75
drank Songyang White by Verdant Tea
2475 tasting notes

Thank you kindly Verdant for sending me a sample of this in my last order!

Everyone else has been raving about their Jasmine white tea but I was rather glad I got this one instead. Upon smelling the leaves I decided to brew them up in the xi ying and let it steep for about 1.5 minutes, very bitter. I thought perhaps the clay was throwing off the taste a bit so I transferred the leaves to the gaiwan and let it steep for about 20 seconds, still very bitter. Then I finally decided to heed the gong fu directions on the bag and let it steep for 8 seconds which basically meant I poured water over it and poured it back out into a cup. They recommend 205 F for whites but when I did that it got brackish really fast. I had to brew this like a green. Now I am getting the clean vegetal aromas were described. This is very interesting and reminds me more of a green tea than any other white I have had. I think I need to start all over again on a new day with a little less leaf and very short steepings. I was very surprised at how easy it was to mess this up but I really don’t have a very good track record with white teas. I will be glad to increase my rating if I can figure out how to make this more palatable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec
ScottTeaMan

I always brew my whites gong fu and start steeps around 45 sec to one minute. It also depends on the amount of leaf you use and water temp. I use more leaf and start with lower temps (160-170) and gradually increase both times & temps

ScottTeaMan

Yixings are also usually used for Oolongs and Puerhs, but you can use them for blacks. I would not recommend Yixings for Greens and Whites.

TeaBrat

Hey, they said you could brew this western style with 205 F water for 4 minutes, I can’t imagine, it would be like a seaweed broth. Seems like less is more here for sure.

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, I never brew my whites 3 or 4 minutes unless I’ve steeped it a few times, but never for the first few brews

David Duckler

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the real-world field testing here. This is a very different white tea. I am of the school to use boiling water on white tea, brewed in a glass pitcher for 10-15 seconds, but it sometimes gets me in trouble with thse 175 degree crowd. HOWEVER- that works mainly for silver needle white, especially Yunnan silver needle. This Songyang, as you rightly point out, is closer in flavor to a green tea, and should probably be treated as such when brewing, even though it is technically a white tea due to processing. This one is slightly temperamental, but I think that when you return to it, you will hit the sweet spot and get all the good fresh green flavor. This one always feels very “alive” when I brew it, if that makes any sense. If you used up your sample, let me know and I will give you a bit more to play with in your next order.

I will play around with the Songyang this week and revise the brewing instructions to reflect how different it is from the other white teas I have encountered.

TeaBrat

David – thanks for your note. I still have more and I suspect if I treat it gently I will indeed like it more. :)

ScottTeaMan

I can’t imagine ever using boiling water for any whites or greens. Hhmmm Amy, was that a free sample with your order? If so, Major note to self: “Plan an order with Verdant Teas in the near future!” :))

TeaBrat

Scott, yes it was a freebie! :)

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Comments

ScottTeaMan

I always brew my whites gong fu and start steeps around 45 sec to one minute. It also depends on the amount of leaf you use and water temp. I use more leaf and start with lower temps (160-170) and gradually increase both times & temps

ScottTeaMan

Yixings are also usually used for Oolongs and Puerhs, but you can use them for blacks. I would not recommend Yixings for Greens and Whites.

TeaBrat

Hey, they said you could brew this western style with 205 F water for 4 minutes, I can’t imagine, it would be like a seaweed broth. Seems like less is more here for sure.

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, I never brew my whites 3 or 4 minutes unless I’ve steeped it a few times, but never for the first few brews

David Duckler

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the real-world field testing here. This is a very different white tea. I am of the school to use boiling water on white tea, brewed in a glass pitcher for 10-15 seconds, but it sometimes gets me in trouble with thse 175 degree crowd. HOWEVER- that works mainly for silver needle white, especially Yunnan silver needle. This Songyang, as you rightly point out, is closer in flavor to a green tea, and should probably be treated as such when brewing, even though it is technically a white tea due to processing. This one is slightly temperamental, but I think that when you return to it, you will hit the sweet spot and get all the good fresh green flavor. This one always feels very “alive” when I brew it, if that makes any sense. If you used up your sample, let me know and I will give you a bit more to play with in your next order.

I will play around with the Songyang this week and revise the brewing instructions to reflect how different it is from the other white teas I have encountered.

TeaBrat

David – thanks for your note. I still have more and I suspect if I treat it gently I will indeed like it more. :)

ScottTeaMan

I can’t imagine ever using boiling water for any whites or greens. Hhmmm Amy, was that a free sample with your order? If so, Major note to self: “Plan an order with Verdant Teas in the near future!” :))

TeaBrat

Scott, yes it was a freebie! :)

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Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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