I've seen this tea sold elsewhere as Fo Mei most commonly, among a few other names. Basically, this tea here is your most commonly drunk...

Tiger Lily Tea: Mei Cha (Eyebrow Tea)

I've seen this tea sold elsewhere as Fo Mei most commonly, among a few other names. Basically, this tea here is your most commonly drunk, easily accessible, popular tea to drink in China. It is inexpensive, fairly tasty, and easy to find.

Dry leaf
This particular tea is from Zhejiang Province, best known for Longjing. The tea master is Hu Zhao Yu.

If you've ever had young Hyson it is a lot like that except it doesn't have that dirty taste to it that lingers in your mouth. It's also a little sweeter. I used up the last of my tea in this. It's a little old, but it still brewed up some very good cups. If you are looking for a green tea that is affordable and has a long shelf life (in comparison to most green teas short life) this tea is a good choice. You can find it in a lot of places and it is more or less the same.

I used 4g/235ml, 85C water, first brewing was 60 seconds +10 seconds per each additional brewing.

On the back of the package:
Eyebrow tea is the most popular style of green tea in China. Tea masters knead the leaves to twist them before baking them in the oven, which gives the tea its characteristic eyebrow shape. Our Buddha's Eyebrow is grown in the mountains of Eastern China, where monks in the local temple drink it every day. The teas rich, robust taste is never bitter. Its affordable price help makes it a perfect "drink everyday" tea.


Ever had Twinings Jasmine Loose Green tea? If so, imagine the aroma of that tea and this is more or less the same aroma except that tea was never scented with jasmine. It also has a deep, earthy green scent beneath the jasmine. It vaguely reminds me of peat.

You get a somewhat cloudy yellow liquor. It smells exactly like the dry leaf. The liquor is very smooth, a little heavy, and has absolutely no astringency. It tastes like peat, ever so slightly of honey, and a greenness that reminds me of a cheap sencha. Not complex at all, but good. It's well balanced.

The second cup is much more earthy. You are initially met with the peat-like earthyness followed by a light green bean flavor. There are very subtle hints of honey and jasmine. The liquor now has a slight astringency and an almost bitter earthyness to it different than the peat.

The third cup was even more robust and earthy in both taste and smell. All of the sweetness from the previous cups was gone in both the taste and what little aftertaste there was to begin with. That being said, there was no aftertaste in this cup, period. The liquor was a little cloudier than the first two brewings. While still smooth, the liquor had developed a slight roughness to it. The astringency was at the same level as the second cup.

I decided to stop on the fourth cup. Just like the third, it was very earthy and robust. That was about it. There was a little more astringency but it still wasn't abrasive. Based off the amount of flavor that was left in this cup I could've brewed at least another two. perhaps more with a progressively decreasing robustness. For the low leaf quality you're able to get a lot of tea out of the leaf. Even more importantly it is tasty. As already said, if you're looking for an inexpensive, tasty everyday cup, this tea is for you. It doesn't have the bitter or dirty aftertaste like a lot of similar teas in this grade.


Considering what this tea is, I give it an eight. It's reasonable for an everyday tea. Tasty, robust, and inexpensive. It never goes bitter which is a nice plus. I would imagine that this tea would be reasonable iced as well. I'd try it that way in the future but I typically don't like green tea iced. It has nothing on hot green tea!

As you can see in the wet leaves picture under the "brewings" section, the leaf is mostly broken. That is why I'm not providing a leaf sample here. There would just be lots of partial leaf particles to pick off of each other even though they're all of reasonable size.

If you're interested you can purchase this tea message them on facebook as it is not listed on their Facebook or website (like many of their teas). Tell them Ian sent you!

To get this clear right from the beginning: this is not the same as What-Cha's mystery tea's. I know the owner's pretty well and...

Tiger Lily Tea: Mystery Rock Oolong #1

To get this clear right from the beginning: this is not the same as What-Cha's mystery tea's. I know the owner's pretty well and on occasion we exchange teas that we really like. This was one of two teas that they gifted me that you cannot get out of China. They told me the names but I forgot them almost immediately. This one is amazing! The other is as well. They are probably some of the best WuYi I've ever had the chance of tasting.

Dry leaf
I only had 2.3g of this tea left, so I put it in my 60ml gaiwan. I used 100C water, rinsed once, first brewing 5 seconds +5 seconds for each additional brewing. Because of the low leaf to water ratio the liquor won't be even half as potent as it would otherwise. It will be delicious all the same!


