Here is one I meant to get around to a lot sooner than I did. I had hoped to drink this last weekend, but obviously didn’t manage to find the time. Unfortunately, I still have numerous samples from Verdant Tea. It is my intention to start going through them a little more quickly and get reviews up in a more timely fashion. We’ll see how that goes.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of lilac, chrysanthemum, marigold, violet, green apple, and butter. After the rinse, the floral aromas intensified and were joined by emerging scents of cream, vanilla, kale, parsley, and grass. The first infusion saw the tea’s savory and vegetal qualities express themselves more fully on the nose to balance the strong floral aromas. In the mouth, I noted butter, cream, violet, lilac, grass, and green apple underscored by subtle traces of vanilla, parsley, kale, chrysanthemum, and marigold. Subsequent infusions brought out the vanilla, parsley, kale, chrysanthemum, and marigold in the mouth while impressions of celery, cucumber, crabapple, mild cinnamon, and minerals began to express themselves on the nose and on the palate. Later infusions maintained a largely savory and vegetal character, with minerals, grass, kale, parsley, butter, and cream notes underscored by faint wisps of green apple, vanilla, and marigold.
This was an interesting and rewarding oolong. I adored Master Zhang’s Autumn 2015 Mao Xie for its spicy, herbal, floral, and fruity qualities, and this tea was relatively similar. I did find it, however, to be a bit lighter and slicker in the mouth and more floral, savory, and vegetal in terms of aroma and flavor than last year’s offering. Of the two, I preferred the earlier tea, but this one was still well worth trying.
Flavors: Butter, Celery, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Green Apple, Kale, Mineral, Parsley, Vanilla, Violet