Alone Time and Yan Shan Mu Dan

Alone time is fleeting these days. I have been trying to find the time to write about a tea I tasted last Sunday morning, and I finally found it on a Thursday night after everyone else went to bed. I penned this post by cellphone light– the candlelight of 2020. Oliver snored beside me, raindrops pattered on windows, thunder rumbled across the sky, and lightning flashes brightened a dark room. It was a different atmosphere compared to last Sunday morning.

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Té alla Rosa Bianca from Tea Fiori

Shut the front door! Did Té alla Rosa Bianca from Tea Fiori just make me a fan of white tea?

For years, I’ve avoided white tea. That’s not to say it hasn’t somehow managed to find its way into my collection throughout the years. It’s usually the flavored varieties that end up in my online shopping cart because I’m not paying attention. Or because I’ve convinced myself this time will be different. But the outcome is the same every time. I end up with a mug of tea that tastes just like hot water. Or a mug of tea that tastes like hot water and blueberries because I somehow get a new packet of White Blueberry from Adagio Teas every year.

It leaves me wondering: is it the quality of my water? Is it the quality of the tea? Am I more inept at brewing tea than I realize? Did I assault my tastebuds with strong, black coffee too much during college that I am unable to pick up the delicate aromas in white tea? Is it an unlucky combination of all four?

Té alla Rosa Bianca is a simple blend of organic Bai Mudan White Tea and organic rose petals and buds. The appearance of the tea is as lovely as the scent of the dried tea, which was of sweet rose.

When I first tried Té alla Rosa Bianca, I drank it hot, following the directions on the packaging very carefully– 1 tbsp of tea, 180 degrees, 3 minutes. However, I wasn’t impressed. The overall flavor seemed to be peppery hot water with an ambiguous floral aroma that I had to search for. I prepared this tea the same way two more times almost willing myself to love it, but the results remained the same.

Everything changed when I decided to cold brew the remainder of my sample though.

I didn’t note how much leaf to water ratio for my cold brew. I don’t even remember how long I let it steep, but if I had to guess, it was around 4 hours. Honestly? I was so intent to use up the rest of the tea that I just dumped it in a mug and called it a day.

But oh…what a beautiful cold brew this tea made. The first flavor to surface was a delicate, peppery flavor, and it was soon followed by refreshing cucumber and sweet summertime rose. It conjured up images of lush perennial gardens, sunshine peeking through cozy cottage windows, and afternoon tea. And I swear, the theme song to the Great British Bake-Off could be heard somewhere in the distance.

Never before have I been so delighted to have sipped on a white tea. This very experience has completely challenged my reluctance to drink it, and I am suddenly filled with the desire to explore this type of tea that I’ve long neglected! (After I sip down my collection that is already bursting at the seams, that is).

I must know! What are your favorite white teas?

A Day Off with Books & Tea

Yesterday was an ideal day off– simultaneously relaxing and productive. The kitchen is spotless and lemon-scented, all of the laundry is washed, the groceries have been purchased and put away, and I still had time to finish an enthralling cozy mystery, check out novels from the library, draft five whole blog posts, and sip a few mugs of Adagio Tea’s White Eternal Spring tea while appreciating the springtime breeze that danced through open windows.

Adagio Tea’s White Eternal Spring tea is a blend of white tea, rose hips, pineapple pieces, mango pieces, cranberries, rose petals, apple pieces, hibiscus, blueberries, natural mango flavor, and natural pineapple flavor.

When I open the bag, the dried tea leaves smell sweet, juicy, tart, and sticky (yes, sticky is now a scent). It makes me feel nostalgic, and I think of slurping on melting, fruity popsicles on a hot and sunny day. The flavor of the tea is very understated in comparison though, and while I appreciated that when sipping their lemon meringue green tea, this time I was disappointed that my tastebud’s were not bombarded with fragrant florals and juicy fruits. This is not to say the tea is bad, not at all. I still ended up brewing multiple cups and using up my entire sample. But, it didn’t live up to what I thought it would taste like, either. Drinking the White Eternal Spring tea plain is fine, but the flavors seem very middled. I suggest adding some honey, which actually helps to draw out the tartness of the pineapple flavor.

A sample of this tea was provided by Adagio in exchange for an honest review.