I find myself within reach of something of a milestone. I only have three kinds of tea from my original splurge left to write notes on! Wonder if I can finish tonight? If not tonight, I should definitely be able to tomorrow. Then on to the even more dubious milestone of finishing drinking them all. Sometimes I leap before I look, as was the case here. Had I looked, I would probably have skipped bags altogether and gone straight to loose leaf. But live and learn.

Before I started on this journey, I didn’t know there was such a thing as white tea. I knew about blacks and greens, certainly, and even oolong. But the sheer existence of white was a surprise. When I first read about it, I thought it sounded like something I’d like. And now that I’ve tried some, I do — though I have yet to figure out where it best fits into my day. It’s not an early morning tea (need heavily caffeinated teas for that) and it’s not an afternoon tea, really (oolong, or green fits there). It’s not really a dessert tea because I’m prefer strong flavors in those. And then I worry that by late evening it’s too late for even it’s reputedly small amount of caffeine. This may be the reason that of all the boxes of teabags I have in my cupboard still, the white tea boxes have the most left in them.

It could also be that I haven’t yet taken the time to perfect how to steep them, and so they intimidate me a little. At least, moreso than other teas. I seem to have more success with lower temperatures and longer steeps — the flavors seem to come out a little bit more that way. But one day I’ll set aside some time and do an organized test of various steeping temperatures and times for different kinds of whites, and then maybe I can overcome my feelings of intimidation.

This is one of the three types of bagged tea I have left to write a note about, and one of the others is also a Numi white tea. The type of white tea this one is is not identified on the bag’s packaging.

The bag has a dusky, nonspecific plant smell, with a jungle flower feel to it. The liquor has an apricot color. The aroma is dusky floral, too, with something I think, from what I have read, is usually referred to as stone fruit? In any case, I don’t find it easily identifiable as a specific fruit — it could be peach, apricot, nectarine, or a combination. There’s a sweetness to it.

It tastes very much like it smells. Heavy, dark floral notes with a suggestion of fruit. The aftertaste is surprisingly fresh, and a tiny bit sweet.

It will be interesting to try other Osmanthus white teas, now that I have a baseline. This one is reasonably tasty for a bagged tea.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

A brunch tea perhaps? ;) I do think that I tend to pass over white many times because of the exact thing you describe: either I need uber-caffeine, or I want none.


Yeah, maybe — or early afternoon, or as an alternative to oolong or green for later in the afternoon.

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A brunch tea perhaps? ;) I do think that I tend to pass over white many times because of the exact thing you describe: either I need uber-caffeine, or I want none.


Yeah, maybe — or early afternoon, or as an alternative to oolong or green for later in the afternoon.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)


Bay Area, California



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