I thought I’d tasted all the silver needles in my stash, but then I ran across a sample of this. So I’m taking a minor detour from the taste all the things in my cupboard exercise to taste this and probably another sample. I don’t put samples in my cupboard because it seems sort of a waste of time under ordinary circumstances. Of course, given the sheer magnitude of tea I have at the moment, this may not be true. It takes a while for me to sip down even the samples. Sigh.

I stuck this in the Breville and hit the white tea setting — 185 for 4 minutes. I was surprised when doing that actually got some color out of the tea. The description mentions champagne — mine is slightly less yellow than most champagnes, but it is light yellow and clear nevertheless. In the packet, the leaves smell like slightly pungent, sweet hay.

I don’t know whether it is the power of suggestion or not, but if I stretch out with my feelings, Luke, I can see what the description means by melon. I can get a vaguely honeydew aroma and flavor. As the tea cools the melon seems more like cantaloupe. I also get the creamy thing that everyone else is mentioning, though for me it isn’t so much about flavor as mouth feel.

Now, my taster is seeming a bit off today — I am getting less flavor out of black teas today. But somehow, this one isn’t as disappointing as most white teas are for me. Faint praise, but there you have it.

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Hay, Honeydew

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 5 g 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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