Drink: White Peony King
Type: White Tea
From: Shang Tea
Price: $15 for 2 oz.**
This is my first foray into white tea, and it was worth the wait. Shang Tea in Crown Center does frequent tea tastings in their quaint shop surrounded by authentic oriental porcelain and beautiful tea wares. The employees are well-informed and friendly, and the owner is often available to tell you about his trips to China, where the family owns and grow their own tea plants. They have a great selection of white, jasmine, red, and wu-long teas, which can be hard to find at other locations.
The drink: smooth, silky, subtly sweet and light.
Best served hot, this tea, which is grown at the top of the Tai Mu Mountain, is fragrant and light - perfect for a spring afternoon. After brewing in hot water for 2-3 minutes, it stands well on its own, but pairs well light tea cookies and cakes, and would be a great addition to asian cuisine. With all the health benefits of green tea, this would be a lovely substitute when you're looking for something sweeter. Additionally, this tea won the Golden Grand Prize in the Fujian Province Awards (the number one white tea in that part of China).
Teas are classified into black, green, and white based on when they're picked from the plant. White teas are very young, often even buds. Shang has a wonderfully informative blog if you're interested in learning more about their teas and services.
** 1 teaspoon per 8 oz. water