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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review: The English Tea Store’s Pai Mu Tan Tea

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The Subject:  Pai Mu Tan (Organic)
Company:The English Tea Store

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:180° F
Steeping time:3 mins.
Tea type:White
Aroma, dry leaves:  Fresh, planty

1st Infusion:  
Aroma, plain —  Planty, faintly flowery/smoky
Taste, plain —Planty, smoky
Color, plain —Pale golden
2nd Infusion:  
Aroma, plain —  Planty, faintly flowery/smoky
Taste, plain —Planty with sesame-like aftertaste
Color, plain —Pale golden
3rd Infusion:  
Aroma, plain —  Planty, faintly flowery/smoky
Taste, plain —Smooth
Color, plain —Pale golden

REPEATING MY PET PEEVE: Tea videos are great, but I wish tea companies would also put the steeping instructions in a text description on their Website.

Okay, enough griping. On with the review.

The person in the video for this tea says to heat the water to 180° F and steep for 3 minutes, so we did. I tried to ignore his description of what the tea would taste like, not wanting to build up expectations that the tea would not meet. Unfortunately, I heard that the taste was supposed to be jammy. Also unfortunately, the tea wasn’t jammy. (Their Scottish Breakfast is jammy — very and pleasantly so. This tea tastes nothing like that.)

The other oddity about this version of white tea is the lack of any downy appearance on the tea leaves, as I have seen on others. Plus, one look at the tea leaves, both before and after steeping shows that no sorting for size and grade took place, part of the minimalist nature of the processing this tea goes through. (Pai Mu Tan’s tend to be processed as little as possible.) The varying sizes give the tea quite a blend of tea flavors, as a result.

As white teas go, I’d rather have Snow Dragon or maybe White Eagle Long Life. That’s not to say that this tea isn’t tasty. It’s just not what hubby and I look for in a white tea. We prefer one that is light in flavor, a true sipper tea. However, you may find this tea in line with your own taste.

Oddly enough, though, hubby and I discovered that this is a great tea to have with a main meal. We chose it as our New Year’s Eve dinner tea.

Hubby and I don’t fall for the organic mumbo-jumbo nor assume that something labeled “organic” is going to be better quality (often, it’s just more expensive).

Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are always strictly objective.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed about the steeping instructions; I rarely have time to watch a video, but I often want the information!


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