Ama Dablam White Tea ~ Nepali Tea Traders ~ new autumnal crop
Dry: Toasted hay, spicy, floral, wild cumin seed, fruity
Wet: Perfume-like, sweet, fruity aspect of poached berries and rhubarb with spicy element
Leaf: Beautiful glossy white needles against dark, olive and grape leaf-hued leaves. Voluminous by weight and thickly woven with bud tips, this tea has an aspect of its Bai Mudan cousins with leaf, bud, and stem present, but in this case, the carefully drying and craft of pluck makes it delicate and lovely and clearly shows the care of its farmers.
Cup: Pale, white grapefruit flesh-hued liquor with clear, bright translucence and a mere hint of yellow. Smooth, butter, and clean, hints of toast, almonds, sunflower oil, and white pepper dance within each sip; exchanging hands and leaving the last motes to spin and vanish. Extremely warm in its flavor, yet clean and refreshing, gentle pollen notes linger and there is a hint of juiciness. The flavor blooms repeatedly with each sip and there is a teasing floral hint that holds onto the back of the throat and the sides of the tongue.
Directions: Used 3.1g in 10oz of 180 degree water in a glass pot, steeped for 4 minutes and decanted and aerated into a glass cha hai and served in white porcelain cups.
Notes: Second extraction was less complex but cleaner with an almost rose water element and a clean almond note. Water temp was increased to 190 and steep time was 3 minutes. 3rd extraction developed a rich buttery note and I used 195 degree temp steeped for 2 minutes and it also developed a snow pea note with a sweet, floral depth.
The craft of this tea is wonderful and it has a freshness and delicate appearance that emanates in both the leave and the cup. One of the best teas I have yet to try from Nepali Tea traders and one that I think distinctly shows a careful and loving artfulness. I truly hope that this continues and it finds more receptive tea lovers who can appreciate the subtle range of this cup. Many I’m sure will find its flavors to be overly delicate and will drink it for its ‘white’ nature, but I imagine with time the rarity of this cup will shine and show itself to be truly worthy of an honest and complete listen.
From Nepali Tea Traders: This special white autumnal tea is grown and processed in the style of the prized Bai Mudans from China. It is made from a bud with one leaf shoot from a specially cultivated plant. The tea is dried naturally, fired and then cured for more than a month so the flavor profile develops to the optimum level. The liquor is very pale green and has a mild floral aroma and a soothing sweet finish, devoid of astringency, and grassy flavors.
As this is my 50th review, I think it is fitting to adorn it with such an amazing tea and if anyone is interested or frequents facebook to follow me at ‘Tea Around Town’ where I post additional photos and post ‘n’ host tea tastings and talks in the Columbus, OH area. Hope to see you there.