Sunday, November 29, 2015

Go to the light!

At the latest tea event, held again at Infuse Café, the group and I tasted some amazing white teas! I gotta say, the BKON brews weren’t too bad this time around. I was iffy about the technology when we were comparing dark teas last month, but I am still learning about BKON. I still prefer the traditional steeping methods for the whites we had though.

We tasted a selection of 4 white teas, 2 of which I had previously. The teas included:

  • Peach Blossom (Blend)
  • Shou Mei
  • Silver Needle
  • White Peony (Wild Harvest)

Peach Blossom Leaves.

Peach Blossom Tea.

I’m not a big fan of flavoured teas, but, this Peach Blossom blend was pretty good. Not too fruity which is always off putting for me. The Silver Needle and White Peony teas are what most people go for in white teas. They are the most popular. Silver Needle is what I normally purchase. Not as often as I’d like to, however, as it is rather pricey. The Shou Mei tea was the most interesting in appearance. It’s a brick tea that looked more like a Pu-erh. It’s at the complete opposite end of Silver Needle in terms of taste, aroma, and price. Not a horrible cup, but, I wouldn’t run out to buy this right away.

Shou Mei Leaves.

Shou Mei Tea.

As with the dark teas, the BKON brews produced very pronounced white teas in colour, taste, and aroma. Everything about these teas were heightened, and as I said, they weren’t too bad. I didn’t find them overly bitter which is always my concern, and I was wondering if this method was the best choice for such delicate teas. I don’t know, but, I suspect because white teas are so delicate, is the reason they produced decent cups with the BKON. It’s done in one shot extracting all the flavour from the leaves. You could really detect the different tastes of the teas: nutty, flowery, fruity, and even a little spicy.

Silver Needle Leaves.

Silver Needle Tea.

I really enjoyed these whites teas brewed old school though! Some things you just can’t touch. This tasting session was a learning lesson for me. The brews were far better than what I’ve had in the past. I don’t think I was steeping my white tea leaves long enough in order to get a good, flavourful cup. I always found the liquor subtle. Not bad, but, not as strong as I’d like. I’ve learned that an extended infusion time didn’t hurt the results. We even had second infusions of some of the teas and they were just as good. The tastes and aromas were equally as good as the BKON brews, however, I preferred the way the liquors coated my tongue with the traditional brews. They were softer and creamier than the BKONs. Perhaps it’s the way the water is handled? 

White Peony Leaves.

White Peony Tea.

I believe that our tea tasting events will normally be held at Infuse Café from now on. This is a good thing for me as I only live about a 5 minute walk from it. Woo-hoo! Also, I’m really becoming more and more interested in this whole BKON technology. It’s definitely interesting and fun comparing the brewing methods of the teas, with traditional infusions outweighing the BKON brews, for now at least, for me.

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