May 06, 2015

Tea Review: TÊTÊ Himalayan Full Leaf White Tea

At TÊTÊ, we have just three varieties of tea - green, white, and black - all sourced from more than 5,000 feet from the Himalayas in Nepal. The teas are organic, but because they are grown by small farmers, they are not certified organic. -- Raunak Agarwal, TÊTÊ founder

Tea varietal information is not listed on TÊTÊ tea packets. When I received teas from the company, I followed up with Raunak for this information. The white tea is Bai Mu Dan (aka Bai Mudan or White Peony). The green tea is a pan roasted Darjeeling clonal and the black tea is a "highly oxidized oolong" also using a Darjeeling clonal.

I've been drinking the Bai Mu Dan and here's my review.

I allowed my water to cool below the recommended 200F. I used a tasting cup set as well as a teapot. With the tasting cup, I steeped about 1 tablespoon of leaves four times (1 thirty-second and three 1-minute infusions). I also prepared the tea using a short, wide teapot steeping the tea leaves for approximately 5 minutes.  My notes below are based on the tasting cup preparation.

The nose of the tea at the 30-second infusion was of hay and cream. The liquor tasted of stone fruit (apricot, peach) and smelled of spring flowers. Also, the tea had a thick mouthfeel. With the first two 1-minute infusions, the stone fruit flavor remained with the addition of a marzipan (almond) flavor. Chestnut is often the nutty flavor associated with Bai Mu Dan. By the third 1-minute infusion, most of the flavors had dissipated. (When I prepared this tea in a pot, it was drier in the mouth than when prepared with the tasting cup.)

Learn more about the TÊTÊ story here. Thank you Raunak for answering all my questions.

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