Kenya ~ Rhino Premium White Tea |What-Cha

Today I’ll be reviewing a white tea from the Mt Kenya Region of Kenya.

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Hello! I’m back after a few days of being very busy working (gotta pay for all of the hei cha I consume). Today I’m reviewing a white tea from the East African nation of Kenya.

This tea comes from the Kangaita Tea Factory located on the foothills of Mt. Kenya. The factory, according to What-Cha, is fair-trade certified and they specialize in purple tea.

The factory processes tea coming from 6,594 small tea growers from across Kenya, and the farmers democratically elect the heads of the factory which I think is pretty cool.

I brewed this tea in a ceramic gaiwan at 194 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The dry leaves smell crisp, fresh, and fruity with notes of sweet wildflower honey and the floral-fruity scent reminiscent of fresh peony flowers.

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The steeped leaves smell a lot darker, and almost like a black tea as malty, stone fruit notes come through.

The tea itself smells a lot like a second-flush Darjeeling black tea – retaining the leaves’ malty, black tea notes while also exhibiting its white tea, honey and peony flavors.

The tea is fairly light in texture and very smooth. It’s not abrasive at all and it goes down easy. The first taste is a sweet honey flavor with notes of wild grass that reminds me of a meadow in the summer – fresh, crisp, and sweet. That later evolves into a slightly malted flavor that tastes remarkably similar to black teas from Nepal, Sikkim, or Darjeeling. A second steep brings out some stronger vegetal flavors with a more intense malty punch, and with each steep more black tea flavors come through.

Overall, this was an excellent tea and I will be definitely purchasing a lot more of this to add to my personal collection. This was my first African tea, and I’m very pleasantly surprised and I am definitely going to do a bit more research into teas from other African countries like Malawi and Rwanda.

Rating: 9.5/10
From: What-Cha
Kangaita Tea Factory, Mt Kenya Region, Central Province, Kenya

China ~ 2012 Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake | TeaVivre

Today I’ll be reviewing a 2012 aged shou mei white tea cake from Fujian Province, China.

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Hello! I am back again with yet another tea review.

I have been quite busy the last few weeks with lots of incoming tea packages so I have a lot of different teas (some that I’m very excited about) to review.

Today I’m reviewing TeaVivre’s 2012 Fuding Shou Mei White Tea Cake. I got two samples of it with my last order, and since I’ve never had an aged white tea before I’m super excited to try it.

White tea, if you don’t know already, is a traditionally Chinese tea (however recently it has begun to expand in production into South and Southeast Asia) and it is very minimally processed – it is usually just withered and dried.

This tea is a shoumei white tea, which is a type of white tea that is usually bolder in flavor than a baimudan or baihao yinzhen because it is picked later. Shoumei is actually the byproduct of some baihao yinzhen production.

This tea has been compressed into a bing and aged since 2012. Most aged white teas are relatively newer than other aged tea, such as heicha, and this is because old aged white teas are a lot rarer.

So, without further ado, I shall taste this tea.

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The dry leaves smell dark and like a forest floor but with a little bit of a floral scent that reminds me of a white tea like a baimudan. The floral scent is accompanied by a slight sour and woodsy note that is reminiscent of wet leaves.

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The wet leaves smell a lot like a Chinese black tea and there are slight notes of vanilla. There are hints of soil and wet leaves again, and it is altogether very reminiscent of wet logs in a forest right after it rains.

The tea smells a little creamier and like vanilla than the wet leaves, and has less of the wet soil/leaves scent.

The tea itself is very delicate and smooth in its texture. The first taste is a woodsy aroma that I associate with Chinese black teas (like a dianhong), however that transitions into a light honeysuckle and a deep earthy flavor with slight hints of vanilla. A second steep brings out more of its black tea-like flavors and it becomes smoother in texture and a little sweeter in flavor.

Overall, this was a great tea and I will probably be purchasing a full bing of this soon. I would love to see how it reacts as it ages, and I imagine it would be cool to age it for several years to develop the flavors a little more.

Rating: 9/10
From: TeaVivre
Chaitou Shan Tea Garden, Fuding, Ningde Prefecture, Fujian Province