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91
drank White Peony (Bai MuDan) Tea by Teavivre
1157 tasting notes

Ok, so yesterday I was sipping the organic silver needle and loving it, but I thought to myself, I’m not sure I can tell the difference between it and the white peony. I didn’t want to do a side by side comparison as they both re-steep way too many times for me to try. Instead I am doing a back to back 2 day comparison.

Immediately, I notice some big differences. First off the leaf of the organic silver needle is made of perfect looking buds of uniform size. The white peony is a lot more random shreddings of various sizes and shapes with some buds. The scent of sweet hay, while steeping, filled the room with the OSN. The WP I really didn’t notice while brewing. A grassy hay scent did develop as the wet leaf cooled in the press waiting for the next steep. Both steeped 2 minutes for the first cup. Each produces a very light, slightly yellow, liquor. The WP is a little darker.

I am a self-confessing Splenda junkie. I resisted the urge at the beginning with both first cups. The OSN produced a complex cup even without additives. The WP seemed flat in comparison. Once I added sweetener the WP also produced the cucumber melon notes I caught in the OSN. There is some difference in the complexity, and this has more of a grassy hay taste, but this is still a really good cup. My use of sweetener evens the playing field quite a bit and explains, to me at least, why I wasn’t sure I could tell the difference between them.

My experience with white tea beyond these two is limited to bagged versions such as Twinings and Stash, among others. Both of the Teavivre versions easily blow all of these out of the water. Compared one to the other, the organic silver needle seems the clear winner, all things being equal, especially if you don’t use sweetener. Keep in mind though, there is a substantial price difference between the two. The white peony is a really good and economical tea choice that is a big improvement over bagged.

Bonnie

I’m a Splenda junkie too! If I used sugar or agave arrrr I’d be gaining weight! Right now this month I’ve lost 10 lbs. I need to lose 25 more. Last year 40 lbs. Tea really helps especially puerh.

Azzrian

wow Bonnie! Congrats!! That is IMPRESSIVE! :)

ashmanra

This is good to know. I don’t use sweetener, so it would be better for me to go with the OSN. Thanks for doing such a great comparison!

Bonnie

I don’t use sweetener all the time. I’ve learned that some tea is fine without but when I run into a tea that CRY’s Sweeten ME Please…I do. And sometimes I do all the steps…straight, sweet, sweet and with milk to see what develops. It’s the cook in me. I know that at times adding sweet brings up a hidden flavor and milk can mellow harshness. Now and then I want a ooy gooy dessert or a sweet and creamy puerh latte. Wish that natural sweeteners like truvia were not bitter hot.

ashmanra

I used to add sugar to ALL tea! LOL! Then we started trying just a sip plain, then a bit with just sugar, then with milk and sugar. But I had two diehard tough chick friends who wouldn’t add sugar to ANYTHING, even coffee, and I felt ashamed shoveling in sugar. (I did use honey if it was herbal!). I finally got weaned off it, except if i drink a hearty breakfast tea in the morning. Then it gets milk AND sugar! Afternoons though, I really mostly drink oolongs or greens or flavored blacks and I take them plain. I almost always have to soften Assams with milk, even if I don’t sweeten them.

ashmanra

Oh, my mom’s iced tea was like SYRUP. People down he-ah just loved it. I cut back the sugar in her iced tea recipe by a whole cup, and it was still too sweet for some of my friends! I still love a good sweet, Southern iced tea but can now also enjoy it without sugar, which was a big step for me.

K S

Growing up, my brother made the iced tea and it was always syrup. Today I never put sugar in iced tea. But I have yet to wean off it in hot tea. Lately I have been trying to use half a packet of Splenda. I notice before the cup is gone so is the rest of the packet. Maybe I should just start icing all of it!

SimplyJenW

KS-You and I have the same sweetening habits! Never in iced, and I wish I could stop adding Splenda to my hot black tea….. I can skip it with most hot greens and oolongs, though. I have tried other sweeteners on several occasions, but I always miss the Splenda.

teawing

+1 on the Splenda Junkie… :(

Bonnie

I just love these true confessions! I thought that I was the only person secretly adding Splenda!

ashmanra

The only thing that got me off sugar in black tea was finding black tea that tasted BAD with sugar! LOL! Like Golden Monkey from Harney…I think it is awesome plain, but those honey notes get all confused to me when I add sugar. Strong keemuns, though, and Assams until less very lightly brewed require softening and taming with a wee bit of sugar and a little milk or I just don’t enjoy them.

teawing

I am Type 2 diabetic so sugar isn’t much of an option anymore. I use a smakeral of honey sometimes for the flavor, but have to be careful.

