Review: Canton Tea Co. Assam White

Canton Tea Co., White Tea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Here are my impressions: dry, sweet, cidery, sparkly. Reminiscent of apples and then remarkably of...can it be blackberry?? Mineral. Sweet. Fruit flavors sparkle to the fore. Impressive. "
Jamie’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.2/10
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Here is another leaf of great beauty selected for sale by Canton Tea Company. The tea is a white tea that hails from Metholo Estate, Assam, India and was harvested in Spring of 2011 according to the sample packet and April of 2010 according to the website (?). The leaves are slender silver green, long and edged with black. They are not at all fuzzy or downy.

I used two teaspoons of leaf per cup of 185 degree water and allowed a four minute infusion as suggested by preparation notes.

The tea infuses to a color that surprises me. It's coppery (med. dark) rather than pale gold. The smell is cidery and mineral/malty to my nose and my first sip I really thought I was drinking a light but very malty brisk cup of tea. I found this confusing and a little exhilarating. This is truly something different. There's a certain sparkle to this tea. It's cidery and fruity to start and is dry (as you would expect from a dry wine or cider rather than strictly astringent). The body is light but there is a great deal going on with it. A simple assessment is that you are dealing with a special tea. It will raise your eyebrows. Further questioning of the sips reveals a lot of layering to the tastes. Here are my impressions: dry, sweet, cidery, sparkly. Reminiscent of apples and then remarkably of...can it be blackberry?? Mineral. Sweet. Fruit flavors sparkle to the fore. Impressive.

A second infusion, also four minutes. This infusion is also very mineral to my tastes. Dry, mineral and malty. The sparkle in this tea is amazing and dry cider and apple notes bubble up. I am sorry I lack the proper tea vocabulary to effortlessly capture all the tastes. The flavor is quite undiminished. The blackberry notes of the first infusion show up again, surprising me again especially contrasted to the sweet dry aftertaste. Delicious! Light but really full of flavors. There's maltiness, lots of fruit. I'm really impressed with this white tea of Assam. It's a wholly unique flavor to me.

I will say that I was unable to take the third and fourth infusions in one sitting with the first and second. I found the kick of caffeine to be very surprising (I was expecting the mild-ness of a white tea and had already had some black tea with breakfast). I don't know that the actual caffeine content is higher with this tea than others, but for some reason it was really revving me up to the point that I found it too difficult to really drink any more!

I highly suggest trying some of this tea. It's completely unlike any other white tea I've ever tried (and white tea is what brought me to tea drinking). I could happily enjoy a cup of this tea as a replacement for my usual black tea in the morning as it really has a malty element to it reminiscent of a black tea though with a body and flavor quite unlike Chinese black or white teas. This is well worth trying. The fruit flavors alone are hard to express in words and are best savored on the tongue!

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Assam White, 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: Jamie Jamie
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