Doke Silver Needle, 2nd Flush, Bihar/Tea Swan

It’s been muggy lately. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the heat…paired with the mugginess…not so much. In times like these I enjoy a lighter type tea. Yellows, sweeter Greens, and White Teas hit the spot. That is why I went with Doke Silver Needle, 2nd Flush, Bihar from TeaSwan.

Doke Silver Needle, 2nd Flush, Bihar from TeaSwan is a hand made organic white tea. It’s a 2nd flush of the 2017 year.

In case you ever wondered about the tea process with silver needle – it’s processed from the youngest leaves collected during the 2nd flush. The leaves are hand-picked and hand-rolled to preserve the original taste; the zero oxidation formula of white tea retains the natural tenderness of the leaves, which is reflected in the flavor.

The soft and light liquor produces the finest creamy aroma. This exquisite, hand-made white tea is the epitome of delicate luxury. Experience the light sweetness of peach blossoms and apricot that overlays a subtle backdrop of marigold. The pale yellow brew feels as luxurious as it tastes. You’ll want to indulge in this cup again and again. Enjoy with wild rice and tender vegetables.

That last paragraph was from TeaSwan’s website and I have to agree that it would, indeed, pair well with rice and veggies.

I also agree that it had a glorious creamy-sweet flavor about it…and that, for me, is what makes this tea TASTE very memorable.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Tea Swan

Description

The Doke Silver Needle white tea is processed from the youngest leaves collected during the 2nd flush. The leaves are hand-picked and hand-rolled to preserve the original taste; the zero oxidation formula of white tea retains the natural tenderness of the leaves, which is reflected in the flavor. The soft and light liquor produces the finest creamy aroma. This exquisite, hand-made white tea is the epitome of delicate luxury. Experience the light sweetness of peach blossoms and apricot that overlays a subtle backdrop of marigold. The pale yellow brew feels as luxurious as it tastes. You’ll want to indulge in this cup again and again. Enjoy with wild rice and tender vegetables.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Witer White Earl Grey/Harney and Sons

Earl Grey is one of the most well known hot teas amongst the general tea dabbling population. Even non-tea drinkers have heard of it, while staring blankly at you if you mention oolong.

Bit of trivia – Sir Patrick Stewart wanted his character on Star Trek to drink Lapsang Souchong, but producers said no one had ever heard of it and they wouldn’t know what it was. They insisted on Earl Grey being the drink of choice for Captain Picard and now Sir Patrick has Earl Grey out the proverbial wazoo sent to him by fans. For heaven’s sake, someone send the man some Lapsang!

Moving on. I don’t love Earl Grey but I like it occasionally. I especially don’t love Earl Grey made with Ceylon tea as the base because I feel the naturally lemon flavored base is too much when combined with the citrus-y Earl Grey. I prefer a good Keemun under my bergamot. And one does feel so elegant when one is drinking it!

I got curious about this Earl on a white tea base and ordered it. I went with sachets for ease even though I usually do loose leaf.

The bergamot is pretty forward here. I read the occasional review of some teas where it is claimed that the bergamot is light enough not to scare the haters, but this one definitely has it in the forefront. If you hate bergamot, I don’t think you are going to love this. But the white tea base lacks astringency and briskness that could make it overdone, so I find this far more drinkable than most Earls. If you love or even just like bergamot, I think this is worth a try. It gets a thumbs up from me, and the resteep is even better.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons 

Description

A perennial favorite, our Winter White Earl Grey gives an evergreen classic a deliciously light twist. Beautiful Chinese Mutan White tea forms the base of this blend, providing light floral elements and a delicately grassy note. Natural lemony bergamot oil gives deep, multifaceted citrus qualities to the blend. A pleasant blend perfect for enjoying whenever the wish for something a bit different strikes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cherry Bakewell/Bird & Blend Tea Co

This Cherry Bakewell tea by Bird and Blend Co. has been sitting in my stash since January and I keep looking past it and grabbing other options. I am not sure why but this isn’t a flavor that makes me stop in my tracks to brew it. However, when I saw it posted on Instagram with the caption “This is dessert in a cup without being too sweet or artificial tasting”, it definitely piqued my interest. Now I don’t actually know what a cherry bakewell tart is but dessert in a cup sounds good to me.

