I discovered this tea from a Kickstarter! Young Mountain Tea enticed me with this Kumaon White as a new region grown white tea. It was funded in March 2015, projected shipping for October but then it got stuck in customs for awhile. I got my tea on March 14, not as fresh as I was expecting. I also ordered 3oz – at the time I asked if people wanted to split but there was no takers. Now that I’m into aged white teas and discovered that this white is delicious, I figured I can simply leave it until 2020 and profit.
First note, let’s start with a tea rant – Do not ship delicate teas in a bubble mailer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know people who refuse to buy from sellers who ship tea in a bubble mailer – it should always be in a box. I am lucky my current mail man is very kind – my previous mail man would of crushed it to fit into my mail slot. Hopefully after the Kickstarter busy run, Young Mountain Tea switches to boxes.
Second note, I drank and photographed most of this review end of March. It then got lost into the abyss of my wordpress drafts folder and moving storage.
That leaf is gorgeous with full leaves, bright green mixed with some fall colours! The scent is agave sweet and lightly musty.
I have my theories that white tea should be steeped hotter. I went with a YOLO 200F water temperature. 1 gram to 18ml ratio flash steep. Don’t take this ratio yet, I am still playing with it. The suggested steeping method is 170F for 5 minutes, yeah no. This is Oolong Owl, years ago I’d follow steeping instructions, but now I beat my tea with a ruyao gaiwan.
Tasting of Young Mountain Tea’s Kumaon White
Steeped up, Kumaon White smells like hot grape stems and skins. Tea is a clean, clear, cream yellow tint.
Yes…. that’s right, cringe at my steeping method! Cringe! So much leaf! It cannot be stopped!
First Infusion: The Kumaon White is smooth, thick weighty body, and super sweet. Mellow fluffy notes of linen white grape to brighten up to a crisp sweet cream.
Wow, that leaf!
Second and Third Infusion: The floral emerges! The white tea starts with a green leafy taste then slips in a crisp floral lilac note with a silk mouth feel. The aftertaste is a sweet green grape skin and linen. And I bet you thought it was gonna be bitter because I steeped this white tea too hot.
Fourth and Fifth Infusion: Kumaon White’s floral gets stronger with a potent fragrance almost rivaling an oolong. I steeped it longer, say 45 seconds, as the flavor intensity dipped a bit on steep 3. I might be over cooking it as I got notes of steamed leaf but I also got an interesting pepper and wood note. Weird!
The leaf feels so delicate to the touch. Not like thick leaves I’m used to.
Sixth Infusion: The dryness has finally kicked in – Kumaon White is liquid must, dry floral and pepper with a dry squeaky finish. What a strange trip this tea is. I like it though. Though steeping it this aggressively is probably too dry for most. However, I’m feeling it as the caffeine overload caused me to laugh at the neighbour’s cat for being too fluffy in the rear. Yes, tea drunk off a white tea – I guess it can happen when you got a strong, new white tea since it can be caffeine potent!
I tried a seventh infusion and it was dead. Six infusions for a white is pretty good!
Kumaon White Round 2
Since this took months for me to get this review posted, I decided to have another go with the Kumaon White, but steeped differently. No, I did not follow steeping instructions. I did 200F, 4g, 310ml mug, grandpa style. I worked on it for an hour and the flavor is starts a similar floral lilac and musty grape, later on getting an overcooked, bitter leafy greens taste. There is a wonderful long fragrance after each sip of floral.
Kumaon White is a pretty excellent white tea – the body, resteep ability, and fragrance is very nice. If you love oolongs for fragrance, you’ll love this white tea! I certainly need to play with steeping more and feel free to abuse your white tea bit.
Alas, I wish I could of tried this same tea in October, I wonder how it tasted super fresh? Either way, I was able to try more of Young Mountain Tea‘s offerings at the 2016 World Tea Expo and was wowed by their black teas.