61 Tasting Notes
As I’m exploring teas I’m actually learning a lot about my tap water … there is a minerality to everything I try that is probably from that. Interesting. Will try filtered water or a different kettle.
I did a short rinse first and then steeped about 40 seconds in 8 oz, 200 F water.
The first impression was powdery nuts, maybe like walnuts or peanut shell. There is grassiness (I’m a novice tea drinker so I taste a lot of grass, leaves, etc. in everything, hah), some caramel, some lemon. Not a lot of fruit, the bitterness has me thinking only of sour citrus like lemon and grapefruit. Very nice savory, nutty cup that’s enjoyable to sip on a chilly fall night like this.
Flavors: Caramel, Lemon, Peanut, Walnut
This is my option for bagged chai at work.
My favorite element of chai is cardamom, but this tea is heavy on anise instead. These spices, for me, are best in a coffee or milk blended chai and not in a standalone tea. Still, it beats Stash and other bagged chais I have had.
Flavors: Anise, Ginger, Licorice
Purchased at Uwajimaya Market in Seattle, also sold through Tienxi’s website.
This is my first experience with aged pu’erh tea. I prepared it Western style in a mug infuser – 3 minutes and 200 degrees.
It’s everything I was told to expect: it smelled like fresh turned dirt or flower-bed manure (but without bacterial odor) and fresh cedar mulch. The body of the tea was smooth and somewhat sweet with low astringency. I don’t have much to compare it to, so I’ll be back after a few more samples.
Flavors: Cedar, Dirt, Malt, Wet Wood
Pleasant, hay-like aroma and taste. Actually reminds me very strongly of my grandmother’s barn. In a good way.
However, very weak even when steeped Western-style for 3 minutes in near-boiling water. I don’t detect any apricot, floral, or other notes besides the general sunny grassiness of the tea.
Flavors: Hay, Honey
Consciously under-steeped this one a bit in order to avoid any sourness, since in my experience Stash herbal teas get puckery pretty quickly.
Not super-sweet like many bagged fruit teas, but lacked any authentic blueberry flavor. It reminds me of a warm Vitamin Water.
Also when I left my empty mug sitting out, my husband thought I was secretly drinking wine, which was funny.
Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus
Aroma: cream, soybean, honey, grape
Flavor: soybean, corn, cream, green apple, mineral
Maybe my water was not quite the right temperature, but the recommended initial steep of 20 seconds (I actually did 30) yielded quite a weak tea. I wasn’t able to pick up many of the notes in the first infusion except the typical aroma of oolong. Of the teas in Verdant’s introductory sampler this is the least enjoyable so far, but they are still high quality teas.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Cream, Green Apple, Mineral, Soybean
Dry leaves: malt, dried tobacco, chocolate, smoke, autumn leaf pile
Aroma: floral, melon, chocolate, tobacco, honey
Flavor: floral, melon, cherry shisha, stone fruit, toasted nuts, smoke, perfume, molasses, soybean
Taste: smooth, no bitterness, no astringency, toasty, savory
Great complex flavor that reminds me strongly of cherry pipe tobacco.
Flavors: Bread, Cherry, Molasses, Nutty, Plum, Stonefruit, Tobacco
First infusion: only brewed for 20 seconds per instructions from Verdant. Scent of the dry leaves is very crisp, autumnal and seaweedy. The scent of the liquor smells like honey and grass. Very low astringency. I taste green beans and barley on the front. I don’t catch caramel or chocolate notes.
Second infusion: My water was maybe a touch too cool. The dried green pea smell is stronger, taste is slightly more astringent and nutty. I would still say there is some clover honey there.
Overall: although greens like this are not my stylistic favorite, I appreciate how delicately this balances vegetable, grain, and sweet notes.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grain, Grass, Green Beans, Honey, Honeydew, Nuts, Oats
I intended to buy a more floral green tea, but ended up with this one, which is definitely vegetal. It was a good lesson that scent isn’t reflective of taste. It is slightly buttery with clean, savory asparagus notes. Ok drinking but not great for the price.
Flavors: Asparagus, Broth, Grass, Hay, Spinach, Vegetal
I drank this alone and blended with a citrus herbal tea from Teavana. I was a bit disappointed to find that the pearl is not rolled around a jasmine bud, but instead the rolled leaves are scented with jasmine (whether it is natural or artificial flavor, I’m not sure.) There is a very pleasant and strong jasmine flavor to the tea, with no bitterness. It is smooth and relaxing, with a pale golden liquor. When blended with my citrus lavender tea the aroma was even more beautiful. Worth it for the aromatherapy even if the tea itself is not very complex. Holds true for a second infusion; I’m not sure about a third.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Jasmine, Perfume