Monday, January 9, 2012

Teavivre, White Peony (Bai MuDan)

This sample is one of 15 provided by Teavivre,  a tea distributor located in China.

Online Info:
Teavivre’s website is easy to navigate, full of information, and to me, is frustration free. There is a good range of teas without being overwhelming. Each tea has pictures of leaf and brew. There is a summary tab and a more info tab that includes a map of where the tea is grown. At the time of this writing the prices are fair and there is free shipping with a $30 purchase.

Packaging:Delivery from China took about 2 weeks. Each tea came in a heavy resealable pouch. Nice. The pouch label includes ingredients, origin, production date, shelf life, brewing instructions, plus manufacturer and distributor info. The information is specific to the tea inside – not a, one size fits all, label. Inside the pouch each sample was individually wrapped. I am impressed with the attention to detail. It speaks volumes of the quality and care level at Teavivre.

Leaf And Brew:The dry leaf is a mix of white and green colors and yes I can see the white fuzz. It smells like tobacco, maybe a light cigar wrapper – a really good smell. The wet leaf is more of a sweet dried grass. I followed the instructions and steeped the first cup for 90 seconds – longer on later cups. The brew is a light yellow. More amber in the cup.

The Sip:I did not use sweetener on the first cup. I tasted cucumber. I have never caught that in a tea before and it tastes way better than it sounds. This is followed by the slightest peppery note. At the back of the sip is a mild grassiness that lingers in the aftertaste with a natural touch of sweetness. An interesting mix of flavors. Next cup, because I am a barbarian, I added a bit of sweetener. This brought the sweet grassiness up a notch and dropped the cucumber down a bit but all the flavors were present and were experienced in the same order as before. The third, fourth, and fifth cups the cucumber is gone the drink is more inline with what my preconceived idea of a white tea tastes like, but better. I did not know white tea could steep this many times. It is still going strong.

Day 2. Still loving this. I went another 3 cups today with yesterday’s leaf. Even after 8 cups it could have gone more. The last six months are destroying decades of my ideas about tea. I was perfectly happy buying cardboard boxes of tea. That is changing. Bagged tea = 1 ok steep. Grocery store loose leaf, probably 2 slightly more interesting steeps. A better quality loose I can drink off the same leaves all day, or like this tea for two days and each cup is different. Woo Hoo!

Conclusion / Rating:This is my first loose white. This tea is pleasant and interesting. Each cup is full of different flavors.

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