|"The taste had some of the Darjeeling muscatel character but with a white delivery. When they said at least a four-minute steep, they meant it."|
I absolutely adore Darjeeling white teas. They have a unique flavor profile all their own, differing greatly from their Chinese kin. At times, depending on growing season, they have the requisite muscatel spiciness of their darker brethren. However, if a better comparison were to be drawn, one could liken them to a more flavorful Bai Mu Dan. This Namring Upper White differed than other Darjeeling whites I've tried on the aromatic impression alone. It smelled like wilderness-grown, wild-harvested fresh peppermint with a grassy finish. No spiciness to speak of like the Risheehat Silver.
Brewing instructions were detailed but liberal. They recommended a temperature of 155F-165F for the water and a four-to-fifteen-minute steep. The time spread surprised me a bit. As a rule (nowadays), I rarely steeped my whites for more than three minutes. I chanced a 165F temp for three; 1 tbsn-worth in 8oz of water.
The liquor infused to a pale yellow similar to how a Silver Needle imbues. The cup aroma was...well...nonexistent. It smelled like water - hot water, really. The taste was mildly melon-like with a floral/nutty lean on finish but remarkably understated. Heartier tea drinkers wouldn't even notice it; I barely did. A second steep at an undetermined length of time yielded a much brighter cup with a maple/grape-like aroma. The taste had some of the Darjeeling muscatel character but with a white delivery. When they said at least a four-minute steep, they meant it.
While not the best of the Indian whites I've imbibed, it retained all of what makes them worthwhile - notably their resiliency. One doesn't have to be too specific with their brewing methods with these hearty whites. The Upper Namring falls in line with the good ones.
— To purchase Golden Tips Tea Namring Upper White Tea 2010, 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.
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