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Posts Tagged ‘white tea’

I was so excited to try a new white tea, considering I have been a white tea lover for a few years now. Recently I have tasted a few that were a bit disappointing for one reason or another – to weak, flavors that created a bitter tasting tea, blends where you couldn’t even taste the white tea, etc., etc., etc. But today, I look forward to sharing my White Peony experience with you.

Composition: First picking of white tea bud and two lower leaves, picked and processed in Fuding, in the Fujian Province, China.

Dry Visual: Various shades of unrolled green leaves – a mixture of mostly whole and some broken. “No rolling or firing – simply sun-dried.” (Quote taken from the Pearl Fine Teas website.) Additionally, the white tea bud’s resemble silver needle tea. Surprisingly beautiful. Thanks Pearl Fine Teas for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Refreshing… like springtime after a light rain. 

Flavor: Delicious! A naturally sweet and full-bodied tea, I loved the taste of White Peony. One of the better white teas I have enjoyed in some time –  White Peony is complex. I definitely noted citrus and honey undertones. The citrus was more pronounced in my first infusion, while the honey was more evident in my second infusion. I tasted no citrus in the second infusion. However, both infusions delivered a great cuppa tea!

There was no need for a sweetener – no honey, Sugar-In-The-Raw or otherwise. I fear adding a sweetener would be distracting.

Liquor: A beautiful golden hue.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 1- 3 minutes. I brewed for the recommended 3 minutes during the first infusion and 4 minutes for the second.

Manufacturer: Pearl Fine Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you are looking for a great cup of white tea, White Peony is definitely worth trying. However, If you have already tasted White Peony by Pearl Fine Teas, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Over the past few days many have been affected by the hurricane force winds that traumatized the Midwestsection of the country – in particular Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. My portion of Ohio was hit hardest with 84 mph wind gusts – remnants from Hurricane Ike. My family was fortunate to have not been one of the nearly 700,000 people who lost power. While our home sustained some minor damage and we lost phone and Internet service for three days, we are truly blessed that this is the extent of our impact.

Over the last few days, I have pondered this as I steeped and drank several cups of Organic Acai White Tea. Even as we opened our home to those in need, I could not help but to thank God that none of my family (parents, in-laws, and siblings included) sustained any serious damage or injury.

Composition: Organic traditional Chinese silver needle white tea, hill grown in the Fujian Province China, conventional acai berries, natural flavor.

Dry Visual: Broken silver needle leaves with dried pieces of red acai berries – quite colorful. Organic Acai White Tea is a loose tea in a silk sachet thus distinct characteristics are difficult to ascertain. Thanks to Two Leaves and A Bud for the picture above.

Dry Aroma: Somewhat vegetal – not strong but mild. The acai is undetectable.

Flavor: Organic Acai White Tea has a nice white tea taste – a little more robust than other white teas previously enjoyed. The acai berry adds an unexpected bitterness to the tea. I think I was anticipating a natural sweetness that Organic Acai White Tea lacked. I have steeped and drank several cups of this tea, at times adding sweetener and at times playing around with steeping times. I preferred drinking Organic Acai White Tea with Sugar-In-The-Raw.

Special note, the teabags contain enough loose tea for mug size brewing, so be sure to put away your dainty teacups when enjoying a cup.

Liquor: A unique yellow hue – not gold but a rich yellow tea.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time 4-6 minutes.  I brewed for each of the recommended times… 4, 5, and 6 minutes. The best cup of Organic Acai White Tea was brewed for 4 minutes.

Manufacturer: Two Leaves and A Bud

Caffeine: Yes.

What is Acai? 

Acai berries from BrazilThis tiny, dark, round fruit is about the size of a blueberry (with a large, inedible seed) and tastes like chocolate and wildberries. Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is grown in Brazil and enjoyed mostly as juice in health drinks, smoothies or dried and mixed with granola. Called a “superfood”, acai is rich in anthocyanins (responsible for its royal purple color) and essential fatty acids, both believed to provide many health benefits.

If you indulge in fruit teas, you may really enjoy the flavor of Organic Acai White Tea. If you have tried this tea from Two Leaves and A Bud or another acai white tea, stop by and comment on your experience. Until then … Happy Tea Drinking!

