Another purchase from the Toronto Tea Festival, this time from a specialty tea store on Queen East, where all the gentrification is.

Packaging/Instructions: The tea came in a resealable (zip seal) bag. The back label said the tea should be steeped at 170-190°F for 2-5 minutes, with 1 heaping tsp for every 6 oz of water. The bag cost $8.95 for 35g.

Prep: The kettle sat for a few minutes so the water wasn’t boiling. Because the leaves were so big, I used a few heaping spoonfuls in the infuser. About 24 oz of water for what I would guess to be 5 tsp of dry leaf.

Leaf: The leaves are broken into much smaller fragments/pieces than I think is typical for a white tea. Very few leaves are whole, and there are a lot of stems in the mix. On top of that, the tea claims to be mixed with mango, pear, and apple, but I see very few pieces of dried fruit. The blend smells sweet with heavy overtones of pear and even some melon scent, but also quite musty/dusty. It’s definitely a more complex scent than plain old white tea.

1st infusion: The liquor is a nice medium gold, and it smells lovely – the mango smell is strongest. However, it doesn’t taste nearly so pleasant. I really wanted to like this, and I hope that I overleafed it, but right now, this tea tastes very dusty and there’s even a hint of candlewax I’m tasting. I added a small spoonful of honey to heighten the fruit notes, but I don’t think it’s helping any.

I think I’m going to try again in the future and use less leaf to see if that helps.

3 min, 0 sec 5 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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