Rara Willow White Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

Rare_White_WillowTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Tea Information:

A classic, aromatic, second-flush white tea. Meaning? It’s sweet and fruity with subtle classic white tea notes. There’s also citrus notes to be noticed subtly in the finish. This is a fine example of a white tea! It’s a summer harvest that’s hand-picked – one leaf and one bud.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I reviewed this tea last year but I’m revisiting it for a couple of reasons:  first, it was part of my January box (themed “Fresh Start”) from Amoda Tea.  Second, it’s an amazing tea that I’m only too happy to be enjoying once again.

I think I’d like to start this review by pointing out that I just love the boxes that Amoda Tea curates!  They have great taste when it comes to tea and it’s evident in the teas that they select that they are very passionate about tea.  If you haven’t yet tried their new monthly subscription, you’re missing out!

This is an excellent white tea.  I described it previously as a trip to the candy shop on Main Street in Disneyland – the flavor of this tea reminds me of those yummy rock sugar lollipops I used to buy there!  That description still pretty much nails my first impression of this tea – it’s sweet and delightful.

Once your palate becomes acclimated to the sweetness, you start to pick up on light citrus notes, especially noticeable near the finish.  I find this citrus-y note to be very refreshing.  My palate feels clean and invigorated after each sip.

As I said in that previous review:  this is a tea that all tea drinkers should try.  It’s a remarkable white tea.  One of the finest I’ve ever tasted.  It resteeps beautifully too – the second infusion is just as delicious as the first!

Rara Willow White Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

rarawillowTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Nepali Tea Traders

Tea Description:  

There are special days in the summer when sunshine is at its best and the tea fields of Jasbirey are shining and almost white. This white tea from Sandakphu is carefully hand-picked during this time to ensure that only one leaf and a bud is plucked. This delicious summer flush is highly aromatic, with hints of orange and lemon. Full leaf, loose tea. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I say this a lot when I review a tea, but this tea is:  AMAZING!  Seriously, this is one of the best white teas I’ve had.  It is so sweet, evoking thoughts of the time when I was a kid and I’d go to Disneyland, and I’d go into the candy shop on Main Street and buy a bunch of rock candy on a stick.  It has that kind of sweetness, but with a hint of fruit flavor, just like the rock sugar lollipops from the “happiest place on earth.”

But there’s more to this Rara Willow White Tea from Nepali Tea Traders than just a sugary, fruity sweetness.  Light notes of vegetation (slightly hay-like), hints of melon, and a dewy note that is very refreshing.

This tastes a lot like a white Darjeeling tea, which tends to be my favorite when it comes to white teas.  This is crisp but also juicy, and it seems to sparkle as it washes over the palate.

The sip starts out with a sweet, juicy taste of fruit, and as the sip progresses, I notice the sugary notes.  About mid-sip, the hay-like notes peek through -these are very subtle – and the notes of melon become more defined, as do the notes of citrus.  The finish offers a very light, dry astringency, as if to gently pat the palate dry to ready it for another sip.  If you wait just a moment to enjoy the aftertaste, you’ll notice a more focused citrus note.

A really remarkable white tea.  I’d recommend this to any tea drinker, from the novice who is new to white tea, to the experienced drinker.  If you’re one who feels white tea is too delicate, this tea might convince you of the lovely flavor that white tea has to offer.  If you’re one who likes white tea, you’re going to absolutely adore this one.  I love it!

Tea Trail 2004: Willow Grove Workshop Pu-erh from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

A uniquely clean shu pu’er with both warming and cooling qualities, a sophisticated musky profile, and a sparkling texture like fresh mint and basil leaf. . . .

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf of this Pu-erh doesn’t have a strong aroma, I would describe this as slightly musky/earthy, but not quite as earthy as I might usually experience with a Pu-erh.  The brewed tea has a woodsy kind of scent to it, reminding me of the damp wooded areas just after a rain here in the Pacific Northwest – mossy, damp, earthy … woody and even a little musty.

The flavor is also earthy, but it is lighter than I expected to to be.  There is a tingly sensation to this, like the zesty feeling that the palate experiences with something minty.  It doesn’t really taste minty as much as it feels minty.  It feels crisp and invigorating.

This crisp, lightness lasts for a couple of infusions, and by about the third and fourth infusion, I notice that the body of the tea begins to develop.   The sweet undertones to this tea start out similarly, beginning with subtle sweet notes that develop as I continue to sip.

The tasting notes on Verdant Tea’s website suggests hints of apple and cinnamon, and I taste those too, they are especially noticeable in later infusions.  I find these flavors to be the most intriguing about this tea – because in the first and second infusions, there were mere hints of a cinnamon-like note, but it was very vague … almost like it wasn’t real.  Imagine for a moment, if you would, someone burning cinnamon scented incense in a room hours ago.  The faint suggestion of cinnamon remains in the room hours later, but it is so faint, so barely-there, that you wonder if you’re just imagining it or really experiencing it.  That is how the cinnamon-y apple notes work with this tea in the first couple of infusions.  They are like mere insinuations of a cinnamon/apple flavor, but with the later infusions, these notes become more focused – more real.

This is a really fascinating Pu-erh!