White Peony from Swallowtail Tea. . . .

Whenever a tea company offers a sample pack, it’s a great chance to try out teas that you aren’t sure you’ll like.  Recently I tried a sample pack of several different teas from Swallowtail Tea company and White Peony tea was a lovely new find.

I’m not always in the mood for white teas.  They have a unique smooth, earthiness that is different than pu erh, black, or green teas.  In the right blend, this is a winning flavor, in the wrong blend it ends up tasting strange.  White Peony from Swallowtail tea was absolutely a winning white tea.

This tea is lightly flavored, mainly allowing the white tea itself to fill out the flavor profile.  The tea brews up deep and golden with the buttery and earthy tones I expect from white tea. The floral peony is gentle but present, not at all like perfume, but instead much more natural like crushed dried flowers, or getting a whiff of blooming flowers from a garden as you walk past.

White Peony is a great spring and summertime tea.  It is refreshing without being too vegetal or too sweet, and bright and floral without giving you hayfever.  A perfect balance of butter and blossoms, suitable for a hot or iced mug on a sunny day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea
Description:

This least processed of all our teas has a shimmering golden liquor with a delicate floral fragrance.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

White Peony – Bai Mu Dan from Teasenz

I usually stick to the “accepted parameters” for white tea – 180 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes, but Teasenz says to be brave and go with 195 degrees on this one. So I did! And on top of that, I was busy and couldn’t get the leaves out of the pot right away when the timer went off so it went a few seconds longer. And you know what? There was not even a hint of bitterness to the tea.

As is the case with white peony tea, we have a light/medium yellow tea when it is steeped and a light fragrance. The initial impression of the aroma is hay, while the main perception of the tea is creamy, to the point that two people said “creamy” at the same time when asked to describe the tea after sipping. And this tea is all about the aftertaste, which really lingers on and on. I would call this a cleansing tea, and the aftertaste reminds me of the pea pods of sugar snap peas that I used to grow years ago, and we would harvest them in spring and steam them lightly with a little butter. The ghost of that flavor lives in this tea.

It is a good tea for re-steeping. I am only on the second steep but it has lots of flavor and color left and will no doubt keep going. And the aftertaste is still going strong as I write this, too!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:  Teasenz
Description

An authentic white tea from Fujian consisting of a mix of green coloured leaves and white silver needle buds, resembling a White Peony. Exceptionally smooth and sweet flavour. Full of flavour: It’s unbelievable how many steeps you get from the same leaves.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Uper Fagu Darjeeling Oolong from The Tea Shelf

I’ve not come across many Oolongs from Darjeeling in the years I’ve been drinking tea, but the ones I have tried have always been something special. This one is no exception.

uper-fagu-liqIt starts with the leaf, which in appearance reminds me a lot of a first flush darjeeling (although it’s actually a second) crossed with a very fresh white peony. The are a high predominance of downy silver buds, some verging more on silver or pale green, plus some brown-ish-copper leaves. The scent is sweet and lightly jasmine.

Initially, the taste is subtle and fairly mineral, in the way that some lighter or green oolongs can be. There’s a distinctive citrus flavour in the mid-sip – it reminds me most of grapefruit, with a slightly sharp/sour tang. There’s also some of the muscatel flavour you’d typically associate with a second flush darjeeling, and the pairing is an unusual and inspiring one. As it cools. a hint of dark chocolate starts to emerge, although it’s mostly confined to the very end of the sip and it doesn’t linger long. uper-fagu-infDespite the scent, I didn’t detect any floral flavours in the actual tea, which is a small relief because it’s already quite busy. In terms of mouthfeel, it’s lightly brisk but doesn’t cross over into astringency, despite being slightly drying on the palate.

