Autumn 2019 Special Grade Laoshan Black/Verdant Tea

Please do not mind me as I sit here and gaze at this pulchritudinous tea.

It is somewhat difficult for me to describe the color of these brilliantly twisted leaves.

It is dark brown with hints of grays and greens. The aroma is fresh, toasty, and warm. The wet leaf aroma is vegetal.

Slightly musty. What a unique flavor.

Toasty notes are the forerunners. Followed closely by a chocolate and cream sensation. If steeped too long it takes almost like burnt chocolate.

The after taste is a bit mineral and this really shows when it comes to the feeling it leaves on the tongue.


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Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

Pioneers and community leaders in Laoshan Village, the He family was one of the first to plant tea on the misty ocean-facing slopes of the Taoist Holy Mountain they call home.

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2018 King of Thieves Dancong/Verdant

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This little phrase can be used time and time again with tea.

If you don’t like it the first time you try it, try it again. I was not impressed with my first session, so here we are trying again.

The dry aroma is better this time around. Somewhat floral, somewhat earthy.

The first time around is the best but I’m finding subtle floral notes that are nice in later steepings as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing.

While using my aroma cup I encountered I very briefly encountered some intense fruity notes with woodsy notes but couldn’t find it again after that. The leaves are a unique dark color but when wet they are outlined with lighter brown shades.


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Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Verdant

Description

贼王 or “King of Thieves” got its name from the famous story of a thief stealing this valuable tea tree in the middle of the night over 200 years ago, but leaving some of the roots and trunk in their haste to cut it down. King of Thieves growing today is said to have regrown from that little remaining root stock. This tea was hand picked and hand processed over 24 hours of intense labor to bring out its rich nuanced dessert-like flavor and spiced tropical undertones.

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2003 Aged Ben Shan/Verdant Tea

Have you ever judged a book by it’s cover? Looked at a tea and thought, meh? I confess I did that with this one. I’m not a big fan of pu er and some other aged teas I’ve had were okay. But I figured let’s give this a try anyway.

I only have a 5g sample so I’m going to do everything right with this one. Using the gongfu method I’ll be trying to steep as many times as I can. (Ended up with around 5 or 6 steepings).

The dry aroma is very woody, dried wood with other earthy notes. When wet, the minerality immediately comes forth along with some clean earthy somewhat roasty notes. It is a unique aroma that is rich and deep but not overwhelming.

The flavor, likewise, is mineral. Soft on the palette. The second steeping has revealed interesting milky notes. Also with the second and third steeping, unique rye notes came out. Like rye bread without the bread. Heavier roasted notes towards the end.

If you guys are able to give this tea a try I highly suggest it. Just make sure you give yourself a good half hour to enjoy the tea as it should be. No tea mugs for this tea.


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Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description

The Ben Shan cultivar has a big, strong flavor that is full of all the fruit and sweet florals we love in Tieguanyin. Ben Shan is so rich that it is often sold as Tieguanyin or blended with Tieguanyin to make Tieguanyin taste more like Tieguanyin. Some of the oldest tea bushes on Master Zhang’s high mountain plot are Ben Shan varietal, planted by his grandparents. Ben Shan is used by Master Zhang in many of his Wulong revival experiments for its versatile nature and big, deep texture. Careful aging and roasting bring out unexpectedly tropical florals paired with a taut cooling minerality.

 

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1st Picking Shi Feng Longjing #43 / Verdant

Longjing tea leaves are flat.

When I first encountered Longjing with another company I confused it as a Dragonwell. Easy to do but now I see that Longjing is even flatter and has broader leaves, at least of the ones I’ve assessed.

This first pluck is ripe with sweet, grassy flavors. There is a uniqueness in the astringency in that it reminds me of eating a tangerine. The dry leaves are my favorite part of a Longjing.

They smell so wonderful, perhaps it’s that summer grass smell.


 

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Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Description:

Mrs. Li’s first picking of the year is full of all the nutrients and sugars stored by the plant all winter long and offers a more complex, sweet and subtle taste experience. It has a longer aftertaste and thicker texture than later harvests. The soil is full of quartz and white sand while the water comes from natural mountain springs, yielding a flavor that simply can’t be matched outside of Shi Feng itself.

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Bai Mu Dan Oolong / Verdant

Death has a way of making a nice cup of tea seem like a hug. I’m at peace and yet it still hurts.

Each sip is like a comforting hug. This silky mouthfeel is like a good friend wrapping you in a soft, warm blanket of encouragement. This unusual varietal has characteristics of it’s white counterpart while retaining the unique minerality of an oolong. It has the astringency that gives the slight feeling of one that had just licked a rock. A smooth, wet rock. Perhaps this rock was in a flower field.

A field of summer flowers comes to mind in the aftertaste. Roasted flavors dominate most of the flavor wheel for this one. Strange vanilla tones also appear if you let your palette sit without tea for a bit and then you swish it around. How unique! Tea, at least for me, has a wonderful way of lifting ones spirits.


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Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

You might recognize “Bai Mudan” as a white tea. This intriguing harvest is Da Bai cultivar planted in Wuyishan and picked with the classic Bai Mudan mix of leaf and smaller buds, but finished as a roasted oolong. The result is fascinating – a tea with the buddy mouth-filling textural thrill of a traditional Fuding Bai Mudan, but with the minerality and deep roasted flavor of a classic Wuyi Oolong. The aromatics are full of orange zest and licorice root. The first infusions have a bright white tea quality with earthier burdock undertones and coriander spice. Later steepings are rich and aromatic like floral ginger, with notes of juicy plum.

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