Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Verdant Tea: Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin, A Tea Review

I slept for twelve hours yesterday, it seems excessive but clearly I needed it since I feel much better today and I have flipped back to being diurnal again. It is a constant struggle, I am naturally nocturnal but since I live with other people (making it hard to do things at night for fear of disturbing sleepers) I try to keep myself diurnal. Time for a tea review, another from my notebook of backlogged awesomeness.

Today's tea is Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin from Verdant tea. Before I get too far into my review I should apologize, something weird happened to my camera (I have fixed it) where some of my photos were not storing on my SD card and sadly I did not notice till after my tasting was finished and I did not have more of the tea to photograph. Sadly that means no photo of the loose leaf, but I do have one of a cicada on the package. The aroma of this tea is very rich and heady mixing floral, nutty, and slightly fruity notes. The floral notes are the strongest blending orchids and lilacs with a gentle note of honey and freshly mown hay. I also detect a slight note of scupernong sweetness and as I pull the leaves away from my nose I get a really light hint of apricots.

The steeped leaves have a green aroma, like standing in a field of flowers and you can smell the aroma of broken leaves and flowers. There are also fairly strong notes of chestnut which blends very well with the notes of orchid and vegetation. Even though this is an Autumn picked Tieguanyin the aroma reminds me of high summer and makes me feel warm just thinking about it. The liquid's aroma is mild and refreshing, mostly floral notes that are not at all heady. It reminds me of a breeze carrying in the aroma of flowers from the garden outside your window. There is also a note of chestnut at the finish.

The taste is exceptionally mild and very sweet, it is like drinking a cup of very warm honeysuckle nectar with a gentle chestnutty aftertaste. Nothing about this tea overwhelms, it feels very much so like a 'hug in a cup' and just soothes everything.

The aroma of the leaves used for a second steep are much richer, which makes sense since they have unfurled more. The orchid notes are headier and the chestnut notes are stronger, it is one of those teas that the steeping aroma fills an entire area rather than hiding in the cup. The liquid also is much headier while still retaining some of the mildness that the previous steep had. The taste is similar to the first cup being very smooth and sweet with strong notes of honeysuckle. The mouth feel is buttery smooth and the flavors are a little more rich with the second steeping. I like this tea a lot (but really, have I ever had a TGY that I didn't like?) it is one that I can see myself sipping before sleep or when I want to do something relaxing because it has such a soothing quality. Someday in the future I will have to procure more of this tea and give it a Gongfu brewing review.

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