White Christmas

Tea type
White Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Kristin
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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58 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I have been promised the second episode of Sherlock tonight, but my Sherlock buddy is off playing hocky! Gah. Get back here, stupid Sherlock-buddy, so I can watch detectives in great coats. In...” Read full tasting note
    75
    Rosehips 867 tasting notes
  • “I'm finishing off the last of this sample tonight... *sniff* It's okay to have a belated Christmas in MAY, right?!?! For some reason this seems minty to me tonight and I can't quite understand...” Read full tasting note
    88
    amyoh2 2338 tasting notes
  • “I still am amazed at how this smells like white chocolate and yet contains no chocolate. The cardamom in here is just so good. I love it and the vanilla. I know I said before I thought the vanilla...” Read full tasting note
    86
    pandamanda 1196 tasting notes
  • “Erm yes. Bear with me, Steepsterites. It's just because it's _now_ I'm drinking down Tea Corner and therefore I can't wait another half year to use this one. It's already a pretty old bag,...” Read full tasting note
    85
    Angrboda 1267 tasting notes

From Harney & Sons

Recline in front of a glowing fire while the snow drifts, and the tree lights twinkle. A sip from this warm and nutty blend completes the perfect winter wonderland. Hand-picked white tea blended with almonds, vanilla and cardamom, accented by white chamomile flowers.

About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

58 Tasting Notes

72
951 tasting notes

I loved the description of this so I decided to order some with my initial H&S sample order.

It’s got whole flower heads in it, which I thought at first might be chrysanthemums. Thankfully they are chamomile flowers as I don’t get along well with mums. The leaves are a green/grey, and look like white peony. The smell is, oddly, chocolate/vanilla mint/creme. Like Andes mints with vanilla ice cream. No idea where this comes from given the almonds and chamomile, but I’ll go with it as I like Andes mints just fine. ;-)

It still has that Andes note in the aroma after steeping and there’s some almond here as well. The liquor is sort of a light amber. A bronzed yellow. Clear.

The taste is pretty interesting as it’s very similar to the aroma but not at all something you’d expect from the ingredients list. For one thing, it’s like the cardamom is chocolate instead of itself. I wonder whether that’s why some chais that aren’t chocolate chais still have a sort of chocolate note to them. I don’t taste anything that tastes like what I’d expect cardamom on its own to taste like. This isn’t a spicy tea. It may be spiced, but it isn’t spicy. The almond is sort of hiding as well. The vanilla is there, but paying homage to the chocolate/vanilla continuum in that it’s kind of hard to tell where one flavor stops and the other starts. Though let me reemphasize that as far as I’m told through the ingredients, there IS NO CHOCOLATE in this tea. Tell that to my taste buds.

I maybe get a little of the underlying white tea, but it seems mostly a base here for the flavors to do their frolic and detour on. Flavored white teas, it seems to me, are tricky. Not as tricky and more forgiving than flavored greens, but tricky nonetheless. The flavor of white tea can’t really stand up to anything intense. It does best with subtle fruit or floral flavors superimposed on it, nothing heavy which obliterates the tea.

This isn’t an unpleasant drink at all, it just doesn’t seem very self aware. I would think it could call itself White Chocolate and get away with it, but the Christmas name suggests something heavily spiced or appley, maybe. This isn’t that. Probably a good thing as I’d think that would make for an even worse white tea.

I don’t feel compelled to reorder this but I would drink it again if it were offered to me. And I wish there was some way to reconcile the actual ingredients with the flavor that didn’t leave me feeling entirely disassociated.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I tried this at Barnes and Noble but they had burned the heck out of the leaves, and my mouth. All I tasted was paper cup. I want to try it again with water that isn’t hotter than physics actually allows.

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62
1582 tasting notes

I reduced the steeping from the last time I tried this tea and there is a significant improvement. The tea isn’t as sharp or vegetale tasting and I’m also picking up some chamomile along with a bit of vanilla.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81
247 tasting notes

Christmas in July? White Christmas, nonetheless. Ah, well. It was there when I was looking for a less-caffeinated tea to drink this morning.

It smells minty and sweet. The taste is pure white chocolate. With mint. It’s surprisingly refreshing and makes my mouth tingle. More surprising is the fact that there is NO chocolate in this tea. It certainly smells and tastes just so. I don’t think it was smart marketing to label this one a holiday tea as it’s clearly one that can be enjoyed year-round.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Kashyap

i have a dark chocolate, mint, peppercorns, and black tea that I think you would like. I love to steep it into heavy cream and make traditional English tea creams from it..it translates the flavor so much better and makes captures the essence of the aroma

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45
61 tasting notes

So me and my compadres went on an outing today and ended up in a Barnes and Nobel. Thusly, I had to check out the cafe for tea and saw 10 tins of beauty. Harney & Sons? Do my eyes deceive me? I know my contacts need to be replaced, but seriously? Seriously. Needless to say it took me forever to pick out the kind I wanted and went with this one due to the outbreak of Vanilla and Almond. I regret nothing. I also bought Candy Cane Lane earlier in the evening, so expect a epic Virgel style on that later tonight.

