This is a tea from the Czech Republic called Santée Bílý čaj & třešeň, which translates as white tea and cherry. I was fortunate enough to be sent Santee White Tea and Cherry by a fellow tea enthusiast and have been sipping it contemplatively over the past month.
Keep reading for my full review (in English) including the ingredients, flavour notes, how to brew it, and where it’s available to buy.
Santée White Tea and Cherry at a Glance
- Blend: White tea with cherry flavouring and fruit juice
- Flavour: Artificial cherry notes and bitter white tea
A strange tea that, at first, seemed more green than white. It’s certainly strong flavoured with black forest gateau notes and long-lasting bitterness. Not everyone’s cup of tea.
Full Review – Santée Cherry White Tea
- Type: Tagged paper filter tea bag
- Tea: White tea
- Additives: Flavouring, cherry fruit juice (0.1%)
- Flavour Notes: Artificial cherry, black forest gateau, bitter
- Aroma: Sweet cherry liqueur, dull white tea
- Milk or Lemon: Something sweet
- Where to Buy: Pauwex (CZ)
Ripping open the packet… is disappointing.
It’s quite a dull tea that at first sniff smells more like a green tea than a bright, sweet white tea. This is the first indication that we’re not dealing with the highest quality tea leaves. Given the dark colours and flavours of this tea, I imagine it’s more likely to be a shou mei white tea as well.
It brews, reluctantly, into a clear honey brown tea with a surprisingly delicious aroma. This was the highlight of the tea-drinking experience – that sweet cherry liqueur aroma that swirls around the room.
Sadly, the flavour just doesn’t live up to this aroma. It’s undeniably fake with artificial cherry notes that remind me of a bad supermarket premade black forest gateau. It’s bitter too, despite the fact I brewed it at a low temperature. While this does mellow slightly as you get deeper into the cup, it never fades away completely.
How to Brew White Tea with Cherry
Instructions for brewing this tea are to pour 250ml of 80°C over 1 tea bag and let it infuse for 2 to 3 minutes. In the end, I found that brewing for 2 minutes and 30 seconds gave the best results.
You can certainly add some sugar or honey to this tea to improve it by masking the bitterness. You could also use this tea to wash down a dessert that’s too sweet and needs something to contrast with it.
Why Santée Cherry Tea?
There’s not much that I can find about this tea brand. The description from the Pauwex website where I found this tea for sale describes it as:
“White tea is considered a specialty among teas because it is made from the first, still undeveloped leaves of the tea bush. It is light and delicate, and the sweet cherry gives it a refreshing taste. Discover the magic of white tea, a drink so rare that for years only Chinese emperors drank it.”
I’ve not found any information about the sourcing of the ingredients or where it’s manufactured. From the description alone, it certainly sounds like it’s advertised as a high-quality tea.
If you know any more about Santée and this tea specifically, please leave a comment below so I can update this article.
I won’t be drinking this tea again, but that doesn’t mean you’ll hate it too. We all have different palates, and who knows, maybe I just got a bad batch. If you’re a fan of cherries and white tea, it’s worth a try if you can get your hands on it.
Personally, I like my white teas to be served in a classic way. The sweet melon notes of white tea tips is enough to make me happy. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more excitement, I have just the thing. Take a look at my review of Adagio White Chai.