When I see those lovely spiced teas, I always get so jealous. Being one that just doesn’t care for overly spiced teas or chai blends, I always feel like I’m left out of some cool kid’s tea drinking club. I look at them longingly and try them on occasion, but always find myself having to add in a ton of agave or cream to help offset the brew. And yes, I know that is part of the chai tea latte set up, but I want to be able to taste the actual tea itself, not just the add ins.
Enter White Cap Chai from Beach House Teas.
First off, this chai tea doesn’t have your traditional tea base. Instead of having a black or even green tea base, this blend has a lovely white peony tea base that sets the tone in a more subtle way. No fear of having a very bitter or astringent brew where you have to add in sweeteners or cream- no, this tea base has an all around lighter feel.
Add in your traditional spices like fennel seed cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, star anise, ginger, orange peel and my favorite part- cinnamon chips- not just a dusting of cinnamon but honest to goodness large enough so you can see cinnamon chips. I should say that about all of the ingredients. No need to squint your eyes to see that these inclusions are high quality and might I add organic.
The brewing parameters on the package had me a bit scared-1 heaping tsp with 6-8 oz- allow to steep for 6-8 minutes at 212F. White tea is more delicate so I was worried about brewing at boiling but after timer went off at 6 minutes worth of steeping, I was so very happy I did. I should have know that Beach House Teas would have my back and not steer me wrong.
Right out of the gate there is this lush slightly floral silky feel and some very bright flavors that provide this wonderful first sip. I instantly fell in love with the cinnamon flavor that has a soft twist of ginger and a hint of the fennel undertones. As this is still a chai tea, those more noticeable chai flavors like cardamom and clove notes are present but they are more apparent towards the end of each sip. Towards the end of each sip and after the sip is over, you are left with this spicy peppercorn touch on your tastebuds.
I eagerly sipped down my first cup and went back to brew more. I’m a huge fan (if you couldn’t tell) of this tea and highly recommend anyone who isn’t a chai or spiced fan to check this tea out. The flavors are light and crisp and are not heavy like a traditional chai or should I say the chais I’ve experienced in the past. Heavier chais do have their time and place, but for me- White Cap Chai has stolen my heart. This may be my new morning tea!
If you are interested in checking out this (and I highly recommend you do!) blend or any others, Beach House Teas is offering a 20% discount for our readers- just enter tealover3 at checkout!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Beach House Teas
White Cap Chai is a lighter version of the traditional chai making it delicate and unique. This beautiful chai is made with 100% organic white peony tea leaves and organic spices. It’s a modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. The chai gives you a smooth, mellow taste with subtle layers of flavor.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Driftwood Tea
This second flush Doke Organic Silver Needle White Tea shows how this family run garden is constantly innovating (Chinese Silver Needles are only harvested once per year). Like most second flush pickings these loose leaves are slightly darker yet, here this simply concentrates the delicious white tea flavours – a truly extraordinary Silver Needle tea.
Key Flavours: Soft dried fruits – apricots and peaches – hints of straw and a delicate sweet long lasting aftertaste.
Learn more about this tea here.
Doke Organic Silver Needle Second Flush from Driftwood Tea offers a crisp, clean, and juicy sweet cup.
It seems that it has been a long time since I reviewed a white tea, or at least a straight white tea. This tea from Driftwood is a nice reintroduction to a quality white tea.
The mouthfeel is what I can only describe as medium, not light yet not heavy, it is somewhat brothy but it has a very nice cleansing effect on the palate.
There is a slight drying sensation in the after effect of the sip.
The natural sweetness is delicious but I find the fruity notes very light, more apricot than peach on my palate.
The straw note is stronger than the fruit note but it is a sweet straw which makes for a contemplative cup.
This tea is quite grounding and I find it would be good for meditation relaxation.
I must admit this is not my all time favorite tea from Driftwood tea, but then again they have so many teas I have throughly loved, and obviously white tea is not something I drink a lot of. I enjoy it, but have to be in the mood for a straight white tea.
With that said, this is a very unique white and I respect that Driftwood Tea takes such great care in selecting cherished teas for us to purchase.
You can read more about Driftwood Tea and its founder, James Henderson Robe, here.
Where To Buy:
Origin: Organically grown at Mt. Taimu in Fuding, Fujian, China
Ingredients: Made from one or two leaf buds covered with fine downy white hairs
Harvest time: Hand-picked in March, 2011
Taste: A delicate, slightly flowery, sweet, lingering taste
Brew: 2-3 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 194 ºF (90 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)
Health Benefits: White Peony tea undergoes minimal processing and so it retains all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that all white teas are renowned for.
Certifications: The particular Organic White Peony (Bai MuDan) tea that TeaVivre is selling, is guaranteed to be organically grown and produced, independently verified to meet USDA, EU, JAS organic certifications.
Normally it’s hit and miss with me with flowery teas BUT there is something about pure white Peony that I generally enjoy! This one is no exception! It’s Top-Notch! Pure, Clean, Crisp! Slightly sweet and slightly floral. A bit juicy and velvety as well!
This tea gets a thumbs up from me! This is a nice relaxing white tea that I would recommend to just about anyone!