The scent is a little smokey and vaguely reminds me of Lapsang. It has a dark chocolate scent to it paired with the classical WuYi minerality.

The aroma of the brewed leaf was like dark chocolate mingled with dates and honey. The liquor was incredibly silky and smooth. For this cup there was primarily the classical WuYi minerality in the taste. In the aftertaste jasmine and honey mingled with hints of oak.

The aroma of the second cup smelt very much like the first. The taste of the second cup was also much like the first except there was more minerality and something sweet I couldn't quite put my finger on.

The aroma of the third cup was like dates mingled with cream and mineral. The liquor in this brew was much gentler than the last. There were subtle hints of elderberry, raspberry, and melon mingled in with the minerality and slight woodiness.

The aroma of the fourth cup smelled like honey mingled with cream. The liquor reflected this with a touch of melon and raspberry. The melon, honey, and raspberry were very present in the aftertaste.

The fifth cup was more or less the same as the fourth cup but with a much stronger honey tasted mingled with cream and vanilla.

The sixth cup was rather weak in taste but big in aftertaste. An explosion of jasmine, honey, and elderberry danced across my tongue. Despite this, the tea was coming to it's last legs. Since I should ideally be using at least 3g instead of 2.3g that would be why the tea is dying off so early.

The seventh was a weaker version of the sixth, but with more elderberry, so I decided to stop here. I really wish I had more leaf to make this a proper ratio. A .7g gram difference is huge.

For some reason Blogger doesn't like the wet leaf picture. I tried several and it made all of them somewhat blurry like the above regardless of size.


Overall I give this tea an 8.5. It was very complex, yet not too complex, and sweet even in a low leaf to water ratio. When I had 5g/120ml the first time I had it the taste of this tea was tenfold. The sweetness lingers on your tongue for hours afterward. As I'm sure you've figured out at this point, aftertaste is a crucial part of what I consider to be a good or a bad tea. The longer it sits around on your tongue, the better (if it tastes good). I ate some food and had a sweet drink after the first time I drink this. After the initial taste of the food and drink had disappeared, this still lingered on my tongue. It hung around for eight hours, even after brushing my teeth!

Leaf samples
That is a hella strong and and amazing aftertaste. It's just the kind I crave. The leaves were somewhat unwilling to unroll, but it did not take away from the flavor and complexity. A lot of times leaves that don't like to unroll will.

This tea is complex but not too complex, savory, sweet, fruity, and spicy. It hits almost every main flavor category. The liquor is silky smooth without a hint of astringency. What more could one ask?

To have more of this tea! I wish it was available for y'all to buy because it really is a beautiful example of what WuYi has to offer.

This is a fantastic tea. This stock I have right here is sadly a little old, but it still packs a punch. It's something I do plan on get...

Tiger Lily Tea: Hua Zhong Jun Zi (Orchid Green)

This is a fantastic tea. This stock I have right here is sadly a little old, but it still packs a punch. It's something I do plan on getting more of (assuming they don't run out of stock) once I have a lot less tea. Right now my blog is booked till January while making an update every two days. That's a lot of tea! Tiger Lily and Seven Cups are the only two places I have seen Orchid scented tea offered, so if you enjoy Jasmine scented teas, check this out while stock lasts!

Dry leaves
Anyway, I highly recommend you check out Tiger Lily Tea. They're a little Mom & Pop style shop in the quaint, historical town of Mystic, CT. The owners are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Unfortunately most of their stock is not on their website or Facebook, but if you're looking for a WuYi Oolong then there are your go to guys. I'd definitely say that WuYi is their specialty. 

That being so, they also offer many herbal teas, a few flavored varieties such as a Cherry Sencha, Blueberry Black, and Chocolate Mint Black tea if flavored teas suit your fancy. They offer a few Japanese greens, several Chinese greens, and a yellow tea. The exact yellow tea I do not remember right now. So, in short, they have a lot of stock. I know right now they have two teas I haven't seen anywhere, period. One is the Ming Huang Hong I reviewed earlier, and another is a rolled oolong. I don't remember the origin. 

This tea is made up entirely of young tea buds grown on Mengding Mountain, scented with spring blooming Orchids. Man does it smell amazing! Even in the scenting being weaker, you can still taste the sweet, floral nature of the orchids in the aroma. Simply fantastic.

I used the last of my tea (3.8g)/235ml, 85C water. First steeping was 30 seconds + 10 per each additional steeping.

