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Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Thunderbolt Tea’s 2010 Sample #6 Tea

© 2011 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved.
No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.

The Subject:  2nd Flush 2010 Singbulli White Jade
Company:Thunderbolt Tea. [More info]

Straight Tea Rating:

About the new rating designation.

Water temperature:180° F (our guess)
Steeping time:1-3 mins. (our guess)
Tea type:White based on leaf appearance
Aroma, dry leaves:  Green alfalfa

1st Infusion:  
Steeping time —2 mins.
Aroma, plain —  “Rich” is the best word for it
Taste, plain —Initially faily bland, develops Muscatel quality as it cools, hits sides of tongue while nutty taste hits roof of mouth
Color, plain —Pale rosy
2nd Infusion:
Steeping time —2 mins.
Aroma, plain —  “Rich” (hey, it worked for #1 above)
Taste, plain —Same flavors as above but more intense
Color, plain —Golden, rosy
3rd Infusion:
Steeping time —3 mins.
Aroma, plain —  “Rich” (3rd time is a charm!)
Taste, plain —Same flavors as #1 but a bit more intense
Color, plain —Lighter golden, rosy

Hubby and I have been a bit fascinated and, quite frankly, somewhat disappointed with white teas we have tried recently. In fact, we were starting to lose interest in white teas altogether. Until we tried this one, that is.

Thunderbolt Tea, an amazing company, has “flushed” out another Darjeeling tea worthy of the name. It’s also the first white Darjeeling tea we’ve tried. This is another 2nd flush tea and was probably harvested in September.

The tea leaf pieces vary from small to large, including the leaf-bud combo. The color of the dry pieces varies from green with a downy appearance to coppery brown and even some almost black. Their fragrance on first opening the sample’s wonderful vacuum-sealed foil package was fresh like green alfalfa, and they enlarged nicely during steeping.

Since no steeping instructions came with the tea (just as with the other samples in this 2010 batch), we took a guess and went with the water temperature and steeping times we use for other white teas. There could have been a 4th or maybe even 5th steep, but we stopped at three. You could try going further and see how you like it.

The photo below doesn’t show the color difference as much as we saw in person. The 1st infusion was quite pale and rosy while the 2nd was much darker and rosy-orange, with the 3rd being about half way in-between.

We’re relishing the experience of how teas change flavors as they begin to cool after the initial pour into the cup. As with other teas, the flavors of this one changed, with the characteristic Muscatel flavor becoming more pronounced with a nutty hit to the roof of my mouth.

As with their other samples, this tea needs no sweetener or milk. Just a fabulous and refreshing white tea!

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

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