White Prakash from Nepal Tea
Hello again, friends! Today's review is of this gorgeous Nepalese white tea from Nepal Tea. I received this as a sample at the World Tea Expo, where I got to meet Nischal Banskota, the founder of Nepal Tea. Their booth was by far one of the best and most heavily foot-trafficked at the Expo itself, and for good reason. They offered several samples of tea, both cold-brewed and brewed in a tea pot. These included Kumari Gold, Kathmandu Cosmos, and a cold-brewed White Prakash. I covered a bit more on them in my post on the World Tea Expo itself, which can be found here.
One of the most amazing things about Nepal Tea is the fact that they place such a high emphasis on letting us as consumers know where our tea is coming from. They also let us know what impacts their business is having on local communities; for example, they have provided over 2400 scholarships, 180+ cows/buffalos to farmers, and free housing to 100 of their full-time farmers through their foundation. Nepal Tea emphasizes the social aspects of their business and helps farmers have an increased standard of living. Additionally, on the back of each package is a scannable QR code that takes you to a special page on their website. In this case, it took us to the page for White Prakash, where it had this wonderfully informative graphic:
That might just be the most information I've ever received for a particular tea. Nischal and Nepal Tea clearly care about their communities and are doing something amazing by being this transparent. It's also amazing that they provide the gender makeup of the producers, something that is unique to them and their company. Being an anthropology and sociology nerd, it was amazing seeing this.
So, without further ado, let's get into this review! :)
180°F / 82°C water
Dry leaf: Wow. These leaves smell like pepper, flowers, and sugar. They feel like literal velvet, they're so soft and so hairy that it's honestly mind-blowing.
Warmed gaiwan: The leaves now have a malty, intense floral sweetness to them, similar to a clover honey. It's very pleasant.
Rinse 5s: I'm tasting vanilla with a light honey flavor. It's very sweet and smooth with a nice, velvety floral feel. The leaves in the gaiwan are now insanely floral and smell similar to a dancong- the aroma is beautiful.
1st steep 7s: It's very floral-forward but with a nice depth to it. I can definitely detect hints of grape. It's also surprisingly fruity with underlying notes of hay/grassy butter. There's only a slight astringency on the roof of my mouth.
2nd steep 10s: It's again, very floral with notes of something like an apricot or perhaps a melon like a cantaloupe. It's quite pleasant. It has a very crisp, fruity flavor with a slight pleasing astringency. It's a very calming tea, as well.
3rd steep 15s: It's giving me a lot of floral, juicy notes. This is going to be the weirdest description I've ever done, but it tastes similarly to when one drinks a glass of orange juice in the morning and you have that lingering juiciness as a feeling in your mouth minutes later. That's how this tea feels. It's so strange and almost indescribable, but I tried.
4th steep 30s: It's starting to die out, but it's still got a pervasive honeyed sweetness. I'm mainly getting vanilla and florals as the biggest notes, with a backing taste of what can only be described as fruity pebbles cereal.
5th steep 45s: Pervasive honeyed sweetness, floral blossoms.
6th steep 60s: It's practically dead now, but it's still kicking me with that pervasive sweetness and an addictive honeyed florality. I can definitely see this tea being a great candidate for cold-brewing spent leaves.
5/5 stars pricing, 5/5 stars taste, 10/10 stars company values
This tea is phenomenal for a white tea. The amount of trichomes on the leaves was honestly impressive. It held up fairly well to gongfu brewing and had a nice, floral explosion of flavors. At only $14.00 for 50g of tea, or about $0.28/g, this tea is well worth it. I've had much more expensive white teas in the past that didn't even come close in terms to flavor or performance when compared to this White Prakash. Additionally, when combined with the amazing work Nepal Tea does for their community, it's really a spectacular product. This is a company you can not only feel good drinking their product knowing it's high quality, but you can also feel good when supporting and purchasing their teas. Seeing the exact details of where the tea was picked, processed, and shipped out from, including a gendered breakdown of employees, was honestly so insightful and more transparent than any other company I've yet seen. It's also great reading about their social initiatives like providing education and housing to farmers and their children. Nepal Tea is occupying this unique niche of a social-oriented tea company and they're pushing the boundaries on transparency. They almost blur the lines between a tea company and an NGO- they're using their revenue to support the communities and give back to the people of Nepal. It's great to see and even better to experience. I definitely plan on stocking more of this for regular sessions and will speak highly of them to anyone who wants a good source for a delicious white tea.