73

I find myself within reach of something of a milestone. I only have three kinds of tea from my original splurge left to write notes on! Wonder if I can finish tonight? If not tonight, I should definitely be able to tomorrow. Then on to the even more dubious milestone of finishing drinking them all. Sometimes I leap before I look, as was the case here. Had I looked, I would probably have skipped bags altogether and gone straight to loose leaf. But live and learn.

Before I started on this journey, I didn’t know there was such a thing as white tea. I knew about blacks and greens, certainly, and even oolong. But the sheer existence of white was a surprise. When I first read about it, I thought it sounded like something I’d like. And now that I’ve tried some, I do — though I have yet to figure out where it best fits into my day. It’s not an early morning tea (need heavily caffeinated teas for that) and it’s not an afternoon tea, really (oolong, or green fits there). It’s not really a dessert tea because I’m prefer strong flavors in those. And then I worry that by late evening it’s too late for even it’s reputedly small amount of caffeine. This may be the reason that of all the boxes of teabags I have in my cupboard still, the white tea boxes have the most left in them.

It could also be that I haven’t yet taken the time to perfect how to steep them, and so they intimidate me a little. At least, moreso than other teas. I seem to have more success with lower temperatures and longer steeps — the flavors seem to come out a little bit more that way. But one day I’ll set aside some time and do an organized test of various steeping temperatures and times for different kinds of whites, and then maybe I can overcome my feelings of intimidation.

This is one of the three types of bagged tea I have left to write a note about, and one of the others is also a Numi white tea. The type of white tea this one is is not identified on the bag’s packaging.

The bag has a dusky, nonspecific plant smell, with a jungle flower feel to it. The liquor has an apricot color. The aroma is dusky floral, too, with something I think, from what I have read, is usually referred to as stone fruit? In any case, I don’t find it easily identifiable as a specific fruit — it could be peach, apricot, nectarine, or a combination. There’s a sweetness to it.

It tastes very much like it smells. Heavy, dark floral notes with a suggestion of fruit. The aftertaste is surprisingly fresh, and a tiny bit sweet.

It will be interesting to try other Osmanthus white teas, now that I have a baseline. This one is reasonably tasty for a bagged tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Rabs

A brunch tea perhaps? ;) I do think that I tend to pass over white many times because of the exact thing you describe: either I need uber-caffeine, or I want none.

__Morgana__

Yeah, maybe — or early afternoon, or as an alternative to oolong or green for later in the afternoon.

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Rabs

A brunch tea perhaps? ;) I do think that I tend to pass over white many times because of the exact thing you describe: either I need uber-caffeine, or I want none.

__Morgana__

Yeah, maybe — or early afternoon, or as an alternative to oolong or green for later in the afternoon.

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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