Love. Schmultzy it’s true, but I’m a sucker for when mine brings home fancy tea apropos of nothing. The first white tea of my larder.
It’s one of those teas that you keep leaving aside for some worthy occasion. I thought today I’d better get around to drinking some – my love has gone to count fish species in the jungles of PNG, and if he gets his throat slit by bandits while he is there I won’t ever be able to bring myself to it again. I’d have to invest instead in some ancient, pungent black puer called “Grief” or some such. Hmm. Maybe there’s a market in such a tea. “Long-fermented widow”. “Bitter bitch with raisin”. Anyway.
So visually, Love is spectacular. It’s a walnut sized ball of white tea and jasmine, strictly for steeping in glass, and preferably with an audience, so that you can all watch it unfurl into a little underwater garden. Each ball is tufted with bright pink petals but I am unsure what this is…. They mention jasmine, but jasmine is always white, no? They also mention “flowers”. I don’t know, it’s probably a very pretty, subtle-tasting thing with a terrible sounding name. Pink Drudgeweed, or something. But isn’t it funny how colour changes your palate, I swear it tastes pink.
I steeped at somewhere between 80 and 90 degrees for as long as it took for me to get naked and light six candles by the bath (this is an official unit measurment of steeping time). Does white tea taste of anything, really? I can certainly taste jasmine, and the water feels slightly thick and softened. There is a very delicate astringency to finish, I think this was becoming more apparent as it cooled.
A very theatrical little tea, though spoken softly.