I think I’m in love.
I had never tasted white tea before in my life. The closest I’d come to it before this was that Lipton bottled stuff flavored with raspberry. And while I enjoyed it as a throwaway soft drink, it would never, ever compare to something like this.
I was really anticipating this particular steeping. I’ve been hearing a lot about whites and their wonderfulness, and I figured it was time to give one a try. So I sifted through my Golden Moon sampler and picked out the most basic white in there: White Tea. I’m not quite sure what kind of white tea this is, but my sampler had a chrysanthemum blossom in there too.
The leaves were so many different colors when dry! A beautiful deep green that reminded me of evergreens and Christmas. Some brown-speckled leaves. And these beautiful little needle-looking things with downy fuzz! I was so intrigued by this that I picked one up to feel it. So velvety and soft! I’d love to make a coat out of that fuzzy wonderfulness. These were the most leaf-like out of any of the leaves that I’d seen loose before.
I was really nervous about this tea, because I don’t have a thermometer and my kettle is not clear. So I waited for it to boil and let it cool for around 5 minutes. Then I made sure to steep the leaves for the 2 minutes that Golden Moon recommended. There wasn’t much dancing and grooving in my IngeniuTEA. I think it’s because the leaves were already pretty much open.
When I poured the lovely tea juice into my cup, it was a pretty light yellow color. The wet leaves didn’t smell like much, but the liquid smelled a touch floral, and for some reason, buttery. I braced myself, and took the first sip.
And my head jerked back in surprise! Because whatever preconceived notions I had about whites was wrong, or at least off. The taste is, in a word, incredible. It’s extremely delicate but succulent. When the tea was piping hot, it was a bit difficult to pick out any flavors, but as it cooled, it came together. Each sip had a light floral component to it, that gave way to one of the most delicious sweetnesses I’ve ever tasted. Like nectar from the gods. Honeyed and delicious and lingering. I was in heaven. I know I really like a tea when I pace around my house, sipping it and thinking and smiling. This was one of those moments.
The sweetness only got stronger as the cup cooled. There was a slight astringency, but nothing that detracted from the taste. In fact, I think the dry feeling enhanced the sweetness. And that ambrosia-like sweet lasted in my mouth for several minutes after I’d finished the cup. This tea’s quiet beauty really reminded me of a dance routine I saw on So You Think You Can dance last night that gave me a serious case of the goosebumps (Jakob and Mollee’s Viennese Waltz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz3quyRMiGI and watch!). It just had this soft touch, this beautiful taste that really lightened up this awful, awful rainy day.
My mom also really loved this one. She took a sip of it, gave a thumbs-up, and said it tasted delicious, delicate, and sweet.
I’m almost afraid to steep this again, because I don’t know if the magic will happen twice. But I’m going to try it anyway, and see what happens. Stay tuned!