This is the first time I have tried a white tea from Sri Lanka. Although I recently read a piece written by Phil Mumby about differences between Chinese and non-Chinese white teas, I thought this Ceylon white tea, sheerly because of its appearance and dry leaf aroma, couldn’t be that much different from a Chinese silver needle. Read on to see what I think . . .
– The dry leaf has plump hairy buds. It is much darker/browner in colour than Chinese silver needle
– It is not particularly aromatic, but there is a slight hint of sweetness
– The first infusion cups out a golden liquor (similar to a roasted oolong) that has a faint sweet aroma. The colour of the liquor lightens with each infusion thereafter
– Like a Chinese silver needle, it is a light-bodied tea that is smooth
– What I find most notable about the flavour of the liquor is its finish. The flavour of the body of the tea is very delicate, but the finish really coats your throat with sweet notes (peachy or sweet melon-like) and leaves a nice touch of astringency
– Infuse this tea with 70 to 75C water for three minutes. You can get two to four infusions out this tea. I personally enjoyed the second and third infusions most, as the sweetness of the tea tasted was most refined here
– Although it is early days for me to proclaim that all non-Chinese white teas offer a distinct experience, I would say, from my tasting here, that it is different. Yes, the essence of a Chinese white tea is there, but the darker liquor colour and the less sweet flavours offer a nice change from the Chinese white teas that I’ve tried. Perhaps this is all due to geography and processing. This Ceylon is something that white tea lovers should try. I would love to hear what they think