Laoshan Apothecary Green Tea from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green / Tulsi blend

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

The goal of the blend is to bring out the complexity of texture that Laoshan green exhibits while allowing the flavors of spring and of Laoshan itself to come through.  We used cardamom and coriander as complex texture building blocks that draw out the aftertaste and make the mouth water.  These additions are fortified with Holy Basil and peppermint to keep the crisp flavor and sweetness.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was really excited to try this tea – I had been hearing so many good things about it on Steepster!  Plus, I really love cardamom and coriander, and I love that this blend focuses on these two spices as well as their Laoshan Green Tea from this past spring’s harvest.  This tea seemed to have all the makings for a real winner of a blend.

The aroma is amazing.  With my first deep inhale, I picked up the unmistakeable notes of coriander.  My brain also was telling me “cardamom” although I thought I was just trying to think of coriander and cardamom popped out … then I smelled again and YES… that’s cardamom alright!  Then I started to notice subtle hints of peppery mint … is that tulsi?  Yes, indeed.  And once the olfactory nerves moved past the tulsi I was also able to discern the peppermint.  All these wonderful fragrances together with a very subtle leafy green note, smelling very much like the air in spring-time when all the new green growth is sprouting up all around me. Very fresh and lively!

I wondered if the spices would overwhelm the Laoshan Green Tea, though, because they smell so strong in the dry leaf … but David at Verdant Tea mixed this blend skillfully and with great attention to achieving balance.  This tastes and feels very nicely rounded on the palate, offering hints of pepper, citrus, mint and vegetative green notes, but without one flavor overpowering another.

The first few sips, I tasted the green tea – front and center!  And that’s just the way it should be.  This is a green tea blend … not a spice blend with green tea.  It is sweet and creamy, with hints of creaminess – maybe somewhere between fresh cream and butter – and notes of whole grain.  It is a great base to use with the spices that were chosen for this blend.

The coriander is probably the most immediately recognized spice, but the cardamom comes in just after that.  They provide warmth in the form of a peppery tone – this is more of a savory pepper than a spicy-hot one though – and I think that it has enough of a subtly about it that even those who tend to shy away from “spicy” blends could enjoy this … this is not a chai!

About mid-cup, I start to notice the crisp, minty tones of the tulsi and peppermint.  These are very subtle, and I like how they were added to the blend – not with a heavy hand, but with a plan to utilize these herbs as accentuating components rather than the main event.  Instead of tasting strongly of mint – it tastes crisp, zesty, cool… very fresh and exhilarating, without overpowering the cup.

This is very refreshing iced, too.  It’s almost a completely different tea!  The mint is much more prominent in the cooled version, but the peppery tones of the spices are also there, offering accents to the mint.  I’d describe it as a new twist – or perhaps a twisted new version – of a Moroccan Mint.  And it’s a very nice twist indeed!

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