|"The flavor is definitely one of the best white teas I've ever had! It has a soft background of floral/herbal and peaches, along with the faintest hint of vanilla without being falsely sweet."|
So of course I had to taste their tea too!!! I don't know much about wine, but I was very impressed with their tea! As I talked to the owner, Marie, I told her I had hoped to visit a tea field and she offered to take me out on a private tour of her vineyards and tea field!
Their tea is grown at 4000 feet, in fields of lava. They have carved the rows out of the lava and brought in dirt. Their tea plants are imported from Japan and were gorgeous! I even got a demonstration of the picking process - both the white needles and the second leaf.
I was sent home with a nice packet of white tea to try brewing at home and it's as delicious here at home as it was there on the island.
When I first opened the package, I could see the white needles blended with the second leaves. They are a beautiful soft green - the color indicating how fresh this tea is. The smell is strong and vegetal. The needles are softly silver with fine hairs. Mixed in with the needles are the darker, yet colorful, flat second leaves.
They suggest brewing it at 208 degrees, which is a little higher than I usually brew my white tea. I'm glad I listened to their recommendation. I used fresh cold water and brought it to 208 (don't let it fully boil) and I steeped it for 3 minutes. It brews up a soft light golden, the color of a nice white wine. It has a slight fruity/leafy scent.
The flavor is definitely one of the best white teas I've ever had! It has a soft background of floral/herbal and peaches, along with the faintest hint of vanilla without being falsely sweet. It is very smooth with no bitterness or bite. I could drink this tea all day long! They have chosen to keep their teas pure, with no flavorings. I love that this white tea is naturally so flavorful and sweet.
I found that I can brew this tea 3-4 times easily. Each steep has a slightly different flavor focus, with the sweetness decreasing with steeps, and the floral/herbal tones moving forward.
I am so thankful that I had that misty day on the island of Hawaii. I have finally walked through a real field of tea, touched the plants, heard about the processing and tasted the tea. I'm equally as delighted to find that I can brew this incredible tea back at home in the cold Pacific Northwest!
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