Another excuse to use the gaiwan!
So, I’m still fairly new to aged/pu’er teas, and haven’t had a lot of success with white teas in the past. The fact that this is a white tea aged like a pu’er seemed like an interesting challenge.
And oh man, this tea was weird. A good weird, but it was unlike anything I’ve tried before.
Steeping parameters: about 2 tablespoons of leaf (which was composed of big fluffy buds, almost like wheat kernels). A 4-5-oz gaiwan. 24 oz of water brought freshly off the boil and kept in a hot teapot. 6 steeps total, starting at 30s and ranging to 1 minute.
The dry leaf smelled sweet, and I could definitely get a piny, resinous smell. After I rinsed out the leaves, that fresh forest smell was even more apparent.
The first steep (30s) tasted of pine and earth, and even kind of fishy or mushroom-like. It was a nice pale yellow.
The second and subsequent steeps all took on a pale green colour, like pastel or young shoots. The last steep even took on a blue tinge, so it was almost mint or celadon in colour!
All throughout, I tasted pine and the forest – it made me think I was back in my uncle’s cottage up on the Bay of Quinte, with the leaves falling and the damp air (even though there are mostly deciduous trees, rather than coniferous). The liquor made my tongue feel fuzzy over time – it wasn’t quite astringent, but I could sense a sort of velvet fuzziness. The fourth and fifth steeps also brought in an oolong note.
Near the end of the sip, and in the drained leaves left in the gaiwan, there was a floral sweetness that I have a hard time describing. Lily, perhaps? Chrysanthemum? Not sure.
All in all, this was definitely a distinctive blend. I’m not sure if this will be a restock, but I’m happy to send samples to others who are interested. Thanks to De for giving me a generous bag of this, still sealed from Verdant.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Mushrooms, Pine