Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
The complexity of this fresh spring harvest Tieguanyin stands up to the rich flavors of our autumn harvest, and the sweet floral notes of our last spring harvest. Indeed, we must admit that this may be our most exquisite Tieguanyin yet. We sometimes wonder why the farmers part with something so precious, but hope that you will join us in appreciating the new crop.
Learn more about this tea here.
I suffer from allergies. I actually have the symptoms year round, but when spring comes they are worse. I don’t even have to look at a calender to know when spring is here. I can feel it in my sinuses. Fortunately, I’m able to keep my severe symptoms somewhat controlled using medication that I take every day, and choosing raw, locally harvested honey helps too.
Of course, none of this has to do with this tea. I just thought I’d mention it to explain of the worst part of spring, at least for me. What’s in this cup that sits before me is about what is best about spring: The first harvests of the year! Yay!
I began sipping this before I read the tasting notes on Verdant Tea’s website, and I was surprised to note the vanilla-esque flavor to this tea. It is so strong that if I didn’t know better, I’d swear it had been flavored. The vanilla plays to the natural creamy tones of this tea beautifully, creating a very sumptuous experience for the palate that reminds me of a rich, cream-filled pastry.
Once I get over just how amazing the vanilla notes taste in this cup, I start to explore some of the other flavors. A exotic honey-like taste that is a little more savory than sweet – imagining the flavor of honeysuckle where the savory elements were the focus while the sweet, floral tones were off in the background. And yes, I agree with the aforementioned tasting notes, there is a saffron-like flavor to this as well.
As I near the bottom of this, my first cup, I notice a tingly sensation on my tongue – like the cool, crisp feeling that I’d experience if I were sipping a pure peppermint tea … but without the strong minty taste. There are hints of a mint-like flavor, but, they are quite subtle and almost hidden amongst the other notes of this tea, however the tingly sensation near the finish becomes more pronounced as I sip. Very intriguing!
With the next cup (the results of infusions 3 and 4, combined in one cup) I notice the vanilla tones tapering somewhat. It’s still quite creamy and sweet, however, I find the vanilla and buttery notes seem to have melded to become a sweetened cream taste rather than a distinct vanilla and butter taste. More vegetative notes are emerging now, as well, not really grassy, and not really vegetable, but, more of an herbaceous green kind of taste. The honeysuckle like notes have subsided, and I taste more of a distinct floral note that is more orchid than honeysuckle.
The third cup (the combined fifth and sixth infusions), the creamy tones have disappeared, allowing room for a lighter, crisper cup that tastes very spring-like to me. The floral notes are well-defined, and I taste more fruit notes now than I noticed before. Juicy, sweet fruit notes! The tasting notes from Verdant Tea suggest a mango-like flavor, and I don’t know that I taste mango as much as I taste a very tropical fruit-like flavor, with hints of berry. It is sweet and very refreshing … and it is quite unlike the first cup! I love the flavor transitions of this Tieguanyin!
Really quite an amazing tea!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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