Another purchase from the Toronto Tea Festival. My thoughts are based on steeping 2 infusions.

Dry leaf: The leaves are large, whole, and sage green. Some of them also have stems still attached. The scent of the dry leaves is sweet but a little musty. I haven’t drunk enough white tea to know whether this characteristic of all white teas or only this particular type.

Packaging/Instructions: I purchased a large resealable bag (zip seal) that had 15g for $3.50. The package says that this style of tea needs to be steeped with 100°C water, which I thought would make things too bitter. Instead, I let the kettle cool down for 5-10 minutes or so after boiling. Because white tea has such large leaves, I used 2 big spoonfuls for my steep (probably a heaping tablespoon).

1st infusion: Steeped for 4 minutes. The liquor is deep golden orange and smells like a milder version of the kind of mass-market orange pekoe bags you can get at the grocery. The taste is smooth and not astringent, but I can’t detect any other flavours besides the tea. I think I might get a hint of apple or pear, and that’s it.

2nd infusion: Steeped this time for 6 minutes. The liquor is a bit lighter this time – a nice golden orange. No appreciable change or decline in taste.

Both times, I let the tea cool before finishing it, unlike yesterday’s steep of Shincha Kuro that I enjoyed very much. This is an okay white tea, I suppose, but I worry that I may have overleafed or oversteeped it. I think I’ll need to try more varieties (eg: silver needle) to get more context.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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Updated March 2016:

I’m a writer and editor who’s fallen in love with loose-leaf tea. I’ve also set up a site for tea reviews at http://www.booksandtea.ca – an excellent excuse to keep on buying and trying new blends. There will always be more to discover!

In the meantime, since joining Steepster in January 2014, I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on my likes and dislikes

Likes: Raw/Sheng pu’erh, sobacha, fruit flavours, masala chais, jasmine, mint, citrus, ginger, Ceylons, Chinese blacks, rooibos.

Dislikes (or at least generally disinclined towards): Hibiscus, rosehip, chamomile, licorice, lavender, really vegetal green teas, shu/ripe pu’erh.

Things I generally decide on a case-by-case basis: Oolong, white teas.

Still need to do my research on: matcha

I rarely score teas anymore, but if I do, here’s the system I follow:

100-85: A winner!
84-70: Pretty good. This is a nice, everyday kind of tea.
69-60: Decent, but not up to snuff.
59-50: Not great. Better treated as an experiment.
49-0: I didn’t like this, and I’m going to avoid it in the future. Blech.


Toronto, ON, Canada



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