 References: Tropical Fruits Pictures Slideshow: Photos of Exotic Fruits. (2008, May 1). In WebMd. Retrieved September 17, 2008, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/exotic-fruits-slideshow

Image by: Rogerio Assis / SambaPhoto / Getty Images

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It seems like I am on a white tea kick. So please feign your surprise that I am drinking and reviewing yet another white tea – this time White Peony. This tea was included in my white tea sampler from Adagio Teas.

Composition: White tea from the Fujian province of China.

Dry Visual: White Peony, known locally as Pai Mu Tan, is tea made from tea buds collected and withered prior to opening. This tea is fun to look at – the whole, unfurled leaves remind of Christmas. The leaves are various shades of large leaves and appear to have a fresh dusting of frost.

Dry Aroma: An earthy mix – part woodsy yet partially earthy.

Flavor: Very mild and delicate flavor – White Peony is naturally sweet. There is no need to add sweetener, but if you decide to only a dab is necessary. My recommendation would be Sugar in the Raw over Honey. White Peony is delicious; however, I did not see a significant difference between this tea, Silver Needle and Decadence.  They are almost interchangeable.

Liquor: A rich but light golden color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 7 minutes.  I brewed for the recommended 7 minutes.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes

Tomorrow, I’ll have to surprise you and drink a different tea for review and posting. Perhaps a good oolong or puerh. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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It has been a while since I have sampled tea from The Simple Leaf, so this tasting is long overdue. Excited to have a new tea experience, I eagerly opened my new package of Decadence.  Many thanks to The Simple Leaf website for this awesome picture. The very name was enough to pique my interest… Dacadence. 

Composition: White tea from the Rungmook Estate in Darjeeling, India.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves of various shades with a mild “dusting” of fur.

Dry Aroma: Somewhat earthy – but very light.  It was surprising, because I expected the aroma to be a little vegetal. 

Flavor: Excellent! I was very impressed by the strength of Decadence. Considering white tea has a  milder, more delicate taste, Decadence was full of flavor.  Naturally sweet, easily enjoyed both with or without sweetener I enjoyed Decadence like a purist. No sugar, honey, or artificial sweetener – simply tea. Even as I write this review, I am thinking of brewing another cup to discern what I believe to be a fruity undertone. After many swishes around the mouth, I cannot be sure – it is quite faint.

Liquor: A very light brown – darker than what I would expect from a white tea.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 3 minutes.  I brewed for 3 minutes and remain quite impressed by the strength of the flavor. 

Manufacturer: The Simple Leaf

Caffeine: Yes

Decadence has become one of my favorite white teas.  I would certainly recommend it to other White Tea lovers on the prowl for a new tea. If you have had the pleasure of drinking Decadence, stop by and share your experience.  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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All weekend long, I have been drinking Silver Needle. Purchased as part of my White Tea Sampler from Adagio teas, I was excited to brew and taste. For over a year, I enjoyed Winter White Earl Grey by Harney and Sons daily. The purchase of the White Tea Sampler was encouraged by my desire to enjoy a pure White Tea with no added flavors. After brewing and tasting, I could not wait to share my Silver Needle experience.

Composition: White tea, nothing more and nothing less.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves (resembling fat pine needles) with silver fur – hence the name.

Dry Aroma: Slightly vegetal – but very light. 

Flavor: Delicious! I was very impressed with the light taste. Naturally sweet, easily enjoyed both with or without sweetener. I must admit depending upon my mood I really enjoyed with just a hint of sugar in the raw – preferring it over honey whose flavor almost overpowered the delicate taste of Silver Needle. This tea had  very unique flavor – not vegetal, not woodsy, not smokey, just pure tea. I could drink Silver Needle every day.

Liquor: Beautiful amber – actually gold color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 7 minutes.  I brewed for 7 minutes during the first two infusions. 10 to 12 minutes for subsequent infusions using my new Yixing Teapot dedicated to white teas.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes

Silver Needle is a tea I could drink on a daily basis. It is light and refreshing maintaining its character after multiple infusions. Never bitter always delicious. Until we meet again… Happy Tea Drinking!

