This was a free sample from Russel Allyn and Harney and Sons.
The last time I tried this tea – which was also my first time trying it – I used the parameters suggested on their site. Honestly, I wasn’t that taken with this, but I thought the instructions a bit odd for a green and white tea. Also, I haven’t been drinking greens that long and perhaps I am a bit of a wimp! The first steep that time was a bit sour and not too floral, while the second was very astringent. I put it off to user error and decided to try again, this time using steeping parameters that made more sense for ME and what I like. I thought perhaps the higher temp was to facilitate the unfurling of the pearls, but they unfurl just fine at a much lower temp.
The website says 195F for 4 to 5 minutes. This time I gave it 2 minutes at 175F. MUCH BETTER! For me, at least. The liquor was the color of pale champagne or cream soda and the texture of the tea was creamy, the flavor sweet. The jasmine is not very pronounced this way. Nice! Very nice!
Second steep, I got bolder and used hotter water and added a minute, so still well below their suggestion. The color is much deeper. Now it is astringent again, but not undrinkable. My tongue is tingling and a light sour taste is present. Not my thing, but some people like it.
I combine the two steeps. The color of the second steep was so much deeper than the first that it deepens the whole glass pitcher to its color. I like this better than the second steep alone, less than the first steep, though with a meal i might want it to be this strong. Again, the jasmine is more subtle than in Teavivre’s while the green tea is more prominent. It is a little more reminiscent of Grace Rare Tea Flowery Jasmine Before the Rain, which is a pouchong.
I think I will continue to steep this one my way – keeping the water temp low, and the time shorter. (Ah! Here it is! It hits! My beloved late rising plum sweetness that follows some greens!)