The World Is a Tea Party Presents: White Teas We Have Tried Over the Years – Other White Teas

Note: These teas were for the most part samples received from various tea vendors, some of whom are no longer in business. These reviews are presented as general information to help you in selecting ones to buy. Spring is usually the best time. And go for the best ones you can afford.

Bvumbwe Peony White Tea from Malawi, Africa

Dry leaves: Tough, large, mostly whole. No leaf buds (2 tightly closed tender young leaves enclosing a 3rd leaf). Also, plenty of stem pieces included. Their aroma had a “jammy” (apricot/raisin) quality. We used fewer leaves than the vendor recommended, thinking that the amount was too much. So our flavor results were rather light, but very enjoyable.
Water temp: 180°F
1st Infusion: 3 minutes

The liquid was pale gold and clear. The flavor was sweet up front, followed by a plantiness like from a green tea. Overall, it was smooth and subtle. Stayed equally pleasant and free of any bitterness even when had cooled considerably.

2nd Infusion: 3 minutes 15 seconds

The next infusion was smooth, a bit sweet, and had a bit of vegetal quality in the undertaste. Stayed equally pleasant and free of any bitterness even when had cooled considerably.

3rd Infusion: 3.5 minutes

The last infusion was smooth, sweet, and pleasant. Stayed equally pleasant and free of any bitterness even when had cooled considerably.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective..

Comments:

Some of the leaves were quite thick and took a bit of effort just to tear them. A factor that accounts for this is the growing environment, one not far south of the equator on the African continent. The Republic of Malawi (formerly Nyasaland) is one of the smallest countries on the continent and is landlocked. This tea is from the area of that country called the Shire Highlands. It is south of Lake Malawi and is a gently rolling land at approximately 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level. This elevation makes the weather more temperate than would be expected in that equatorial zone. Warm weather with heavy rains and thunderstorms are typical from November through April. From May to September, there is almost no rainfall but wet mists float from the highlands into the plateaus.

Old Tree Jinggu Mountain White Tea

Dry leaves: You can’t really measure a dry tea like this the way you can those teas that are more broken up or ground to dust. So we took a best guess and put a bunch in the small teapot. The leaves had a wonderful “jammy” (apricot, mainly) aroma.
Water temp: 180°F
1st Infusion: 3 minutes

A golden color. A roastiness came through with just a bit of that jammy quality in the dry leaves. The flavor had a blackberry quality to it but was also roasty and had a hint of earthiness, possibly due to this being an old tree tea. Overall, it was mellow and smooth.

2nd Infusion: 3 minutes 15 seconds

A bean-like quality. A couple years ago we brought home some bean cakes from the Chinese grocery we used to live near. They had that smell and taste to them. If you’ve never had these cakes, we’d have to say it’s close to cooked lima beans, but only mildly so, just an impression. It acquired a sweet aftertaste as it cooled. Very pleasant to sip.

3rd Infusion: 3.5 minutes

The third infusion was more sweet/fruity up front with the bean impression following, and the aftertaste was again sweet as the tea cooled.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

There are actually about 5 levels of white teas. This is considered the second level. It has about half leaf buds and half young leaves. And its full name is: Old Tree Yue Guan Bai (White Moonlight) Jinggu White Tea.

It’s a tea from the Jinggu Mountain in Yunnan Province. The mountain isn’t far from Jinggu Town, Lincang, Kunming, Pu’er, and other well-known Chinese tea producing towns.

“Old Tree” usually means just that – the leaves are harvested from old tea trees. These are often 100+ years old. They grow tall, not like the short bushes you may be used to seeing. To get the leaves, humans climb up into the trees (the story about monkeys picking the teas seems to be one made up for the tourists). “Yue Guan Bai” means “White Moonlight” and is meant to be fairly poetic, as many Asian tea names are. They love imagery and a bit of whimsy in things. “Jinggu” is, of course, the location the tea comes from, as shown above.

Uva Greenland Silver Tips Ceylon White Tea

Dry leaves: Small leaf buds, silvery-hair covered; apricot/vegetal aroma.
Water temp: 180°F
1st Infusion: 3 minutes

Closely mimicked Fuding Silver Needle. Pale colored liquid with a planty taste and a hint of sweetness in the aftertaste. Not sure if this qualifies as champagne-like, having never had champagne.

2nd Infusion: 3 minutes 15 seconds

Same as #1.