On the back of the package (apologies for the smudge in the image, that's my fault!):
Tea scented with Orchid flowers has always been quite rare. Today, only Sichuan province tea makers produce this tea by means of careful scenting processes that uses fresh Spring blooming Orchids and young tea buds grown on Sichuan’s Mengding Mountain. A rare scented tea that balances the complexities of high quality green tea and the delicate scent of the orchid flower.


Once brewed, the first cup smelt of orchids and a red leaf lettuce. In the aftertaste you have orchid, honey, and hint of gold raspberries. The liquor is very smooth and full without a tiny hint of astringency. As this is the bottom of the bag there were a few broken pieces, it likely came from them. There is also a slight bubbliness to it like soda. It is very subtle.

In the second cup the liquor is even more buttery and smooth. Your tongue is immediately met with a very strong flavor of honey, melon, and orchid mixed together. The lettuce from before is much lighter in flavor. In the aftertaste there is orchid, melon, and a little elderberry that mingle together.

The third cup is much milder in flavor. Butterlettuce and a hint of green beans are present in the liquor. The aftertaste is a gentle mixture of orchid and honey.

This is something that I particularly like about this Orchid scented tea. You get the same experience as jasmine: floral, a little fruity and a little green, but you have a totally different overall flavor profile. I get raspberries in jasmine tea,  but not gold raspberries. They do taste different. I rarely get elderberry in jasmine tea. Yet, here it is in the orchid. I do get the orchid flavor in jasmine teas, but it is much weaker than the jasmine flavor. Here, that is by far the main floral profile and it is simply delightful. It isn't overpoweringly floral like a lot of jasmine I've had. It's just floral enough to be the main taste but mild enough to let the other flavors shine through. This tea isn't one I would consider complex but it s very enjoyable. Sometimes being complex is a good thing, other times it isn't. This is one of those times where it's simplicity is the beauty of a tea.

The remaining three cups were very similar to the third cup. Mild, smooth, lightly fruity and floral, and downright delicious. Considering this tea is on the older end, it wasn't as strong as it would've been otherwise. Since it gave me tasty cups despite the age I believe this says a lot about the quality as well. The fresh tea is much, much better than this. Yet it is still better than a lot of jasmine I've had out there. Seriously: try this tea!


Overall I give this tea an 8.2. It's a nice, delicious change from your typical jasmine tea. It's sweet, floral, and a little fruity. The price is a little steep ($14.99/25g) but the quality is definitely worth it if you ask me. It's lovely for anyone who is enthusiastic about floral scented teas.

Leaf Samples
If you're interested you can purchase this tea here or visit their shop!

This bag did not want to open. The resealable part give me the middle finger which was unfortunate. I was planning on drinking it quickly an...

What-Cha: Zhejiang Wild Dragon Well 'Long Jing' Green Tea

This bag did not want to open. The resealable part give me the middle finger which was unfortunate. I was planning on drinking it quickly anyway but sheesh. Had to put the bag in a ziplock since the reseal never actually opened. It certainly means the tea was very safe from the air. This is a long review so the tl;dr is go buy this tea it is fantastic. 10/10. It also smells like pure bliss. You'll get the most out of this tea Grandpa Style.

Dry leaves
I really like the way that this tea smells. It has a very sweet, almost candied scent to it. Cream comes to mind among a few others scents I recognize but can't quite put a finger on. The more I sat on it, it reminded me of the brown sugar coated nuts that a General Store sells around here. Pecans came to mind the most, perhaps almond brittle and sticky sweet rice as well. A very subtle cocoa note is in the aroma as well. That's not something I smell in green tea very often.

From the website:
A wild-growing tea picked from a tea field abandoned over 30 years ago in the high mountains at an altitude in excess of 1300m. The tea has a wonderful aroma and brilliant nutty taste.
I don't know about you but I think that it is pretty cool that it comes from an abandoned field. If you can't tell from my aroma description, it does indeed have a wonderful aroma. I can't wait to try it! The price is very nice ($11.03/50g) so when I do another sample order I will probably purchase 50g of this. It'll make for a very tasty everyday Longjing. The aroma alone is to die for! I could sit here and smell it all day.

As Longjing is best drunk Grandpa style, that is what I did first. 2.5g/355ml, 80C water and topped up at the 2/3rds mark.

I then did western style brewing. 2.5g/235ml, 80C water, 30 seconds first brew +10 seconds for each additional brewing.

