Having another go around with this one to try and get a better handle on where the flavors are coming from. Same parameters for the first steep – 2 minutes at 180 degrees, but this time I am getting the hint of melon that the company mentions in its description. Still a lot of that sweet hay/grass taste too, which is very pleasant. I’m noticing the aftertaste this time more – it’s a sweetness around the whole mouth.

Still, all these flavors are so gentle and understated, it’s hard for me to get the purpose of putting a bunch of flavoring in with white tea, for fear of losing the essential qualities of the tea itself. I’m going to chalk it up to other people having more acute taste centers, that can pick out the white tea flavors among the melon, licorice, or other additions.

2nd infusion at 2.5 minutes and 180 degrees: Still very sweet and grassy, nice aroma and color. No real lessening of qualities in the second steep. I’m going to bump this one up a couple points based on today’s tasting.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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