Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What-Cha: Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Kanchan View White Tea, A Tea Review

You know, the weather the last couple days has been kinda great. Not too hot, just warm enough to wear loose 'floaty pants' (I honestly do not know what else to call the things, not yoga pants, not leggings, too loose...so floaty pants) or a 'floaty skirt' (see a theme?) and a short sleeve tunic or t-shirt, while also having my lap blanket to keep my perpetually cold feet warm. The humidity has been thick, meaning lots of storms, and of course that makes me immensely happy. Everything is so lush and green, I love late spring, and truly hope we have a mild summer.

So, it is Wednesday, meaning it is time to visit the ever expanding tea collection from What-Cha! Today I am taking a look at Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Kanchan View White Tea, a delightfully fluffy and verdantly green White Tea from Darjeeling, I love trying the atypical teas coming out of Darjeeling, the Yellow Tea I tried a while ago became a favorite, so it makes sense I would want to try the White Tea, even if it is from last year's harvest (don't judge, it was on sale and I wanted a sample!) Kanchan View Tea Estate is gorgeous, high in the mountains with a view of the Kanchanjunga, it also has one of the oldest and largest tea factories in the world, which is pretty cool. The aroma of the leaves is nothing short of bright and brisk! Like someone mixed up grapefruit peel, orange blossoms, wildflower honey, and lilies with a green broken vegetation undertone. It is really quite aromatic, and honestly kinda reminds me of my favorite soaps...not that this smells at all soapy, I just have a very tea smelling soap!

Into the teapot it goes, and yes, that is a Yixing teapot, I figured it would be safe to use my first flush Darjeeling seasoned Kyusu style Yixing teapot (it is just touching on all the cultures, what a mish-mash) since it is still pretty young in its life. After brewing the leaves you can definitely tell this is a first flush Darjeeling, it takes the slightly peppery note of nasturtium and fresh scuppernongs that I associate with FF Darjeelings and mixes it with grapefruit peel and lemon verbena. It has a distinctly green note along with the citrus, much like lemon verbena. The liquid is very sweet, blending honey and wildflowers with scuppernongs and a distinctly bright note of grapefruit and lemon verbena.

First steeping time, the taste manages to be very clean and crisp while also being mellow and mild. It starts out with a mild lettuce and nasturtium note. This moves on to an intense sweetness of honey and scuppernongs with orange blossom and grapefruit. The finish is grapefruit and lemon verbena with a slight note of cucumber that lasts as the aftertaste. The mouthefeel is a bit dry, adding that edge of a crisp texture to a crisp taste.

Second steeping has a very intense grapefruit aroma, not just the fruit but the blossom too! You smell that flower once and it will never leave your memory, I know I can never forget it. The taste and mouthfeel are no longer crisp, instead the taste is honey sweet, like gentle orange blossom and wildflower honey with a finish of hay. Fun fact, if you forget about this tea and come back to it once it goes cold the citrus notes really pop, making for a super refreshing cup on a hot afternoon. I think I will come back and try this tea cold steeped once the really crazy heat of summer comes on.

This tea session is dedicated to Martha, I am sad I will not get to visit you and have tea together. You will be missed, sweet lady.

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