You know what I haven’t had in a long long time? White tea! Why not? It’s been all green and black lately… not a complaint… just an observation! It’s time for some white! Yes, I’m dreaming of a white tea Christmas! And that’s another thing I haven’t had in a long long time… a white Christmas! Seriously, I think the last 2 or 3 have been green. And for Toronto, Canada, that’s weird in the extreme. Or maybe it’s the new normal. Green is the new black – and it looks like it’s here to stay! Not a complaint – just an observation.
So, back to the white. Tea, that is. This China Fujian Aged Shou Mei White by What-Cha is bringing some warmth to this cold, but snowless December night. I open the packet and inhale a deep rich leathery aroma. There’s some sweetness like apples, plums, and apricots, but something animal too – leather and moss. It’s unexpected, and super intriguing. I pull out the leaves and find a fantastic assortment of bits and pieces. Some are little green and brown flakes, and some are leaves and fuzzy white buds, and some are 3-inch long twigs! It’s just full of surprises!
This packet has no steeping instructions, so for the first cup I’m going with water under boiling, in a mini teapot for about 45 seconds. The tea steeps to a nice golden pink colour and the aroma is sweet honey and plums! Yums!
The flavour is wonderful. It’s velvety smooth and sweetly perfumed with hints of dried flowers, honey, and stone fruits. It’s bolder and fuller than the more delicate “silver needles”, almost running into something like a dancong oolong. The sweetness is not at all overpowering – it’s sort of powdery and clean and – oh! Then, after sitting a while, I’m tasting clover! It’s really nice, and takes me back to my childhood when we would suck on the little ends of the clover petals for their sweetness.
I steep cup number two for about one minute and it comes up a shade darker – pure gold! The flavour is more pronounced – quite floral, and with less immediate sweetness. The aftertaste is still of honey and fruits with a base of earth. It’s delicious. Pure and simple. I’m dreaming of a white tea Christmas – as long as this is the white tea!
This tea was part of What-Cha’s fantastic “Mystery Tea” option, so it may not currently be in stock. I love the “Mystery Tea” idea because a) Alistair never disappoints – always excellent choices, and b) it’s super fun opening the box to see what surprises are in store. It’s like a little Christmas gift to yourself! So much fun!