I was honestly convinced this tea had some scent contamination when I first opened the package. I mean, it’s a white tea – why is it smelling like raisins and cocoa? I sniffed the outside of the package and it smelled like plastic, and then moved some leaf to the gaiwan and inhaled again. Raisins and cocoa. Okay. So, not contaminated, and also completely unlike any white tea I’ve ever had. Should be interesting, then.
Steep one notes: 3 minutes, boiling water, 2 g. leaf to 5 oz. water.
The leaves are HUGE. Huge and very minimally processed, which is to say they are unevenly shaped and sized. The liquor is now trying to be much more…green oolong. It’s buttery and floral to taste but there’s still some underlying malt and raisin. WHAT IS THIS TEA??? It is really smooth, is what it is. And curiously addictive – I can’t seem to stop sipping it and I almost feel buzzed. Hmm… maybe this is what the phrase “tea drunk” means?
I like it. I like it alot.
Steep two: 4 minutes
A thinner, lighter brew this time. This was sweeter, less heavy on the florals but still really good. I truly do feel lightheaded- I’m writing it down if only to see if this happens the next time I drink this as well. Must be something about the Hawaiian terroir.
Steep three: 5 minutes
Now the liquor smells flowery again. Specifically, rose, which is awesome because I much prefer rose to jasmine in tea. This infusion is more floral in taste as well. This steeping is more of what I consider an oolong flavor profile. If I REALLY concentrate I can sort of get notes of hay that I associate with white teas as well. It’s quite the chameleon!
Steep four: 7 minutes
I let this steeping cool longer than I should have, but it was still nice. Same floral notes and an undertone of wood as well. I probably could get more steeps out of this, and I may try, but Tea Hawaii recommended only 4 so I’m stopping here for now.
What a fun tea! I loved how complex and variable it was. It is definitely a luxury tea and way too expensive to keep around in large quantities (especially with my inconsistent drinking habits) but it’s a great palate expanding adventure and I will savor my last two servings of this for sure!
Flavors: Cocoa, Hay, Raisins, Rose, Wood