Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Golden Tips Tea: A Pair of Darjeeling White Teas

I survived my camping archery wounds are healing up nicely (though they still just look nasty, especially the massive bow bite) but the mosquito bites are killing me! My body is just covered with them, I counted a whopping 76 of the blasted itchy things, which was miserable in the record setting heatwave that just ended. But with heatwaves come the necessary ways to beat the heat, and one method I use is white tea, thanks to its nicely cooling cha qi! So let us take a look at a pair of 2018 First Flush Darjeeling white teas from Golden Tips Tea!

Spring Sensation

This is a very pretty and fluffy white tea, combining fuzzy tips and broad green leaves with slight mottling of light brown and patches of trichome fuzz, very visually appealing leaves. This tea smells as good as it looks, the aroma is a combination of fresh hay, sweet wildflowers (especially dandelions) and a lingering note of honey soaked fresh green grapes. First off, this tea is thick! The texture is so thick it is almost a syrup mouthfeel, it is impressive! The taste is very sweet, starting with honey and a hint of grapes, this transitions to a slight celery and lettuce with a slight astringency that hints at bitter green herbs, but is quite tolerable thanks to the strong sweet start and thick mouthfeel. The tea finishes with wildflowers and lingering aftertaste of pollen and grapes. I really liked how this tea is very clearly Darjeeling but also clearly white tea!

Pearl of Darjeeling Organic 

So, this tea and the previous do not list which estate they come from, but I know this tea, it is Arya Pearl! I have had previous harvests and really liked them, so getting to try this year's harvest is fun. The aroma of the very bright and fluffy green leaves is fairly faint, notes of celery and honeysuckle are the main notes you can pick up. Once you steep the leaves they do not smell sweet at all, instead you get savory spinach and cooked celery. Of course I know this tea and it is full of surprises, it is why it holds the distinction of being one of my favorite Darjeeling teas! The taste is very light (the first steep) as is the mouthfeel, one of those teas that seems so light it is almost effervescent, but what is there is very sweet, like cotton candy and wildflowers with undertones of hay. Later steeps are still fairly light, but with added notes of celery and of course intensely sweet honey nectar. It really amuses me that the tea tastes so sweet but the steeped leaves smell so savory and green.

Teas sent for review

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