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365 Challenge > Day 159 - Turkish White Tea – buds only

This is not a delightful review. I purchased an overpriced white tea from the state-owned tea company in Turkey that leads the tea market. Only since 1980ies, private sector can also produce tea. However, they have been following the footsteps of their big brother and producing factory made (CTC) black tea that is made of perhaps 10 or 12 leaves and stems of tea plants. The tea growers ‘prune’ the tea plant instead of plucking the leaves. As a result, they only get 3 flushes in a year. Had they hand-plucked it, tea would have grown quickly.

Despite this the standard for white tea is very high and it is comprised of ‘buds only’. The packaging is over-engineered to convince the consumer that it is a luxury good. The buds looked heavenly but only When I smelt the leaves after all this building up expectations, I was overly disappointed. As they had no particular aroma but that of a ‘mold’. The taste was also underwhelming with no interesting floral notes or sweetness. I tasted a bit of minerality and that was it.

I do not know what went wrong. This should have been a premium product, but it ended in a glass jar which is a ‘no’ for any type of tea. Also, the tea might have been kept too short for shade-drying and were packaged a little too early. It is only one year old, given that the storage conditions were not ideal this would have played a role in the overall quality of this tea. Such a pity.

Tea Profile:

Type: White

Origin: Turkey

Harvest time: April 2019

Leave colour: Beautiful green buds with white fuzz

Liquor colour: Faint yellow

Tea aroma: Earthy and mouldy

Tea taste: Some minerality

Steeping/brewing: You can use around 100°C water temperature 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 3 years and possibly more

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