I am pretty sure my beautiful half moon double tailed Betta (you know, Jace Beleren, because Magic references are fun) is actually a reincarnation of one of my old Bettas. When I first got him is was vibrantly blue and white with a few black spots, he has gotten darker, he is mostly dark blue with black speckles and he is dichroic. A trait in gemstones, Tanzanite and Alexandrite being famous ones, that when viewed from different angles or types of light appear different colors. It is pretty awesome, when Jace is near the top of the tank, his reflection is vibrantly teal (he matches my hair) which makes him the exact inverse of my fish Dichro, yep named for his dichroic property. These two are the only Bettas I have had that have this interesting property…now if he will stop teasing me and let me get a photo!
So today’s tea is a fluffy leafed favorite of mine, Moonlight White Tea, from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company. Ah Moonlight White (or Yue Guang Bai) you are a tea that causes many debates, White Tea? Puerh Tea? Some epic mix of both…probably, see it is from Yunnan and is of the large leaf Assamica varietal, same as Puerh, you can compress and age it like a Puerh, it is only lightly withered but unlike a Maocha which is withered under the sun it is withered under the moon. Or so the legend goes, I also see that this tea is named Moonlight because of its silvery leaves and it is withered in a warm air tunnel. Regardless of what category this fuzzy beauty fits it, it is time for sniffing. The aroma of this pile of fluff (really, I do love fluffy and fuzzy teas, I think I have a fixation, or I just really love leaves) starts off with gentle notes of sweet honey and hay with a touch of wildflowers and pollen. This moves to gentle yeasty bread, honeydew melons, and a touch of lettuce and cucumber at the finish adding a bit of green. I really like how it goes on a little journey through sweet, floral, fruity, and green.
I decided to use my green easy gaiwan/pseudo-houhin for this one, I just love using this wide thing for fluffy leaves. The aroma of the now steeped leaves is strong with notes of sweet hay, raw honey, pollen, wildflowers, and a touch of cucumber, baked bread, and just a tiny little hint of black pepper at the finish. The liquid is delicately sweet, like pollen, wildflowers, honey, and just a tiny hint of lettuce at the finish.
The first steep, in my fancy clear crystal glass, I am so posh. It starts out nice and smooth, with a slight tinge of fuzziness from the trichomes. The taste is quite sweet, like honey and hay with a definite pollen and wildflowers note to it. The finish is gently green with a tiny touch of malt and a lingering sweetness.
And on we go to the second steep, the aroma is a sweet blend of wildflowers, raw honey, and pollen, with just a touch of melon at the finish. The taste is a lot more intense this steep (which makes sense) really making the pollen and wildflower notes pop, I feel like there is a bee’s paradise in my mouth. The finish is honey sweet and gently cooling, and that honey lingers for a while.
The third steeping’s aroma is much sweeter, like I stuck my nose in a jar of raw honey, you can certainly still smell the pollen, but it is all sweetness all the time. The mouthfeel is a lot more round this steeping, almost silky in its smoothness. Tasting it, well, I am awash with the sweet honey taste and gentle wildflowers, for all that this tea is moonlight it tastes like sunlight to me. The finish has a cooling cucumber note and a lingering honey one that seems to linger on forever. Many steeps were had, I got a bit tea drunk off this one…ok a lot, I found it an excellent painting companion.