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Recent Tasting Notes
I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Up too late, and was woken up too early. Not that I have a reason on either end, just nature being itself. So, I decided to go for this tea, which I picked up at the Toronto Tea Festival.
The tea is actually quite beautiful to look at — there are a few whole leaves, I’m not sure if it’s the mint or something else — and then smaller chunks of greenery. Perhaps would be nicer with some colour, but I don’t think it was particularly meant to be seen as opposed to drank. The taste is somewhat herb-y and medicinal, but also sweet. It’s… interesting. Not the best tea I’ve ever drank, but certainly not off-putting either.
I just hope it gives me the energy I need to make it through today. :)
Ok, tried it again a week later. This time I used fewer leaves, and I think this is probably a more accurate representation of what this tea is supposed to be like. The liquor is a pale yellow now instead of the rosy-yellow it was last week, and the flavour is milder. This is a very vegetal white, with more of a “boiled vegetables” smell this time around.
I’ve got some Silver Needle tea on the way, so I really hope I can get a better idea of what to expect from a white tea once I have something to compare to.
Another purchase from the Toronto Tea Festival. My thoughts are based on steeping 2 infusions.
Dry leaf: The leaves are large, whole, and sage green. Some of them also have stems still attached. The scent of the dry leaves is sweet but a little musty. I haven’t drunk enough white tea to know whether this characteristic of all white teas or only this particular type.
Packaging/Instructions: I purchased a large resealable bag (zip seal) that had 15g for $3.50. The package says that this style of tea needs to be steeped with 100°C water, which I thought would make things too bitter. Instead, I let the kettle cool down for 5-10 minutes or so after boiling. Because white tea has such large leaves, I used 2 big spoonfuls for my steep (probably a heaping tablespoon).
1st infusion: Steeped for 4 minutes. The liquor is deep golden orange and smells like a milder version of the kind of mass-market orange pekoe bags you can get at the grocery. The taste is smooth and not astringent, but I can’t detect any other flavours besides the tea. I think I might get a hint of apple or pear, and that’s it.
2nd infusion: Steeped this time for 6 minutes. The liquor is a bit lighter this time – a nice golden orange. No appreciable change or decline in taste.
Both times, I let the tea cool before finishing it, unlike yesterday’s steep of Shincha Kuro that I enjoyed very much. This is an okay white tea, I suppose, but I worry that I may have overleafed or oversteeped it. I think I’ll need to try more varieties (eg: silver needle) to get more context.