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After brewing my entire stash of Yerba Mate, I placed an order at Dragonwater for more. Included in that order were several new teas – as though I don’t have enough new teas already. Nevertheless, I was drawn to a new tea being featured by Dragonwater… White Monkey Paw Tea. With a name like that, how could I not purchase?

Within days, my order arrived and with great anticipation, I brewed and drank White Monkey Paw Tea. Lets talk tea!

Composition: Rare, handmade Chinese tea from the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian, China. No added flavors. Interestingly, according to the Dragonwater site, White Monkey Paw Tea is considered both a white and green tea.

Dry Visual: White Monkey Paw Tea is fun to look at. According to legend… the leaves look like Monkey Paws, hence the name. I would have to agree. Additionally, the leaves are a beautiful green with white tips – some might say silver and fuzzy!

Dry Aroma: Vegetal – no added fragrances.

Flavor:  Naturally sweet yet clean taste – White Monkey Paw Tea had the sweetness of white tea and the vegetal taste of green. Sweetener is not necessary, however, I did add a little honey.

Liquor: Very light, almost clear with a hint of green. 

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time 2-3 minutes to wit I brewed for about 3 minutes.  Good for 3-5 infusions… I am working on my second.
Manufacturer: Dragonwater
Caffeine: Yes.
Special Note: Only the top two leaves and bud are picked during the morning of the first two weeks of the spring harvest season. The leaves are hand processed with only a gentle steaming. 
Green tea lovers would definitely enjoy White Monkey Paw Tea. I look forward to my next cup! Until we chat again… Happy Tea Drinking!

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It’s Monday night and I am in need of a warm cuppa tea. I know I shouldn’t have caffeine at 10:00 p.m., but every canister of decaffeinated tea is sitting at work on my desk. It is now 11:00 p.m. and I am recklessly enjoying my second cup with the effects of the caffeine making itself known, the realization that this was probably not a wise decision is dawning. Yet… what is a girl to do? 

I figure, if I am going to break my no caffeine at night rule, I might as well do it with style. Thus, my tea of choice is Let Love Bloom.  

Composition: Silver Needle White Tea, Globe Amaranth, Marigold and Jasmine.

Dry Visual: A heart the color of green moss.  

Dry Aroma: An herbaceous scent. I believe the marigold dominates the bouquet.
Flavor: Floral. There is the hint of white tea, however, the marigold and Jasmine dominate this brew. Additionally, another flavor presents itself that is mysterious to my tastebuds. Perhaps it is the Globe Amaranth – I’m not quite sure, but it adds a vegetative quality to this tea. After tasting both with and without sweetener, I decided that I prefer Let Love Bloom with the addition of honey.
Liquor: A rich yet pale gold tone.
Brewing Time: Just enough time for the tea to bloom – approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
Manufacturer: Full Bloom Tea

Caffeine: Yes.
Special Note:  According to Full Bloom Tea, you can re-steep each bloom 2 to 3 times. I will have to try this the next time I brew another one of their Artisan teas.
What is Globe Amaranth?
(Gomphrena globosa), ornamental garden plant of the family Amaranthaceae, native to the Old World tropics. Globe amaranth is a short annual with dense, clover-like flower clusters that often are dried and preserved. The flowers are in groups on long stalks; they lack petals but have red, pink, orange, or white bracts.   

Every time I brew one of the blooming teas, I get excited. Watching the tea bloom enhances the experience and makes for great conversation. Unfortunately, the experience is lost on my husband, who is most definitely NOT a tea drinker.   

References: globe amaranth. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 05, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/235424/globe-amaranth

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A few weeks ago, I ordered several new teas from Harney and Sons. My love affair with the Winter White Earl Grey spurned me to try new white tea flavors. This led me to ordering and last night drinking Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips.

Composition: A white tea that uses the terminal buds, no leaves, of tea bushes from Ceylon.

Visual: Very light green and white, almost silvery in spots. Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips is a loose tea.

Dry Aroma: Very aromatic.

