Being a very good-natured teapot, I tend to let other Tea Gang members take over the tea steepings, especially when otherwise they would sit around whining a lot. Sometimes, though, they just want to wear my spiffy supervisor’s sash (actually, a tea-dyed headband from CrafTea Designs). My buddy Steeping Mug from Libre Tea was stomping around on the counter until I let him supervise. He thinks that sash looks pretty studly. I’m not so sure, but I was too busy with the tea to pay much attention.
The foil pack was vacuum sealed. We cut it open and took a nice whiff of the leaves inside. Ahhhhhh! The aroma was fresh and vegetal. Then we picked out some leaves for a closer look. Amazing! We have tried other so-called “white” teas, but this one was truly superior to them. White teas are so named because of the appearance of the dry leaves with their soft downy covering that has a silky sheen to it. Also, white teas are generally new growth and the tipmost leaves and buds, the more tightly formed, the better. This tea had both characteristics in the dry leaves.
Normally, the vendor has fairly detailed descriptions on their web site for how to properly steep up the tea but not for this one. It’s a pretty new tea, so they might be a bit behind. We resorted to past experience and steeped in water heated to 200° F (95° C) and started with a short “wake up” steep of 40 seconds, followed by several steeps of 1 minute each.
What’s great about a tea like this is the taste development with each steep. Above is the tea liquid after three steeps. The color has gone from a pale green to a medium yellow-green. And the flavor has changed, too. The first steep was very faint in aroma and flavor. Each subsequent steeping had a slightly stronger flavor that was smooth, vegetal, pleasant, and had a planty aftertaste. The potential for 5 or more steepings is the key and makes this tea a great buy. Two teaspoons full of tea made ten 8-ounce cups of tea.
Here are some of the tea leaves after the third steeping. As you can see, the tight leaves-bud combos were beginning to open, letting the flavor come through even more. Two more steepings saw them all opened.
Of course, Steeping Mug claims all the credit for this tea tasting so good. Yeah, right! But don’t tell him I said that.
Disclaimer: This tea was provided by the company named. However, any opinions concerning this tea and the company are always strictly objective.
© 2012 A.C. Cargill photos and text – All rights reserved. No copying, posting on other sites, or other uses allowed without written permission of the copyright holder.