I had the delightful experience of getting to try two of Teawala‘s beautiful teas recently, one being this lovely White Peony, and the other being their Yunnan Black, which I shall cover in another post.
This White Peony is a beautiful tea composed of tender, fresh, delicate buds and leaves picked in the Spring. This particular harvest was in March of 2019. The dry aroma of the leaves is sweet and verdent, a little floral and grape-like. As you can see in the photo below, the leaves and buds are quite hairy.
I tried this tea both in a gaiwan, as well as using a Western style teapot method, and finally, I tried it cold brewed. For the gaiwan, I used 3 grams of leaves, with 60ml of hot water at about 75 degrees Celsius. I prefer water at a lower temperature for teas such as this.
For the first infusion, I let it steep for about 15 seconds before decanting to a cup. The aroma is sweet and green, muscatel and almost ice-wine. That carries into the delicate flavor. If there’s one word I’d have to use to sum up the liquor, it would be delicate. The flavors are so, so light and sweet on this tea. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, smooth, with a clear, just barely there yellow hue. There’s not much astringency in this tea at all, but one does find that familiar slightly squeaky sensation, and after several steeps you find just a touch of that back of the mouth dryness.
This is such a sweet and delicate tea, I have to repeat that. Over eight infusions, while adding 10 seconds to each successive steep, more flavor was drawn out, but it was never, ever bitter. This is easily one of the best white teas I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. My thanks to Teawala for letting me experience it! I’d definitely recommend giving this beautiful White Peony a try.
I was so impressed with this tea in my gaiwan. When I tried it western style with a three minute infusion time, it was still very good, but I think I prefer it in the gaiwan. It’s easier to experience the full flavor of this tea in a gaiwan, and with a shorter infusion time.
This tea was also delicious cold brewed. The flavors were mostly the same as they were in the gaiwan, but when making this cold brew style, there were also some stronger vegetal and leafy notes. It made for a very refreshing cold brew, and the leaves were so pretty to look at, too.