Tea: 2013 Spring picked Laoshan Green Tea

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Tea: Laoshan Green Tea Spring Picked
Company: Verdant Tea

This is one of Verdant’s staple green tea that is made by the He family. Their tea, grown between the slopes of Taoist holy Mountain Laoshan and the ocean is shaded by mist helping it grow sweet and rich. Currently they have the fresh spring picked version up for sale. I received mine from their Classic Tea of the Month Club Box, along with other spring picked teas that I will be reviewing later this month. This is the first one that I tried, and I brewed this tea gonfu style so that I could see how its’ flavor changed over time. Continue reading

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Tea: Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin

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Tea: Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin
Company: Verdant Tea

I was meaning to do a more in-depth review of this fine tea, but I am out of time for it. Verdant Tea has it on clearance at just $4.20 an ounce! Ok, on to the review.

So far out of all the oolongs that I have tried, my least favorite is  non-roasted or un-aged Tieguanyin. I mean they taste good with there buttery greens and floral flavors, I just a little boring. However, this tea is different. It was processed in such a way that it while having those classic flavors it has a nice tangy gram flavor to it. It adds a lot of depth to it. I recommend brewing it in 6oz of water for western style; the flavor is way stronger.

So if you always drink Tieguanyin, want to try something new, or can’t resist a sale I highly recommend checking this tea out. I would hurry though. Last I checked there was only 4 pounds left.

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Update: Upcoming reviews and pictures

I have been so busy in the last few weeks! That and being sick for one of them. I got a lot of great reviews and How To’s coming up so keep a look out. For know here is a photo gallery of some of the teas that I will be reviewing and the new tea ware that I got from Verdant Tea.

Tea Related: Pre-order Fresh picked tea from Verdant Tea

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Have you ever wished you could taste fresh picked tea? Well now you can! Verdant tea is currently working during there trip to china to bring you fresh from the field hand picked tea. The two teas that they have up for pre-order right now is the famous Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell Green Tea and Hand Picked Early Spring Tieguanyin.

There is also a great article with David (founder of Verdant Tea) interviewing Mrs. Li’s Shifeng about her Dragonwell tea. You can it read it here.

P.S. if you are already part of the monthly tea subscription with Verdant Tea you will be receiving the Dragonwell green tea for the month of May.

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Tea: Eight Treasures Yabao

Eight-Treasures-Yabao-XLCompany: Verdant Tea
Name:  Eight Treasures Yabao

OMG! IT’S BACK, IT’S BACK, IT’S BACK!!! This is one of my favorite teas from Verdant Tea for the summer. It is a unusual mix that is sure to please floral and light tea lovers.

The lore behind this tea is that it is based of the Chinese tea blend “Eight Treasures”, which while sometimes varying in blend it is usually a mix of green tea, flowers, fruits (orange and goji berry, ect.), and added rock sugar. It is a spring time tea that is meant to decrease body heat, aid in digestion, and boost your energy. What makes Verdant’s take on the tea so wonderful is the use of Silver Buds Yabao tea in it. Yabao tea (or Old Tree Bud White) is a unique type of tea. New fresh bud clumps are picked off of tea trees (not the bush kind) and then lightly processed much like white tea. However, unlike white tea is can be aged. Verdants Yabao is supper sweet and crisp with notes of cedar and peppercorn.

This Yabao while good can be a bit weak, however, in this blend it’s flavor attributes are harmoniously amplified and creates a wonderful summer tea that is good warm and iced.

The smell of the dry leaf is like smelling a bunch of hand picked sweet flowers and nectar; sweet and airy. The wet leaf becomes deeper with damp cedar notes backed with warm vanilla. The taste of the tea is’t self is simply divine. It is like drinking the nectar of sweet flowers drizzled with vanilla and a tinge of tingly spice left on the tongue  When it is iced the vanilla becomes more of a creamy texture with the jasmine and Yabao more present making it tasted like flowers that have been plucked from a cedar forest that still have morning dew on them.

Overall this is a great crisp, light, and floral tea that is sweet enough on it’s own and in my opinion embodies spring time. With just 2 tsp of leaf you can make 16-24oz of pure spring time bliss for you or your friends.

NOTE: While this tea has green jasmine tea it isn’t over the top or dominating in flavor. It is more of a sweet jasmine then a dry floral one. So jasmine wienies (like me) don’t need to worry.

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Instructions

HOT: I brew mine a little different from Verdants steeping. First I brew 1 tsp in per 8oz for 1 minuet, then pour into a pyrex. I add another tsp of leaf to the pot and brew for 2 minuets, and pour into the pyrex. Then I brew one last time for 2:20 minuets and pour into the pyrex. Makes 3 8 oz servings NOTE: You can skip the last steep if you want it a little stronger.

INSTANT ICED: Fallow the same guidelines as above, but either brew leaves in 4oz of water or double the leaf used. Pour the steepings into a heat resistant pitcher and put in equal parts ice to water. Will make 16-24 oz to 32-48 oz depending on the method used. You can also brew it up normal using the hot method and wait for it to cool, and then put into the fridge or freezer, but this method is faster and just a tasty.

Brewing Specifics

  • leaf: 2tsp
  • Pot: Glass
  • Water: 8oz
  • Temp: 185F
  • Steep: 1 minuets; 2 minuets; 2:20 minuets.

