Swap tea with ashmanra. Thank you :) Keeping my white tea theme rolling now that it’s in the mid-80s here.

The packet was 5g and since I wanted to see how this tea made out gongfu and western, I split it in half: 2.5g for a 60mL gaiwan and 2.5g for a 6oz cup. The dry leaf struck me as strange; it smelled mostly of a jasmine-scented tea, not a typical light floral aroma. I wonder if there was either some product mislabelling or some cross-contam prior to packaging because the packet was sealed tightly. There were also notes of some other flower, hay and a mustiness which is common to Chinese silver needle white teas. The aroma of the rinsed leaf was musty with wet hay and florals and a pungent note much like tea tree oil. I drank the rinse. The tea is difficult to describe. Cantaloupe-ish, lemon sweet-tart, musty, dusty, retronasal florals. Aftertaste was pleasant though short-lived. It took a while to come to me, but I figured it reminded me of a buttery croissant and lychee.

Some other notes that appeared in the gongfu session were nectar, another pungent herbal quality reminiscent of sage, semi-sweet sake, minerals. The liquor aroma became very pronounced with musty jasmine. Tongue-numbing in a way I found unpleasant. The body was thin and watery. Aftertaste moved to oats and cream. By the fourth steep, the liquor lost flavor and grew very drying despite using water near the recommended temp (of note: I believe it was ~165F on my packet vs the 176F in the current product description).

One steep western of 5 minutes was less impressive. Watery-brothy, musty and tart with a strong jasmine finish.

I found this to be more of a musty, savory and herbal silver needle white than the sweeter and fruitier ones that I prefer. As it is, I’d put this tea’s rating somewhere in the 40s to 50s due to several elements that turned me off and possible mislabelling or pre-packaging cross-contam with a jasmine silver needle. However, I don’t know the age of the leaf so I’m leaving it unrated.

Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Cream, Drying, Dust, Floral, Hay, Herbs, Jasmine, Lemon, Lychee, Mineral, Musty, Nectar, Oats, Pastries, Sage, Sake, Tart

165 °F / 73 °C

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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” I also picked up 2 older plants from a a local nursery. They were grown from seed supposedly acquired from a tea farm in Washington. To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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