Breaking off from my recent Keemun and lapsang souchong binge, I decided to turn my attention to white tea. I ordered an ounce of this tea from Whispering Pines a little less than 2 months ago and enjoyed a couple glasses of it, but had shoved it to the back of my tea cabinet and forgotten about it. I guess I will now work on polishing the rest of this off before I move on to something else.

As far as preparation goes, I decided on a three step Western infusion. I followed Whispering Pines’ preparation outline and steeped one tablespoon of this tea at a temperature of 190 F. The infusion times were 3, 5, and 7 minutes.

Prior to infusion, the dry leaves showed a lovely dark green with pronounced white tips, offering aromas of cucumber, honey, hay, and a floral, nectar-like sweetness. The first infusion yielded a light ecru cup with pleasant aromas of cucumber, nectar, honey, white peach, and honeydew. The palate followed the nose, producing delicate, subtle notes of cucumber, nectar, honey, white peach, and honeydew, with subtler grain, cream, and hay accents. The second infusion produced a darker, slightly yellowish liquor and a fruitier, grassier bouquet. Notes of honeydew, honey, white peach, and nectar were underscored by cucumber, grain, hay, cream, marshmallow, and grass. I could also detect faint traces of nectarine, white grape, and apricot. The third and final infusion yielded a somewhat lighter cup with a gentle fruity bouquet. The notes of cucumber, grass, grain, marshmallow, cream, and hay skillfully balanced a melange of honey, nectar, white grape, apricot, nectarine, white peach, and honeydew. As hard as I tried, I could find nothing resembling eucalyptus, cinnamon, or honey wheat bread.

The aroma and flavor profiles of this tea tend to be what I think of when I think of a typical unflavored white tea. For what it is, it is very good. I have enjoyed my experience with it so far. This is a very subtle, delicate, and sweet tea. In the end, I would say it is a very respectable white tea.

Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Cucumber, Grain, Grapes, Grass, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Marshmallow, Nectar, Peach

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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