Tea: Laoshan Genmaicha

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This wonderful tea comes from Verdant Tea. It is there awesome Laoshan Genmaicha. I have had a genmaicha once before, but didn’t really get excited over it, but I decided to give this one a try…….. glad I did. It has a nice robust flavor without being to overpowering or burnt tasting. Unlike most genmaicha this one is a Chinese green tea base. This one in particular that has a rich green bean and buttery taste. With the addition of the toasted rice it almost seems like it just makes the base tea a little more fuller tasting, and adds a great nutty flavor. I just love sipping this tea during my meals. It is almost like I am getting my greens in with out having to eat them; which is good when you are eating sloppy joes. You can also get a good bit of steeps out of it as well. Not to mention the fact that I  love the symbolical combining of the wonderful green tea that Verdant brings in and the use of Verdants’ local rice fused into one tea. From what I have heard from reviewers that have had more experience with genmaicha, this one in particular has a supreme quality and taste compared to most genmaicha. 

Overall I would recommend this to some one who likes Genmaicha or wants to try one that is out of the ordinary.

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Specifics

  • leaf: 1tsp
  • Pot: porcelain
  • Water: 8oz
  • Temp: 185F
  • Steep: 2 minuets 

Tea: Flowering Green Jasmine Tea

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This wonderful blooming tea come from Verdant Tea and is called Flowering Green Jasmine Tea. I have tried a few blooming teas in the past and found them to be only ok. They tended to be really dry, bitter, taste to strongly of jasmine, and that they they seem more for decoration then for drinking. This one, however, is a different story. After watching the little tea ball bloom in my glass pot and inhaled the wonderful honey and wild flower sent I poured it off into my cup and found that blooming teas can taste awesome.

It made a light green-yellow liquor, that smelled of honey and wild flowers. The taste matches the smell perfectly. It taste strongly of clover honey, almost as if I put a small dolp in my cup. The base tea adds to the the honey flavor with a citrus tang and a smooth and dewy mouth feel. It should be noted that while having jasmine blossoms in the tea, it does not dominate the flavor at all, but adds a nice floral sweetness in the back drop of the velvet honey flavor; so jasmine weenies don’t need to be worried.

Overall this tea is simply wonderful. Besides being pretty to look at and having great flavor, it can be steeped many times; (I’m sipping on my 4th steep now.) This would make as a great present for any tea lover, or just to add some beauty to your tea routine.

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Specifics

Via Verdant’s website: “Flowering tea (or blooming tea) is best brewed in a tempered glass vessel. Bring filtered water to a boil and pour in an 8-16 ounce vessel. Allow the water to cool for about one minute, to around 185 degrees. Drop one flowering tea ball in the glass and watch it unfurl slowly. Smell the tea and focus on its transformation. After the jasmine and amaranth flowers open up, you can start sipping the tea. Top off with hot water throughout the day and enjoy.”

Water: All 16oz batches

Pot: Glas

Sweetener: Not needed

Steep Times:

  1. Till Opened
  2. One minuet  
  3. One & a half minuets  
  4. Two minuets

 

Tea: Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew

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This tea is part of another Sip Down of my large stock of tea and comes from the lovely Verdant Tea. It is called Chocolate Chamomile Curiosity Brew, and as the name suggests it is a curious concoction indeed. It takes some of the traditional ingredients from a sleepy time tea (spearmint, chamomile,fennel) and mixes it with cinnamon chips, the malty chocolaty laoshan black, Wuyi Big Red Robe, Peruvian Cacao Nibs, and Marigold. I at first was skeptical of it, being an odd combo, but found it to be a unique, relaxing, and tasty tea.  The malty and chocolaty black tea mixes with the cinnamon and fennel to make an almost brownie like flavor. The chamomile adds a nice creamy floral aspect, while the spearmint adds a nice touch of coolness. It tastes great warm and makes a refreshing ice tea; it’s a very relaxing mix. Did I also mention that this tea can take many steeps as well.

So if you are found of sleepy time tea. mint teas, or want to try something out of the norm, I would give this one a shot.

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Brewing Specifics

  • Pot: Porcelain
  • Water: 8oz per steep
  • Leaf: two tsps
  • Steep Time: 1 minuets (then added 30 sec each steep)
  • Sweetener: just a pinch of light agave
  • Temp: 205F

Directions

HOT BREW

  1. After getting your water boiling poor it into the pot and leave it for 5 seconds, then pore out the water; this is to do a rinse.
  2. Pour under boiling water back in and steep for 1 minuet; continually added 30 seconds for each steep done.
  3. When it is done steeping strain it off into a mug or pitcher
  4. Add sweetener if desired
  5. ENJOY

ICE TEA

Note: use 4 tsp per 8oz of water; can make between 1-2 quart batches from 8oz steeps.

  1. After getting your water boiling poor it into the pot and leave it for 5 seconds, then pore out the water; this is to do a rinse.
  2. Pour under boiling water back in and steep for 1 minuet; continually added 30 seconds for each steep done.
  3. When it is done steeping strain it off into a  pitcher or extra large pyrex
  4. Add sweetener if desired
  5. Then add equal parts ice to your pitcher or pyrex (ex: 16oz of tea + 16oz of ice)
  6. ENJOY