I’m consistently looking for single-origin teas to try! So, I took the plunge and adopted a small portion of a tea garden in Georgia!
While I’ve been fortunate enough to travel in the past, that currently isn’t an option for me, so this is my way of “virtually” visiting one! Renegade Tea Estate is located in Georgia (Europe) and the farm started in 2017 after the founders took on a tea farm that was abandoned 30 years ago. They have been reviving, learning, and experimenting with how to make tea ever since! I admired the endeavour and was keen to support it.
Having lived on a tea farm in Japan before, the experience changed my perspective on tea farming and producing, as well as farming as an industry. I’ve seen the passion and dedication firsthand and I like supporting farmers directly when I can. So, I “adopted” a 20-square-meter portion of Renegade’s tea garden for a year. The adoption acts as is pre-order for next season’s tea. 20 square meters of garden equates how much space is required to produce 525 to 600 grams of tea which are split into 4 bags of tea.
Since Renegade has a wide range of teas, I tried Renegade’s sampler set of 14 main teas to help me determine which teas I would pick for my adoption. With a little help from Hanna, one of the founders, via Instagram, I narrowed it down to a white, green, oolong, and black tea!
Ever since the adoption, I have been actively watching all the posts from Renedage about the harvest and production which has been a treat. The four teas I picked and a tea infuser arrived late last year. Over the next year, I’ll be sharing all the teas! This month, we will start with the aptly named “Cold Spring” because that is exactly what the weather is like here in Canada!
Description: “The aroma is fresh and vegetal, with notes of citrus.”
Instructions: 90 °C/194 °F 3 g | 250 ml | 4 – 5 min | re-steep 2 -3 times
Review: The white tea was made of small fuzzy leaves and long curled buds with a unified olive green colour. The leaves had the aroma of wet grass and pine trees on a spring day. Since it is a white tea, I erred on the side of caution and only brewed for 4 minutes. When the water first hits the dry leaves, it had a floral aroma, but it became more grassy as the leaves infuse. The pale yellow liquor had a taste that was reminiscent of steamed vegetables, spinach, artichokes, and wheatgrass. It also had a mineral note and was slightly drying at the back of the throat.
The second and third infusions were similar in colour and despite the longer infusions (5 and 6 minutes respectively), the taste was delicate and had a mild hint of artichoke, spinach, and edamame beans. The latter infusions were also drying at the back of the cheek and throat. The wet leaves had unfurled and were a yellow-olive colour and smelled of cucumber and watercress.
The first time I tasted this tea, I had to check the label because it reminded me of more of green tea like a Japanese Sencha – it was vegetal and a bit mineral. It is on the delicate side and didn’t have the more hay notes I normally associate with white teas and tasted as if it had just been picked. This tea is fresh tasting, so I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys delicate and grass/vegetal forward tasting teas or a even sencha (3/5 rating).
- Type: White tea
- Origin: Georgia
- Caffeine: Unknown
- Ingredients: White tea
- Company: Renegade Tea Estate
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