Joshua Smith

I was introduced to tea prepared in the English Tradition: Tea blacker than my ex’s heart, sugar, and creme. It was only a few months ago that I really go into loose-leaf tea, and I quickly discovered that it’s more fun to drink tea without sugar in it. I like thinking about the subtle flavors in a high quality tea, and you just can’t do that when you add sugar. To me, sugar completely change the way a tea tastes, and not always in a good way.

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Comments

Bonnie

I’m a Splenda junkie too! If I used sugar or agave arrrr I’d be gaining weight! Right now this month I’ve lost 10 lbs. I need to lose 25 more. Last year 40 lbs. Tea really helps especially puerh.

Azzrian

wow Bonnie! Congrats!! That is IMPRESSIVE! :)

ashmanra

This is good to know. I don’t use sweetener, so it would be better for me to go with the OSN. Thanks for doing such a great comparison!

Bonnie

I don’t use sweetener all the time. I’ve learned that some tea is fine without but when I run into a tea that CRY’s Sweeten ME Please…I do. And sometimes I do all the steps…straight, sweet, sweet and with milk to see what develops. It’s the cook in me. I know that at times adding sweet brings up a hidden flavor and milk can mellow harshness. Now and then I want a ooy gooy dessert or a sweet and creamy puerh latte. Wish that natural sweeteners like truvia were not bitter hot.

ashmanra

I used to add sugar to ALL tea! LOL! Then we started trying just a sip plain, then a bit with just sugar, then with milk and sugar. But I had two diehard tough chick friends who wouldn’t add sugar to ANYTHING, even coffee, and I felt ashamed shoveling in sugar. (I did use honey if it was herbal!). I finally got weaned off it, except if i drink a hearty breakfast tea in the morning. Then it gets milk AND sugar! Afternoons though, I really mostly drink oolongs or greens or flavored blacks and I take them plain. I almost always have to soften Assams with milk, even if I don’t sweeten them.

ashmanra

Oh, my mom’s iced tea was like SYRUP. People down he-ah just loved it. I cut back the sugar in her iced tea recipe by a whole cup, and it was still too sweet for some of my friends! I still love a good sweet, Southern iced tea but can now also enjoy it without sugar, which was a big step for me.

K S

Growing up, my brother made the iced tea and it was always syrup. Today I never put sugar in iced tea. But I have yet to wean off it in hot tea. Lately I have been trying to use half a packet of Splenda. I notice before the cup is gone so is the rest of the packet. Maybe I should just start icing all of it!

SimplyJenW

KS-You and I have the same sweetening habits! Never in iced, and I wish I could stop adding Splenda to my hot black tea….. I can skip it with most hot greens and oolongs, though. I have tried other sweeteners on several occasions, but I always miss the Splenda.

teawing

+1 on the Splenda Junkie… :(

Bonnie

I just love these true confessions! I thought that I was the only person secretly adding Splenda!

ashmanra

The only thing that got me off sugar in black tea was finding black tea that tasted BAD with sugar! LOL! Like Golden Monkey from Harney…I think it is awesome plain, but those honey notes get all confused to me when I add sugar. Strong keemuns, though, and Assams until less very lightly brewed require softening and taming with a wee bit of sugar and a little milk or I just don’t enjoy them.

teawing

I am Type 2 diabetic so sugar isn’t much of an option anymore. I use a smakeral of honey sometimes for the flavor, but have to be careful.

Joshua Smith

I was introduced to tea prepared in the English Tradition: Tea blacker than my ex’s heart, sugar, and creme. It was only a few months ago that I really go into loose-leaf tea, and I quickly discovered that it’s more fun to drink tea without sugar in it. I like thinking about the subtle flavors in a high quality tea, and you just can’t do that when you add sugar. To me, sugar completely change the way a tea tastes, and not always in a good way.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it

Location

Indiana, USA

Website

http://theeverdayteablog.blog...

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