A quiet night at home this evening with my wife at class and my son in bed early. It is a perfect evening to focus my attention on a lighter, more subtle tea. Perusing my white tea samples, I came across the Bvumbwe BSP white tea (106) sample from Satemwa Tea Estates in Malawi. For more information on Satemwa Tea Estates, please click here.
The sample pack has been opened, and a unique, sweet wood, hay, and flowery aroma is escaping the packet. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves vary in color from light to dark green, and light to dark brown. The leaves are all medium sized fragments, and do not appear to have a defined or standardized shape. The shape of the leaves appears to have occurred naturally with the sun withering process. The pluck is difficult to determine, as the few stems that do exist in the mix are not whole. The aroma has scents of sweet wood, hay, and dry flowers. The appearance of this white tea is unlike anything I have seen from Asia, and is more similar to the few white teas of Hawaii that I have tried.
Five grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 175ºF (75ºC). The leaves were infused for three minutes on the first infusion, three minutes thirty seconds on the second infusion, and four minutes on the third infusion.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a surprisingly dark yellowish gold, almost orange color, clear and transparent. The aroma is floral, sweet (light honey and hay), and a light hint of ripe tropical fruit. The body is medium, with a lively, yet smooth texture. The taste has notes of flowers, wood, sweet hay, light citrus, and very light honey. The aftertaste starts as floral, but develops into a fruity (prunes or raisin) essence.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a similar, but very slightly darker shade of yellowish gold, orange color. The aroma remained floral and sweet. The body remained medium, with a smooth texture. The taste remained floral, with notes of sweet hay, wood, and very light honey. The aftertaste remains floral, with a fruity essence.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a color that is lighter than the first two infusions, but still a dark yellow-gold-orange color. The aroma remains floral, with a more recognizable fruity hint. The body remains medium. The taste remains dominantly floral, with light citrus and honey notes. The aftertaste remains floral, sweet, and very pleasant.
The infused leaves displayed a range of colors from bright to dark green, and light to dark brown. Many of the green leaves had substantial brown spotting on them. The leaves were all medium sized fragments, with an occasional well-developed tip in the mix. The stems displayed a two leaf pluck. The leaves had a thin leathery feel to them, and I believe they could produce another one to two infusions with good aroma and taste. The aroma of the infused leaves was quite floral, with a fruity sweetness, and hints of wood.
I enjoyed the Bvumbwe BSP White Tea very much. It was very unique and distinct from it’s Asian white tea counterparts, and I found the taste and aroma better than the Hawaiian white teas that have a more similar appearance. This white tea was not quite as light and delicate as many others are, yet the taste is very welcoming, lively, and uplifting. This is a perfect white tea to taste next to a Chinese Bai Mu Dan and a silver needle from India or Sri Lanka, for the distinction between the three would be very easy to feel, and all three would be a true pleasure to experience.
Thank you to Satemwa Tea Estates for providing yet another phenomenal tea sample in the Bvumbwe BSP White Tea. Cheers!
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