With the last 5g I did gong fu style. 5g/120ml, 80C water, 10 seconds first brew +2-5 seconds for each additional brewing.

Grandpa Style

Seriously Brah this tea smells absolutely amazing. Longjing is the Chinese green I have the most experience with and the aroma of this one alone blows me away. $11.03/50g is just whaaaaat!!!! I've had tea of lesser quality for much more, and I've had tea of the same quality for more.

My mind is seriously blown.

While might lighter, the liquor has a very similar aroma. It had more of the classical Longjing greenness scent to it than the dry leaf.

The liquor is incredibly buttery and smooth. There isn't a hint of astringency anywhere in sight. Look out for miles and there wouldn't be a sign. The initial taste reminds me of a mid-grade sencha mingled with a hint of melon. In the aftertaste there is elderberry, melon, and honeysuckle. They are all incredibly subtle but oh so delicious.

There were a whole lot of leaf fuzzies floating around in the liquor which I always like to see.

After I topped up the tea the second time the greenness was much less potent, not that it was terribly strong before. Elderberry, raspberry, and melon danced around my tongue in the aftertaste. The sencha-like greenness hung around as well which was rather nice. It balanced out the aftertaste very nicely. There was still no astringency anywhere and the liquor was a smooth and buttery as when I first poured in the water. As it continued to brew the characteristic greenness began to come back.

I seriously cannot believe this tea. This is better than some Longjing I've had at $1+/g and that is insane! I'm looking at trying Tea Drunk's Longjing once I am almost out of my What-Cha orders and this will be a tea I compare it to because this is outstanding and Tea Drunk's is extremely expensive. If you had given this to me and not told me the price range I would've guessed $1+/g.

After the third top up the liquor smelt a lot like the brown sugar coated nuts I mentioned before. A little more than half of the leaves had fallen to the bottom at this point and there are so many big, beautiful buds to look at. A larger percentage of broken pieces than something you'll pay more money for, but considering this is just as good as some much more expensive Longjing who cares?

The greenness was diluted again but that is a given considering the top up. The aftertaste consisted primarily of honey, cream, and almond brittle. It wasn't overpowering but it was very sweet and enjoyable. It was barely noticeable but I picked up on elderberry and raspberry as well on the sides of my tongue. Even more subtle was the taste of sweet sticky rice, it came to me after not sipping for around a minute.

I let it sit for a little without sipping it to see if it would get bitter. It didn't, though a slight astringency had shown up. It wasn't abrasive or annoying. A new greenness, kind of like Spinach, had shown up a swell.

After topping up a fourth time the greenness died down again and the mild astringency remained. The sweetness in the aftertaste though... so good! Raspberries, melon, jasmine, strawberry, and a teeny hint of elderberry.

I. Can't. Get. Enough. Of. This. Tea. This is so good Grandpa Style I don't even want to make it the other ways now! It ended up lasting for around three hours with very frequent top ups. Simply outstanding!

Western Style

The smell of the brewing leaves is very lovely. It has that candied nuttiness mingled with a greenness that reminds me of a less potent sencha. The liquor for the first brewing came out almost clear as one would expect. It was very pretty all the same. Just like when brewed grandpa style it starts out lightly vegetale like green beans with a sweet honey, jasmine, and cream aftertaste. Very smooth and light on the tongue with a slight astringency. After many sips elderberry and raspberry begin to show up in the aftertaste at the back of your tongue.

I had a reasonable break between my first and second cup because I got distracted by reddit. The aftertaste lingered the whole time and was absolutely lovely. The elderberry, cream, and jasmine were the most prevalent so it's very sweet.

The second cup is equally gentle. The liquor had green beans, sencha, and a hint of nori to it. Nice umami touch to it that didn't come out when I was brewing it grandpa style. The aftertaste was still very sweet. Cream and jasmine hung around the most. A slight astringency had shown up but it wasn't abrasive. Despite this it was very buttery and smooth.

For the third cup I accidentally didn't have the water hot enough. Despite this you could still pick out the vegetale notes and the sweet aftertaste was still present. More astringent than before.

The fourth cup had lost most of its sweetness but was still very vegetale. Sencha, spinach, and asparagus come to mind. The liquor is still very buttery and smooth. In the aftertaste I primarily taste spinach and sencha mingled with a hint of honey. If you wait a few moments before sipping again the honey taste increases.

