drank Star Of China by The Tea Table
2036 tasting notes

Second to last untasted, unwritten about white tea in my cupboard! Yay! Tomorrow I can check another box. And soon after that another: I only have two oolong samples (that I’m aware of) left to taste and write about.

After today (counting the pu erh of the day) the cupboard count is:

15 pu erh
28 oolong

And a bunch of pu erh samples. I have no idea where they all came from.

Anyway, about today’s white tea. This is another one of those situations where I was driven to buy something because of aesthetics. I liked the name and the way the tea was tied into little blossoms.

The last time I had a tea in this sort of shape, I had trouble getting a lot of flavor out of it. I decided to steep this one at a hotter temp than recommended and at 4 minutes in the Breville. I used 8 stars.

In the packet, the tea has an earthy, white tea smell — that sort of je ne sais quois earthiness that if you have ever had white tea you know what I mean and if you haven’t, I want to say it’s a little like dirt, but in a good way.

For me, the tea is pale yellow — there is no green — and clear. It does not give off much aroma. What it does give off is a sort of sweet water smell.

It is very mild, as described. And not smoky, as described. And not bitter, as described.

I sort of wish they’d described what it was supposed to taste like, though. It’s always a little troubling when a tea’s taste can only be described by what it isn’t.

It does have flavor. Not a strong flavor, not a deep flavor (there I go again), but it does have flavor. It’s almost a little floral, like a faint petals and nectar flavor.

It’s one of those things I’ll likely keep longer than I would otherwise because I like the stars.

But it gets a rating on the higher side anyway because it has some flavor, unlike many other white teas I’ve tasted.

Flavors: Earth, Loam, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 500 OZ / 14786 ML

I can understand why you bought this. What a unique looking tea.


I steeped the little stars twice — the second time they started to come untied. It reminded me of hair coming out of a pony tail. LOL

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I can understand why you bought this. What a unique looking tea.


I steeped the little stars twice — the second time they started to come untied. It reminded me of hair coming out of a pony tail. LOL

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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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