Review: The Little Red Cup Bai Mu Dan

Bai Mu Dan Tea, Fair Trade Tea, Organic Tea, The Little Red Cup, White Tea Add comments
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Whether it’s that it's organic or coming from Jiangxi province, the origins of the dark leaves seem to shape the cup."
Raven’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Samantha gave it 7.9/10, Katie gave it 7.2/10
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littleredbaimudanWell, when you need the perfect accessory to the little black dress, it must be a Little Red Cup. Although I don’t know if The Little Red Cup's name is a fashion inspired choice, it’s hard to think any tea closet could be complete without one and hard not to wonder what they might have to complete the outfit. As it turns out, their style mixes up a handful of classic Chinese teas that save more pennies for other little black dresses. Even more on trend, all of their teas are organic and fair trade certified which comes along with information on where their teas are grown and their sincerity. As they only ship to the United States, I was happy to get the opportunity to slip in into one of their teas. Since Bai Mu Dan is as much a staple to a tea wardrobe as a little black dress is, so, their Bai Mu Dan seemed a fitting introduction. In addition to being organic and fair trade, and perhaps because of it, the tea comes from Jiangxi province rather than the more common Fujian, and this tea was harvested in 2011, although their 2012 will be hitting the runway soon.

Fresh off the rack, the tea’s outfit is a bit understated, quite dark, with less variation in the dark oak leaf browns than often seen in Bai Mu Dan. The whole leaves, pieces, stems and clusters also accessorize with just a few dark grey needles. Fortunately, their scent is a bit more lively but also somewhat dark spirited, as if sporting evening attire. The bouquet unfolds leafy, somewhat animalic or marrow-ish scents to be fluff up an autumnal leafiness, brown and twiggy, edged by a trace of fruitiness and a cuff of fur. More frank than sweet, the aroma has a dry coziness.

Once brewed as Little Red Cup suggests, with two teaspoons and 175°F water for two minutes, the light yellowy gold tea shines up a medium aroma. While there is a hint of golden raisin, the scent seems less sweet, with a fatty backing to morsels of pot pourri that brings to mind bird seed with a hint of chicken skin. With less of a floral or fruity slant than Bai Mu Dans sometimes have, it seems more of a candid bouquet with a sturdy nature. The tea tastes just as stable, with a medium full body that falls smoothly. While the body is ample, the texture seems a thread speckled and slightly dry, although, it does bring some refreshment. It has a mildly seed-like flavour with a bit of cushy sweetness that also seems a hint soapy or musty, yet, the tea flows nicely, sweetening in a light to medium aftertaste a bit like white raisin bran.

A similar hue decks out a second cup, matched with a light aroma with a similar style, trimmed with a button of sweetness behind almost malty, oilier scents, like black sesame seeds and a tinge of raw oats. The tea’s taste also has a durable fattiness and a drier grip to keep it satisfying. With nods of near egginess and poppy seeds, the flavour reminds me a little of seeded bagels while still being somewhat leafy and without a bagel’s heartiness. While the body endures, it's smooth but its echo is a touch itchy or tingly as it finishes with a short aftertaste. A third cup also retains a light scent that carries a hint of sharpness, like chlorine, but is still warming. As the dryness subsides, the tea continues to have a sating density despite the light flavour.

Dressed down, The Little Red Cup Co.’s Bai Mu Dan seems to be of a different cloth. It’s not quite like other Chinese Bai Mu Dan’s I’ve had, although, I haven’t had many organic ones or ones from outside Fujian. While the tea sports a hearty thread with a shapely silhouette, rather than a flimsy cloth, it might not be just as “must have” as that little black dress. However, imprinted with less sweet or floral patterns, it would hit the spot for those who favour more savoury Bai Mu Dan’s as much as those who fancy wearing and drinking organic.

— To purchase The Little Red Cup Bai Mu Dan, 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: Raven Raven Reviewer
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