Backlogging (and, based almost entirely on my longer term memory)
Experience buying from Teavana http://steepster.com/places/2895-teavana-st-louis-missouri
Date of Purchase/Age of Leaf: Purchased at their 2010 end of year sale at a discount, and brewed up during much of 2011.
Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: At first it looked (and smelled) just like a green tea to me, but later I was able to tell a few differences: it’s lighter in color, and has a more fruity scent than a green tea. Although it looks nothing like Silver needles, or Bai Mu Dan, it is an attractive looking tea.
Brewing guidelines: six-cup ceramic teapot, tea in large, metal tea-ball; stevia added (parameters below are all from memory)
……….1st: 160; 2’
……….2nd: 165; 3’
……….3rd: 170; 4’
……….4th: 175; 5’
……….5th: 180; 6’
Color and aroma of tea liquor: a very light soft-pink color; pleasantly fruity aroma.
Flavor of tea liquor: pleasant: light and surprisingly fruity for an unflavored white tea.
Appearance and aroma of wet leaf: not very impressive looking (similar to Teavana’s Three Kingdoms Mao Feng): the leaf was pale and shriveled looking, and had lots of broken leaves, a number of bits and stems, and very few whole leaves or buds.
Blends well with: This blended very well with one of Teavana’s flavored white tea blends: Emerald Bamboo Forest.
Value: Expensive at regular price ($6/oz), but reasonable at 75% off, or $1.50/oz, which is what we paid for it.
Overall: I am not certain what kind of white tea this is (as it seems to be neither Silver needles nor or Bai Mu Dan), but it was tasty. Their description says it was grown amongst fruit trees (peach, I think), and the flavor certainly seems to demonstrate this. We often enjoyed this tea in the evening. I bought way too much of it last year, thinking at the time that white tea had high levels of theanine in it, as many green teas do, but this didn’t seem to be the case, at least not with this tea. Luckily, I was able to give lots of this tea away to a friend whom seems to appreciate it. One interesting thing to note: when I first bought this tea I was able to get three or four good steepings out of it. But, recently, the second steeping has an odd taste to it: not stale, but more like bitterness. So, I guess that’s what happens when this tea gets too old (even while carefully storing it, as I do all of my teas). That’s OK though, I enjoyed it while it was still fresh (and a lesson learned about not buying too much white tea!).