Flavor:Very light. I tasted both with and without honey, both were equally as good. If adding a sweetener, tread lightly – this tea has such a light flavor that a sweetener will overpower the tea.
Liquor: Golden
Brewing Time: 5 minutes

Manufacturer: Harney & Sons Fine Teas
Caffeine: Yes

Special Note: This tea does not have a “traditional” tea taste. There is a light natural sweetness. If you prefer a more robust tea, Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips probably is not the tea for you.

What is a Terminal Bud?

The Terminal (apical) bud of a plant is the primary growing point located at the tip of the stem. It is the dominant bud, since it can cause all of the buds below them to remain dormant. 

If you enjoy a light tasting tea, you will certainly enjoy this loose tea from Harney and Sons. You can purchase a sample size packet of Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips to conduct your own personal taste test.

Until then… Happy Tea Drinking! 

Reference: http://www.cactus-art.biz/note-book/Dictionary/Dictionary_T/dictionary_terminal_bud.htm 

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Recently, my family and I drank Seven Sons Congratulating for the first time. This tea is one of the four “Art Teas” sold by Harney and Son Fine Teas. Of course, I had to purchase a special clear glass tea pot for the occasion. Not being able to watch the tea “bloom” would have spoiled the fun. The tasting would not have been complete without a review.

Composition: Green and White Tea buds
Dry Visual: Looks like a flower bulb planted in one’s flower bed
Dry Aroma: Very little smell
Flavor: I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful this tea was. My first love leans towards a stronger tea so I typically do not drink green tea. Seven Sons Congratulating has changed my mind.
Liquor: Yellow with a slightly pink hue
Brewing Time: Typically 3 to 5 minutes. However, to obtain the full effect of the Art Tea, the bulb remains in the clear glass teapot thus causing the tea to increase in strength.
Manufacturer: Harney & Sons Fine Teas
Caffeine: Yes
Special Note:
The green and white tea buds are pressed into a bulb with a red flower. When placed into hot water, the bulb blossoms revealing the red flower surrounded by a white crown. One bulb brews two to three cups of tea.
If there are any other Seven Sons Congratulating drinkers out there I’d love to hear from you. Until then…happy tea drinking!
Reference: Harney and Sons website – http://harney.com

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After checking out the packaging on my Winter White Earl Grey, I discovered that my tea of choice is a Mutan White Tea. What is Mutan White Tea? I don’t know, so I started conducted a little research.

So far, I have not found a lot of information on Mutan White Tea. However, I was able to find out a significant am out of information on White Tea. My findings are as follows:

Chinese white teas:

  • Bai Hao Yinzhen (Silver needle): The highest grade of the Bai Hao Yinzhen should be fleshy, bright colored and covered with tiny white hairs. Fujian Province, China.
  • Bai Mu Dan (White Peony): A grade down from Bai Hao Yinzhen tea, incorporating the bud and two leaves which should be covered with a fine, silvery-white down. From Fujian Province, China. (Sometimes spelled Pai Mu Tan.)
  • Gong Mei (Tribute Eyebrow): The third grade of white tea, the production uses leaves from the Xiao Bai or “small white” tea trees.
  • Shou Mei (Noble, Long Life Eyebrow): A fruity, furry white tea that is a chaotic mix of tips and upper leaf, it has a stronger flavor than other white teas, similar to Oolong. It is the fourth grade of white tea and is plucked later than Bai Mu Dan hence the tea may be darker in color. From Fujian Province and Guangxi Province in China
Other white teas:
  • Ceylon White: A highly prized tea grown in Sri Lanka. The tea has a very light liquoring with notes of pine and honey and a golden coppery infusion.
  • Darjeeling White: It has a delicate aroma and brews to a pale golden cup with a mellow taste and a hint of sweetness. A tea from Darjeeling, India.
  • Assam White: White tea production in the Assam region is rare. A white Assam yields a refined infusion that is naturally sweet with a distinct malty character.
  • White Puerh Tea: Harvested from plantations found high on remote mountain peaks of Yunnan Province, China. Incredibly labor intensive with each step processed by hand, these luxury whites are wonderfully rich in fragrance, and possess an alluring, sweet nectar-like quality.
Thus far, I am unable to determine what category Mutan White falls into. If you know, please share – I would love to be enlightened further.
Reference:White tea. (2008, February 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:46, April 2, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White_tea&oldid=194705669

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