White tea tends to leave me feeling cleansed and refreshed more than any other tea I drink regularly. There is something about its creamy thick texture and its soft yet bright flavours that just do that for me, so I was very happy when Angel asked me to participate in this round of tastings. Teavivre generously sent 3 packages of each tea, more than enough to try it several ways and to possibly share with friends!
The intact leaves of this tea include a stem bearing a silver furry bud and 1-2 intact leaves, but as is common many of the leaves are broken and loose from the stem. The leaves are mostly spruce to a light green live tree leaf colour. A few of the leaves have undergone a slight oxidation and are edged brown. They smell of hay and something tart.
I’ve steeped this tea twice now once at a lower temperature of around 75-80°C throughout the session and the second time aat 85-90°C and they both have a slightly different flavour profile.
I used Teavivre’s intervals for gongfu brewing of this tea ( rinse, 25,45,70, 90,150s)
And used 3 TSP of tea ( I usually use 2, so this is slightly more leaf than I usually use for this tea) in a 150ml open Gaiwan.
The broth was a pale, green, tinged gold which deepened to a deeper gold colour with longer steeps and hotter temperatures.
The tea smelled of cucumber, hay,tart fruit and when brewed at lower temperatures a faint hint of cocoa.
These notes are for (75-80°C)
1st steeping: The tea had light crisp fresh notes up front with cucumber, hay, and clover nectar notes. It finished with tart fruit over a mix of nectar, cocoa and fermented grain notes with a creamy texture. The nectar could be interpreted as honey but it was more of a sweet floral tone. the nectar was slightly spicy as it cooled with hints of cinnamon.
2nd steeping: The flavours were more blended. The cucumber was not as distinct. The broth was thicker and sweeter with cream being added to the blend of cucumber, clover nectar, hay, and grain notes. The cocoa was absent.
3rd steeping: Less grainy notes were present. Citrus note were stronger, the cucumber was more distinct and was mixed with cream with a faint hint of vanilla. Cream and honey lingered in the aftertaste.
4th steeping: Cream, with cucumber, nectar and a hint of tart plum and a slight reference to grainy notes.
5th steeping: Similar flavour to above, with a mineral note and a lingering sweetness.
85-90°C: The clover nectar flavour was stronger, the cocoa was absent and the grainy notes were very faint.
Here is a picture of the tea brewing: http://instagram.com/p/rpTv8pmK47/
This tea was gentle and cleansing and quite enjoyable. Thanks Teavivre!