Sunday, October 26, 2014

What-Cha, Nepal First Flush 2014 White Tea

What-Cha Description:
The perfect 'everyday' White Tea, on the fuller side compared to the more traditional White Teas with a great apricot taste. It is a wonderful mix of leaves and buds, arriving direct from Greenland Organic Farm in Nepal.

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

My Review:
Today I am back to reviewing a white tea from What-Cha. After that most amazing Kenya Premium White I tasted a few days ago, I am torn between anxious and a bit hesitant to brew this 'everyday' White Tea. Seriously, I have nothing but high praise for What-Cha and especially for Allistair who has been so amazingly quick to answer my crazy questions.

The 10g sample is huge resealable mylar, with a concise, clear, and simple label.

I took out one third of the leaf. The scent is a little... well, latex paint smelling. Or at least that is what it suggests to me. I drink pu-erh, and enjoy it, so I know you can't be too quick to judge.

The leaf is green, dry, and brittle. It is intact. You can see in the lower right corner of the picture that some of the more silvery buds are nicely furry.

I used the little over 3 g sample in my clear glass press along with 195 F water. I steeped for 3 1/2 minutes. As the water hit the leaf a deep almost toasty aroma came forth.

The leaf filled the carafe as it steeped. The liquor is a golden color, like ginger ale, and is quite clear.

The wet leaf has really been revitalized. It has expanded greatly and turned fresh and alive looking. It mainly appears to be a leaf and a bud.

The aroma off the wet leaf reminds me of a wild plant we used to pick as kids and suck the milk out of it. No idea of what that plant was but bonus points for the childhood memory. It is a green planty scent that is kind of prickly, not exactly like okra but sort of.

Tasting, this is immediately likable. It is s white tea, so of course, like most, it is not a boisterous tea. There is no bitterness. I do get a little cheek tingle. It is crisp with a light mineral feel.

For a reference point only, it is far closer to white peony than silver needle in taste. Even that comparison is totally inadequate. It is not vegetal, like the melon or cucumber notes I normally associate with white tea. It isn't floral. This is completely different than the white teas most of us are familiar with sipping.

The best I can come up with is a heftier wood like taste with a subtle fruitiness. What-Cha calls it apricot and I won't disagree. I had no desire to add sweetener, but I suspect it would take it in stride if you are so inclined.

As I ponder the taste, I think it is far closer to tasting like a Nepal black tea, or even Darjeeling, but less intense, than it is to a traditional Chinese white.

Cup two I find to be a different cup. This is slightly warmer feeling. The mineral and cheek tingle are reduced. It takes on a slight sweetness. While very hot I notice mushroom notes. As it cools it turns more fruity. This cup seems a little more complex. I believe this will go another round but two are all I have time for today. This is a pretty excellent everyday tea and very different from the normal fare.

You can find Nepal First Flush 2014 White Tea here.

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