drank Forest White by Tea Hawaii
1940 tasting notes

I want to point out, first, that the directions for steeping this tea call for 4 minutes and 208F water. This seems to me a good sign, since hotter water and longer steep times work way better for me with white teas than the reverse. I did fudge the temp slightly because I was making it in the Breville which doesn’t have a 208 setting. So I’m steeping at 205.

I have to agree with some of the other notes — this is an unusual tea. The dry leaf has a completely different fragrance than that of other white teas. No woodiness or plantiness, no sharp notes. It’s a rich and round aroma that I can only guess comes from the volcanic soil. Yes, I do smell cocoa. And yes, I do smell raisins. I smell one other thing, which is almost ash — but not in a bad way. Freakin’ weird, but marvelous. Like with the black tea from this vendor, the leaves are extraordinarily long and beautiful.

After steeping, the tea is a rich, golden color and clear. It smells like raisins still, maybe with a bit of plum in there as well. It is not as cocoa-y but there’s still a suggestion around the edges.

The one thing I for sure am not getting that others are tasting and smelling is rose. That, I just don’t get, though there is a more generic floral flavor at the beginning of the sip. The tea has a distinctive raisin-like taste, that smooths out into a more hay-like note later in the sip.

If I buy one white tea, this will be it.

I’m pretty sure there’s still a silver needle out there for me somewhere. I may need to try Samovar’s again if they still have it, or try one from a new company I have yet to discover.

Flavors: Ash, Cocoa, Floral, Hay, Plums, Raisins

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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