Occasionally, one comes across a tea that perplexes. These leaves definitely have me pondering. Nepali Tea Traders classify the tea as oolong (semi-oxidized / semi-ball style) and by all appearances it ticks the boxes for this category. The taste is floral and fruity as one would expect. However, what sets this tea apart from your standard oolong is that it looks like a white tea following brewing. Perfect bud-sets unfurl to present the classic ‘sword’ shape common to some white teas (particularly silver needle/bai hao yin zhen). It looks like a work of art, which it should. In fact, the lightly brown colour and plump shape looks remarkably like a rare aged white bud. The aroma supports this, with hints of the autumnal notes associated with aged white tea.
Bemused, I undertook a search of my stash and came up with a sample of aged white bud, and cupped the two teas. Aside from the fact the dry leaves of these teas look completely different, the liquor is remarkably close in taste and colour and the wet leaves are almost indistinguishable.
How is it possible that a oolong from Nepal and aged white from Yunnan, China can be so alike? (CUE tea experts, please.)
As to the Wild Orchid, it is very forgiving and can be brewed however you see fit. The leaves will sink to the bottom of your cup, should you choose not to strain them, making it easy to sip your tea Chinese style.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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