This was another sipdown of mine from very early in the year. I tried this tea a month or two after the First Flush Rohini Exotic White Tea, (which I still need to review), so I ended up trying this tea after its higher grade counterpart. I was not as wowed by the Exotic White Tea as I had hoped to be, so I was not expecting much of this tea. As it turned out, I enjoyed it more than its higher grade counterpart.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 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, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of roasted peanut, grass, hay, smoke, straw, and sugarcane. Fresh aromas of lemon zest, basil, baked bread, spearmint, and roasted almond emerged after the rinse. The first infusion added aromas of dandelion and violet. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of roasted peanut, roasted almond, cream, baked bread, sugarcane, grass, hay, and vanilla that were backed by hints of violet, dandelion, pear, apple, custard, lemon zest, and straw. The majority of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pear, apple, custard, minerals, vanilla, and white grape. Stronger and more immediately detectable notes of violet, apple, straw, dandelion, pear, and lemon zest came out in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, orange zest, dandelion greens, white grape, spearmint, and basil. I also detected hints of thyme, nutmeg, anise, and smoke. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, grass, dandelion greens, cream, butter, baked bread, orange zest, white grape, and sugarcane that were chased by hints of hay, straw, roasted almond, basil, violet, vanilla, and lemon zest.
This was a very approachable and straightforward Darjeeling white tea with a balanced, likable mix of aromas and flavors. It was also a bit more complex and slightly more robustly bodied and textured than anticipated. It was a high quality offering overall. I had no real complaints with it.
Flavors: Almond, Anise, Apple, Basil, Bread, Cream, Custard, Dandelion, Grass, Hay, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Smoke, Spearmint, Straw, Sugarcane, Thyme, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet, White Grapes