Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vicony Teas Company, White Bud Puerh

The White Bud Puerh Tea is composed entirely of pure white buds that were hand harvested from tea plants grown in Yong De county of Lincang Prefecture near China’s border with Myanmar. It was harvested in the Spring of 2010 and was processed at a small facility in this rather remote area of Yunnan.

This is the third of the Vicony Teas Company samples I have received for review. This Yunnan Silver Needle White Tea is a sheng puerh. It is listed as Art. No: BYP12 on Vicony’s website. The leaf on this looks like a normal loose leaf silver needle white tea. Very white and very fresh. It has only the mildest scent.

I used my wooden spoon to measure out a healthy scoop of the leaf. I used 12oz of near boiling water and my press. The first steep was 2 minutes. The leaf danced in the press, hanging from the surface of the water. The brew is very clear with nothing floating in it. The color is a dull green. So far there is not a lot that even hints this is puerh other than the slightly darker brew color. There are no scents I normally associate with sheng or raw puerh. In fact it has little scent. Just a hint of fresh hay.

I lift the cup and sip. Ahhh, there it is. At first you catch notes of melon and cucumber but as subdued glimpses really. This gives way to the wonderful leather taste I usually reserve for shu puerh. Actually, I am not sure I have ever tasted it in a sheng puerh. As the cup cools the melon really comes alive and blends with the leather. The result is pure joy. Now it is developing a natural sweetness. I feel a nice coolness on my breath. This is really seriously good.

Cup two was also steeped for 2 minutes. It differs from the first in some respect. The leather is less pronounced but still obvious. This has become even sweeter and slightly more like white tea in taste. The melon / cucumber notes are more prevalent. The more the cup cools the more it takes on a grainy flavor – something like wheat.

Cup three continues with the grainy taste. The leather has disappeared.

On cup four the grainy taste has turned to pure malt. Each cup has grown darker. This one is golden in the press and caramel in the cup.

This white puerh is not the flavor blast that puerh fans often expect. On the other hand this is one of the most complex puerhs I have ever tried. It has zero bitterness. It is a lighter more delicate cup that white tea fans will greatly appreciate. After only one session with this I am hooked. This should be in your tea cupboard!

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