So I live round the corner from a T2 shop (bye bye money). I had never tried their offerings until recently but they were recommended and I love their infuser mugs (see my earlier review of the mug).
Now I love white tea and I was out of white tea so I bought a selection of teas I already know I like.
Below is the white Jasmine tea (yin zhen leaves though it doesn’t say on the pack), Pai Mu Dan (also called Bai Mu Dan or White peony tea) and White monkey Jasmine.
I have never tried white monkey jasmine tea but I like white tea and white Jasmine teas so I assumed I’d like this one as well.
The leaves have the appearance of Yin Zhen silver needle tea. They are not the best quality I have seen, they don’t have much “fur” on the leaves a good sign of good quality Yin Zhen.
A good quality white tea will not turn too yellow in colour when brewed. This white tea has a good colour when brewed.
Brewing parameters: 80 degrees for 2-3 minutes
My brewing parameters: 80 degrees for 2 minutes
Taste: Strong aroma of Jasmine, very strong flavour too. Not the most delicate tea as the Jasmine overpowers the aroma of the white tea a little.
Subsequent infusions: The first infusion is a bit strong for my liking but this tea really stands up well to repeated infusions. The Jasmine flavour gets weaker each time and I think the third infusion is my favourite. I have been taking this one to work and putting two teaspoons in the infuser basket and using the same leaves all day. The most infusions I have tried is five but I think I could have got one or two more out of the leaves though by this point the Jasmine aroma was nearly gone.
Pai Mu Dan
Note: Because of the difficulty in transcribing Chinese words into the Roman alphabet it is common for there to be variations in spelling when it comes to Chinese words in English, a common on is the same sound being transcribed by some people with a “p” and by others with a “b”. Pai Mu Dan is also referred to Bai Mu Dan or white peony tea.
The leaves have the appearance of any other Bai Mu Dan I have drunk. which is a good start, a few more oxidized (brown) leaves than ideal but it still looks fine.
This Pai Mu Dan is a lot darker than others I have tried. Generally the better quality ones are paler in colour.
Brewing parameters: 4-6 minutes at 80 degrees (176 fahrenheit)
My brewing parameters: 3 minutes at 80 degrees (176 fahrenheit)
Taste: Not as fruity as other Bai mu dan’s I have tried before.
White monkey Jasmine
From the moment you open the packet there is a delicate, but not overpowering Jasmine aroma.
This is quite pale for a white tea but the cup it is in doesn’t make this clear (I should probably stop using a green cup for the pictures but it’s pretty).
Brewing parameters: 80 degrees 1-3 minutes
My brewing parameters 80 degrees 2 minutes
Taste: This is more balanced and smoother than the other T2 white Jasmine. It is milder but the flavour of the white tea is balanced well with the Jasmine and the fruity aftertaste of the white tea itself is present.
Subsequent infusions: The Jasmine fades quite a lot after the third infusion but the white tea itself is a mellow fruity tea.
The only one of these I would buy again is the White Monkey Jasmine. I really enjoyed it and will probably get more when this one runs out.
The White Jasmine and the Pai Mu Dan were OK teas but I have had better quality at cheaper price points, the white Jasmine from curious tea is £10 for 50g while T2 charges £12.00 and the Bai Mu Dan from Bruu, the gourmet tea subscription club is far more to my liking than T2’s white Pai Mu Dan and at £5.95 for 50g compared to the £13 for 50g T2 charges it is obvious which one I would choose.
T2’s white teas are not bad but it is possible to find better quality for cheaper online. Part of the price discrepancy will be the fact that T2 is a physical chain of stores while most of my tea vendors are online only which would keep their costs lower meaning they can sell their product cheaper. However, while I love T2’s selection of tea ware I don’t think I will be a regular customer as far as their loose leaf tea goes.