The fifth cup was this teas last legs and very "meh." While good, I do think that this tea is much better when done grandpa style.

Gong Fu

I really didn't want to make this tea Gong Fu style. I really just wanted to drink the rest grandpa style but alas.

Compared to the other brewing styles, the first cup came out much, much greener tasting. Not terribly strong, but the profile was still evident. Green beans and tulsi were the main greens to come to mind.I also had Ippodo's 2016 Shincha not longer before this tea and it is very, very green (and had upset my stomach) so that may be playing a role here. I also don't typically like greens when brewed gong fu style but hey, gotta try it for the review.

Yeah it wasn't the Shincha, the second and third cups were absolute battery acid. I am so sad I wasted 5g I could've used for grandpa style brewing ;-; the more you know I guess?


This tea is a 10 and I don't give 10 out often. Seriously, this was absolutely fantastic. And the price, wow!! This tea has an amazing aroma, an aftertaste to die for, it never goes bitter, and it is all around a lovely tea. I know where I'll be buying my Longjing from now. I am still in awe about how fantastic this tea is. 50g of this would last me forever considering I, obviously, try other teas to review them and I only use 2.5g/355ml when brewing Grandpa style.

Leaf samples
If you're interested in buying this tea (and you really should be!) you can purchase it here.

This is something that makes a little more sense after you've had a lot of tea. You'll be able to tell the difference between a flat...

What makes a tea "complex"?

This is something that makes a little more sense after you've had a lot of tea. You'll be able to tell the difference between a flat, not-complex tea and a complex tea pretty quickly if you try to drink a lot of tea, and a lot of variety. The photo is not mine, it was taken by a friend (whom I'm unsure wants to be named) while we were at the Tea Box in Richmond, London, UK.

Complexity will vary a little bit from person to person, but it typically comes down to the following:
  • A noticeable or unique aroma, especially when you can taste the tea from the aroma alone
  • Many tastes mingling together that makes it hard to pinpoint what exactly you're tasting
  • On the flip side, many tastes mingling together where you can pinpoint what you're tasting
  • The body of the tea (Is it buttery? Smooth? Bubbly? Rasping? Powdery? Full? Thick? Thin? etc.)
  • Development of the tea over time (so from one steeping to another in both liquor and aroma).
  • After taste + the unique flavors mingling 
  • Length the flavor sits on your pallet
So, basically, it is very slippery and loose since it really depends on who you're talking to. 

Different teas fit my quota for "complex." For example, I love Japanese greens. They're what I'd call my expertise. A good Japanese green will always meet this. What the greens specific characteristics are will depend on if it is a shincha, gyokuro, sencha, or bancha. Very rarely banchas strike me as complex as they're an everyday tea, but that is besides the point.

Oolongs, good Sheng (that I've experienced so far), white, jasmine teas, many Chinese greens (especially Longjing!), and some blacks such as Darjeeling will also strike me as complex. This is a lot of variety, but I've had a lot of tea, and I enjoy many kinds!

While there are many wonderful black teas that I've had in the past, namely those from Yunnan, Laoshan Black, and Darjeeling, I find that many black teas are a one trick pony for me.

That being said, there have been more than enough teas from every other category that haven't been complex to me either. It really depends.

What's complex to me might be a one trick pony to another drinker, while a tea that is a one trick pony for me may be complex to another. Taste is very subjective.

Drink tea everyday. Drink a variety of teas that vary in quality. Compare the teas to one another if you can. Perhaps take notes on what you can figure out about the tea (even if it's just "I like it because it is sweet/fruity/woody/soft on my pallet" or "I don't like it because it is bland/sweet/fruity/woody/astringent" and simple notes like that) and before you know it you'll be able to tell a complex tea vs. a flat and bland tea, all according to your tastes! 

This is part of my Sample Demolition: Verdant Tea series. By far, this was one of my favorite teas that Verdant Tea has to offer a...

Verdant Tea: Yunnan White Jasmine

This is part of my Sample Demolition: Verdant Tea series.

By far, this was one of my favorite teas that Verdant Tea has to offer and the bag I bought in January was hands down the best jasmine I've ever had. I've had a lot of jasmine and I have several close favorites but unf! This one was just so fantastic I'm hoping this order will be the same. I am now on the hunt for a replacement. Either What-Cha, Yunnan Sourcing, or Upton Tea Imports will become my replacement. I haven't had the jasmine silver needles from any of them but I know all three companies have very good tea.

