TeaSource’s Earl Grey White Tip

Earl Grey White Tip by TeaSource
Black Tea & White Tea / Flavoured
$12.00USD for 4oz

I received Earl Grey White Tip as part of my swag bag from the 2020 Virtual International Tea Festival.

First Impressions

First things first, this review was completely unsolicited by TeaSource. I just happened to get it as part of my swag bag and decided to add the tea to my queue of teas to review because why not? I’m always down for trying new teas, and why not share my experience about it? Earl Grey White Tip comes in a sealed, resealable pouch – shiny black on the front and clear in the back so you can see all of the leaves. What really intrigues me about this because it’s a blend of black and white teas… and Earl Grey inspired (and if you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love a good Earl Grey!).

Looking at the tea though, I don’t see a difference between the tea leaves. It seems quite uniform – the leaves are a deep brown, short wiry leaves. Earl Grey White Tip consists of: black tea, natural flavour, and white tea. It has a really strong bergamot aroma, which is one of the shining attributes of an Earl Grey that I greatly enjoy. It has just such a good citrus aroma to it that reminds me of a nice Earl Grey, so already getting some points for that.

Preparation

TeaSource recommends steeping Earl Grey White Tip in 212°F (100°C) water for 3 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep.

First Taste

Earl Grey White Tip steeps to a golden reddish orange colour, and is quite clear (also, how cute is my mug with its messages of positivity on the top?). The aroma is definitely bergamot, which is what I’m looking for. The flavour is primarily the citrus notes of the bergamot, coupled with a mild sweetness, a slight astringency, and just a pleasant malty flavour from the black tea. I don’t really make out any flavours within the tea that make me think that there is white tea in the blend.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Earl Grey White Tip a few times (adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep) and found that the flavour was most similar to the initial steep for the first resteep, but really lost the bergamot flavouring after that. I would recommend Earl Grey White Tip for just one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked TeaSource’s Earl Grey White Tip. As an Earl Grey blend, it’s pleasant and tasty and has all the things that I generally appreciate and look for in the classic blend. However, as a blend containing white tea, I wouldn’t go back to it expecting anything resembling white tea because it’s just not present in terms of the blend itself and within the flavour profile. The bergamot is really what ‘saved’ the tea for me in terms of wanting to continue to drink it, so I’m a bit disappointed that there wasn’t any white tea leaves present when it’s mentioned as part of the blend and the name of the tea.

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Teakan’s Bai Mu Dan

Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) by Teakan
White Tea / Straight
70g for $30.00

Bai Mu Dan is one of five teas from Teakan’s Tea Exploration Kit (Volume 2) and makes up 10g of the 70g of looseleaf tea in this curated collection.

First Impressions

I had such a great experience with Teakan’s premiere collection (previously reviewed, it was sold at the 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival), I basically jumped at the opportunity to try the second curated collection from Teakan. The packaging for the kit is printed cardstock, with Teakan tape over the opening and each tea comes in a kraft paper pouch with similar minimalism labeling as the original collection. The packaging includes a tasting wheel, which Teakan has generous offered as an online download from their website, so you can get another copy if you’ve misplaced your box. I’ve opted to review each tea individually because each tea is single origin, and I did the same for the Spring Exploration Kit.

Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) is a white tea. The leaves themselves are fuzzy and green, with a light floral aroma to it that also has that scent of fresh cut grass and just smells really fresh and new. Bai Mu Dan is from Fuding, Fujian, China and was harvested in spring 2020 (so brand new for the year!). The tiny hairs on the leaves are so delicate.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Bai Mu Dan in 80°C (176°F) water if you’re doing a western steeping method for 1 minute. For those doing gongfu method, it’s 90°C (194°F) water for 5-10 seconds.

I opted to use the western style of steeping because that’s my general preferred method of making tea.

First Taste

Bai Mu Dan steeps to a very pale yellow for the initial steep. The aroma is lightly floral and fruity, it’s pleasant. The tea is a bit sweet, but not sickeningly so, just a hint that goes well with the fruity and floral flavours. At the recommended water temperature and steeping time, Bai Mu Dan is smooth with a lightly thickened mouthfeel and zero bitterness or astringency.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Bai Mu Dan five times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The colour became deeper and more of a golden yellow. I found that the flavour became stronger as the colour deepened, but skewed more floral than fruity, which I enjoyed.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Bai Mu Dan. It was a lovely way to begin my journey through the Exploration Kit. This is definitely a white tea that I recommend resteeping, to truly get the full experience of this young white tea that was just harvested and processed this year. It’s a nice little treat to get to experience such a recent harvest, as well as enjoying a tea that has been so minimally processed. The flavour is enjoyable and this tea is easy to drink with a really nice smoothness. This would be a great ‘starter’ white tea for someone who’s new to them.

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Masters Teas’s Bai Hao Yin Zhen

Bai Hao Yin Zhen by Masters Teas
White Tea / Straight
$34.00USD for 1.5oz (43g)

Masters Teas has provided me with Bai Hao Yin Zhen for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

You know who loves a good white tea? Me.

Masters Teas kindly sent me some Bai Hao Yin Zhen (better known as Silver Needle) that was harvested this year. It just doesn’t get any fresher than this! Bai Hao Yin Zhen comes in a sealed, resealable pouch that has a label across the front (and more information on their website!). This one is from Fujian, China, and is grown at 450m above sea level and hand picked from 5 to 10 year old trees (how amazing is it to get that level of information?).

The leaves of this tea are so lovely – white fuzz with some pops of spring green. It has a very light aroma to it – a pleasant blend of floral and grassy notes. I can’t tell which one is stronger than the other, it has a nice balance to it that I feel like they both play nicely with each other and I’m really hopeful that it continues to the steeped tea.

Preparation

Masters Teas recommends steeping Bai Hao Yin Zhen in 170°F (77°C) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep in 175°F (79°C) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Bai Hao Yin Zhen steeps to a very pale yellow. The aroma from the steeped white tea is a very light floral aroma. It’s very much a spring aroma to me. I found the taste of Bai Hao Yin Zhen has a nice sweet floral flavour, and subtle grassy notes in the background. It’s a very delicate tasting tea, and I wouldn’t add anything to it – the natural sweetness does so well on its own.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Bai Hao Yin Zhen an additional 3 times (4 steeps total with the same leaves). I found that the tea leaves handled being resteeped very well, as it had a more fruity note by the end of it – although the floral flavour was still very much present. It had some hints of what reminded me of melon, which has a nice crisp brightness to it.

My Overall Impression

I loved Masters Teas’s Bai Hao Yin Zhen. This white tea does not disappoint from the fuzziness of the dry leaf, to the aroma of the tea as it steeps, to the process of enjoying it. I found it did really well with resteeping, which I do think is a must to really enjoy all of the favour from these leaves. It’s such a treat to experience a new white tea and I think it’ll continue to be a treat as I finish up what’s in the bag.

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