I love the smell of hay and sweet grain, and horses. Okay before I turn everyone off to this tea the main flavors and aromas are that of malt, chocolate, and molasses, not horses, or hay, but there is something about this tea that makes me want to go to the country and jump on a horse!
This tea also provided a slight albeit very slight cinnamon sparkling sensation on the tongue.
I found this tea quite filling – almost like a dietary supplement may fill your tummy up except this was far more filling and far more enjoyable than those things!
Second and third steeps were also quite excellent but it was getting late and I laid the leaves out for morning – ended up not re-steeping well the next day (today) but I probably ruined a forth steep by over heating the water the first time around.
Shang has THE best teas in my opinion among maybe 5 other tea companies. Love this stuff!
Time for a trusted favorite.
I have had a MEH tea morning. First I tried re-steeping a tea from yesterday but alas it was done. Too bad as it was only a sample that I had and it was OHHH SO GOOD!
Then I tried a chocolate mint tea that was just BLECH! Dumped that.
Then ran daughter to work and took an iced tea with me but it was too early for iced for me and my tummy was upset and needed warm so I came home and decided to go for something I knew would be satisfying.
Getting used to a new schedule (day time schedule) is difficult. I don’t know if I am just lacking sleep and run down or coming down with something. Tummy has been upset for a few days.
Monk’s blend is a good standby. Its not my all time favorite black by any means but it is trustworthy.
I added a little sugar this morning to curb the smokiness though – tummy still was not totally happy with that.
Krystalyen shared this with me and I made a previous tasting note but this is a more official review:
I was not expecting to like it very much due to it having several flavor components that I inherently dislike. I have to say my eyes have been opened to trying things I may not normally care for! What you may not like in one blend can be completely different when in the hands of blend masters such as Verdant Tea!
Upon first sniff of the steeped tea I get hit with three essential aromas, chamomile, not one of my favorites, mint, which I am in-fact partial to, and chocolate which, well, I love.
I could do without the chamomile. To me chamomile is something I use in herbal healing, a medicine, not something I enjoy as a flavoring but can tolerate as a medicinal herb. Now I am very familiar with Verdant’s teas and I have to say I am excited about the blend of two excellent teas – Big Red Robe, and Autumn Harvest Laoshan Black. I am sure that the base of this tea is going to be splendid at least! The aroma is sweet, but I am not picking up any fennel or cinnamon in the aroma.
First sip: cocoa and mint, a relaxed mint, and a good strong but not overwhelming cocoa flavor. The tea is crisp and sparkling almost as if carbonated! Nice! Like a chocolate champagne tea! This I can live with! I also picked up the cinnamon resting gently in the background! The tea leaves a clean crisp after taste on the palate from the mints but is not taking over any of the flavors at all. This is a bright light juicy tea and again I am surprised by a tea that seemingly has heavy flavor components yet is not heavy at all.
As the tea cools some the chocolate notes come out so well and as I left the cup to my mouth the chocolate essence takes over mmmmm just like sipping hot cocoa by a campfire! But wait, there is that lifting mint again, and wait, that sparkle that awakens the senses, and wait, a slight cinnamon, spicy, boost. As good as this tea stands all on its own I am tempted to stick some marshmallows in there or at least a splash of milk and a dash of sugar! Perhaps on the re-steep in the name of exploration! I really am not one to put additives into such perfection but this is a tea that is so deeply layered in surprises and mystery that it would be almost a shame NOT to try a few things with it!
Again, cooling down a bit more there is that ingredient I do not like in tea, chamomile! you know what? Its really not bad! Somehow Verdant knows just how to make a fool like me appreciate what I already know to be a healthy additive! Also just as the chamomile comes out to the forefront a little, it has an assist from marigold! As if they come skipping forward holding hands merrily through the light sparkle!
What a great experience in a cup! This will go on my shopping list! Verdant never disappoints! I also want to thank my Steepster buddy for sharing this with me!
Oolong love that’s what I have …. yes I do love Oolong! Verdant tea has stolen my heart with Gardens of Anxi! Hey in my book Oolong does not need improvement and Verdant recognizes this but why not make something so wonderful even better if and when you can! Verdant tea has added some real gems to this Oolong blend with jasmine blossoms. Yes I know I’m not a floral tea lover but the more quality floral teas I have the more I find out how wrong I was! The saffron is so decadent in this blend giving a soft buttery appeal. They have used orange rind as well but left out the bitterness of the rind leaving behind only wonderful orange essential oils and just the right amount!
I brewed this as per the site’s instructions.
Steep one afforded me my first taste of Oolong bliss, succulent sweet tea with a divine floral aroma, just the right balance of buttery notes playing gently off the amazing Tieguanyin base. The after taste is something like a sweet summer romance. You really want to swish this tea around in the mouth much like a wine taster would do to get its full flavors to shine, and to get the best appreciation for this heavenly blend! An interesting and unexpected apple note comes out but one more of an apple peel than apple itself with just a tinge of a tangy bitter like flavor but not a face puckering bitter more of a “oh this tastes like nature” bitter sweet sensation.
