This stands apart from other white teas, and I think it’s the teamaster, Eva Lee, and the terroir, being Hawaii-grown and handmade. The voluminous tricolor leaves are bold and aromatic with rich floral notes — and so full of life! The third steep, at five minutes, is still a clear bright gold and very flavorful. A layer of greenness, like a fresh meadow, is there to support the florality. The umami I found in the black and oolong teas from Tea Hawaii is present in this white version, as well. What I describe as that satisfying, savory quality must be rooted in the freshness of the leaf. Those are the things which stood out, to me, as very notable and special about Tea Hawaii’s Forest White.
And @teasquared, yes, after the liquid cooled a bit, I did get definite roses, and perhaps the chardonnay, too. If I drank more wine, I’d know better. :)
And about that immaculate freshness ….. I am sure I have never had camellia sinensis tea this fresh. Which means that it hasn’t had time to absorb the ambient aromas from months of travel, packed in various containers which are opened and closed all over the world. Some of what we taste in tea from China, for instance, is travel-acquired. We may have come to think of it as the taste of tea. Now, having tried three extremely fresh teas from Hawaii, I think perhaps not.
As to how my sister got these Hawaii-grown teas, which are not available anywhere online at this time, to send me for my birthday (thank you, Chrissy!): she reports that she went to teahawaii.com and emailed them, then mailed a check. I don’t know what she paid, but if you want to find out how fresh tea tastes (or perhaps how tea really tastes) it may be worth it.