Review: JING Tea Organic White Peony Supreme White Tea

Bai Mu Dan Tea, JING Tea, White Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Not overly sweet or fussy, the medium body is wonderfully mellow with a slick glide to its harmony of bamboo and cucumber flavours. "
Raven’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9/10, Shaiha gave it 7.5/10, Geoff gave it 9.8/10, Sophie gave it 7.1/10, Rebecca gave it 8/10
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jingwhitepeonyAs much as I love flowers, I have the hardest time remembering what is what. Apart from the usual suspects like roses and carnations, my world of flowers is rather mute, living more through images than names. Although this is an incredible disadvantage since my pathetic attempts at describing flowers as you know the yellow one with small petals, seldom get me more than the florists thinking I'm daft. But fortunately there is the internet to forgive my recall. Finding that Bai Mu Dan or White peony is supposed to resemble a peony, I must concede that I’m not sure what someone was drinking or smoking when they made that comparison. Regardless it is certainly one blossom I’d pick for my tea bouquet. From my walk through the garden, there’s never been a bad white peony but there’s certainly a difference amongst them, much like the difference between the beauty of a freshly opened bloom relative to a wilted flower. So I am always interested in finding good ones. JING Tea has such a great variety of fine teas, they are one of the florists with the mostests, thus I was eager to try their white peony for it is always nice to know of companies where you can restock several teas at once. I can't imagine having to run around to a different florist for peonies, carnations and poppies for one bouquet either.
Unwrapping this package and once I saw the leaves of the tea, it was almost as good as getting flowers but of course there are few things that are. But the splendor of the leaves does catch one's attention softly shining with silky down. The assortment of whole leaves and buds looks freshly dried, dusted in cool greens, some moss coloured, some hunter, some grayish and some fern that give them a sweet demure peaceful appearance. The abundant tips seem elegant with their long one and a quarter inch arcs. Cuddling into the leaves, the scent is just as calming, tickling with the classic fuzzy florals of the white tea. Imbued with pussywillows, dried violets and baby's breath, the light to medium bouquet is melodic and sweet while it has a warmer hay floral at its base, rather than a cooler note to the aroma like some other white teas I've encountered.
Just like all flowers, this one needs to be planted and watered to bring it to life so rather than a pot or a vase, I seeded my glass teapot with one tablespoon of leaves with a healthy gulp of 160°F water. JING Tea suggest brewing one to two tablespoons of leaves in 60-70°C water for three to five minutes so in the spirit of thriftiness, I was interested in seeing what one tablespoon could grow. During the three and a half minute steeping, the leaves, posed buoyantly on the surface, still seem so serene and hardly touched by the water, looking almost dry. Yet, the leaves do bloom into a medium sandy yellow cup with a slight tan undertone that is almost clear with the fine hairs of the tea lazily drifting in its midst. The cup opens with a medium perfume blossoming similar to the dry leaves with lighter green flowery notes, like fresh tulip stems or lily pistils and cucumber falling on drier notes of a hay-like floral or pot pourri. The sweetness of the floral touches seems more subdued than in some white teas, from the integration of both warm and cool or fresh and dry scents making it friendly and approachable rather than cloying. Yet the mix does kind of lend a bit of melon to the aroma that seems like a not too sweet combination of warm ripe cantelope and honeydew.
Drawn into the pretty scent, the weight of the first sip is surprising. The medium body belies a very mellow harmony of neutral flavours like bamboo and a slight cooked cucumber that waiver with a light dried floral. While the body plays out a mild sweetness, the tea feels clean tasting with a slight oily texture yet it seems still in the mouth, tranquil perhaps rather than agile. The embrace of the balance without any bitterness or dryness is lovely and pleasing but doesn't really feel like it quenches each sip. However, the delight of the mellow character engages with a complete finish leaving the mouth with a clean fresh air and a whisper of cucumber at the back of one's throat. Even though the flavours have a calm mildness to them, it is a loving flavourful sip as the tea doesn't seem watery or faint like a shrinking violet or a wilting flower.
Another bloom of the leaves bursts with a paler, more yellow hue to admire. Bending in for a gaze as one would to a flower captures the light dry floral scent that also reminds me a bit of fresh cut aloe or cactus flowers, still with its green touch. The tea remains wonderfully synchronous with a light to medium body that has a soulful serenity in its more neutral palate. With cooked bean sprouts and bamboo, the cup is smooth and amiable while it glides through each sip with a slight waxiness to seem even more free wheeling and undemanding. Although there isn't any aftertaste, it still leaves the mouth feeling kind of crisp and happy.
Despite the neutral character of its flavours, they do hold up to chilling which seems to play up the cucumber and bamboo flavours to seem a bit more melon like as the drier florals aren't as evident. The playfulness of the slick texture also remains upon cooling for an extra dynamic for icing.
From the gentle, mellow harmony of JING tea's white peony, it would seem best bloomed in the afternoon where it can shine amongst the other flowers for its clean, neutral refreshment could easily have one passing all the posies to pick and sip a peony.

— To purchase JING Tea Organic White Peony Supreme 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.

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