As the tea cools down some the honey flavors come toward the forefront. Jasmine is still the primary flavor but is so kind to allow the other flavors to come through without having to bully their way out of the floral arrangement provided thanks to the creativity of Verdant!
I should also mention – the dry leaf is such a beautiful sight! This tea is amazing if you steep it in a clear glass teapot! The leaves are gorgeous and the jasmine is a sight to behold blooming in your teapot! Verdant says it is best if the leaves and blooms have plenty of space to unfurl but that Oolong is forgiving (haha don’t I know it) so even if you can’t allow it proper space you will still have a lovely cup of tea to enjoy!
Anxi is the tea capital of China for the famed Oolong tea and there is a beautiful garden called Anxi which I would so love to visit one day! I had to google to find out where the name of this delectable tea came from!
I find this to be a playful tea, light, and bright, yet the creamy mouthfeel beckons one to slow down, and sip slowly, smiling the whole time. This is not a palate cleansing tea even with its bright, light nature, it immerses you in a depth of flavor explosions temping you to rush into that next sip. I keep having to remind myself not to gulp it down, “you have plenty more” I tell myself. It takes me back to childhood gobbling up as many cookies as I could before I am found out sneaking into the cookie jar! I am the grown up! I can drink as much of this as I want to and its not even bad for me! It seems such a sin almost to have something so delightful, so beckoning. I think if Romeo and Juliette had a favorite tea it would have to be this one!
At first I thought I had picked the worst day to review this tea. When I woke up I felt fine, made a cup, enjoyed it, steeped again, fell asleep. I will bring this back up later in the review but for now – on to the tea!
This tea in dry and steeped from smelled the same. Malt was the very first flavor I could smell. A wonderful slightly chocolatey sweet malt. If you have ever had Carnation Instant Milk in Malt flavor that is what it reminded me of! The leaf was stunning to look at and had this powdered substance all over it – when I first opened the bag it sort of poofed up as I was smelling it and I almost got a big snort of tea powder. The tea itself is not powder of course but rather they are delightful twisted brown and golden leaves.
The first sip made me smile really big. I am sure I looked like the Cheshire cat! This was bliss in a cup! A soothing melody of earthy sensations!
In case no one has noticed I am fine with metaphors!
The day before I had this horrible day of tea samplings, almost everything had this watered down “where’s Waldo” seeking for the flavor experience! Today – to begin my day with THIS tea was a gift! So refreshing to have a tea that is so full of flavor, complex, and unfolding like a story book that makes you want to keep turning from page to page, chapter to chapter! That is how I felt with each steep! This is a tea I could gulp down far too quickly, I had to keep reminding myself to sit back, relax, breathe, be peaceful, and enjoy! I was just so excited with this cup!
There were deep tones such as woods, spices, malt, and chocolate, but yet this tea had such amazing juiciness as well, with a slight peach undertone. The aroma is roasty and toasty and went perfectly this morning with my scone, clotted cream, and cherry brandy preserves! Later in the first cup I noticed almost a sweet potato flavor although it was subtle.
When the cup was empty I immediately went for steep two! At this point I noticed something strange. My teacup was heavily stained. Not only did it have this light stain all over the inside of the cup but also a spotted leopard like pattern of darker stains within it! I have never seen this before so I decided to soak my cup in some water with lemon juice and baking soda. Grabbing another cup I thought I had better brush my teeth with the same mixture when I was done with my multiple steeps of this tea.
On the second steep I increased the steep time by 30 seconds. I am not even sure this was necessary as this cup was darker and richer than the first! I was throughly enjoying this cup of tea lazing on the sofa when I realized that I did not get nearly as much sleep as I had needed the night before. I had only awoken as early as I did because my mailman made my dogs go crazy as he brought a package to my door! I am however pleased that I was woken up because this tea was in that package! I decided to allow myself to drift, leaving my tea on the table. About an hour later I awoke again, to cold tea. The smell of the now cold tea was robust and chocolaty so I decided what the heck and took a gulp. So good! The chocolate notes did come out more when cooled! This was an enjoyable steep similar to the first with more chocolate notes.
Steep three offered a choco-nutty aroma – milk chocolate. Yum! The malty notes were laying nicely in the background and the honey notes were more noticeable to me now, or maybe the grain notes were evolving into a more honey flavor. This steep was amazing as I realized there were sparkling dancing bubble like notes bouncing around on my tongue! Love it! There was a very light peppery flavor present but it did not remind me so much of peppercorn as it did that dusty loose pepper you can get in the tin can in any regular grocery store. Still it offers a lovely, light, non-confrontational pepper zing.
I also found that this tea is very refreshing for a tea with so many deep, earth, flavor notes! It is thirst quenching and I will definitely be taking this tea with me when I go out and about. I will even ice this tea and take it on the go when doing sporting activities! I find it unusual for me to think this of a tea with so many “heavy” type notes!