Anyway, I decided to brew this tea three different ways: gong fu, western, and grandpa style. I have 25g so I may as well make it every way, nay?

Western parameters #1: 5g/237ml, 95C water, first brewing 30 seconds, +15-30 seconds per each steeping.

The website had different instructions than the bag! I thought they seemed funny. Western parameters #2: 5g/237ml, 95C water, first brewing 25 seconds, +10 seconds per each steeping.

Gong Fu parameters: 5g/120ml, 95C water, first brewing 5 seconds, +3 seconds per each steeping.

Grandpa parameters: 5g/350ml, 95C water, topped up at 2/3rd point.

You open the bag and the tea is so fragrant you can taste it. But this time it wasn't even half as fragrant as my previous order. Jasmine, strawberries, and cream danced across my tongue. What you smell in the aroma is more or less what you experience in the liquor except much stronger.

Western Brewings #1

In the first and second cup there is a very gentle semi-sweet flavor of lilacs mingled with jasmine. In the after taste your pallet is blessed with strawberries, vanilla, and cream with a hint of melon. The liquor is very smooth with a hint of astringency. It has a long, smooth finish and the flavors linger at the back of my pallet on both the bottom and top of my mouth.

The tea wasn't nearly as good as I remembered it being so... I decided to go to the product page. The instructions were different. That is not a good thing to do. I had remembered brewing my original package differently and my memory was not wrong. I decided to do two more this way.

They didn't taste like much.

Western Brewings #2

I was hoping that this would go better than that mishap before. You would think that they'd have the instructions that are on their website on the package? Then again, most of their tea comes with no instructions even though their shipping says all their teas sell with instructions.

I don't care too much. Ain't a big deal but I feel like complaining about it anyway. I know how to brew just about everything but this is a problem for people who are new (even though they can just go to the product page like I did, but what is work?).

The first cup this time was more or less the same as the first cup of brewing #1. I am a very sad camper right now. When I first ordered this tea it was absolutely amazing. This batch is a lot different. It's less fragrant (dry and brewed leaf) and in being less fragrant, it doesn't taste as good since smell is a super important aspect of scented teas.

I am most disappointed that the second and third were more or less the same as the previous brewing as well. The only big difference is that a slight green bean flavor was stronger in these cups. I suppose at least this tea isn't too sensitive to brewing variation? But quality consistency man... I really wish this was as good as the first bag I had ordered...

The after taste had lasted for hours! The taste itself was fruity, floral, savory, and complex. The mouthfeel was smooth and full with a long finish.

This time there was little or none of that.

Gong Fu Brewings

Honestly for this I was more or less expecting the same results as the aforementioned. Fragrance is so important for scented teas and this one isn't quite there.

The first and second brewing were incredibly gentle. It was almost like water, but with the recommended parameters this didn't really surprise me. The after taste was a gentle raspberry with jasmine. The liquor was very smooth with a hint of astringency.

The third was a little more floral and the after taste was a semi-strong strawberry flavor. Otherwise it was more or less the same. I was hoping this was a sign that the tea would open up some more unlike the western style disappointments.

It kind of did. The green bean notes began to show up here. The after taste was almost non-existent in the fourth brew.

The fifth brew had no taste and a very faint after taste and a fair amount of astringency but it wasn't abrasive. I tried for a sixth anyway.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The after taste increased at least, that was nice! It was a strong strawberry with hints of melon. It also had this weird dirty hint in the background that shows up when a tea is on it's last legs.

I really, really want to believe in this tea, so I did a seventh. It was the sixth but weaker, except for that dirty-ish after taste. That was stronger.

I cannot tell you how sad I am. Here's hoping for grandpa style.

Grandpa Style

At this point I didn't have much faith in the tea. My disappointment is through the roof, let me tell you. The first order was so good! Why did this have to happen?

It was cool seeing all the little fuzzies floating around in the water beneath the floating leaves during my initial fill up. My first sip is what I expected out of this tea: sweet like strawberries and a hint of cherries (didn't taste that in the past) mixed with cream, marzipan, and jasmine. Thank the tea gods! The actual liquor didn't taste like a whole lot but I don't care too much about that, the aftertaste tends to matter more to me (within reason).

I wish it had stayed that way. Very quickly that dirty aftertaste I mentioned earlier wormed it's way into the tea. This wasn't even 15 minutes in! This is fresh, plump, and full buds that are being disappointing. I can get a broken leaf green Jasmine from Tiger Lily Tea (I forget it's name) that never goes bitter and it's not even made of buds. Ugh!

