I’m confused. Delighted to the utmost extent, but confused nonetheless. I taste black tea maltiness, white tea fruitiness/mustiness, green tea nuttiness, and anxi oolong sweetness. Sounds amazing, right? But all of this in one cup? It makes my head spin. I think I will use this tasting note to sort out the chaos that this tea has caused in my mind and senses.
First things first. The appearance, aroma, taste, and mouthfeel resemble nothing close to a Fujian white tea made from the Da Bai Hao cultivar (many tea fanatics, myself included, believe that this is the only “true” white tea). The needles are shorter, grayer, and do not have the same mushroom smell. The brew is much darker than the pale yellow of a Fujian Bai Hao Yin Zhen brew.
And the taste? OMG, the TASTE!!! There are hints of oxidation: fresh bread, malty flavor, all indicative of a black tea. A certain saltiness tickles my taste buds, which is what Fujian white teas do. I get a hint of jasmine and umami, all of which are usually present in the highest quality oolong teas. There is even a shade of the nuttiness that characterizes a Long Jing. How on earth can a cup of tea incorporate all of the best qualities of every type of tea into itself? My mind. It’s experiencing growing pains again.
One thing is for sure. I cannot call this a white tea, not just because of the “fujian da bai hao” bunk that I believe in, but because of its inherent character. It is truly a unique tea that deserves its own category. It should be called… I don’t know… a royaltea?
Who would have known that Bangladesh would become a place that produces a high quality tea? Talk about “finding a priceless pearl in the poor.” I’m not just talking about the tea here. Teatulia is doing some amazing work on this 2,000-acre part of the world to create an infrastructure of community, equity, and sustainability. More information about this can be found on Teatulia’s website. They are really creating a goldmine in a land of rubbish, and I really hope that Teatulia’s efforts will positively affect everyone who comes in contact with the company. If they continuously produce a product of such exquisite quality as their loose leaf White Tea, and translate this quality to every product that they offer, then they will have no problem doing so.