Sipdown! rest is over to VariaTEA who will probably have the same amount of luck as me..but you never know! lol
“Sipdown! rest is over to VariaTEA who will probably have the same amount of luck as me..but you never know! lol” Read full tasting note
“After having no energy and motivation for the better part of three days, I decided to finally get off my butt and get a few more backlogged reviews posted. I finished a pouch of this tea back...” Read full tasting note
“Pale tea with a slight sweetness and a slight bitterness but agreeable. It disappears under the creamer, so this tea may be better off being brewed more gently and served plain. My plan is to try...” Read full tasting note
“Strong black tea aroma with stone fruits and lemon and caramel after 8s rinse. The aroma reminds me of brewing beer, a thick sweet wort, delicious. Western style, 5g, 400ml enameled iron brew pot,...” Read full tasting note
Master Zhou is still experimenting with other farmers in Qianjiazhai to produce new black tea offerings each year. The cooperative started with simple oxidized and sun dried black tea without any processing. This year they are excited to introduce wok-roasted hand finished black tea. The application of heat makes this more closely related to other Yunnan Black, and indeed it shares a rich sweet potato thickness similar to our Yunnan Golden Fleece, but with Qianjiazhai’s signature tulsi complexity and touches of citrus, and florals. Anybody who loves black tea will love this wild complex black tea offering from the Dongsa Cooperative.
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Qianjiazhai Hand Fired Black Dragon PearlsVerdant Tea
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After having no energy and motivation for the better part of three days, I decided to finally get off my butt and get a few more backlogged reviews posted. I finished a pouch of this tea back around the middle of August. I found it to be a highly impressive Yunnan black tea, and that shocked me too, considering that I am not normally a fan of the teas Verdant sources from the Zhenyuan Dongsa Farmers Cooperative.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cedar, cinnamon, honey, malt, raisin, and prune. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of cream and roasted almond accompanied by a mild sweet potato scent. The first infusion saw the nose turn floral and a bit citrusy. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of roasted almond, cedar, cream, malt, and raisin that were accompanied by hints of honey, sweet potato, prune, and cinnamon. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of brown sugar, orange zest, orange blossom, and menthol. New impressions of minerals, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange blossom appeared in the mouth alongside stronger honey and sweet potato notes and belatedly emerging hints of prune. I also noted subtle impressions of cocoa, date, and juniper. Eucalyptus and menthol notes made themselves known on the finish and lingered in the mouth after each swallow. The final few infusions emphasized lingering mineral, malt, and cream impressions that were accented by hints of brown sugar, date, raisin, and honey as well as even subtler touches of orange zest, eucalyptus, and juniper on each swallow.
This was an interesting and incredibly satisfying Yunnan black tea. Regardless of whether or not one trusts the folks at Verdant Tea, they do usually manage to source some very good Yunnan black teas, and this one was yet another strong offering. If you are not already a fan of teas like this, then I doubt this one will convert you, but if you are an established Yunnan black tea lover, then give this one a shot. I doubt it will disappoint.
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Cedar, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Cream, Dates, Dried Fruit, Eucalyptus, Herbaceous, Honey, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
Pale tea with a slight sweetness and a slight bitterness but agreeable. It disappears under the creamer, so this tea may be better off being brewed more gently and served plain. My plan is to try it again with slightly lower temperature water and less brewing time.
Flavors: Camphor, Stonefruit, Tea
Strong black tea aroma with stone fruits and lemon and caramel after 8s rinse. The aroma reminds me of brewing beer, a thick sweet wort, delicious.
Western style, 5g, 400ml enameled iron brew pot, 96C water, 40s first steep
Lemony tang with caramel, malt, licorice maybe down low, vanilla, very very smooth, weak tannins and no bitterness. Sweet aftertaste that lingers a bit. Flavor is nowhere near as bold as the aroma would suggest, but it isn’t weak or thin either. This is a very nice cup of tea.
Second and final steep at 70s brings out more of a musty old leather undertone, but only just, and it’s under the lemon, sweet, stone fruits and caramel. This steep brings out just a bit more zing at the back of the throat, but nothing else new as a flavor.
The flavor grows on me, over the course of an hour. I’m really impressed. I should try this with a smaller pot or gaiwan. The aroma starts to remind me of a classic southern sweet tea, lemon, black tea and a ton of sugar, but the flavor has just enough complexity to keep me coming back.
Flavors: Caramel, Leather, Lemon, Licorice, Malt, Stonefruit, Vanilla
I’m very busy, so this will be short and sweet.
Kind of like a cross between a taiwanese black, jingmai wild black, and bi luo chun? There’s smooth vanilla caramel in here along with some malt and chocolate, depending on the steep. It’s fairly good, but you can certainly get better for a better price.
First up today is hand fired black by verdant tea. This is an interesting tea that I wasnt sure at first if I liked or not. Its a bit on the mild side for a black tea, so lets start with the brewing. Getting out my Yixing because I really wanted to hit it with alot of heat this time. So picking out 5 grams of leaves, and they are nice big whole leaves too. I heated the yixing and put the leaves in and got a wonderful caramel aroma from the pot. That classic black tea sweetness. I decided to skip the wash on this as the leaves look fairly open and and clean, so no need to remove dust.
First infusion 30 seconds I got a clear very pale redish liquor, I have to admit, the tea looks and smells awesome, but the taste doesnt quite match up to the promise the aroma and color give. Its nice, with caramel and Vanilla, and its sweet and no bitterness at all, but its a bit on the mild side.
Second infusion got slightly darker, and the tea tasted better, perhaps I should have given it a quick wash. Sweeter, caramel and here is where it got good, it has that nice black tea aftertaste, that makes water taste sweeter for a while.
Third infusion I hit it a little harder, pouring boiling water over the yixing and letting it steep a little longer. I got a bit more of that savory notes that blacks are known for.
Fourth infusion was about the same, with just a hint of astringency popping in at this point.
I recommend this tea for anyone who likes mild black tea, I usually like a bit more intensity in my black tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla, Vegetal
Small-pot brewing method (400ml with 5 grams tea). Temp at 205F.
This is a nice fully-oxidized tea, with a balanced flavor. It’s got a bit of tannin zing—or briskness—but the astringecy is not strong and it finishes without bitterness.
Not a complex tea, and not as fruity as some hong cha, but a choice for black tea lovers who might want to step up to a solid loose leaf black without bitterness.
Flavors: Leather, Rosehips, Tea