Friday, September 25, 2015

Little Red Cup Tea, Premium White Peony

Little Red Cup Tea Company Description:
Grown high on Guzhang Mountain in Hunan Province, this White Peony (Bai Mudan, 白牡丹) tea is one of the best we've ever tasted. Whole leaves plucked by hand and dried in the sun make for a full-bodied brew rich with floral notes of honey and melon.

Pull it out for guests, gift it to someone you admire, this tea is special.

Fair Trade premiums from the sale of this tea, as with the other teas from Hunan, are used by the growers for equipment purchases and much needed public works and sanitation projects.

Sample provided by Little Red Cup Tea Company

My Review:
White tea - tea drinkers are divided on it. Some, especially the Assam drinking crowd, find it to be too subtle. Others, including myself, find its depth of flavor something not be be missed. White Peony, or Bai Mudan, seems to be a good middle ground for the two groups. It has a bolder flavor than Silver Needle and still maintains a good flavor profile.

This one comes to us from Hunan Province in China. I try to always enjoy the aroma of the just opened package before looking at the leaf. I don't want my eyes to sway me before my nose has a chance. I was not disappointed. The scent is pure white peony. It always seems dark to me. It also reminds me of fall. There is a leaf aroma like deep in the woods on a crisp autumn day. Along with it is hints of hay and melon.

Now I move on to visually inspecting the leaf. Check it out: there is plenty of silvery tips, ample leaves of cinnamon, and deep brown, as well as light touches of green. White Peony leaf is just lovely to look at.

I used what appears to be a lot of leaf by volume, but white tea leaf is so light and fluffy it just takes more. My resealable sample did not have brewing parameters, so I jumped over to the website and read 180 F for 3 minute steep.

The result is a dark honey colored brew with gold edges. The steeped leaf is deep browns and greens.

The taste is just what I expect from White Peony. Like the scent it tastes dark to me, while the feel is light and refreshing. The main element to me is dried leaf (again an autumn feel). There is also a touch of honey, though it is not overly sweet.

If you are in the white tea fan group, this is a lovely example of a good White Peony. If you are of the not a fan of overly subtle tea club, this one is bold enough to enjoy on a sunny afternoon soaking up some of the final warm rays before winter takes over.

You can find Little Red Cup Tea, Premium White Peony here.

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