The dry rolled balls have a subtle scent of dried cherries, a nice natural sweet smell.
The brew instructions had a lower temperature range (155-165F) for this than I’ve ever used for a white tea so I went with 160F because that’s as low as my kettle goes.
The leaves did not unfurl as much as I thought they would probably because of the lower temp. They appear to be chopped and then rolled. The brewed leaves look like chopped cooked frozen spinach. They have not unfurled all the way so they are still in balls that are falling apart. I am gonna give this one a second steeping because more flavor is rolled in there.
The liquor has the distinctive white tea champagne color and this one is a golden and darker white tea.
The flavor is good. It is subtle sweetness and mainly tastes like honey with a tiny hint of dried cherry.
Second Steeping – kept it at 160F for 2 minutes. The leaves have mostly fully unfurled now and the liquor is a deeper champagne color. The flavor has evolved to include a very interesting note. I had to get into my spice cabinet and start smelling because I could not figure out what that note was. It was closest to sumac and blue poppy seeds. A sweet spice note mixed with the dried cherry note. The second steeping turned this into a different tea because the first was devoted to the outside of the balls and then second brought out the surprise of the inside of the leaves.
I really enjoyed this tea experience and a white tea pearl type (non-jasmine) must always be kept in my cupboard now!!!!!!!
I brewed this today in a different pot than I did last time. Still Western but a 22 oz ceramic pot. Flavors are the same and there is definitely a sumac note to this tea. A sweet note too which makes it good!
Flavors: Honey, Stonefruits