I never drink bagged teas, because they lack depth of flavor and can’t release enough tea for more than one real infusion. That said, I’m in a pinch right now and I spotted a brand of white bagged tea in the grocery store, and since I have developed nighttime asthma I’ve been needing lightly oxidized teas frequently to help clear my airways. The description wasn’t disingenuous, so I took a shot in the dark. True to form, brewed at a low temperature, this fanning tea brand brews one steeping of “nothing fancy” Chinese white tea. I prefer to begin sipping a tad early, so as to taste both the premature and mature flavor in one steeping, after finally removing the leaves just at the moment of full infusion.

The aroma is grassy and tangy. The color is a tinge green compared to whole leaf white tea, while not unattractive. Surprisingly, there is somewhat of a soft body to it—that is, if steeped long enough, and with roughly 1.5-2 bags per cup. Watched carefully and with cooler water, it should not become bitter and retains a sweet buttery mouth-feel, true to white teas. If the water is a little too hot, the tea becomes more astringent and less sweet, so it is sensitive in that way.

A mellow honey-and-hay flavor, with delicate fruity notes, and at first a tartly tangy aftertaste. That’s about it, a hit it and quit it shallow white, with a medium-ish degree of caffeine, as the fannings seem to diffuse it well in cooler water. Helps the sinuses and provides a good oomph! There is a vegetal aftertaste which leaves you with a lightly astringent, creamy sensation in the end.

Rather pungent, as bagged teas go, and acceptable if necessary…

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I drink tea to calm my anxiety and focus my thoughts away from distracting gobbledygook, like scraping the flotsam from the brim of the bowl. It also helps me to breathe, and helps keep my sense of smell and taste sharp.

All in all, I think it’s a matter of how you want to approach and experience YOUR brewing process, and not ultimately a reflection on the infusion thereby derived. In other words, one can yield consistently familiar results one way or the other, whether with spoon or scale, steam or gauge, motions or timer, and measuring cup or gaiwan.

To put it simply… oh, just make the tea!


Florida, : (

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