I sat my delightful brewer aside to reconnect with my lovely Jin Jun Mei later in the day but so far three of three steeps have been wonderful and I know for sure I will get at least three more! Not one of these steeps had any astringency, bitterness, or any flavor that was anything other than perfection! This is one of my favorite teas of all time, of all types, straight, or with additives, “flavored” or not, thus far on my tea journey!
(some of this may be repetitive)
Shang Tea is one of the best tea companies out there in my opinion. Everything they do is of the upmost quality. I have not had one bad experience with any tea I have sampled from Shang Tea. Honeysuckle White is pure ecstasy. That is if your idea of ecstasy is a creamy mouthfeel, sweet florals, buttery light vegetal flavors, and an undertone of nuttiness.
When I was a kid there were a lot of honeysuckle bushes around my neighborhood. You could pick the blooms of the honeysuckle bush and pull out the middle section, the stamen I believe, and there would be this shiny wet dew on the stem of the stamen. This was honeysuckle sap. It was sweet and delicious just like this tea but a natural sweetness of course, no where near as sweet or sappy as honey. This tea evokes those memories for me. A time very early in my youth that followed me into my own children’s youth as they too would learn the secret of the honeysuckle bush!
This tea is soothing, calming, almost meditative. The color is so beautiful – a bright sunny golden amber. The aroma makes the eyes open brightly with the lovely smell of honeysuckle blossoms, then the eyes shut with a soothing Ahhhhhh feeling of release. Since this tea is made with the White Peony King tea base you will pick up subtle nuisances of fruity undertones in later steepings.
This tea is a forgiving tea in the sense that you can play around with brew times if you wish to have your tea a bit stronger or a bit lighter. I steep mine for a good 3 to 4 minutes on the first steep and 5 or more on the following steeps, yet you can go as little as 1 to 2 minutes and still get a lovely flavor. Note the directions to bring water to a boil, then let rest one minute before immersing leaves to steep. You will find this tea can easily be steeped 3 to 4 times and still give a high quality enjoyable flavor palate for your palate!
I love a tea that can evoke a memory. This playful tea has the quality to be snobbish yet lets everyone enjoy its bounty, at 16.00 for 2 ounces or you can grab one of Shang Teas sampler packs that include their 8 best selling teas, including this one, for only 8 dollars and 80 cents. Every time I enjoy this tea I will think of the years past, running around my neighborhood, picking honeysuckle and lapping up the sweet nectar of life and remembering times doing the same with my own little saplings!
So I love Genmaicha, so much, I honestly munch on it right out of the bag, well not the leaves, they don’t chew well, but the rest of it I am guilty of.
Fusion has a nice Genmaicha and its organic, which I prefer when I can get what I am looking for in organic form.
My first teas came from Fusion Teas just this week (this was weeks ago now) and I was really pleased with their packaging. Each foil like bag had a bright cheery label with full steeping instructions. Since I can’t seem to remember from one tea / steep to the next times and temps I love having them provided on the label! Thank you for this Fusion Teas.
Fusion’s Genmaicha is not the strongest flavored genmaicha I have ever had but I like it. Some days I want a genmaicha that is really strong, really “meaty” that I can sit back and savor and sip on for an extended period of time. Other days, especially with summer upon me in the midwest, I know I will prefer a lighter genmaicha and Fusion Teas’ Genmaicha will perfectly fit that bill! While I would not want to go more than a day or two without having a Genmaicha sometimes especially on the hottest of days I just can’t seem to drink a full cup due to its fullness, heaviness, and thickness of mouthfeel but with Fusion’s Genmaicha I know I will be loving this every day all summer long! Its actually one I feel I can chill and enjoy cold!
Genmaicha Light if you will, this tea is also perfect as an introductory genmaicha. Its not too overwhelming and from my own experience introducing people to genmaicha it can be something that people either love or, well, don’t love. I have a good feeling this is one that most everyone will be able to enjoy!
If you have not experienced genmaicha before, think nutty, buttery, lightly sweet, caramel like, and reminiscent of buttered popcorn, yet earthy, and green. Yes I know it sounds like a mouth full!
Fusion Tea Room’s Organic Genmaicha is brewed at 170 degrees F for 2 to 3 minutes. I brewed mine for 3 as I wanted a fuller flavor and usually go for a longer steep time. You can brew from 1 to 2 teaspoons at these settings, I used 1 and a half. I like that you can adjust your steep time and leaf amount to taste as this tea gives a bit of wiggle room for an even lighter or stronger brew!
To me, genmaicha is decadent, an indulgence, yet how can it be when it’s not bad for me? Its something I crave, think about often, I have to keep myself from drinking too much of it from fear I may run out. Did I mention I love genmaicha? The thing is yes there are some genmaicha that are better than others. I had thought I had found my one and only genmaicha, and I will always order that genmaicha from that vendor. The deal is though, now that I have had Fusion Tea Room’s genmaicha I have two I love, one that I believe will become my fall and winter genmaicha, and this one that will be my spring and summer genmaicha! I am just a lucky duck that I live in a state that has four seasons!