White2Tea 2017 Turtle Dove White Tea Review
29th Jan, 2018
So it begins, this journey, this spiraling into the tea world. Can you hear it now? The sound of emptying wallets and filling cupboards. The inevitable teaware addictions and dank nugs of camellia sinensis. What is behind the first door we open? None other than White2Tea's 2017 Turtle Dove White Tea. On we go!
This tea comes in beautiful packaging (both the mini beeng sample and the brick), with artwork from an 1800's label of a hair tonic patent medicine. The artwork pairs well with the tea and invokes a "floral" atmosphere. The dry leaf is a beautiful mix of colors across the tea-color spectrum and immediately smells like a bouquet of fresh flowers and creaminess.
The first steep is very floral-forward. As the steeps progress, the flavor subtly changes but is very consistent. In the mid steeps it is very honey-sweet and towards the end, back to floral. Think of it as a bell curve where the middle is sweeter. I steeped this many times in the gaiwan and lost count, probably 8-12 and it hadn't fully given up yet. The liquor is a deep gold that becomes more orange over time and the wet leaves even out in color and bring out more honey in the scent. It has a crisp, slightly mineral aftertaste/finish.
For me personally, it is a cooling and refreshing tea. While being sweet and floral, at least in my experience it doesn't have the warming, cozy feeling that something like a roasted oolong usually presents. It's crisp. It is difficult to oversteep. Go ahead and throw the tea dust in. This tea can take it- no need to waste any of the leaf.
My only qualm with the tea is that the brick is far too tightly compressed (did not have this issue with the sample shown in this post). It is like chipping away concrete. Stabbed myself once trying to get it apart. Ended up going to my last resort for high compression: a hammer. On the bright side, even the tea dust for this tea tastes good, so damaging the leaves doesn't really hurt the outcome of the tea. As far as value, at only $0.14/g before shipping, this tea is well worth it.
Details: Spring 2017 / Yunnan, China / Large leaf, sun dried, no machine processing
Eyes Dry Leaf: White, light green, tan, brown, dark green
Nose Dry Leaf: Fresh flowers, sweet cream
Eyes Liquor: Deep rich gold
Nose Wet Leaf: Apples, flowers, honey
Mouth Texture: Light and silky
Mouth Taste: Honey, sweet fruits, floral/honeysuckle
Nose Empty Cup: Very light floral
Mouth Finish: Crisp, slightly saltier aftertaste
Eyes Wet Leaf: Uniformly olive
Body Sensation: Refreshing / cooling
Brewing Notes: 3.5g in 100ml gaiwan, 185F
Infusion Notes: As leaves open, "sweet floral" is the most prominent flavor. Liquor becomes a richer orangeish gold.
Overall Impression: A wonderful white tea. After sampling this, I purchased a brick. I highly recommend this to others on taste alone, but be sure to read the concerns. Concerns: Extremely tight compression. Annoyingly so.
Price / Link: White2Tea - 200g for $28+S/H