With White Teas, I occasionally struggle to find the inner complexities on my palate when sipping and slurping. So, a side-by-side comparison was a fun option for me to do so I can help figure out the differences based on tea region. For this side-by-side, I am looking at white teas from Ilam, Nepal and from Wuji, China. Let’s step in:
Looking at the Leaves:
The leaf of Oasis was smaller and did seem to be a two leaf and a bud form. The leaves looked to be quite carefully dried up. There were the normal little “hairs” on the leaf, so I was quite excited to jump into the tea.
The leaf of the While White was pressed (as you can see) but still looked to be quite full. Even though condensed, the leaves also had a little fuzziness on them. I am interested in how a compressed vs loose will make a difference.
Ilam, Nepal: Oasis from Aera Tea
The leaves brewed a very pale yellow color that did not vary steep to steep too much. My first note that I noticed was something sweet around the tea but I was struggling to identify what the taste was. It was familiar and really congregated on the tip of my tongue at first. I would say that when sipping side by side with the Wild White, this one had more of a nectar-like sweetness, where the other was more a floral sweetness. The character was quite rounded and smooth in my mouth, not altering too much steep to steep as well. I kept noticing how naturally sweet the tea was, almost like sweet hay nectar or sweet earthiness of sorts. I noticed a slight minerally aftertaste after about three steepings of this tea, which was extremely subtle. The aroma is what gave me the most trouble. Each steep I was determined to figure out what sweetness was hitting my nose, but instead, I became more and more confused as the steepings went on. I really enjoyed this tea and how tranquil it made my body feel. “Oasis” is definitely a correct name for it.
Wuji, China: Wild White from HER-CHA
The leaves for this tea brewed a pale golden-yellow color. I could not detect that much of an aroma, which leads me to wonder if my nose was slightly off and I could not pick up any tasting notes. This tea was a bit richer in taste and character, more complex than the Nepalese tea. It was mostly smooth in character, but there was a bit of astringency which caused a slight drying effect around my tongue. It had some sweetness to it, but not as apparent as the Nepalese tea. This one had a more floral sweetness to it that lingered in my mouth. The taste mostly lingered on the front and top of my tongue, but as I steeped further, the taste started to develop on the back/middle of my tongue. The taste and feel of this tea were not as round but still quite interesting in character. There were a bit more varying tastes with a punch of flavor at the top of my mouth near the end of my sleeping. The tea leaves also did not really come out of the brick format after 6-8 steepings, which I found quite fascinating.
This was not necessarily a battle of two brands and teas, but more of a “let’s see what more I can taste when tasting these side-by-side”. A review and an experiment all in one. Have you done side-by-side analysis before? What could I have done better? Let me know and, as always, Happy Brewing!