Just what the doctor ordered.
This tea came to me at the perfect time. Winter is settling in, my second seasonal cold is taking hold of me, the pollution of my Chinese city is intensifying as the winter coal burning begins, and my country seems to be digressing centuries. I needed medicine, something thick and rich and warm to soothe my aching heart, and this Hot Brandy is exactly what the doctor ordered.
First of all, the mere idea of this tea was more than enough reason for me to try it: white and Black tea, not loosely mixed, but pressed indelibly together into a cake. The withered black tea leaves mix with the whole, unbroken white leaves to make a kind-of camo patterning. Beyond the aesthetics with which the tea was produced, I trust the producer to blend these teas responsibly. I’ve drunk a lot of White 2 Tea’s offerings, and they have never steered me wrong: always straight foreword about their knowledge of the tea, always trying provide real tea with real facts; therefore, I was confident that this tea would not just be an interesting gimmick or a clever idea, but beyond that, a great tea.
First impressions: as soon as I wake the tea with hot water, the name comes alive, Hot Brandy, rich, complex, with plenty of malt from the black, and a subtle floral aroma from the white. The brew is instantly a rich amber, as I pour it from my gaiwan after a flash infusion of 5-10 seconds. (I have already brewed this tea several ways, including in the gong-fu fashion, the western fashion, and in the old Chinese grandpa style – throwing leaves loose in a cup and pouring boiling water in after them, adding more hot water throughout the day). While the brewing styles change the experience of the tea, the flavors and aromas stay very much the same. The soup stays thick, rich and reddish; the aroma starts off with a lot of malt, but slowly subsides into the more floral, sweetness of the white tea. The taste starts off strong but not bitter, heavy and instantly sweet, as the intensity of the black tea dies down after the first few steeps, I arrive at the heart of the tea, a blend of white tea flavors and black tea flavors. These two tea flavors don’t merely exist side-by-side, but they serve to intensify and complement each other, I taste my favorite aspects of each in these brews and see where the bridge that connects the two flavors lie, a connection I never knew existed, but obviously White 2 Tea could taste and wanted to explore.
This is currently my favorite tea, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Beyond the unique experience of trying something a little crazy, but still classy, the blend is masterfully done, the tea leaves are very high quality, and the taste is on point: rich, thick, malty, sweet, floral and heavy, like papa’s own Brandy.
Flavors: Brandy, Butterscotch, Malt, Maple Syrup, Medicinal, Mineral, Oak, Rum, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick, Whiskey