Each of these expertly plucked buds is hiding a young leaf bud that will reveal itself upon steeping. The downy hairs covering the leaves create a silver shimmer and offer aromas of fresh herbs and sweet hay. The liquor is a soft yellow-pink color and imparts delicate flavors of melon seed and clover blossoms. Unlike other white teas that comprise such young leaves, this tea has a lot of character and full body. It is quite versatile and can be steeped in multiple short steeps, or a long infusion without getting bitter or losing its nuances.
2020 leaf plucked from 2000 meter elevation trees on Ai Lao Mountain. The leaf composition is a perfect blend of expertly plucked tips and larger leaves with very little breakage in the processing. The result is a smooth, well-rounded tea with notes of apricot, sweet hay and melon seed. These cakes can be broken up and enjoyed now, or stock op on a bamboo-wrapped tong and age it!
Plus a bonus: This year our dear friend, Amber von Nagel illustrated the wrapper for us! And extra points if you can find the typo on the wrapper ;)
Origin: Simao, China
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This succulent white tea is a true delicacy. Each needle-like tip is expertly plucked and processed. The aroma exudes notes of juicy honeydew and steeps to a cup that is at once soft and full bodied. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick and offers sweet notes of melon seeds and dried fruit with a citrus encore reminiscent of kumquat or tender, young fir needles.
This tea comes from the Nilgiri mountains in southern India. Because this style of tea is minimally processed, the health and quality of the tea bushes is paramount to creating a good tea. After plucking, the tea tips are allowed to wither and dry on bamboo trays where they are moved from sun to shade regularly to ensure the precise amount and timing of water evaporation.
Unlike most other tea producing areas in India, Nilgiri is home to many small scale tea gardens who usually sell their leaf to processors. This tea comes from a farm and factory that is 100% owned and operated by women who are pushing the boundaries on every level. They are crafting phenomenal teas that were not previously made in India at such high qualities and proving what women can achieve in a field vastly dominated by men. The impact is immense and has cascaded into the surrounding villages, showing that women can succeed and thrive independently of their male counterparts.