Lost Tea Co. White Moonlight
Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: fairly broken but some buds visible
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Lost Tea Co. specializes in small tea farms that the owner, Rishi Reddy, directly sources from himself in Yunnan. I was definitely intrigued when he first contacted me about reviewing their teas. As a graduate student at Harvard and MIT, he traveled to China and India in order to study tea. Since he did not speak any Chinese he used a note to communicate his mission wherever he went. That was back in 2013 and he is still pursuing that passion today.
Moonlight White is a term that is used to refer to white tea from Yunnan with a higher degree of oxidation (though Indian producers have experimented quite a bit in recent years). Lore also usually tells of the leaves being dried under the moon rather than with sunlight. The dry leaf of this tea was somewhat broken and fairly dark in color. There were still silvery leaves and buds mixed throughout
The taste was very sweet with a thick mouthfeel thanks to all of the trichomes floating in my sharing pitcher and cup. Those little hairs really do make a difference so this is one tea that I prepared without a filter. Meadowy floral notes transitioned to a clean citrus finish that reminded me of perfectly ripe tangerines. There was no bitterness at all and I was able to get quite a few satisfying infusions. Overall it was a warming and comforting tea that I could definitely see myself enjoying on a chilly night when I need to unwind.
Lost Tea Co.’s recommended infusion times are impossibly short for both western and gongfu brewing. Some teas, like a robust Wuyi oolong or very bitter puerh, benefit from flash brewing but a delicate white tea is not one of them. 20 seconds in 4 oz of water is going to give you little more than soft water. I would definitely recommend experimenting to find your own personal preference here. My own inclination is towards much longer times and water that is much closer to boiling.
Have you ever tried this tea? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!