This was the first Ceylon white tea I have tried. Unlike most fresh white teas from China, this Ceylon golden tips has a rich, fruity and spicy tasting profile. I found the contrast between Ceylon Golden Tips and a Fuding Bai Hao Yin Zhen very remarkable. Indeed, if I blind-tasted this tea, I’d possibly guess that it to be a black tea.
I then went to my guest blogger Eric’s review on Ceylon Silver tips. He mentioned that his Ceylon white tea has “usualwhite tea flavours of summer hay and fruit, but there are hints of orange and cloves as well”. Indeed, before I even tasted this tea, I was already surprised by the spicy smell of its dry leaves. However, when I compared the colour of the tea liquids I find a huge variation between two Ceylon white teas.
I read on The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea that, Ceylon has become the second-largest white tea producer after China. While China has a history over a millennium, Sri Lanka started to produce white tea only within the last few decades. This tea comes from an area called Nuwara Eliya which is halfway up the Central Highlands which divides the tropical islands. Here there are small scale tea estates and not all the plants yield large tips. As a result, the golden tips are produced in small quantities.
Well, it was great to get to try this tea as it kind of gave me another perspective towards white teas. I am yet to try another Ceylon White Tea which I am looking forward to reviewing in the days to come.
Source: Michael Harney, “The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea.”
Origin: Hatton Estate, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Harvest time: Spring 2020
Leave colour: Pale and dark green buds (fuzz visible on light-coloured buds)
Liquor colour: Gold
Tea aroma: Spicy with hints of fruitiness
Tea taste: Spicy (pepper and cumin) with fruity and sweet undernotes
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 90°C water temperature (yes don’t be afraid) and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 10 years or more if aged appropriately.