Gongfu style brewing this tea, the leaves in a warm gaiwan smell very sweet and milky. I’m reminded of horchata but I’m also reminded of sweetened condensed milk. It’s very sweet smelling and has little hints of chocolate, kind of reminding me of chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. The wet leaves give off the very perfumed and distinct aroma of moonlight white tea, and also smell like cooked stonefruits.
The liquor of this tea is a pale moony yellow, and to be honest, I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t drinking just the teaware rinse water (with no tea) during my first infusion of this tea, the flavor is so light. Not at all what I expected considering the intense aroma.
The second infusion has a creamy, milky kind of taste to me, with hints of oats. It’s very light in flavor still, so I’m going to add some leaves to the next infusion. I’m surprised because I have the gaiwan half full of leaves already.
After adding leaves so that this gaiwan is entirely full of them, my third infusion still tastes incredibly light. It’s mostly a creamy almond-milk kind of flavor. The fragrance is filling the room from the leaves, but taste is mild.
I did a much longer infusion for the fourth, and I’m getting notes of honey and malt now, but I’m still surprised at how mild the flavor is. White teas are some of my favorites, and I do tend to brew very light. In fact, one of the folks from Tealet I had tea with once told me I was probably the lightest gongfu tea brewer she’d encountered, so you could say my palate is probably rather sensitive and adapted to drinking and enjoying delicate flavors, especially with white teas. I tend to brew them especially light. I love the gossamer-like nature of their dewy, fresh flavors. That said, I feel like I’m dumping tea leaves into my gaiwan right now, brewing the heck out of them, and still getting something more flavorless than what I’m used to.
I may have to try some other approaches to brewing this, but compared to other moonlight white teas I’ve had this one is surprisingly light, to the point I’d really more call it lacking in flavor than simply light.
I will update my review if experimentation leads to any discovery of a better way to brew it. It was brewed at 90C/194F for about 20 seconds on the first infusion and longer infusions each time. I even upped the temperature of the water to 95C to see if that’d coax more out but I didn’t notice a significant change. As for my numerical score, I feel completely neutral on this tea, so I’ve rated it as such. The flavor is nice from what I can detect, but I can barely detect it.
Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Malt, Milk