I enjoyed this one. I’ve discovered that I like Oolongs from Darjeeling in general, and they often have some of the more unique flavour profiles. Mineral, grapefruit, and chocolate don’t sound like they should work together very well, but, somehow, they do. If you enjoy either Darjeeling or Oolong, this one is definitely worth a look.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Tea Shelf
logoDescription

One of the finest oolongs of Darjeeling, the aroma of dark chocolate envelopes your senses, reminiscent of a cold wintry day! The leaves are springy with a moss like mosaic of silver and copper. The infusion shows another surprise with individual leaves clearly visible with bright colours of copper and mauve. The chocolate experience continues but now coupled with citrus and fruity notes. The steeped leaves give way to a gorgeous sunset yellow cup, which is very brisk on the palate with notes of jasmine and citrus, which linger on.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Mango/Pear Deluxe White from ESP Emporium

mangopearTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: ESP Emporium

Tea Description:

The natural friendship of “East meets West” is portrayed when we look at the flavor composition mango and pear in this organic blend. Any possible early shyness as to whether this is really the perfect match was gone the minute these two fruits met on the delicate white peony tea. A must have organic creation!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mango isn’t always a flavour that appeals to me, but I’ve tried a few paired with a white base and they’ve all been pretty enjoyable. On top of that, I really like pear though honestly I’m unsure how the pairing will do. It’s not one I’ve seen done often, and I’m worried that the mango may mask the pear if it’s not over the top.

I made this one as a cold brew, and honestly I’m not loving it though I don’t hate it either. The white base is acting as a very good blank canvas for the flavour; you can hardly taste any contributions from it except for maybe some lighter honeysuckle notes. Whether that’s good or bad would I guess depend on your personal tastes. The main reason I’m not all over this is that it might as well just be a mango tea; I can’t taste the pear at all. The mango is nice though; it’s got a light ‘spritzer’ kind of vibe to it, and is tropical but almost in a citrusy tangerine sort of way. I’m enjoying what I’m tasting, it’s just totally not what I was hoping for.

That’s alright though; you can’t love every tea and somewhere out there someone’s looking for an organic mango tea on a white base and this is probably perfect for them.

Nice Coconuts White Tea by Luhse

NiceCoconutsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Luhse

Tea Description:

STORY:

Unbeknownst to most, Queen Song longs for the day when she meets her island mate, King Kong. She has recently taken up hula dancing to keep fit and has begun wearing sexy, eye-catching outfits to attract attention. Despite the gang’s misgivings, she can be found wearing risque coconut bras when she is not at work. 

TEA DESCRIPTION:

Coconuts have migrated into your cup of tea. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Another Luhse sample from my recent order. Nice Coconuts is a white blend, flavoured with coconut. The dry leaf smells amazing – strongly of coconut, with an undertone of creaminess, and a hint of something almost rum-like. Alcoholic, at the very least. The dry leaf looks to be a mixture of silver needles, which are white and downy, and white peony, which is blackish-brown in appearance and not particularly fresh looking. There’s a predominance of broken leaves and twigs. Scattered throughout are red safflower and blue cornflower petals, and a smattering of dried coconut shreds. There’s enough leaf in the pouch for about two cups, although if your cup is larger than average you might want to use the whole sample (about 3 tsp), as per the recommended parameters. My cup is on the smaller side, so I went with 1.5tsp of leaf, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-green; the scent mildly coconutty with a floral undertone.

To taste, this one is deceptive! I wasn’t convinced at all by the scent of the brewed liquor, but it’s actually very pleasant. The initial sip is all coconut cream; sweet, tropical amazingness! It has remarkable depth of flavour, with just a hint of rum rolling around the mid-sip, and an almost thick mouthfeel. It’s like a decadent dessert – rum babas, maybe, with a side of coconut ice cream. It’s possible to taste a little of the white tea towards the end of the sip, although it’s by no means prominent. Just an edge of floral, hay-like sweetness. Mostly, the white tea seems to contribute most towards the mouthfeel, and doesn’t at all overpower the sometimes-delicate flavour of coconut. This really is a delicious, summery cup. I’m impressed with this blend, and it’s definitely one I’d consider repurchasing in the future.