The package directions suggest 170-185 for 2 minutes. I did 185 for 2.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I may be starting to understand white tea. I have had enough silver needles at this point to start to see similarities. If I’m able to get past the hot-water-tastes-like-nothing with a particular tea, which seems to be a water temperature thing (and is why I pick the high end of the temperature spectrum now), I am starting to recognize a distinct flavor.

I mentioned this in one of my more recent previous notes; I understand why people sometimes compare white tea to black tea. There’s a quality that is very tea-like, moreso than the vegetal or grassy flavors of green teas. But it’s not like a lighter version of black tea. It’s its own distinct flavor. I am at a loss to describe it. Maybe some of the following get close, but none really nail it: bark, trees, wood, leaves, plants.

To that, for this one, I would add: sweet. While not strong, there’s a sweetness to the finish that is more nectar than sugar, more melon than nectar. This is also present in the steeped tea’s aroma, which is quite subtle, as is the color — pale, clear yellow. The leaves smell arboreal in the packet, rather a concentrated version of the quality I tried to describe in the flavor with a pungency to them.

Maybe it’s the quality of the tea, but this one doesn’t make me go some variety of “huh?” or “WTF?” For that, it gets serious points.

Flavors: Bark, Melon, Plants, Wood

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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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 tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

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 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; 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.

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.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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