Friday, January 17, 2014
Verdant Tea, Spring Loashan Green
The body is perfectly smooth, silky and creamy, while the aftertaste lingers in the back of the throat with a sweetness that only an early spring tea could achieve. The dominant flavor is that of oat cereal and vanilla soy milk. The green qualities of the tea come through not as an assertive grassiness, but more as the sweetness of hearts of Romaine or crisp, refreshing cucumber. In later steepings, there is the taste of green soy benas, along with fresh, fragrant notes of sugarcane and lychee.
The leaves are so tender that after the tea is steeped out, you can eat the leaves whole for a sweet, delicate snack.
This will be my very first experience with a Verdant Tea. Their teas are consistently highly rated by my fellow Steepster friends. Be warned the upfront price will scare many everyday tea drinkers from purchasing. At roughly $20/ounce this seems very high but if you get 10 cups from an ounce that is $2/cup. That is at least what you will spend for mediocre tea in a coffee shop. Now if you steep it twice it becomes $1/cup, at 3 x it is $0.67. That is certainly reasonable. My tea friends often say something along the lines of life is too short to drink bad tea.
This particular one is a green tea from the spring of 2013 harvest. The leaf is dark and crinkly looking. I used kind of a mix of the directions for steeping from Verdant's site. I placed the leaf in the bottom of my press and added water heated to 175 F by pouring down the side of the glass rather than directly upon the leaf. I wish instead I had added the leaf to the water as I think that would have made for a lively dance of the leaf. I steeped for the recommended one minute.
The leaf turned bright and spring green. The liquor is very clear and has a very light yellow tint. The wet leaf is very aromatic. Maybe artichoke scented. I normally call it stew beef but this tea has more to it and seems more steamed vegetable to me.
They say the dominant taste is oat cereal and soy milk. I've never had soy milk but I can see the oat as it reminds me of Cheerios. It has a real smooth and creamy texture, There is just a touch of bite late in the sip leaning towards vegetal like a dragonwell tea. The aftertaste is sweet and lingers. As I continue to sip and the cup cools, it is now bringing notes of cream corn. This is very good.
Cup number two I steeped for about 1 minute 15 seconds. The wet leaf still maintains that strong artichoke/beef stew scent. The cup color remains very clear and light yellow. The taste is very different. Gone is the creamy butteriness. Now this is a more green tasting tea with a light metallic bitterness. That is not a complaint. It actually tastes very good but these are the best words I can use to describe it. This leans toward nutty or woodsy. The aftertaste seems not as sweet.
Cup three was steeped for two minutes. The wet leaf has a more seaweed aroma. The liquor is consistent with previous cups. This is a lighter version of cup two. This is slightly biting on the sides of the tongue. Still has a very sweet lingering aftertaste. I think I'll quit here but I am very pleased with this tea.
Visit the Verdant Tea website.