Teabox Tuesday! This is another of the old samples I snagged from the Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and to all those involved who were nice enough to share their teas! I decided to prepare the 3.1g sample I had gong fu style and sip on it while watching a movie I brought home from the library.

Apparently this is the summer 2016 harvest of this tea, according to the note I wrote on the front of my sampler packet. I do not drink white tea very much — most of the white tea I do drink are flavored blends that I prefer by and large to cold steep and drink in water bottles as refreshing iced teas — so pure white tea brewed warm is very much still in my realm of exploration, so I wouldn’t take anything I say too seriously. I’ve always brewed my whites warm in the 175-185F realm, but after reading the other reviews on this one that recommended bumping up the heat on this one, I just decided to opt for those suggestions and turned up the heat on my kettle from the get-go.

3.10g / 80ml (in a 100ml capacity shiboridashi) / 205F / 20s|30s|40s|50s|60s|75s|90s|120s

The wet leaves were very aromatic, smelling of damp autumn leaves, grapes, and floral perfume. The tea steeped a light yellow color, and the first steep had a soft floral and muscatel aroma. The flavor was very grapey, with strong muscatel and floral notes, and a more subtle leafy note in the background. It was a very sweet infusion! The second infusion brought out a more fruity aroma from the tea, and the flavor was less sweet, with a fruity flavor at the beginning of the sip with notes of grapes, berry, and currant, but the end of the sip was more of a vegetal note of autumn leaf and hay which settled toward the back of the tongue and left a mild astringent/drying after the sip. The third infusion brought out a citrus flavor in the fruity notes, tasting very much of orange rind; the vegetal notes were still quite strong in the third infusion, but the citrus note became more pronounced in the next two infusions, hitting its peak by the fifth. The fruity notes started to drop off quickly after that, and the rest of the session was mostly a soft but pleasant floral tea. By the eighth infusion the aroma on the tea was fairly weak; I was still getting floral flavor in the tea but it was noticably weaker, so I wrapped up the session there.

I really enjoyed this tea! It had quite a bit of variety in flavor and I was surprised by how much it had to give, especially for the age. Maybe I’ve been sleeping on whites for too long. Most of the ones I’ve tried in the past just tasted really strongly of autumn leaves, occassionally of florals, and I don’t think I’ve ever had such a strong fruity presense. It was a fun exploration!

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Black Currant, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Muscatel, Orange Zest, Vegetal

205 °F / 96 °C 3 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

Currently Sipping Down: Tealyra teas, Adagio teas

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.

New Teas Tried for 2020: 37
Sipdown Count for 2020: 57


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

Contact Info:

The Steepster PM system has been broken for some time. If you need to get ahold of me, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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