Thursday, January 1, 2015

What-Cha: Malawi Zomba Pearls White Tea, A Tea Review

Using someone's else computer is just weird, Ben specifically got a larger keyboard and mouse to avoid his hands cramping. I have especially tiny hands and a much smaller keyboard and mouse because of that, meaning my hands are cramping and I keep typing wrong and clicking the wrong things. I will get used to it in a day or so, but it is still just really weird. Also, while typing this I am watching Ben play Dragon Age Inquisition, it is good to be back!

So, since last Wednesday and yesterday was taken up by holiday shenanigans, I decided to have a What-Cha Thursday this week, it does not flow as nicely though, so I shall stick with Wednesdays. Today I am looking at Malawi Zomba Pearls White Tea, first brought to my attention when What-Cha was having a sale at the end of October and fellow tea blogger and Steepster member said they should be called Zombie Pearls for Halloween, it has not been anything in my mind since then. These neat little rolled leaves (they look a little like cocoons!) hail from the Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi and definitely fit into the unique category of teas from that estate. The aroma of the little pearls is a zingy mix of cucumber, pepper, bok choy, lettuce, and a little bit of sweet hay at the finish. It borders on savory, but stays more in the refreshing and bright spectrum. It really smells like some delicious drink or even sandwich one would consume on a summer day when seeking something cool and refreshing.

Giving the little pearls a steeping causes them to unfurl a bit, not a huge unfurling yet. They have a refreshing aroma, like their dry counterparts, but it is a bit more savory this time around with notes of bok choy, cooked bell pepper,fresh cucumber, and pepper. At the finish there is a tiny bit of sweet hay, but mostly it is cooked veggies. The liquid is a savory blend of cucumbers, lettuce, and a bit of hay and spinach.

So, the first steep is light yet quite distinct, one of the first teas I have ever thought tasted crisp, like biting into a fresh cucumber and lettuce. It is quite unique! There are also notes of cooked bell peppers at the middle and a finish of fresh sugar cane juice and very slight citrus. I definitely love how refreshing this tea tastes, it even feels like eating a cooling cucumber.

The aroma of the second steep is identical in notes, but increased in intensity, it is really quite mouthwatering and refreshing. I especially find myself amused by the cucumber notes, I do not run into that very often and when I do, they are usually very light and not a primary note. So, have you ever grown cucumbers, the tiny ones, and eaten one fresh from the garden? It is cool and crisp and surprisingly sweet, I mean cucumbers are not the most savory veggies in existence, but these have a unique sweetness. The first sip of the second steep captures that taste nigh perfectly, it is sweet with a touch of savory. This transitions to bok choy and a tiny bit of lettuce, like the first steep the finish is sugar cane and still rather cooling.

For the last steep, the leaves have almost entirely unfurled and the liquid is a glorious golden, in fact, the aroma of the liquid has taken on a sunny feel. Not so much cooling cucumber, now it is warm sweet hay and cut grass, there is a hint of cucumber and lettuce, but it is now mostly sweet. The taste takes its cues from the aroma, delicately sweet and warm with notes of hay, sugar cane juice, and a finish of cucumber. I really enjoy how this steep starts warm and finishes with a cooling sensation. I have inevitably already finished my sample, but plan on getting this tea for light summer steeping, I expect it will help keep me cool during the long Kansas City summers.

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