From http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/2383/tea-review-golden-moon-tea-white-licorice/ – It’s all About the Leaf
There are over 5 million ways to divide the world into two groups. Licorice is definitely one of them. People either adore black licorice or hate it. I personally fall into the “love it” camp – unless it’s salt licorice. Because it’s just.. odd. Blea.
There are a few ways to get licorice-like flavors. There is the traditional licorice root, but anise, star anise, and fennel all contain similar flavoring agents. All these plants contain the chemical compound anethole which provides that signature flavor. And while all are similar, there are subtle differences. Licorice root is sweeter, anise is more aromatic, fennel is milder, and star anise has a bit of a bite.
This tea uses star anise to get it’s licorice flavor. On first sniff, the leaf smells very much like standard licorice. But once it started to brew, the notes of star anise come out much more strongly. It develops into a very light yellow brew – likely due to the white tea. On first sip, the licorice is very mellow, soft. Almost more plant-y than standard licorice. The hay-like features of the white tea blend well with the plant-y features of the star anise to merge together into a nice mellow cup.
Of all the various plant anethole-delivery systems, star anise is my least favorite. I don’t like the small, strange bite it delivers. I like all the others (I even have this amazing bread dip recipe that uses fennel*) much more, but even with this mark against it, this tea does not disappoint. It’s mellow, smooth, and yummy. Because it’s not so strongly licorice-y, even those who fall into the camp of licorice hater may like this tea. Good blend.
special bonus recipe!
*G’s amazing bread dip
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
4-5 turns of fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp chopped garlic
Take the first four ingredients, grind in a spice grinder until they’re a fine powder. Blend with the chopped garlic in a mortar and pestle until you get a nice paste. Blop the paste into the center of a shallow bowl or deep plate. Pour olive oil over the paste, stir slightly. Serve with fresh bread. And drink with strong tea – because any other type will be overpowered by the dip.