1484 Tasting Notes
This blend is very fragrant. It doesn’t smell like roses to me though. Instead, both the dry leaf and the steeped liquid smell like peaches or peach candy.
I took a guess on the steeping parameters with this one since it didn’t come with recommendations. It brewed up a little bitter so I may drop the temperature next time. It’s also a bit dry, but this may be because I steeped it wrong.
7 ounces water + 170 degrees + 5 minutes
I accidentally added too much water for this cup so it isn’t as strong as it could be. The taste is still peach candy, no roses or anything floral really.
Flavors: Bitter, Candy, Drying, Peach
Thank you to Amariel for sharing some of this tea with me! She sent me this along with several other teas in our swap a couple of months ago. I love anything caramel so I’m excited to try this one.
I’m still learning to appreciate oolong teas. They certainly have that distinguishable aroma that I can usually pick up on pretty quickly. I don’t, however, smell the oolong here. Instead, this smells like butter cookies to me, much like Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro. Alongside the tea in the dry mix, there are what look like twisted yellow flower petals, some thick twigs, and a couple of caramel cubes.
The steeped tea leaves do have somewhat of an earthy smell now and I can see that the caramel cube has melted away. The liquid smells of caramel and butter cookies. Very nice. I really like the flavor of this one too. I added honey to sweeten, but I may try this next time with a sugar syrup instead so I can taste the flavors of the tea a little better. As it cools, I can taste the caramel even more.
6 ounces water + 170 degrees + 3 minutes, 30 seconds
I’m tasting more of the honey than the tea’s caramel flavor. I haven’t really tasted the oolong in either cup but I’m okay with that. This second cup is good.
Thanks again to Amariel for sending this my way!
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cookie
Thank you to Nepali Tea Traders for this generous sample! They included two sachets of this tea as well as a sample of loose leaf tea in their package. I’m very glad to be able to try both of these.
This tea came in a sachet, but I think I read on their website that it is sold as loose leaf. The dry tea in the sachet is broken into smaller pieces but once steeped they are larger and fill the pouch a little more. This blend is lightly spiced just as the description says. It lingers after each sip.
This tea smells wonderful! It is fragrant with floral jasmine and seems almost bursting with ripe fruit flavor. I love it, especially since it’s a black tea. I hope the fragrance transfers over to the taste.
This tea is incredible. It has to be my favorite of the Verdant blends. Unfortunately, this is one that is not for sale on the Verdant website. I can’t even seem to find the black tea, Yunnan Dian Hong, unless it goes by another name. Does anyone know? I would love to get some. This is a little bit tannic, a touch bitter or burnt, but with honey it is miraculous and with cream it’s even better.
This is the last of my Verdant blends club teas and I think after trying them I’ve realized that I would probably enjoy the classics tea club better than the blends. There have been several that I’ve thought I would love to purchase without the added scents/flavorings.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 1 minute, 30 seconds
This second cup is just as dark as the first. I can still detect the jasmine but now there is also a roasted flavor/aroma underneath. It tastes maybe just a little weak but it’s still good. I’ll just up the steep time next time around.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt, Floral, Fruity, Jasmine, Roasted, Tannic
I haven’t had a bergamot white tea since Teavana’s Earl Grey White which was so temperamental. Hopefully this one will be a little more easy going. I can’t seem to find the steeping instructions that Verdant sent with the April blends box so I looked on their website and found the parameters for their Bai Mu Dan which is the base tea for this blend. I was a little worried that the recommendation is to use fresh-boiled water, but now I see in parentheses that it says 175 to 205 degrees so I will try that.
The tea leaves are large. Some are curled, light green, and fuzzy. Others are open and almost an inky or charcoal black. The dry leaves are very fragrant, and the steeped leaves have taken on a vegetal aroma. The liquid smells different though, sweet actually. The tea is not at all bitter and still retains some of the essence of the bergamot which is nice.
Flavors: Bergamot, Sweet, Vegetal
This tea smells so refreshing. It’s light and crisp like fresh laundry and springtime with the windows open. After steeping, both the leaves and the liquid have taken on a roasted aroma. I added some honey, as usual, and this cup is quite enjoyable.
6 ounces water + 212 degrees + 1 minute, 5 seconds
The second cup tastes a little lighter but still has that roasted quality. I noticed while this cup was steeping that there were tiny flowers floating between the tea leaves. I’m not sure what they are but I’m not picking up any floral qualities, at least not yet. This may be my favorite of the Intelligent Nutrient teas so far. It’s one I would probably buy. I might also check into purchasing the base tea which I believe is Qilan Wuyi Oolong.
This has an incredibly surprising fragrance right out of the bag. Believe it or not, it smells exactly like my husband’s shaving cream. It’s that cooling mentholated smell mixed with the sweet spiciness of cloves. I can see the cloves in the dry mix along with the black tea and what appears to be citrus peel. There could be ginger there too, maybe, and a bark of some kind.
After steeping, the aroma is different. It’s tobacco maybe. Most of what I smell now is the black tea. With some of these scented teas I’ve noticed that the scent of the essential oils is really strong in the dry tea but fades or vanishes altogether once the tea has been steeped. I often can’t detect any of the fragrance at all in the flavor of the liquid.
Unsweetened, this tea tasted extremely bitter to me, but after adding honey it is much more palatable. The tea itself tastes very complex. I may want to try the black tea on its own at some point, without the spice. I can still smell the menthol, but taste mostly a lightly spiced black tea. Cloves come to mind first and foremost. There is also a perfumy quality to it.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 50 seconds
The second cup still has that lingering sweetness in the background from the cloves.
Flavors: Bitter, Cloves, Menthol, Perfume, Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Tobacco
This tea looks and smells like an herbal tea and is even called an herbal on the package, but the website lists one of its ingredients as Pu’er. I’m glad I looked there first.
There are pieces of rust colored bark in the mix and LOTS of fennel seeds. The fennel is mostly what I smell here, but it’s strange because I don’t see fennel seed on the list of ingredients. Perhaps I’m wrong, but these look and smell exactly like fennel seed to me. The rest does look like different kinds of bark so all of that fits with the description.
This actually turned out much better than I expected. It’s spiced but not overwhelmingly so.
Flavors: Fennel Seed, Spices
This is good, kind of lightly smoky. The dry tea has a spiciness to it which I’m guessing comes from the essential oil. I can see coriander seeds but it doesn’t have that spicy sweet lemon aroma that typically accompanies freshly ground coriander. The wet leaves smell more smoked and less fragrant than the dry leaves.
I’m having this with honey and a bit of light cream. I eventually want to try this with maple syrup. It seems like quite a few of the notes I’ve read about smoky teas show people using maple syrup as the sweetener so it must offer something to this particular type of flavor. The only other smoked tea I’ve tried is Twinings Lapsang Souchong which I really enjoyed and which had a much stronger smoky flavor. I’m not sure how the production of the teas differs, but I really would like to taste more smoke in this one.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 50 seconds
My second cup brewed up darker than my first. It’s definitely a little stronger after the longer steep. My desk smells suspiciously like cigarettes now.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 1 minutes, 10 seconds
This third cup tastes much like the second. It still has a bit of smokiness but it’s fading.
Flavors: Smoke, Spicy