3rd Infusion: 3.5 minutes

Same as #1.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

Tea growing in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) hasn’t been going on anywhere nearly as long as it has in China, but it has been long enough for them to be getting better and better at not just the growing but also the processing. The Fujian Silver Needle is considered by some to be the only true Silver Needle tea. It is supposed to be made from a certain tea plant cultivar (the Da Bai, or Large White, cultivar). Also, teas from coastal Fujian province have different climatic conditions (terroir) than those from non-coastal Yunnan province (home of pu-erh teas made from assamica varietals, many several hundred years old).

White-bud Pu-erh (Spring) White Tea

Dry leaves: The aroma was fresh and vegetal. White teas are so named because of the appearance of the dry leaves with their soft downy covering that has a silky sheen to it. Also, white teas are generally new growth and the tipmost leaves and leaf buds, the more tightly formed, the better. This tea had both characteristics in the dry leaves.
Water temp: 200°F (95°C)

Normally, the vendor has fairly detailed descriptions on their web site for how to properly steep up the tea but not for this one. We resorted to past experience.

1st Infusion: 40 seconds (a short “wake up” steep)

What’s great about a tea like this is the taste development with each steep. Pale green color. Very faint in aroma and flavor.

2nd Infusion: 1 minute

More yellow color than #1. Slightly stronger flavor than #1. Smooth, vegetal, pleasant, and a planty aftertaste.

3rd Infusion: 1 minute

Medium yellow-green color. Slightly stronger flavor than #2. Smooth, vegetal, pleasant, and a planty aftertaste.

Note: The potential for 5 or more infusions is the key and makes this tea a great buy. Two teaspoons full of tea made ten 8-ounce cups of tea.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

South India White Oothu Tea

Dry leaves: Fresh, planty, mild aroma. Full leaf. Stems.
Water temp: Boiled and cooled to 158˚F (70˚C)
1st Infusion: 2 minutes

Fresh, planty, mild aroma. Mild flavor, slightly nutty, no aftertaste. The liquid had a light, yellowy color. It’s a tea we can drink anytime and enjoy with foods that have light flavors.

2nd Infusion: 2 minutes

About equal to 1st

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: We bought this tea during our visit to the store. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

White Eagle Long Life Tea

Dry leaves: Freshly harvested alfalfa aroma. Chopped up pieces. Probably leftovers from the good stuff being sold.
Water temp: 180°F max.
1st Infusion: 3 minutes max. (Don’t over infuse!)

Pale alfalfa aroma. Full feeling in mouth, buttery (similar to lemongrass herbal), dried alfalfa, peachy/apricotty. Pale yellow color.

2nd Infusion: 3 minutes (Don’t over infuse!)

Darker color, slightly more delicate taste.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Snow Dragon White Tea

Dry leaves: Planty, fresh aroma.

Each leaf has been rolled into a spiral. To allow these leaves to unfold gently in the water as intended, place them loose in the pot.

Water temp: 180°F
1st Infusion: 3 minutes

Smoky, planty aroma. Mild, smoky, no bitterness, slight aftertaste, smooth.

2nd Infusion: 3 minutes

Slightly milder than #1.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Ye Sheng Wild White Tea

Dry leaves: Full and broken, silvery, green, brown; planty aroma.

Be sure not to skimp on the amount of leaves used in each infusion. The vendor recommends two teaspoons per cup of water, which is what we used. The tea has such a light flavor that if you use a lesser amount, you will not get the taste this tea is known for (smooth feel, nutty/planty flavor).

Water temp: 176°F (80°C)
1st Infusion: 2 mins.

Sweet, slightly nutty aroma. Smooth feel, lightly planty/nutty flavor. Pale yellow-green color.

2nd Infusion: 2.5 mins.

Lighter aroma than #1. Not as smooth, still mild and light taste. A bit darker yellow-green color.

3rd Infusion: 3 mins.

Lighter aroma than #2. Same taste and color as #2.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Oriental Treasure White Tea

Tea type: White
Dry leaves: Very small pieces (fannings) with fresh, planty, sort of hay-like aroma. The dry tea was chopped to small bits.
Water temp: below boiling, per label
1st Infusion: 2-3 minutes

Fresh, planty, sort of hay-like. Very mild, slight aftertaste, not bitter.

The liquid was a pale orange color, almost rosy, and had a very mild flavor. There was a slight aftertaste but no bitterness. This is a tea we could drink virtually every day as a refreshing break from heavier teas. It seems like it would go with just about any food.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

Overall, we were ambivalent about this tea. On the down side, it was bagged fannings, not full or broken leaf, and there was nothing very special about the flavor, certainly nothing to justify the claim on the can that this is the “Champagne of Teas.” On the up side, the mild flavor makes this tea very drinkable.

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