White tea and I are acquaintances. Whenever I have it I think it’s pretty awesome in a superficial sense, but I really don’t know. I hear so much about the complexity and nuances that it sounds thoroughly entertaining. As I’m trying to hone my taste buds I thought now would be as good a time as any to get to know white tea better. I’d really like to become friends.
What worries me a bit, though, is that I can’t get rid of my idea of white tea being soooo serious and entirely to refined for me. I want so badly to get everything out of it that I almost kept waiting for that perfect moment when my palate (which I spell wrong about 2/3 of the time) is developed and the stars are aligned. But I’m impatient, so that didn’t really happen. It’s a lot like how I’m writing this at 3am instead of waiting until I’m coherent.
The wet leaf smelled like some sort of cooked vegetable, which kind of made me worried. I didn’t expect there to be such a savory aroma, so I was pretty confused for a few moments. By the time it got cool enough to drink without burning myself (I’m a wimp, I know) I had worked myself up into a person-shaped pile of apprehension. Maybe I’m not classy enough for this tea. What does it mean if I don’t like it?
But it was fine.
I was fascinated. There were so many flavors in my cup! The first steep (30 sec slightly steaming water) surprised me at its strength. The thick, creamy texture combined with an almost buttery quality reminded me of drinking broth. It was somewhat sweet, but mostly in the aftertaste. The sweetness was more of a sweet vegetable or herb rather than sugary. There may have been a hint of floral as well, but I couldn’t decide if I was really tasting/smelling it or not. Overall quite savory and creamy. I was definitely taking more tea notes than on the film I was supposed to be watching for a class. Oops.
The second steep (1 min) lost some of its savoriness. Without it the sweetness began to come through more. There’s still some of the viscosity, but more along the lines of “milky” than “creamy”. I swear there’s something floral in there. I get the impression of sweet, fragrant herbs.
One mo’ ’gain. I added another thirty seconds for the third and last infusion based on the package directions. Smooth and sweet. Pleasant and easy to drink, but as far as I could tell the complexity was gone.
Overall I was impressed. This tea managed to keep me entertained for quite a while. I’m probably not getting everything out of it, so If anyone has any general white tea tips, or specific ones for white peony I’d really appreciate it.