The tea, which is made of Chinese white tea, almond, cranberries, hibiscus, rosehip, apple, currants, blackcurrant, and red and blue cornflowers, brews up a shade of pink that makes me worry that the hibiscus and rosehips might be in charge.

Though there is a that typical tartness from the hibiscus and rosehips, that is not the main flavor component but rather a topnote. The strongest flavor in my opinion is the almond. The almond and the white tea which makes for a nutty/buttery combo that does help create the idea of a tart shell. That tart shell transitions into a red fruit quality from the cranberries and currants, not a distinctly cherry flavor but alright nonetheless. However, that hibby/rosehip tartness then pops at the back of your throat and really takes you out of the the whole idea of a tart.

It definitely pushes towards dessert but it is not overly sweet or fake tasting. So, in that sense, the instagram posted that inspired me to take this out of the drawer was definitely correct. However, I just wish there was less tart and more cherry. Personally, I could also do with a little more sweetness since the blending of the tart shell and filling can be slightly one-note at times.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend Tea Co.

Description

Bakewell Tart is the classic tea time treat with juicy cherries and sweet almond. This luxury white tea blend is bursting with the same fruit juices and hints of sweet almond nuts, making it the perfect afternoon tea choice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Aged White Tea (Shou Mei)/TeaBook

As my appreciation for tea grows as does my curiosity in different tea manufacturing methods. It is amazing how slight variances in processing can result in completely different flavors.

Likewise, the aging of tea can also create completely different tastes. I was so excited to get my hands on a package of Aged White Tea (Shou Mei) from TeaBook. I have wanted to try TeaBook for a while and the white tea was very interesting to me. This tea is aged 5 years which gives it a unique and complex flavor not generally expected from a white tea. I steeped the tea at 200 degrees for 2 minutes.

The tea steeps a lovely light golden color. It has a slight fruity smell. I was so excited after my first sip. The tea is light on the tongue but has a creamy, slightly floral taste. I can also detect a hint of honey in this. I was able to re-steep this 4 times, each time different aspects of the flavor stood out more to me. I really loved this tea, so much so that I want to read up more on the processing of Shou Mei.

I highly recommend this tea to anyone who is wanting to broaden their tea palette. Although the flavor is complex it is still very approachable and so it is a great option for tea virgins just starting to find out what they like in a tea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  TeaBook

Description

This Aged white tea is a unique but luxurious production, looking a little close to Bai Mu Dan but with more silver haired tips. The dry leaf invites you in with hints of honeydew melon and when brewed, an aroma of sweet bread and blackberry pie emerges.

The light gold liquor has flavor notes which dance between shortbread, biscuits with sweet cream and even hints of rose. This is a full-bodied white tea that enters round and is smooth throughout.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Banana Pudding/A Quarter To Tea. . . .

I like banana bread. I think chocolate covered bananas are tops. I’ll even eat a pb + banana sandwich from time to time.

But friends, it’s rare that I’ll pick a plain banana over the abundant array of other delicious fruits at the grocery store. Frankly, something about their mushiness + flavor just isn’t all that appealing to me. (A peel-ing? I crack myself up.) A perfectly ripe banana on its perfect day of ripeness? Sure! Sign me up. But that window is so short that nine times out of ten, my bananas go bad before I’ve even glanced at them on my countertop, and then it’s banana bread for all.

Alllll of this to say: I’m pretty picky about banana flavored things, because truly– the OG fruit isn’t exactly my first choice. I was skeptical when this blend showed up in my monthly tea subscription from AQTT, but I figured I’d give it a shot as a nice light, morning cuppa in the summertime. Friends: I. was. hooked. I slurped down my entire cup and immediately rebrewed a second. This tea is spectacular– creamy, vanilla-banana flavor that is perfectly complimented by a splash of milk (don’t hate me, white tea purists) that’s not all all fake or icky (or mushy, hallelujah!). I don’t exactly know what it is about this one that suddenly made banana flavor so immediately delicious to me, but I’ll just chalk it up to typical magic from A Quarter To Tea and call it a day. It’s been a day and a half since I’ve opened my small bag, and it’s already 3/4 gone. Time to order me some more! (And maybe make some banana bread…)


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

Description

This tea is currently sold out but you can learn more about the tea, please click below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!