Friday, October 16, 2015

Teasenz, White Peony

Teasenz Description:
An authentic white tea from Fujian consisting of a mix of green coloured leaves and white silver needle buds, resembling a White Peony. Exceptionally smooth and sweet flavour. Full of flavour: It's unbelievable how many steeps you get from the same leaves.

Sample provided by Teasenz

My Review:
It has taken a few days to get to this tea that I intended to review earlier. This morning it was so coooold outside. It was near the freezing point. Pretty sure the herb garden and porch flowers won't survive, but it is that time of year. This one seems appropriate for the day.

From Fuding in the Fujian Provence of China, the home of great white teas. This is the last of the Teasenz samples they have provided. I have found all of them to be reasonably priced and wonderful in flavor. I expect no less from this one. I should also mention Teasenz offers flat $5 worldwide shipping on all orders under 2kg.

The sample packaging is a resealable aluminum pouch. The label is simple and does contain western brewing instructions.

Opening the bag I am met with the sweet scent of fresh field hay along wonderful floral notes.

The leaf is as pretty as the aroma. The silver buds are covered in white fuzz. The accompanying leaves range from light green to dark brown. Except for settling, mostly from my pathetic group box storage system, the leaves and buds appear full and intact.

The brewing instructions run counter to popular western ideas about the proper water temperature. Generally it is believed you must use cool water when steeping. Teasenz recommends 195 F. They also state that using even hotter temperature will still result in a non-bitter cup. I have found this to be generally true. The difference for me is the 3-4 minute steeping time. I often use 1-2 minutes on the first steep.

I grabbed my clear glass teapot. It hasn't seen much action lately, due to my own neglect. The 195 F water was added and I set the timer for 4 minutes.

The leaf floated on the surface at first. Then many of the leaves slowly turned and pointed downward, still clinging to the surface. Some of the brave leaves abandoned the safety of the collective and dove to the bottom.

The resulting liquor is golden yellow. It is bright and clear except for some of the tiny white fuzz common to white tea, and a few bits of leaf. I now recall why I don't use the glass teapot more often - I can't remember to use a strainer to filter out the leaf bits. It doesn't bother me personally, but it does kind of look odd in the pictures.

Taking a sip, I first catch clean fresh mountain stream water. It is filled with stone and mineral elements. This turns into a taste that reminds me of the smell from damp forest leaf. Late in the sip I catch floral notes. They are light and remind me of the namesake peony flowers.

For cup two I again steeped for 4 minutes in 195 F water. The brew color is golden yellow like the first. This time I remembered the filter!

The taste is very different. The stream water elements are replaced by a heavier darker flavor that teeters between stone, the forest leaves of the first cup, and a stone fruit note. It is maybe apricot with even some plum hints. This cup seems thicker and more syrupy.

Teasenz says this will resteep many times. My experience with white teas believes this to be true. I won't be able to confirm it today as this is all I have the time to complete.

I have had many white peony teas, this one is as good as some I have tried at twice the price. If the soothing taste of white tea appeals to you, I recommend giving Teasenz White Peony a try.

You can find Teasenz Ehite Peony here.

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