Today I am reviewing a 2020 spring-harvested 2020 Anxi Dan Gui tea from a company known as Verdant Tea.
This tea appears to no longer be in stock, but they sent me a 5 gram sample of it with an order I placed a little while ago.
They state that the grower of this tea is a ‘Master Zhang‘ from Daping Village in Anxi, China.
Master Zhang’s family has tended a variety of tea cultivars in Daping for generations. His tea is fed by sweet mountain springs and grows on the cloud-enveloped peaks of Anxi. – Verdant Tea
According to Verdant Tea, Master Zhang has quite a bit of experience growing tea.
Anyways, this is the first time I have had tea from Verdant, but I am familiar with Anxi oolong teas, so let’s see how this goes.
Harvest: Spring, 2020
Location: Daping Village, Anxi, China
Elevation: 1,000 Meters
Tea Varietal: Dan Gui
Being as how this was sent to me as a free sample and it is no longer in stock, I have no idea what kind of price range this tea was in, so I won’t be able to grade it from a price standpoint.
The tea looks is rolled in a similar style as an Anxi Tie Guan Yin and looks very similar in appearance.
This appears to be on the ‘green’ side of oxidation and has nice bright color for a tea of this type.
I decided to brew this tea in my gaiwan. For those of you who might not know what a gaiwan is, it’s a vessel, without a handle, traditionally used in China to brew tea. It incorporates a different brewing method in comparison to Western style tea brewing where you brew with a slightly larger amount of tea and use shorter brewing times over many additional steeps. I enjoy brewing tea this way because the experience changes a little bit with each steep, allowing the drinker to taste the tea’s varying profiles.
So, I put all 5 grams into my gaiwan, added a little bit of hot water, let it steep for 10 seconds and then threw out the wash.
I then added more water and allowed the tea to steep for roughly 30 seconds.
It brews a full-bodied bright yellow color.
The taste is very reminiscent of an Anxi Tie Guan Yin, which is not surprising, being as how they are from the same region of China.
It’s primary taste is floral and vegetable notes and almost no astringency or bitterness.
The scent is floral with hints of vanilla.
This tastes very similar to the first steep, except now that the leaves have awakened a bit, it is more pronounced, with a stronger floral note, but also a little more astringency and bitterness.
Just a tad weaker then the second steep, but the tea is still going strong.
I’m starting to feel the ‘cha chi’, which for those who may not be aware of the term, means I am starting to feel the energy of the tea.
This infusion has a little less floral notes, more vegetable notes and a bit more earthy.
Nearly identical to the fourth steep but with very minimal astringency or bitterness.
My source of hot water has cooled down a bit since my first steep but although I can tell that the tea is starting to lose it’s qualities, it could probably go for another couple steeps. It is still giving a nice color to the water too.
As I’m getting a bit hyper from the caffeine, I probably won’t steep this a seventh time, but I did really enjoy the experience.
This has proven to be a very long lasting oolong, which is a testament to it’s quality.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, I received this as a free sample so I have no idea what they were charging for this, but it seems to be a respectable oolong tea which I’m sure would satisfy even a picky oolong tea drinker. It’s worth mentioning that I have had higher quality teas of this style, but nonetheless, this is a very good tea and I would even recommend it.
Video of Master Zhang
If you would like to see a video of Master Zhang, Verdant Tea has a video of him which we have embedded here from YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/embed/FBgFWD_-mnU