When I was buying a bunch of herbal teas in February, I couldn’t resist adding this Bai Hao to my order. I was a little wary because these teas are often eye-wateringly expensive and this is around $13 for 50 g, but I decided to give it a chance anyway. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 30, 20, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of baked peaches, honey, and grapes. The first steep has notes of honey, muscatel, peaches, citrus, baked bread, and flowers. There’s some dryness in the aftertaste and it lacks the darker sandalwood and spicy notes that characterize pricier Bai Hao. The second steep introduces pears and dates (thanks to Eastkyteaguy for noticing this flavour!). All of these notes intensify in the third and fourth rounds, and the citrus and muscatel become more prominent. This tea leaves a lovely grape/citrus/baked pear aroma at the bottom of the cup. Hints of malt and wood appear in the fourth steep and the drying sensation in the mouth gets stronger. This Bai Hao becomes more like a black tea by the sixth steep, with noticeable malt and tannins. The black tea character gradually overtakes the tea until the end of the session, which features malt, metal, faint fruit, and tannins.
This is a nice Bai Hao, particularly in the early steeps, and I don’t regret purchasing it in the least. However, it lacks the balance among sweet, spicy, and sappy/woody notes that makes really great examples of this tea so magical. If I had to compare it to another Bai Hao, it would be the Jingmai Bai Hao from China from Camellia Sinensis, which also lacks that bug-bitten complexity. For the price, this is excellent, but there are better Bai Haos out there.
Flavors: Bread, Citrus, Dates, Drying, Floral, Honey, Malt, Metallic, Muscatel, Peach, Pear, Tannin, Wood