Friday, June 6, 2014
Verdant Tea, Traditional Tieguayin
Partially oxidized traditional Tieguanyin recalls sweet and savory kettle corn with woody incense undertones and a touch of tart berry . This tea starts with rich candied violet flavors paired with a sweet caramel toasted aftertaste. The green, juicy fruit flavors unfold and reveal steamy banana custard profile with notes of butterscotch.
The mineral notes in this tea remind us of the Li family’s Wuyi oolongs, accented with marigold flavors and toasted marshmallow. This tea continues to yield beautiful flavor over many steepings. Enjoy this hot or ice it for a rich and sweet summer treat.
I got this one in a tea trade with a friend. She wrote Yummy :) on the sample packet. I think that means she approves.
Cutting the top off the sample and removing the leaf reveals dark mossy looking leaf that is tightly rolled. It isn't the hard shiny pellets I normally associate with this type oolong. It makes it appear more woodsy. I can detect only a slight green oolong aroma from the dry leaf.
I used my press and the entire sample which looks to be about 8 g. To the leaf was added 10 oz of water heated to 205 F. I steeped 30 seconds. Steeping recommendations came from the product brewing page of the Verdant Tea website.
30 seconds is not a lot of time for rolled oolong leaf to open and expand. It did loosen and double in size. The scent of the wet leaf is a surprise. I know this is traditional tieguanyin and yet based on the dry scent I expected a more green aroma. This is roasted without question. In fact the leaf is quite strongly so. The liquor is a lovely bright and very light yellow.
Verdant's descriptions are always so colorful. My taste buds are not so developed. Given the scent of the wet leaf, I am again surprised by the flavor. This should be strongly roasted by the aroma but it is not. Instead it is at first buttery and salty, savory, then sweet with floral notes late in the sip. Underneath the entire sip sits a light roasted nuttiness that is very reminiscent of the toasted rice in genmaicha. The floral note comes off as green oolong to me rather than violets. There is a certain amount of cheek tingle that I normal get with ginger, though here it is from astringency that leaves the mouth slightly dry.
This will continue to develop over several more infusions. I can say after the first mug that this is an interesting and complex tieguanyin. I also have to agree - this is Yummy :)
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