drank Forest White by Tea Hawaii
215 tasting notes

This stands apart from other white teas, and I think it’s the teamaster, Eva Lee, and the terroir, being Hawaii-grown and handmade. The voluminous tricolor leaves are bold and aromatic with rich floral notes — and so full of life! The third steep, at five minutes, is still a clear bright gold and very flavorful. A layer of greenness, like a fresh meadow, is there to support the florality. The umami I found in the black and oolong teas from Tea Hawaii is present in this white version, as well. What I describe as that satisfying, savory quality must be rooted in the freshness of the leaf. Those are the things which stood out, to me, as very notable and special about Tea Hawaii’s Forest White.

And @teasquared, yes, after the liquid cooled a bit, I did get definite roses, and perhaps the chardonnay, too. If I drank more wine, I’d know better. :)

And about that immaculate freshness ….. I am sure I have never had camellia sinensis tea this fresh. Which means that it hasn’t had time to absorb the ambient aromas from months of travel, packed in various containers which are opened and closed all over the world. Some of what we taste in tea from China, for instance, is travel-acquired. We may have come to think of it as the taste of tea. Now, having tried three extremely fresh teas from Hawaii, I think perhaps not.

As to how my sister got these Hawaii-grown teas, which are not available anywhere online at this time, to send me for my birthday (thank you, Chrissy!): she reports that she went to teahawaii.com and emailed them, then mailed a check. I don’t know what she paid, but if you want to find out how fresh tea tastes (or perhaps how tea really tastes) it may be worth it.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Note: I’m open to offers to swap tea samples. If you can’t message me, just comment on one of my tea notes, and I’ll respond.

I am fascinated and deeply impressed by the artistry and skill which coaxes such an array of qualities from one species of leaf. In 2009, I founded San Antonio Tea & Herb Enthusiasts. In 2014, a move to Southern California creates both upheaval and new horizons. The best part is that now I live quite close to my son and his family.

For intimate tastings with a small gathering, I’m practicing Asian-style tea service along the lines of Chinese gongfu cha. It is a joy to share good tea!

The most recent sign of my conversion to the deeply-steeped side: I’ve turned three large file boxes into “tea humidors” for aging pu-erh cakes and bricks at 65% humidity. Remote sensors within the “pumidors” relay the temperature and humidity readings to a base station on my desk. It satisfies my scientist aspect and keeps tea pretty well, too.


Southern California, USA



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