Snow Lotus fine Teas

I met Lavina Rao at the NW Tea Festival a couple of years ago, just after she started her online tea business, Snow Lotus fine Teas, here in the Northwest. This past November, she again had a booth at the Festival. An engaging woman, the name of her tea company rolls off the tongue, comfortable. The snow lotus is a flower of adversity, from the Himalayas. The flower struggles to grow, but is beautiful in bloom. Just like life. 

Snow Lotus teas are pure leaf teas, no additives. Smooth, they possess good mouthfeel and beautiful color, and are grown in high altitude and clean, crisp air. Though the selection is smaller rather than bigger, it is cohesive and complete. Lavina’s passion with her company is to bring quality tea to mainstream America. It’s an educational process.

Opportunity knocked, and I was able to share some time, as well as tea, with Lavina. She takes her time to brew Golden Monkey, a legendary black tea from Fujian Province, China. Originating during the Song Dynasty, with golden-tipped black leaves, Golden Monkey (don’t you love tea names?) is ultra smooth, able to be steeped several times, and low in tannins. An astringent black tea, it will mellow with age, like fine wine. 

We shared another tea: Tibetan Mushroom Pu-erh, which is a raw pu-erh, shaped in the form of, guess what, a mushroom. The oxidization process is stopped early; hence the tea is considered raw. 

The Tibetan Mushroom Pu-erh comes from one factory in Dali, Yunnan Province, China. The province is wild, and sits between the borders of Vietnam and China, in a tropical area. Pu-erh’s were how tea was transported for centuries. No one is going to drag huge bags of tea thousands of miles, but they will carry compacted tea leaves in the saddlebags of animals. 

Lavina brews her tea at 190 degrees, instead of the usual 212 degrees. I notice how flavorful her teas taste, and when I return home, I try tea at both temperatures. Sure enough, there is a noticeable difference in taste, and with the lower temperature, my tongue isn’t it’s usual scalded, and the tea has more flavor.

The pu-erh was fine for the first steeping, but the following steepings began to pick up astringency, and became too bitter for me. 

You can find Snow Lotus fine Teas at the NW Tea Festival, later this year, or check out her website and order online.