Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Utopian Tea
Found in the Wuyi Mountains in China, this green tea is picked only a few days early in Spring, keeping the white hairs common on white teas. Some notice that even though White Monkey Paw looks like it should be a white tea, it gives a recognizable green tea taste with a royal pale green liquor.
This has become a favorite to those who are looking for a more mellow, full, warming green tea with a lingering sweetness that is just noticeable.
The most attractive attribute lies deep within the chemistry of this type of tea. Since it’s picked on a borderline in time between it being a white tea turning green, and only in the morning, this is the tea that carries the health benefits of both green and white teas. Now you can cleanse your mind and body with the anti-oxidants white tea is known for, while enjoying the benefits and full taste that many revere in green tea.
Sharing this interesting tea with those close to you will prove to your friends you’ve got great taste and higher expertise when it comes to better tea.
At first glance, one would think that this is a white tea. It certainly LOOKS like a white tea. It has the white downy fuzz on the leaves like a white tea.
But, it doesn’t taste like a white tea. The flavor of this tea is very notably a green tea flavor. The flavor is sweet and slightly vegetative – but not grassy. It has a pleasant floral essence that rests in the backdrop of this tea. It has a very light astringency.
This tea also has a mouthfeel to it that is not quite Oolong, but, a bit more pronounced than a typical green. It is soft and velvet-y and very nice.
And even though this LOOKS like a white tea, you shouldn’t brew it like a white tea. Or perhaps I should say how I would brew a white tea… and that is: low temperature and longer brewing time. Typically I brew my white tea at about 165 – 175° F and let it steep for 4 – 5 minutes. With this tea, if you do that – you’ll have a tea that almost verges on being slightly bitter (wanna guess how I know that?) Instead, choose a slightly higher temperature (the brewing parameters from Utopian Tea suggest 180° F and that is what I suggest also), and brew for about 1 ½ minutes (brewing parameters from Utopian Tea suggest 1 – 3 minutes, 1 ½ minutes proved perfect for me, you should experiment a little and see what’s right for you). Your attention paid to these details will reward you with a cuppa that is deliciously rich in flavor without a hint of bitterness.
I would recommend this tea to those tea drinkers who find green teas a little too grassy – this green will change their mind!