Xingyang Silk Road Spice from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

Xingyang Workshop produces some of the cleanest and most sparkling  shu pu’er we have tried.  The 2008 shu nuggets are just calling to be made into a juicy and cooling blend.  The spearmint and peppermint provide a crisp edge and refreshing flavor that brings out the sparkling texture of the tea.  The cinnamon and fennel extend the sweetness and bring it out into the long aftertaste.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

At this point, I’ve tried quite a few different teas from Verdant Tea.  They’ve become one of my favorite sources for high-quality, pure teas because, put simply, they have some of the very best pure (unflavored, unblended) teas that I’ve tried.

But I’ve not tried very many of their blends, so I was excited with this opportunity to try one of the blends that has received rave reviews on Steepster.

The picture above suggests to me that this tea is a stunner iced, so I’ve been allowing this first infusion to cool to “cold” temperature before tasting.  It doesn’t take long at all since I’ve poured this into a very small teacup… and now that it has cooled, I must say that this is really very good!

The initial flavors are minty, with a back note of fennel.  The cinnamon together with the fennel create a sort of spicy licorice-y taste … it’s a sweet and exotic kind of flavor that is very enjoyable, especially as it melds with the crisp, cool minty flavors of spearmint and peppermint.

At first, it was difficult to discern the Puerh, but, as I focus, I could taste it in the background.  And as I near the end of my teacup (time for another infusion!) the earthy flavors of the Puerh are emerging.  I expect that the next infusion will be earthier than this first infusion.

Yes!  This infusion brewed to a darker color, looking much more like a cup of Pu-erh (and tasting more like it too!)  It is this infusion where I find these flavors starting to swirl together in a very harmonious fashion.  It no longer is an “initially minty, with back notes of fennel and cinnamon and pu-erh in the background” kind of cup.  This is minty, yes, and fennel-y, and cinnamon-y too.  But these flavors are much more in step with one another.  It’s become a remarkably smooth tea with notes of mint and fennel and cinnamon.  It’s like it’s become very unified – one tea with many flavors, the whole has become better than the individual parts with this unification.

That is to say that while these flavors are distinctive, they seem to be playing as a part of the whole cup here.  Truly an Alchemy blend – where all these flavors that might otherwise be ordinary have come together to create a truly extraordinary taste.

This tea keeps getting more delicious with each infusion, too.  Just when I think it can’t get better, I infuse it again, and it does get better!  Smoother, richer, more harmonious.  It was with the third and fourth infusion that I began to notice a background note of cocoa!   The aftertaste is cool and crisp and minty, and together with the tones of cocoa, it’s almost like an exotic chocolate mint.

I love how my palate is begging me for more of this tea … it’s that good!

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