Monday, July 2, 2007

Shou Mei White Tea from Teacuppa

Scent in package: unremarkable, no smell, really.
Brewed in: small glass teapot w/glass infuser
Steeped: 3.5 min.@ 180 degrees
Cup: Porcelain teacup

I ordered this tea because of the description – it said it had a stronger taste for a white tea, reminiscent of an oolong. So I figured I’d try it and see. I brewed it up last night, and honestly, it was the most interesting tea I’ve tried in quite awhile. The dry leaves are interesting - they look like dried fall leaves, rather than the tender green shoots one normally identifies as "white tea".

The taste and color were stronger than a normal white tea…the brew was golden yellow, honey colored. And the scent was like a mixture of barley and alfalfa, which is almost exactly what it tasted like as well. It did indeed remind me of an oolong, as the texture was a bit thicker than other white teas, and there was a lingering honey-like aftertaste that is very soothing on the tongue. It was not astringent in the least, nor was there any bitterness at all, even as it cooled.

It took me three quarters of a cup to decide I actually did like it, and didn’t merely find it interesting. The flavor is unlike anything I’ve had before, and the texture and strength is unlike any other white tea I’ve had, but refreshingly so. I quite enjoyed it, and finished off the pot.

It’s not terribly expensive at $5.50 for 1oz., so if you’re looking for something incredibly different and reminiscent of barley/alfalfa fields, order some (or a sample, which is cheaper). Whether you like it or not, I’m positive you’ll be interested in the unique taste and texture of this fascinating tea.

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