Review: Arbor Teas Organic Makaibari Estate Silver Tips White Tea

Arbor Teas, Darjeeling Tea, Organic Tea, Single Estate Tea, White Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Multicolored, multifaceted, and muscatel to the core."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.8/10
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Makaibari is the oldest tea estate in Darjeeling, according to Arbor Tea's bio. It is also one of the most omnipresent - like Margaret's Hope. I have tried several OPs over the last couple of years from the estate. However, it never occurred to me that they ever went the white tea route. 2011 - as I've mentioned before - was a great year for Darjeeling. Okay, not politically, but the tea produced in the region - from first flush on up - yielded some exceptional brews. What was lacking, though, were white tea offerings. I only ran into two or three '11 Darjeeling whites in my sipping quests - the most beautiful of which came from Arya. I jumped at the chance to try one from Makaibari when I was called upon to sample Arbor's offerings.

The name "Silver Tips" always did confuse me, though. It's usually a moniker used to denote white teas produced in Sri Lanka, but I've seen it tacked on to Darjeeling whites as well. Generally, Silver Tipped white teas resemble Chinese Silver Needles. This Darjeeling had none of those characteristics. Sure, the downy fur for signifying white tea excellence was there, but they weren't neatly rolled like Yinzhen or Ceylon whites. Visually and aromatically, this looked like a Darjeeling oolong - multicolored, multifaceted, and muscatel to the core.

Arbor recommended bringing water to "just below" a boil - a typical approach for Darjeeling OPs, roughly 180F. They also suggested using two teaspoons per 8oz. of water and a steep of three minutes. I obeyed the instructions to the letter.

The liquor brewed a surprisingly bright gold, like a greener oolong or a bold Shou Mei. The aroma was all grape forest with very little subtlety in between; fantastic aroma. Taste-wise, it started of on a slight melon note and gradually grew to a sweet-'n-spicy sensation on the tongue. While tapering off, it left tickles of fruit frenzy in its wake. This. Tea. Is. Habit-forming. You are warned.

— To purchase Arbor Teas Organic Makaibari Estate Silver Tips 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.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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