The Subject: Snow Dragon White Tea from The English Tea Store.
Water temperature: 180° F
Steeping time: 3 minutes
Tea type: White
Scents, flavorings, etc.: No added flavorings and/or scents
Aroma, dry: Planty, fresh
Aroma in the cup, plain: Smoky, planty
Taste, plain: Mild, smoky, no bitterness, slight aftertaste, smooth
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: No enhancement needed
Taste, enhanced: No enhancement needed
2nd Infusion: Slightly milder than first
The Little Japanese Teapot takes over from the Little Yellow Teapot for this review. There’s something about a full leaf white tea like this that invokes a true Asian air, one suited to this little cast-iron teapot, so the baton is gladly passed.
One look at the dry tea and you know you have something special. Each leaf has been rolled into a spiral, unlike Gunpowder tea leaves that are rolled into tight balls. To allow these leaves to unfold gently in the water as intended, I place them loose in the pot, no infuser basket to come between me and the tea.
This is an exciting tea. As claims of health benefitsfor white tea become increasingly known, people need a white tea that is easy to prepare and a pleasure to drink. For you to have available such a tasty, easy-to-drink, full-leaf white tea is good news indeed.
Hubby and I agree that this tea is vastly superior to any white tea we have yet tried. It is certainly superior to the white tea “dust” found in most bagged teas. We found the smell of the dry tea in the airtight pouch to be fresh with a true planty smell – like being on the tea plantation when the leaves were first plucked.
We agree on the taste of the steeped tea “liquor” as well – smoky, mild, no trace of bitterness, very pleasant and drinkable, plus calming and refreshing. Where we disagree is that I think this tea is so mild that it should be drunk by itself whereas hubby thinks some mild-tasting food like plain crackers or a mild fruit would be good “go-withs.” Your choice. McVitie’s Digestives are a good option, either plain or in their dark chocolate version (my personal favorite, which I bought from the local market). Either way, do yourself a favor and set aside a “tea moment” where you focus on preparing and enjoying this tea. Then, savor every drop.
Hubby and I will certainly be at odds over which of us gets to finish off the potful. I don’t recommend reheating this tea, as it tends to get a trace of bitterness that it doesn’t have after the original 3 minutes of steeping.
A second infusion proved to be as good as the first. To me it was slightly milder and still smooth and tasty. Hubby detected a slight bitterness, possibly because he had been nibbling one of those dark chocolate covered Digestives.
I can also recommend this tea chilled. Truly a special tea!
Disclaimer: The teas reviewed here were provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.
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