Oddly enough, this is a true and proper bai mu dan. The leaves are huge and unfurled even when dry. It reminds me of the bai mu dan that TeaGsch sells (although their leaves are even bigger).
In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t really “do” flavored (or scented) teas. Like flavored coffees, they are usually an excuse to sell poor quality product by hiding it under too much flavor agent. I’ve had both teas and coffees that you can cut 20 to 1 with unflavored and the flavor agent is still HUGE in the cup. I just don’t get it.
Especially on white teas. What is it with people flavoring the most subtle, most delicate of teas?
But Sterling is a Texas company and they were hanging out in our Central Market location a few Sundays ago (I always do a shopping run there after services each week) and the folks were so nice and the sample they offered was… GOOD.
So I decided to do the local thing and picked up some of this white earl grey. If nothing else, I knew Liz would like it.
But… I like it too. In spite of myself. Neither the vanilla nor the bergamot are at all overpowering here — and that is saying something with vanilla. And the underlying bai mu dan is a proper, good set of leaf that are essentially undamaged in the flavoring process.
BEWARE of over steeping. This gets bitter FAST.
But if you get the timing right, you are rewarded with a warming, gently sweet, tangy cup. Bai mu dan are some of my favorite cold weather teas and the additions Sterling have added to this one make it a great “winter warmer” cuppa.