Ketlee is providing all kinds of firsts in my tea journey. Here is a winter Darjeeling white tea produced probably a year and a half ago.

The dry leaf in the bag smells spicy and earthy-musky, a mix of rosewood and green chillie/leaf. I cup the leaf in my hand and it smells like fresh wheat, dried yellow peonies, and I can see where Ketlee gets vanilla wafer. The brewed aroma is a mix of cocoa and white chocolate, vanilla cream and dry grass with a bright apricot-citrus tone.

This tea is very difficult for me to describe. The flavors are round enough that it calls to mind white wine, specifically a light-oaked chardonnay but with this awesome cocoa undertone. The body, too, adds to the impression of chardonnay, thick with a gentle acidity and dryness. Along with the cocoa undertone, I think I taste white chocolate, hay, gooseberry, toast and butter along with Ketlee’s mentioned notes of lime, mango and olive. The dry aftertaste is light and lingering with something like sweet mango-cream-white chocolate-cocoa. There’s a bit of a cooling-spicy feel that also lingers with a lemon zest feel on the sides of the tongue. A second steep is sharper and the acidic fruity notes come to the fore, very lime- and pineapple-like.

I wasn’t expecting much since Darjeeling teas don’t seem to age well but wow is this something unique. I do wonder how it was fresh and also how it will age but I won’t be able to keep this around long enough to find out. What a treat!

I would like to know which estate this comes from.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Butter, Citrus, Cocoa, Cream, Dry Grass, Drying, Earth, Flowers, Green Pepper, Hay, Lemon Zest, Lime, Mango, Melon, Mint, Olives, Pineapple, Rose, Round, Smooth, Spicy, Tart, Thick, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, White Chocolate, White Wine, Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
tea-sipper

Your flavor notes are VERY similar to the description notes for this tea, if you didn’t notice!

derk

I did! It seems like our palates match pretty well.

Natethesnake

I have a bag of that tea that I’ve yet to try. I loved and got similar notes from his 2019 winter Nilgiri oolong but the 2020 is kinda meh.

derk

I hope to see your impression of this tea!

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Comments

tea-sipper

Your flavor notes are VERY similar to the description notes for this tea, if you didn’t notice!

derk

I did! It seems like our palates match pretty well.

Natethesnake

I have a bag of that tea that I’ve yet to try. I loved and got similar notes from his 2019 winter Nilgiri oolong but the 2020 is kinda meh.

derk

I hope to see your impression of this tea!

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Bio

If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most. Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently.

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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