The Elusive Japanese White Tea
This time of year is usually when many people would usually start to gear up for Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, the filming schedule got pushed back, which means we have to wait for Game of Thrones to premiere 3-4 months later than usual. There’s other TV shows that I’ve been watching to help fill the void, but nothing quite like John Show can fill the hole of emptiness… ;) One of the greatest things about Game of Thrones is the countless fan theories that arise from the show, and even the books. Some of these fan theories have come true, and there are others that are yet to be reviled.
One question I have is, what about tea? Does tea have any fan theories, so to speak? Well, theres a few that I can think of off of the top of my head, such as Japanese White Tea. Wait, Japanese White Tea? Actually, thats not a fan theory at all, and as strange and as outlandish as that sounds, Japanese White Tea is a very real thing! Here’s what you can expect when drinking Japanese Kanayamidori White Tea!
Steeps 1 - 3
For this unusual specimen, which I will call Kana (shortened version of the name), I used 5g of tea for a 100ml vessel. For the first steep, the sweet and thick taste of green hay drizzled across the tongue and left a light aftertaste which filled the mouth like a sauna. As the steeps continued, this tea took on an unusual and viscous sweetness - so heavy that it almost came off as a flaw. Along with the sweetness, the tea slowly started releasing a citrus-like crispness aftertaste to its leafy body. Surprisingly, Kana took on a full bodied flavor quicker than other white teas.
Steeps 4 - 6
This teas robust sweetness began to settle around the fourth infusion, as Kana took on a deeper profile. The hay notes that were present earlier transformed into a malt-like warmth, all while leaving the mouth with the lubricating mouthfeel of margarine. The texture of this tea was very unique, due in part to the fact that it had tasting notes that were so sharp to the tastebuds, yet so smooth in the rest of the mouth. As I continued on the sixth steep, I found myself in awe over how clear the tea’s liquor was.
Steeps 7 - 10
The Japanese White Tea started to fade out a tiny bit more, but luckily it still had a lot to give. The tasting notes of grass and hay transformed into the taste of wheat. Although this tea’s body was oily earlier, its body had started to roughen up a bit and feel like a matted-velvet blanket that rested gently over the tongue. Throughout these steeps, the Japanese white tea filled every square inch of space in your mouth with a warmth that almost perfectly resembled whisky, while leaving a pleasant honeydew melon and coconut expression in the back of the throat. After the tenth steep I was ready to end the session and call it a night…
Japanese Kanayamidori White Tea is sold by Tealyra at $0.80 a gram. This, by far, is the most expensive white tea I’ve had the pleasure to come into contact with. In addition, this is also the most exquisite white tea I’ve ever had — period. This tea was robust, sweet, and full bodied in all of the right places. Right when you think Kana was going to take the traditional white tea route, it grabs you by the leg and takes you down a completely different path. While taking on similar features of Japanese green tea, it held its own ground and was a surprise at every turn. Not only was this tea unexpected, every flavor profile of this tea was very refreshing. However, you should be weary of over steeping Kana because it can easily become tart.
Overall, the high cost of this tea makes it difficult to afford. While this tea is exceptionally delightful, I wouldn’t recommend it to the average tea drinker because of its delicacy. Even some of the amazing tasting notes that made Kana so great could easily be overlooked by someone whose not familiar with drinking hot tea. In the end, Japanese Kanayamidor White Tea was a great example of how an abnormal tea from Japan can be so good. When you get the chance to drink this exquisite white tea, hopefully you'll see it for the beauty that it truly is…
Rating - 9.8