Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What-Cha's Malawi Satemwa Antlers White Tea

What-Cha's Description
A truly unique tea which is composed almost exclusively of stems, it produces an incredibly smooth and sweet taste composed of lychees and honey. An incredible tea which is completely unlike any other tea produced in both material used to produce it and taste.

My thoughts
I've been trying to post every 3 days or so, so apologies for the delay. Jessica Jones took up pretty much all of my free time for the past few days. Killgrave is a d'ast terrifying villain.

Normally when you find lots of twigs and stems in your tea, that's a sign of crappy tea, or companies who are trying to add filler to their product to save money. But here we are with a tea that is made entirely of stems. On purpose. No leaves in this one. Satemwa Tea Estate specializes in teas that break the norm. This oddball originates from the Shire Highlands in the small southeastern African country of Malawi.

Dry leaves (twigs) - Yup, they're twigs. Most of them are roughly 2 inches in length, though there are some longer that I broke so they'd fit in my teapot. The emit a mildly spicy, sweet, woody aroma that is almost mouth-watering.

Brewing parameters - 175F, 60s first, +15s after. As usual, I stick with shorter steep times than are recommended, though I can confirm that the full 3-4 minutes still produces a great tea.

Tasting notes - Woody, sweet, honey, lychee, cane sugar, vanilla

This is surely the sweetest tea I've ever tried. If you typically add a sweetener to your brew, I'd recommend foregoing it completely with this one. Honey, lychee berries and cane sugar are right up front with this tea, followed closely by a mild woodiness that lingers on the tongue for long after the sip. The woodiness is nothing like a shou puer, it's a much lighter taste, kind of like walking through a forest at autumn.

Subsequent steeps bring out a wonderful vanilla component alongside the honey and lychee sweetness. If it was at all possible, it's even sweeter now than the first steep, and the twiggy flavor has mellowed somewhat.

This is certainly one of the most flavorful and complex white teas I've ever tried. I'm hesitant to call it a white tea because there aren't any leaves present, but I don't know what else to call it, though "twig tea" has a nice ring to it.

You can buy this unique tea from What-Cha here: http://what-cha.com/white-tea/malawi-satemwa-antlers-white-tea/

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