Review: Teas Etc. 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend

Bai Mu Dan Tea, Coconut Tea, Rose Tea, Strawberry Tea, Teas Etc, White Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"All that said, it still fell in the "decent" category for one specific reason. It handled sweetener spectacularly. I would go as far as to say that a dash of stevia is required to bring out the strawberry tone."
Geoff’s Teaview: 6.8/10
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teasetcwhitecrane1000I suppose I'll start this by relating - verbatim - the backstory to this blend. It's beyond adorable:
Nathan, who has worked with us for the past 4 years, decided to ask Nicole to marry him. It's not that he asked but HOW he asked that makes this a "story."

The happy couple was spending the afternoon at one of their favorite places, the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach. There is a Japanese saying that if you give a 1000 cranes and/or receive a 1000 cranes you are granted one wish. It was that day that Nathan presented Nicole a rather large box to open. Inside the box there were 999 white origami cranes that Nathan had laboriously folded 1 by 1. At the bottom was a larger, gold crane number 1000. In that gold crane was the ring which was followed by the proposal. How romantic!

Shortly thereafter, Nathan and Nicole put together a list of ingredients with special meaning and the 1000 Crane Blend was born.

I'll give you a moment to let out your cathartic "Awwwww"-s. If that doesn't sound like the best ending to a Penny Marshall movie, then I don't know what does. Totally not what I was expecting, given the moniker. When I think cranes - and a thousand, no less - my manchild mind instantly envisions a Shaw Brothers kung fu flick.

I learned from Tea Etc. via Twitter that the titular "Nathan" mentioned in the snippet is their web guy and - indeed, per story - the couple did create the blend. To which, I must compliment their pure brass cajones for doing so. This blend includes three somewhat difficult ingredients, facets which have a tendency not to play well with others.

First of the batch, white tea. Blends using white tea are a hit-or-miss affair. Sometimes, they turn out spendidly perfect. One can't really go wrong with botanical whites; blends with chrysanthemum, malva, or rose petal. Fruit blending, though, runs the risk of sapping and superceding the tea flavor, which defeats the purpose of using a white tea base in the first place.

Speaking of rose petal, that is also present here. From what I could tell, trace amounts. A friend of mine once called the scent of rose petals "Essence of Grandma", and if used in too liberal a dose, not far from the truth. Too much gives it a retirement home garden feel, too little makes for very little impact except to have it "look pretty".

And lastly, strawberry. I love strawberry and have sampled my fair share of strawberry teas. I also love white tea. Sometimes, though, two loves don't make a liquid. I have yet to find a perfect blend of the two.

The overall collection of ingredients for this blend were organic Bai Mu Dan white tea, strawberry white tea, organic strawberry pieces, rose petals, and coconut shread. I have no idea what a coconut "shread" is. I assume it's a sliver from the outer shell, but I'm not certain. Another puzzlement was the double-mention of strawberry white tea and Bai Mu Dan. The latter, of course, being the "White Peony" variety of white tea; silver medal to Silver Needle, but still good. My guess on the former? Pre-scented strawberry white tea along with the fruit pieces and Peony.

All in all, a fascinating blend if ever I saw one.

It was a very colorful batch, not a whole lot of stem. The leaves contained the white hairs known for their tea-type namesake. Strawberry and rose petal pieces were very omnipresent, littered among the fuzzy tea leaves. The smell was nothing short of divine. However, while a feminine scent, it was never too dainty.

The recommended brewing instructions were 1 heaping teaspoon per 8-oz. of water. I went with two moderate teaspoons in 16-oz. of 180F water, then let it steep for five minutes. My usual for a heartier white tea.

The liquor infused to a pal gold and smelled nice enough as far as white tea goes. Where this blend lost it was in the taste. Due to an understated rose petal finish, there was a sense of tasting floral-scented bathwater. The strawberry enhanced that feeling a little. Neither flavors were particularly distinctive on their own, and the blend was too "clean". The white tea base felt like a run-of-the-mill Bai Mu Dan, which - to me - is exceptional to most greens. However, it doesn't justify the added ingredients much if they didn't offer anything extra.

All that said, it still fell in the "decent" category for one specific reason. It handled sweetener spectacularly. I would go as far as to say that a dash of stevia is required to bring out the strawberry tone. Teas Etc. - per their website - recommend to steep it in just-below-boiling water. I personally recommend a little hotter, maybe up to a green tea level. More strawberry-rose characteristics come forth.

In short, a very good cup that any lady would be proud to have named after their engagement day. Now me? I'd rather have a crane-style kung fu wedding...but that probably explains why I'm still single.

Special Offer! For a limited time, Teas Etc is offering deep discounts on their product line. If you're interested in purchasing this tea or others from Teas Etc, shop now by clicking this link: Teas Etc

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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