Review: ESP Emporium White Grape Premium White Tea Blend

Bai Mu Dan Tea, Black Currant Tea, Blue Mallow Tea, Cornflower Tea, ESP Emporium, Rose Hip Tea, White Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"What really surprised me most about this blend was that there were no actual grapes in it. However, this smelled like grapes, bold green ones."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 8.6/10, Raven gave it 8.4/10, Lea gave it 8.5/10, Laura gave it 8/10
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espemporiumwhitegrapeThis Bai (or "Pai") Mu Tan blend from ESP Emporium is a rather fascinating creation. Ingredients for it include the moniker-ed white tea base, "China Cui Min (89 %), rose hip peel, freeze-dried blackcurrants, flavoring, mallow blossoms, cornflower blossoms". I have absolutely no idea what "Cui Min" is. Google was no help either. From what I can tell, it's a type of silver tip cut of white tea. Other than that, I have no guesses.

What really surprised me most about this blend was that there were no actual grapes in it. However, this smelled like grapes, bold green ones. Not the specialty wine kind, the ones I grew up with. The sweet, floral and fruity smell likely stemmed from a unique combination of the mallow and the currants. Oh, and the flavoring.

Brewing instructions were actually quite strong for a white tea; 1 level tsp. in 6oz of 176-194°F water for two-to-three-minute steep. I middle-grounded that a little bit with a 180° steep for two-and-a-half minutes, 1 tbsn in 8oz. I needed a little more tea than that.

The infusion brewed to a unique chrome yellow, very unusual for a white tea, or any tea for that matter. The mouthpiece aroma was almost entirely burnt grape; literally, like someone took a grape and pan-fried it. There was a grassy undertone to it as well. The flavor was a different story.

White tea when brewed at just the right temperature - and at just the right time - takes on natural fruit notes of its own. Same with some flowers, especially mallow blossoms, which is why they're included in some Earl Grey blends. Combine those two with the light flavor imparted by the freeze-dried currants, and it makes for a very zesty cup.

If it has one drawback, it's that it suffers from too-much-of-a-good-thing syndrome. While they aren't conflicting ingredients, they are similar ones. Aside from the cornflower - mainly there for decoration, not flavor - the rest have similar palate profiles. No more than two or three would've been sufficient.

White tea is light as it is, over-blending risks undermining the base taste. Luckily, this is a White Peony and therefore more blunt. That said, for something without any actual grape in it, it makes for a great blend.

Visit ESP Emporium for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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