The first thing I noticed about the tea was that the water was way to hot, and that the white was definitely being mistreated. Then across the store after stopping and examining books, that I forgot to take out the bag in a timely manner. Needless to say, the white was being prissy and bitter about the whole thing. After the initial shock of “how can a white be so bitter?” comes very enjoyable notes of almond with vanilla, vanilla lingering a bit longer on the tongue. There is some astringency that is ill-fitting with the texture of the tea, not as crisp as it usually feels. I want to say more and feel like I would have more great thing to say, if only the circumstances had been different. Thus, a relatively low grade, as it is very bitter.
This tea and the other Christmas tea are selling for like 16 bucks together (60 satchels overall), and there is no isolated tin of White Christmas. However, the other tins are like $10 for one so I might just have deal with having another tea when I return to buy it. Life is so cruel.
Also, mentioning being a “tea fiend” in conversation has become a new hobby, that annoys most of my friends.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Suzi

I saw these at a B&N Starbucks! Debated buying the white tea, but mostly because I thought the tin was pretty :-p

Jillian

They were selling this tea together with H&S’s Holiday Tea as a giftbox at Chapters Bookstore, so naturally I made sure the boyfriend-creature knew that it would make a very nice X-mas gift. :D

But yeah, hot water and oversteeping can be death to white tea as I’ve learned to my sorrow. :/

Rena Sherwood

It’s fun annyoing friends, isn’t it?

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87
156 tasting notes

Dry: This one caught my husband and I from first sniff in a curious way. It smells fairly unique and difficult to separate the notes, but in a good way if that makes any sense. In some teas, that can be described as muddy, but in this one it is just warm and appealing. Vague nutty aroma with cozy spices- a good holiday scent! I understand the base is Mutan White, but it almost looks CTC with shredded dark green leaves with a few silvery tips mixed in, so maybe not the highest quality base. It looks like this tea is served primary in sachets, but I purchased it as a loose leaf sample.

Steeped: Olive green clear liquor. I steeped this at 175 for barely 2 minutes. I think it would have been fine for a little bit longer. It smells primarily of cardamom with a hint of vanilla and almond.

Taste: When I first sipped this one hot, I didn’t get much in the way of flavor other than subtle warm spices, but as it starts to cool it really blooms into something lovely! Delicate white tea meets creamy cardamom. Almond is not a primary note, but shows up in a soft marzipan-type aftertaste. This is not an in-your-face holiday tea, but rather a gentle and warming one, like being wrapped in a soft blanket. If you like lightly spiced teas, this one would be a good choice and I like that it isn’t loaded with the other typical holiday additions like apples, cranberries, cinnamon, etc. Unfortunately it looks like this only comes loose in a 1 pound bag and it is sold out, but maybe they will add more options once back in stock?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I think you can buy it by the ounce if you call the Millerton location to order!

ashmanra

Barnes and Noble also should have it in sachets.

Nightshifter

Thank you! <3

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70
433 tasting notes

I never quite know how I feel about this tea. It sounded amazing (which is why I ordered it), and it didn’t quite live up to that expectation but I’m not totally sure I can explain why. It’s not bad, and I don’t know what I would change to make it GREAT so I always end up feeling kind of “meh” about it. It smells fantastic, and the vanilla note is strong but not overwhelming. I just don’t ever look forward to drinking it… I always end up going, “Oh, I haven’t had this in a while so I might as well have a cup” and it’s taken me forever to get through the tin of bags.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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737 tasting notes

i freakin love the smell of this tea dry.
i know a bunch of ppl don’t agree but i think i might really like cardamom in my tea.
but … i’m not sure i really like white teas.
interestingly without thinking, i brought 3 white teas and 1 black with me to work today.
the almond and vanilla and cardamom all come through in this cup. subtle, but they are definitely there.

i listened to the Tea Rage podcast as i rode my bike to work today. He talked about the Tea Cellar in DC which i will now plan to visit soon. he also shared this quote:

“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.”
― James Boswell

Serenity

Cardamom: I love it so much. Sometimes, for me, chai is just a delivery system for cardamom…

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73
6770 tasting notes

I received this from Denise yesterday and BOY OH BOY did she send me a bag full!!! :) Thanks Denise!

almonds, vanilla and cardamom, accented by white chamomile flowers…hum…

Usually I don’t go around looking for any of these ingredients in a tea…but I have been trying just about anything lately – because you never know what you might like, eh!?

I can smell a veggie-type smell with vanilla and almond. Not bad for scent.

It’s quite dark for a white tea…a medium see-thru brown color.

I can taste the cardamom and almond mostly.

I must say this is a highly flavored white tea and while I don’t normally go for the ingredients in this tea – it’s ok. I would say I would drink it everyday or even every week but I am very happy I tried it and now have it as a part of my tea stash.

The more I sip the more the cardamom and almond and vanilla and blending together…this might grow on me more. For now I will rate about average.

Thumbs up for creativity and bold flavor on this white tho!!! :)

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50
902 tasting notes

With Thanksgiving weekend coming to a close, the Christmas season can officially commence. Rachel sent me some of this to try (thank you!!!).

I’m not sure it says “Christmas” to me. There’s a hint of spice, but nothing that you’d be able to point at and say “this is xx spice”. The white tea is nice, and there’s also notes of vanilla and almond. And the chamomile is there as well…but its kind of unsure of its role in the blend. Its okay, but it’s not really anything to write home about. And it certainly doesn’t live up to its name.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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1811 tasting notes

I bought this for my daughter to try and we shared a pot this afternoon. I was very careful about temperature and time. There is no bitterness, but also…I can’t say this is rocking my world. I would much prefer a white tea from Teavivre to this. There isn’t a lot of flavor here, and I would put it down to my own error but I was extra careful with all parameters since that daughter is new to tea and I don’t want her to get a false impression of any of the teas she agrees to try.

She drank it, shrugged and said, “It is tea.”. She drank two cups but wasn’t impressed. Maybe it just isn’t our thing.

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