Butiki Teas specializes in rare teas from all over the world, and as such they are able to offer a White Peony which comes from the southeast African country of Malawi. The dry leaves are broad and flat, with shades of green dominant, but there are shades of brown present too. The dry leaves are not overly pungent in aroma but a fresh and clean vegetal scent is present. Following Butiki recommendataion, I used 1.5 teaspoons of leaf per cup of tea and infused the leaves in 185-degree water for 2.5 minutes. The tea is a very pale golden yellow. After my first initial sips of this tea, I wasn’t overly impressed, but the more I sipped this tea, the more I picked up on its various nuances. As with most white teas, this tea definitely classifies as being delicate in its flavor profile. But being delicate should not be confused with being flavorless, as this tea does have a unique and appreciable flavor. The primary flavor I am picking up is a sweet vegetal one, perhaps likened to hay. There is a lingering sweetness that is subtle and reminds me of a very mild fruitiness. Butiki refers to sweet lime and rose notes, but I personally didn’t pick up on those. However, I did, with lots of focus, pick up on an exceedingly quiet floral note. This tea is likely a pricy option for most folks, with one ounce currently selling for $9.50. Not surprisingly, then, my sample size was relatively small, and in an effort to get the most out of my sample, I tried re-infusing the leaves. The second infusion was the same color as the first, and while the flavor profile was comparable, it was also different in that it was (as can be expected) more delicate, with the vegetal notes being reduced and the general sweetness becoming more prominent. I don’t always understand the fuss over white teas, but this is a pretty interesting offering and one that I would be happy to see in my teacup again.

— To purchase Butiki Teas Malawi White Peony, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer’s web site.

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