I decided to let it be and keep drinking. The aforementioned unpleasurable taste began to disappear but it was still present. The flowery nature of the tea began to show up again but it was weak and average.

By the half hour mark a weakened version of the dirty taste was lingering and almost no jasmine.


Part of me wonders if I am suffering from "Diminishing Marginal Utility" which means that for each additional unit of the good you are eating or using, the less pleasure you get out of it. Yay for economics!

Or maybe this batch really wasn't even half of what the other batch was in terms of quality. Mixed quality isn't a good sign. I'm thinking this is the case opposed to diminishing marginal utility.

Leaf samples. Flowers at the far right?
As I am sure you can tell, good reader, I didn't enjoy this 20g I used in total for this review as I did the original 25g. It wasn't nearly as floral when coming out of the bag which was depressing. It was still strong but about half of that from the first time I had this jasmine.

That, or my body is still wow-ing over the Australia Arakai Spring Green tea I had a few days prior. That was amazing!

Overall, as an average of my two orders of this tea, I give it a 7.5. This bag was more or less a six. The first bag I had was a solid nine. As I had received my first bag around January and this one I bought in April (prior to learning about VT's most recent shenanigans) and did not open, perhaps that has something to do with it. Who knows. 

If you're interested you can purchase this tea here.

This is part of my Sample Demolition: Verdant Tea series. This is the last of my samples from Verdant Tea. The remaining teas are all in ...

Verdant Tea: Old Tree Shui Xian

This is part of my Sample Demolition: Verdant Tea series.

This is the last of my samples from Verdant Tea. The remaining teas are all in 25g quantities and haunting my nightmares... that is a lot of one tea to get through considering all the other teas I have hanging around now. Despite that, I have a game plan for how I'm going to get through them. You guys will see that soon enough.

I used 5g/120ml, 100C water, washed once, first brewing 5 seconds + 3-5 seconds per each additional brewing.


This tea has the scent of chocolate, the classical WuYi minerality, cream, and a very subtle hint of honey and brûlée. It's a nice smell but all of it isn't very strong. I was very, very underwhelmed by their Special Grade Shui Jin Gui so I am really hoping that will not be the case here, it wasn't a cheap tea ($25.50/25g). This tea is also very expensive at $28.25/25g. That comes out to be a little over $1/g. 

Once I heated the gaiwan and lightly shook the leaves three times, the chocolate, cream, and brûlée were heavily embedded in the aroma. 

The aroma in the first cup was heavily of chocolate, brûlée, and jasmine. The liquor was smooth but somewhat flat. You could clearly taste the minerality in the liquor. In the aftertaste there was jasmine and honeysuckle. 

There wasn't much aroma to the second cup. Bad sign! The liquor was mostly the same except now you could taste cedar and honey. Jasmine was the main flavor in the aftertaste just as before. The liquor was very flat now as well. Pretty disappointing. 

Some aroma had come back for the third. There was jasmine, a hint of hay and earth. The liquor was a little rounder than the previous cups, but still fairly flat. There was an earthy flavor mingled in with the usual WuYi minerality. As it's something I couldn't quite put my fingers on perhaps it is the "wet granite" flavor that Verdant has on the profile. Seems like such an odd flavor but whatever. Peat and cedar with a tiny hint of jasmine lingered in the aftertaste. 

I sipped on a little water after the third to see if it would bring anything out as it usually does with a WuYi.
It didn't.

The fourth smelt almost exactly the same as the third. The liquor also tasted more or less the same except there was more cedar present. If it didn't change much in the next cup I was going to stop at the fifth. No point in trying to make a stagnant tea change when it clearly won't. This tea wasn't even remotely old! 

You'll be shocked: it didn't change at all. Well, it did, but it became weak and almost flavorless. I'm very sad that this met my expectations since they were very low. When I ordered this sample and the Special Grade Shui Jin Gui I was expecting something very special considering the price and flavor profile. It's really everything but.


This tea get a four. For something so expensive you would think that the liquor would be more complex. I've had much cheaper WuYi's that are much better. C'mon Verdant, this is two of your most expensive teas that are really not anything fantastic. That's a shame! 

In general I have come to notice that a WuYi oolong is either very average (or less than average) or it blows your mind away with how fantastic and complex it is. There doesn't seem to really be a middle ground.

If you are interested you can purchase this tea here