Saturday, November 30, 2013

Verdant Tea: Earl of Anxi, A Tea Review

I have a sad confession, I have been staring at my computer screen for about five minutes with writer's block. I am not blocked with writing about tea, I just cannot think of a good introduction to today's blog. So just imagine I said something amazingly witty or incredibly geeky and I shall carry on with today's tea!
One of the prettiest teas ever! Look at the size of the Jasmine!
Earl of Anxi by Verdant Tea is a blend made from Autumn Harvest Tieguanyin, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Jasmine, Wildcrafted Frankincense Resin, Organic Goji Berry, and Organic Saffron. When I read the list of ingredients my mind did this little freak-out and fizzled a bit...that is a crazy decadent tea that blends some of my favorite things! Tieguanyin (or Tie Kuan Yin) is probably my favorite Oolong, Frankincense is one of my favorite aromas, and saffron is one of my favorite flavors, consider my mind blown. The aroma is very sweet, mixing notes of honey, cherries, oranges, and the tangy sweet aroma of Goji berries. There are also notes of orchid and jasmine with a hint of frankincense as I pull it away. The blending of aromas is awe inspiring, I want to ingest it and wear it as a luxurious perfume. I feel myself being transported to an exotic garden on the Silk Road.
I ate one of the steeped Goji Berries
I have become a bit bouncy with excitement as I steep this tea. The steeped tea leaves are richly heady mixing the jasmine and orchid aromas from the Oolong. There are notes of chestnut, saffron, and the resinous aroma of frankincense. Lastly is a hint of orange that sneaks in at the end. The liquid's aroma is intense, mostly notes of chestnut, saffron, frankincense, and orchid.
Beautifully pale!
This tea is deliciously sweet, mixing honey sweetness and fruity sweetness. Orange notes are present and it blends wonderfully with the Tieguanyin, complimenting the orchid flavors of the oolong. There are midtastes of jasmine and goji berries, and it finishes with the resinous and slightly earthy taste of frankincense. Throughout the entire sipping experience is a gentle undertone of saffron which gives the tea a very exotic tone. As the tea cools it becomes a bit more chestnutty. With this steep all of the flavors blend together perfectly, no one flavor dominates, it is very much like an elegant dance of flavors in my mouth.

I was lucky to get a second steep out of this tea, but I was so enthralled with the tea I forgot to take a picture of it, tragic. The aroma is more orchid and chestnut, more 'oolong' and less other ingredients. The aroma does not lie, tasting this tea I notice that the Tieguanyin takes center stage. The taste is very mild with gentle notes of oranges and goji berries with just a tiny hint of jasmine. There is a slight mineral aftertaste that adds a delicious finish to the experience. As the tea cools it takes on a lemony quality. I have a hard time calling this tea an Earl or an Oolong, it transcends both and is simply an experience. This tea is exquisite, I could not drink it all the time because even though it is delicate, the flavors are so intense that I feel I would be overwhelmed and sent into a state of transcended reality. I have a special relationship with oolongs. I actually do not recommend drinking this tea with food or anything that would distract you from the experience of drinking it, and I certainly don't say that very often.

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