258 Tasting Notes
So, against my own better judgement, I brewed this western style and followed the suggestions on the Verdant website about doing quick 15 second steeps for western (which sounds suspiciously like gongfu…) but I think I used more water than they suggest because this was watery in flavor after the stated time. So, I plopped the tea back in the water for another 15 or so. It’s still watery but at least it is drinkable with some flavors.
I’m chalking this up to user error and withholding a rating. Normally when this happens, I mention that I’ll update it when I do brew it up properly. However, this time I have no further tea of this kind as it was a sample. But, I do think this tea has some potential. I notice some faint fruity notes in there. Seems like a fairly juicy mouthfeel, especially if I extrapolate to what a fully leafed pot would be…
Oh hello, 2012 Huron Gold Needle. It has been a while. A couple of years even. I’ve taken a pretty substantial leave of absence from puerh so this is me jumping back in. I have a decent supply of high quality stuff from a few years ago that I should really get back into so here we go!
205F, 5 second rinse, 10 second steep- A nice golden brown color emerges. Almost like a brown ale but a bit lighter perhaps. The flavor is lighter as well which I appreciate. I’d rather my puerh have a lighter nuance than a heavy, almost basement-esque quality to it.
Second steep, 10 seconds- Whoa, talk about a difference in steep color. As soon as the water hit the leaves it went to a dark tawny port color. Much darker in one second than in the entire 10 seconds of the last steep. This has a tang in the back of the throat when drinking. Kind of like a juicy sour fruit leaves but without the fruity flavor. It isn’t a negative for me as it gives it some interesting texture and flavor. Yeah, whereas I find some teas drying this one generates a juicy well rounded mouthfeel. Fairly light overall.
You will have to forgive me for ending the review short. Two reasons for that. One, I always have to monitor my caffeine intake so I’m usually not going to be doing 7, 8, 9 steeps of something. And two, today is the first day of Christmas break and I have 3 kids, the youngest being 13 months old. As you can imagine, I don’t have a lot of time to just sit and type at my leisure without him getting into things or needing something, usually my attention. So, with that being said, I bid you farewell until next time.
Busting the last of this out this morning. Went with a roasted oolong as it is a rainy morning here in Lansing, Michigan… Even though it is December and we have no snow and there is no snow in the forecast before Christmas and I’m so disappointed. But I digress.
Anyway, the leaf looked fairly green for a roasted so I took that as it being a lightly roasted oolong. I was right and while I normally skew towards heavily roasted and find greens lacking, this is actually masterfully done.
First steep at 195 for about 20 seconds. The liquid is a light hay yellow. It smells a bit of red skinned roasted peanuts which I thought odd. I sat smelling it thinking that surely I was wrong but I couldn’t shake it. Upon sipping, I find it is a perfect balance between green and roasted. There is a bit of a roasted flavor but it blends perfectly with a buttery green flavor. Maybe a hint of floral but that is debatable.
Second steeping, 20 seconds. This one lost some of the charcoal roast and went a bit more buttery with a hint of bitterness.
Third steeping, 35 seconds. That might have been too long. The bitterness kicked up in this steep. Not cringe inducing, pour out status mind you but a tad bit more than I would like.
Overall, this was a solid tea that I would recommend for both people who prefer greens but might want to try a light roast or for those who prefer roasted oolongs but might want to have some features of a green. My rating would have been higher but for the fact that this does have a tendency to get a bit bitter if steeped for even a few seconds too long so it does require a delicate, nuanced hand in steeping.
Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Dandelion, Flowers, Peanut, Roasted, Roasted Nuts
I wonder if I am the last person to have any of this. Welp, not anymore. I just made the last of it finally after hoarding it for a few years. It is still very good. I enjoy the flavor of toasted genmaicha over most styles of green tea. And I particularly like the lack of bitterness and also the blueberry that is slight but nice. Overall, this was a great blend.
Flavors: Blueberry, Green, Toasty
This review is for the Autumn 2018 version. This tea brews up fairly light in the gaiwan. And the flavor profile matches it. The main tasting notes on Verdant describe barley and toast and I think that is accurate. Definitely has a light toasted quality. I would describe this as an acceptable daily sipper. Nothing super special but with a pleasant drinkability. Either way, I am just getting into being able to drink caffeinated teas again due to a chronic health condition and boy have I missed it.
My first impression: Not impressed. Now, I will say that I haven’t yet tried it with milk and I have seen that be recommended. Perhaps it will be better that way. Otherwise, it was an okay-ish strong black base with a slight sweetness with it but nothing overly rum. Which is too bad because the dry leaf smells really delicious.
Here is hoping for it to be better with milk and maybe some honey
My brother in law brought this tea for me from France. He doesn’t know much about tea and asked someone there to recommend some good teas for a family member. Unfortunately neither he nor the person selecting the tea knew of my disdain for hibiscus in teas.
From the dry scent, I could tell it would be a tart, fruity tea. I prepared in advanced by mixing in some honey before I drank it. It helped a bit but that devil dog we call hibiscus still is prominent. I cannot fault a dog for being a dog. But I don’t think this tea is on any of my favorite lists.
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Tart
The smell upon the water first meeting the tea elicits the smell of roast and char but not in a smokey way, as unlikely as that may seem.
First steep in the gaiwan, 15 seconds, produces a surprisingly sweet, almost tart, fruit with only a faint hint of roast. Second steep, 20 seconds, is more of the same with maybe a little more roast flavor. It feels simultaneously juicy and drying in the mouth.
The subsequent steeps were taking down while caring for a 4 month old but what I will say is that it stays fairly consistent in terms of quality with slightly varying levels of that fruity and char flavor until it fades near the 7th steep.
Flavors: Char, Drying, Fruity, Roasted, Sweet