Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What-Cha, Kenya Premium White Tea

What-Cha Description:
Kenya Premium White Tea is a very unusual and unique tea. It serves as a perfect example of the experimentation and dedication to creating new premium teas that is happening in Kenya. The tea has the lightness and delicacy normally associated with the finest white teas, while having a sweet caramel taste normally associated with the best Golden Monkey teas from China. Kenya White Premium is a truly unique tea which is not to be missed.

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

My Review:
I almost don't even need to taste this tea to know I love it - almost.

The 10g sample bag is a huge resealable mylar. It is, as always, simply and clearly labelled with recommended steeping parameters.

Opening the bag I catch a nice malt and caramel aroma. It also has a grain scent, like maybe corn in a field. I know. It gets better. I removed some leaf for examination and became super attracted. I almost always take more than one picture of the leaf to be sure at least one of my amateurish shots are in focus. I couldn't stop snapping this one. It was like Heidi Klum stepped in front of my camera. ZZ Top's Legs comes to mind... but I digress.

Click on the picture to enlarge it. Isn't that leaf spectacular. Beautiful tans, browns, and silver hairy leaf. They are so long that measuring either takes a scale or a guess. I went with the guess, because I don't own a scale.

I used my press as usual, and water heated to 195F. My steep time was 3 minutes. The leaf expands nicely. The leaf (unless these are huge buds) are whole and unbroken. As I pour the honey caramel liquor into the mug, I am again met with a malty nose.

OK, this is a Kenya white tea. I would never have guessed this had I not read it. The dry leaf looks more like a Chinese Dian Hong. The scent is also very similar to my favorite Chinese black tea type.

Taking my first sip confirms my opening statement that I love this tea. Seriously, if you enjoy Dian Hong black tea from Yunnan in China, you will almost certainly love this white tea from Kenya. So very good with its light caramel and malty notes. I am getting no bitterness. There is a slight bite with some cheek tingle and a drying sensation. I do not mean that in a negative sense. To me this adds to the overall character of the cup. It must be naturally sweet as I have no desire to add sweetener. This is awesome.

Cup two was prepared the same as the first. The taste is a bit different than the first. The malt has stepped to the back with the caramel close in front. The main flavor is what I am going to call corn. It is not the very sweet (but delicious) fresh yellow and white corn on your dinner table. It is more of a grain corn. Hope that makes sense. The aftertaste as changed as well. Before it was caramel/malt, now it is a floral that I can't associate with anything I recognize. Another really nice cup.

I am a little tea logged at the moment, as this is not my first tea of the day. I should have planned ahead. Anyway, I think there is a least one more cup in these leaves but it will have to wait for another day to find out.

Conclusion: An awesome white tea that reminds me of a Chinese black.

You can find Kenya Premium White Tea here. Through the end of October 2014, all What-Cha teas are 20% off. My only association is having tasted and reviewed several of their teas. They are definitely worth checking out.


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