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These leaves are truly beautiful. They come in graceful green leaf pairings with a long thin bud hidden usually in the fold of one of the leaves, but you can coax it out once it’s brewed.  They are unusually hard for being the least processed and have an almost waxy cast with nearly undectable hairs on them.  This is not your soft downy silver needle.  They have elegant curled edges with tiny little teeth.  Why describe the leaves so much?  They are pretty much the most remarkable thing about this tea, which is very light.  

There is only the slightest hint of sweetness and tang.  The pear and melon that are described are not juicy but more pear skin and the frothy hairs surrounding the seeds of honeydew.  Vegetal? Only the tiniest trace, just enough to know your drinking a tea, but it is not a word I would use to describe this tea compared to others.  

I can taste that it is a Darjeeling, though I’m sure it helps that I know it’s one.  It’s something inherent about the soil and the altitude and all that cold rain but there is absolutely no bitterness.  I’m not sure of this tea could get bitter, but I’m not about to scorch it to find out, I’ll keep the temp right at 180 and keep drawing out the time.  I somewhat regret not using the whole sample amount for strength’s sake but I feared if I ruined it I would have none left.   I recommend multiple infusions, I’m on my third, as the first is the lightest. I’ll update if something remarkable comes through on a later steep. Toddler chugged two cups of this and said it smelled delicious, I think he was really thirsty.

 So this tea does solve the problem of the astringent Darjeeling for me and while I’m glad I tried I know there are many other white teas out there that have a lot more to offer.  Heck I’ve got twenty samples of them just waiting to be tried.  Tomorrow perhaps I shall try the White Assam.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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