|"The aroma from the mouthpiece reminded me of maple leaves, melons, autumn-dropped apples and sugar."|
Their white tea became available for order sometime in November or December. The product had been on my list of "DO WANT!"-s for the better part of four months. When it finally came in a big red box, I did a squeal-n-dance before opening. Initially, I was turned off by the appearance of the dry leaves. They looked like...well...leaves - plucked and dried. I guess after two hundred teas or so, I was spoiled to expecting hand-rolled needles. The initial aroma was also underwhelming, very wilderness-y.
Brewing instructions called for 2-3 grams of leaves per 6-8oz of 185F water. It took a good 4g to equal 1 tsp., and these were very fanned-out leaves. I went with a little under a tablespoon in 8oz of 170F water, given that I wasn't sure if these leaves would be White Peony-hearty or not. A little bit above a typical white tea temp seemed prudent.
The liquor didn't darken so much as it brightened to a vibrant - if transparent - gold color. The aroma from the mouthpiece reminded me of maple leaves, melons, autumn-dropped apples and sugar. The taste was an even more unusual experience. I suppose an esoteric comparison is in order; for those who've had an Oothu Estate Indian white tea, a Quangzhou Milk Oolong or a Bai Mu Dan...imagine it as a combination of all three. It was buttery, creamy, sweet, leafy, berry-like and earthy - all in one sip. But the biggest surprise of all was how long it lasted. I steeped it four times - four! - and it still maintained all these characteristics without fading. Even on the final ten-minute steep-o'-death, it didn't give in to spinachiness.
Who says Americans can't grow tea?! Like I said...nativist at heart.
— To purchase Sakuma Bros. Sun Dried Loose Leaf White Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.
» Read more about this reviewer on Geoff's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Geoff.