Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Lemon Lily
Loaded with blossoms, and scented with star anise and maple syrup, this white tea is show-stoppingly beautiful as well as a treat to sip. Again, we can’t stress enough that you need to let these delicate little cuppas need some time to cool. Once you do the grassy white tea blooms into the warm, smooth anise flavour, accented with a touch of maple.
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Yay! My Postal Teas box arrived! It’s a happy day when I open the mailbox to find tea! I just love receiving parcels from Postal Teas and I was very excited that this month the teas featured are from yet another new-to-me company: Lemon Lily. A cute company name that brings a smile to my face because it makes me think of my youngest daughter. Her name is Lilith and we often call her Lili.
So the first tea I decided to try from this month’s box is Maple Leaf. All three of this month’s teas sound delightful, but Maple is what captured my attention immediately. I love maple!
I decided to brew this in my Breville One-Touch. I don’t usually steep white teas in my Breville because the leaves tend to be bulkier and need more room to expand so I usually steep a white tea in a teapot or in a Smart Tea Maker like this to give those leaves the room they need. However, upon examination of this tea, I saw that it was mostly flowers. I thought that the tea would have plenty of room to expand as it needed to in my Breville given the flower to tea leaf ratio of this blend.
As an added bonus, because this tea needs time after steeping to develop its flavor, I was able to set the Breville to steep – 4 bamboo scoops of leaf to 500ml of freshly filtered water (remember, there’s a lot of flowers in this, so I used extra leaf to compensate); 170°F; 3 1/2 minutes – and go take my shower. When I returned, the tea was brewed and it had been sitting for about 13 minutes. That seemed to me to be adequate “development” time.
I can also taste the flowers. This is a beautifully floral tea, but I’m glad to say that it doesn’t taste perfume-y. It has a wonderfully flowery aroma, it’s beautiful to smell as well as sip.
I can taste the notes of anise. I like the way the licorice-y flavor of anise melds with the flowers. They seem to play very nicely together. The anise adds just a hint of spice to the sweetness of the flowers. It’s quite pleasant.
And most importantly, I can taste the maple! OK, OK, I guess you could argue that it’s most important to taste the tea. And yeah, I’m with you on that. But, when I drink a maple tea, I want maple baby! And this blend has got the maple going on.
The sip starts off immediately with notes of flower. I taste the lavender and chrysanthemum. I like that while these floral notes are strong, they aren’t overdone. Even though it looks like they might be overdone when you take a look at the blend – there is a really well-crafted balance between tea, flower and maple notes here.
Maple and lavender are not necessarily two flavors that I ever thought of combining. But they work. Somehow … they work very well together. The maple seems to soften the sharpness of the floral notes just enough so that this doesn’t come off tasting like soap. The anise adds just the right amount of warmth to the cup while adding a touch of sweet licorice that tastes right at home with the sweet maple notes. The flowers add dimension to the sweetness while keeping everything balanced “just so” – to keep this from becoming too cloying or dessert-like.
And then there is the tea. The tea is a softer flavor here, not just because white tea tends to be a delicate tasting tea anyway, but also because there IS a lot going on in this blend. But I can still taste the subtle notes of sweet, hay-like flavor from the white tea.
A very enjoyable blend. Quite a wonderful start to this month’s Postal Teas box!