Review: Village Tea Company Strawberry Passion White Tea

Bai Mu Dan Tea, Strawberry Tea, Village Tea Company, White Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is one of those teas that BEGS to be sweetened. Not to mask the taste, but accentuate. If you want to taste strawberry shortcake in a cup, sweeten this."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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villagestrawberrywhiteTwitter is actually good for something. A couple of months ago I received a "tweet" from a rep with Village Tea Company to review one of their wares. This was the first time such a thing had ever happened. Most of my updates on Twitter ranged from teas I tried, food I scarfed, jokes I heard, Youtube clips that made me giggle, and random quotes from people I knew; particularly my mother (she's unintentionally hilarious). How anyone gleaned that I reviewed teas from that miasma of pointless text is beyond me, but I was grateful they did.

The rep put me in touch with Village Tea Company via e-mail, and they got back to me promptly. What I found quite remarkable is the way they said, "Pick the ones you want to try." Not being greedy, I settled on five options - the top pick being a strawberry white tea. I received a reply stating it was on its way. I thought they meant 2-tsp. samples.

About a week later, the delivery came - almost an entire 2-oz. canister of their Strawberry Passion White Tea. Okay, on first glance, a couple of ounces doesn't sound like much, but keep in mind, only 2 teaspoons of leaf is need for 12-16-oz. cups of tea. Do the math.

The canister itself was just adorable, almost collectible-like. A tea-related limerick was even inscribed on the back for giggles. (Not the dirty kind.) Village Tea Company also encouraged folks to re-use the 100% recyclable tea can for pens. (Or in my case...Q-tips.) Included within were self-serve tea pouches for the steeper-on-the-go. This I found quite convenient, although at the time, I brought my own.

Ingredients listed were Bai Mu Dan white tea (White Peony to the Mandarin-phobic), strawberry pieces, and flavoring. I cocked an eyebrow at the fact that they didn't specify what type of flavoring, or whether it was natural or artificial. Not a major qualm, but a minor query.

Appearance-wise, the leaves definitely looked Bai Mu Dan-ish. I noticed stems in the batch. Peonies I tried in the past contained some stem, but never in the amount here. I don't know if these were part of the "strawberry pieces" characteristic or not. Sadly lacking - also - was the requisite white tea "fuzz" on the leaf buds - indicative of their youth. The scent was like "essence of shortcake". Fruity and creamy. Quite strong.

Brewing instructions on the can recommended adding 1 teaspoon of tea per cup/person with non-boiling hot water for three minutes. So I went with 2 teaspoons and a 12-oz. cup, guesstimating my best bet with the time. On to the liquor...

The liquid steeped to pale amber color. The fruity scent muted a bit on infusion but not too much. Bai Mu Dan propped it up on its stemmy stilts. As far as white teas go, it was very forgiving - unlike its other light-bodied brethren - in terms of steeping tolerance. A bit lighter on the palate than other Peonies I've tried. I sometimes found White Peony to be a bit on the harsh side compared to a good Yinzhen. This was one of those few cases where the strawberry still kept up with the leafiness of the tea itself. Some fruity blends (even those reliant on flavoring) tend to pale once infused. While not a Silver Needle, it is definitely a close second.

Nitpicks: It's a bit on the pricey for a flavored tea, up there - per ounce - for the same as some good Bai Hao Yinzhen. Second, there was an overabundance of twiggy stems. I've never had a white tea with so many twig parts. That's more of a Japanese kikucha green tea thing.

Note: This is one of those teas that BEGS to be sweetened. Not to mask the taste, but accentuate. If you want to taste strawberry shortcake in a cup, sweeten this. Preferably with agave nectar or stevia extract. You don't have to, but it adds a rather dazzling dimension.

— To purchase Village Tea Company Strawberry Passion 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 Reviewer
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