Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What is the Story Behind This Tea?

(Click picture to enlarge. L - R: Dry leaves ; Dry -- close up; Wet leaves)

What could you tell me about this tea...its origin, its original name, its tradition, its production method, its brewing method, etc.? The only information I have is where this tea was grown (Mirik, India) and that it is classified as a white tea. I would very much love to know more beyond the mere basics.

For now, all I know is not only the leaves look immaculate, but it also tastes pure and simply beautiful.

6 comments:

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Hi Phyll,

the Mirik Valley lies in province of Darjeeling, where the famous darjeeling teas are made. I allways believed, that darjeeling teas are black, but in last few years I tried teas, that were called "darjeeling" but were oolongs or more similar to green and white teas. So this may be one of those teas.

Judging from the leaves, this does not look like white tea to me. White tea from Mirik valley can be found here http://www.coloursoftea.net/en/thes/tea-white-okayti-ftgfop-14.php.

Where you obtained this one?

Tomas

~ Phyll said...

Hi Tomas, thanks for the link. I have sent you a private email. I hope your email address has not changed (@gmail.com).

Jo said...

Hi Phyll,
the leaves look indeed like they could be from Darjeeling. While a lot of Darjeeling Whites look similar to the leaves at the link Tomas sent, I've come across white teas that look very similar to the one on your photos. I might still have some at home, so I'll look later and let you know. The pure taste you mention is something I remember as well.
I know it looks like an impeccable green tea but I think it doesn't go through the kill-green stage. But I don't know how the green color is retained so perfectly.

BTW, it's great to see you posting again. It seems you're going full steam with it. You always had a unique voice in the world of tea blogs, somehow. I think it's related to your tone and complete lack of pretentiousness. Keep it up!

Jo

Matt said...

Pure. Beautiful. The tea is T-Ching's Morning Dew. Try this link for many tasting notes on this purely delicious white...

http://www.tching.com/index.php/2007/12/31/review-attention-tasters-guidelines-and-notes/

This link describes the production...

http://www.tching.com/index.php/2007/12/04/holiday-tea-tasting/

It's nice to see the blog running again. One thoroughly enjoys your posts especially those pertaining to tea.

Peace

~ Phyll said...

Hello Jo and Matt, I am humbled by your kind words, and, honestly, I've learned a lot from your writings. So thank you!

Jo: what factor(s) in particular made you suspect that it did not go through a kill-green stage? Btw, my complete lack of pretentiousness is probably the reason for my complete lack of tact at times. :)

Matt, thank you for the links. Super resourceful of you! I did not realize that this tea was part of an online tasting at T Ching. Reading others' tasting notes and reactions, it looks like a lot of people were charmed by this tea.

I think my reaction to this Indian white tea more or less was resonated in this tasting note by one of the participants.

TN by Jamiemt, the author of the currently inactive blog Tea on Tap:

"The dry leaves are absolutely gorgeous for this tea. Large, vibrant green, and mostly intact, it made my mouth water just to look at them. The scent was very light, and sort of sweetly fruity.

After I poured the brew into my cup, I smelled the leaves again. This time there was a strong vegetal odor like a green tea would have, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. The liquor had the same fragrance – steamed vegetables, perhaps? It reminded me of butter, cream, and “richness”.

I was hooked from the first sip. The brew is impossibly light, and really seems like there can’t be any flavor, but there is, and it is wonderful. The tea is very sweet and thick, with the taste of sweet cream butter that lingers on the tongue. There is a hint of astringency, but no dryness, and the soft fragrance, creamy mouth feel and buttery sweet taste all come together for a cup that is pure heaven. The finish is a very sweet sensation that remains at the back of the tongue.

The wet leaves are still beautiful, of course, and I shall look forward to using the remainder of my sample in a gong fu session to see what later infusions are like.

I love this tea – it’s absolutely wonderful. I need more."

Dilhan C. Fernando said...

Good day Phyll,

This a great blog and aptly named given the synergies in wine and tea. The 'white teas' you inquire about are not white tea though. Whilst some of the big brands (who know marketing better than they know tea) would like you to think otherwise, real white tea consists only of the antioxidant rich bud of the Camellia Sinensis plant.

Darjeeling produces some fine white teas, as do Srio Lanka (Silver Tips), Nepal and China. It is not easy to find the real White Tea though because it is both expensive and rare. We produce it on our Kataboola Estate and a tea picker can harvest on average 200g of buds a day.

You can read about White Tea from a producer's perspective at www.white.dilmah.com or check out my rants against the corruption of white tea at www.integritea.org. Either way, stay tuned to tea.

Best wishes,

Dilhan