It’s time to take a quick break from reviewing black teas. I finished a 25g pouch of this tea last week, and I have kind of been itching to review it ever since. It was easily one of the most unique white teas I have tried in some time.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of corn husk, malt, hay, straw, and butter. After the rinse, I detected aromas of roasted almond, sugarcane, cream, and golden raisin. The first infusion introduced aromas of honeydew, cantaloupe, and marshmallow. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of corn husk, malt, butter, hay, straw, and sugarcane that were balanced by subtler flavors of honeydew, cantaloupe, and golden raisin. The majority of the subsequent infusions brought forth aromas of plum, apricot, watermelon, vanilla, wheat toast, cinnamon, minerals, autumn leaves, white pepper, caramel, horehound, camphor, honey, and sweet potato. Stronger and more immediately notable impressions of honeydew and cantaloupe appeared in the mouth alongside notes of wheat toast, marshmallow, cream, minerals, roasted almond, plum, golden apple, vanilla, apricot, bark, autumn leaves, caramel, red pear, cucumber, orange zest, sweet potato, horehound, watermelon rind, and honey. Hints of lychee, cinnamon, white pepper, ginger, and camphor lurked around the fringes. Once the tea began to fade, the liquor started emphasizing notes of minerals, malt, cucumber, wheat toast, watermelon rind, caramel, cream, honeydew, and sweet potato that were chased by lingering hints of orange zest, marshmallow, sugarcane, roasted almond, autumn leaves, vanilla, bark, horehound, ginger, and honey.
This was a durable and amazingly complex Indian white tea with a very unique mix of aroma and flavor components. It reminded me a good deal of an awesome Ceylonese white tea I purchased from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company several years ago. Compared to that tea, this one was somewhat less refined. Its aroma and flavor components grew increasingly muddled as my review session progressed, and the tea liquor thinned out a little more than I hoped it would. Still, this was a very nice white tea that struck me as stopping perhaps just a hair shy of crossing the threshold of excellence. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and challenging white tea that is also an absolute blast to drink and pick apart.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bark, Butter, Camphor, Cantaloupe, Caramel, Cinnamon, Corn Husk, Cream, Cucumber, Ginger, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeydew, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Melon, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pear, Pepper, Plum, Raisins, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat