92
drank Panda Pearls by The Tea Table
1994 tasting notes

One of the last white teas I haven’t written a note about.

In the packet, the little pearls smell sweet and bready, like sweet rolls — not the sugary pastry kind, but the hot, soft, fluffy with dinner kind.

I made the decision to totally ignore the temperature guidance from The Tea Table, because I knew that if I went that cool I was likely to get no color, no aroma, and no flavor. That’s always my experience with white teas.

So I went hotter, to the white tea setting on the Breville. I went with my custom steep time (4 minutes), a little longer than the Breville setting . I got a pale yellow, clear tea, that had a slightly smoky sweet bread aroma.

I have to say, this is one of the more enjoyable white teas I can remember tasting and I’m devastated that The Tea Table no longer has it showing as available on its web site.

This tea has flavor when made hot — I don’t have to relegate it to cold brew to actually get any flavor out of it. And the flavor is mild, sweet, bready, slightly smoky, and has no hint of dead plant or the musty undercurrent that many white teas seem to have.

Lovely.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Smoke

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Bio

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

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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