UPDATE: The Bvumbwe Peony White Tea is now available for purchase at The Tea Journeyman Shop! Click Here to view and purchase this beautiful looking and fruity tasting white tea from Malawi!
Every time I find a few moments to do a review, I feel something drawing my attention to the box of samples from Satemwa Tea Estates. The teas from Satemwa, for the most part, have truly been outstanding and unique. I have this philosophy of being fair to everyone who sends samples to me, and trying to mix the reviews up to avoid redundancy. To be honest, though, Satemwa’s products constantly tempt me to break that cycle and just do a week’s worth of their teas.
So here is one that the moment I opened the sample package, the stress of trying to decide which sample was next on the review agenda immediately vanished. Imagine fresh tea bush pluckings being placed on a drying tray in the sun, then put directly into a sample bag. That is exactly what this tea looks like. Simple, sun dried, no shaping whatsoever. Plucked, dried, bagged.
Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a wide range of colors, from light to dark green, red, and light to dark brown. The leaves are whole and attached to the stems. The pluck is three leaves and a generous bud. The leaves are not rolled or shaped in any way. To repeat, plucked, dried, and bagged. The aroma is delicate, with light scents of sweet hay and flowers. I absolutely love the way this product looks in it’s dry state. I am already impressed.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.
The first infusion produced a bright, pale yellow colored liquor, clear and transparent. The aroma is delicate, with scents of light sweet hay, flowers, light honey, and light stone fruit (apricot). The body is medium, with a lively feel and smooth, velvety texture. The taste is delicate, refreshing, uplifting, with notes of sweet hay, light honey, flowers, and light apricots. The aftertaste is refreshing, with sweet hay and floral notes.
The second infusion produced a bolder, bright pale yellow color. The scent of light honey is stronger in the aroma, with the light sweet hay, flowers, and light apricot scents being retained. The body remains medium, but the texture is thicker and very smooth. The taste is stronger and retains the notes of sweet hay, light honey, flowers, and light apricot. The aftertaste is slightly sweeter than the first infusion, with a flowery essence being left on the breath. I enjoyed this second infusion more than the first due to the thicker texture, the sweeter scent, and the stronger taste. This was an excellent infusion.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a very similar, perhaps slightly darker, color to the second infusion. The scent has lightened some, but remains sweet and floral. The sweet scent seems to be more of a marmalade scent than honey in this infusion. The body and texture have lightened slightly from the second infusion. The taste has also lightened some, but retains the same general characteristics of the second infusion. Despite the lighter aroma, body, and taste, this third infusion was very high quality.
The infused leaves are mostly light to dark brown in color, with some leaves being partially to mostly light grass green. The leaves are 99.9% whole and unbroken, still attached to the stem. Stems show a pluck of anywhere from one leaf and generous bud to three leaves and generous bud. I had to add a few extra photos of some of the nicer leaf specimens. The leaves have a thin leathery feel, and should be able to provide at least one to two additional infusions, which I certainly plan to take advantage of. The aroma is incredibly sweet, with a blend of honey, sweet hay, and fruit (marmalade).
It is products like this Bvumbwe Peony that is the cause of me wanting to spend vast amounts of time reviewing the teas from Satemwa Tea Estates. And once I run out of new samples from them, not a problem, going back to experience them all again is sure to be as high of a pleasure. This tea displayed the beauty of tea in it’s dried form, bright liquor, and fully intact infused appearance. The aroma was sweet. The taste was incredible, consistent, and evolved nicely from the second to third infusion, changing the character of the sweetness. Satemwa truly has a strong grasp on producing amazing quality white teas. Thankfully, I think I still have two samples of white teas to experience.
Another stellar grade for a product from Satemwa Tea Estates. Cheers, and thanks again!