Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Zenjala Tea Company, White Monkey
The fourth in my Zenjala excursion. Forget the suspense, this is a good one. The leaf is beautiful. Its white and fuzzy appearance reminds me of Teavivre’s Dong Ting Bi Luo Chun Green Tea. One ounce of leaf in this small tin appears to be a lot of tea. I removed the inner plastic bag to cut open the top. Once it was opened I thought it would prove impossible to put the bag back in the tin. It fluffs up that much. I did eventually manage to put it back in the tin.
This smells very fresh. I took a giant scoop and put it in my press with 180F water. The first steep was 3 minutes. The wet leaf is now pale green and not completely open. The brew is a pretty golden yellow.
The sip is fresh hay, with notes of caramel and brown sugar. This fades into a light white tea aftertaste that is somewhere between Silver Needle, which is very complex, and White Peony, which is delicate light comfort tea. As I continue sipping I am catching faint notes like chocolate. I have never had that in a white before. Pretty cool. As the cup cools I notice more of a melon flavor in the aftertaste.
With cup 2 steeped at 3 minutes, I see the leaf is now fully open. It is composed mostly of whole buds and leaves with some smaller pieces. The wet leaf now has a steamed vegetable scent. The sip is similar to the first but maybe slightly sweeter.
Cup 3 at a 4 minute steep. The wet leaf now takes on an ocean scent. This is still a nice cup but starting to weaken.
Conclusion – White tea with its light and delicate in flavor is great for quiet meditative times as it asks you to sit, relax and focus. This is an excellent example with some unique characteristics.