I think I’m making notes for the right tea…the photo looks like loose tea but mine is in pyramid teabags. I’ve never had anything from Teatulia before. I found this tea in the organic section of my local grocery store and thought I’d give it a try. It looked like it’s the only Teatulia tea the store decided to carry. I’m trying it brewed western style using the time and temperature recommendations on the package (2-3 minutes, water just off the boil) and also tearing open a teabag to try it gongfu style in a gaiwan. The package does not specify what kind of white tea this is but gives the description “abundant white flowers & peach blossoms with a nectarine connotation.”
Dry leaf fragrance is lighter than the shou mei and moonlight whites I’ve been gongfu-ing lately. I guess I can maybe smell something sort of like nectarine or peach. Maybe.
Western style: steeped about 2.5 minutes, I wasn’t sure how “just off the boil” they meant…most western style instructions I’ve seen for white teas suggest a lower temperature like you’d use for greens…I don’t know how accurate my kettle’s temperature readings are but I tried 180° in a glass mug that had not been pre-warmed. The brewed tea is a pretty light golden color. It smells less like actual fruit and more like how certain kinds of flowers smell slightly fruity. I get occasional whiffs of something that smells like cereal or some kind of grain. Not sure what that’s about and I don’t smell it in every sniff. Flavor is light but pleasant. There’s something fruity-ish, but I’d almost say more melon than nectarine. Aftertaste is more peachy. Some light floral in the background. Something a little bit green but it doesn’t seem like grass or hay to me. A little bit sweet. It’s all relatively subtle but there’s a decent amount of interesting things going on. It’s pretty consistent with my western style white tea experiences. It’s maybe not the fanciest white tea ever but it’s pretty good for a grocery store find and I’d drink it western style again if I’m in the mood for a big mug of tea.
Gongfu: contents of one teabag, 50ml gaiwan, water about 200°, super quick rinse and then steeps starting at about 15sec. The leaves in the teabag I used for western style looked less broken up than the bag I opened up for gongfu. Lots of teeny bits. A strainer probably would have been a good idea. Wet leaf smells really sweet with more of a vegetal green thing going on than I had with western style. I tasted the rinse because I’m weird like that. It wasn’t great. Made me worry the water was too hot. First steep definitely harsher and more astringent than western style. More of that green vegetal stuff than fruity or floral. Maybe too hot or needed to start the steeps shorter. Shortened the second steep by a few seconds to see if that helped. Nope, still kinda gross. Dropped the water to 190°. Maybe a little better but still not doin’ it for me. Dropped down to 180°. Better but still not good. I usually go higher temperature for gongfu than western style so I didn’t think I’d need to go this low or lower. I can’t go much shorter on steep time with this setup, I’m clumsy and it takes me a certain amount of time to put the kettle down and adjust the gaiwan lid for pouring. I sort of feel like I should experiment until I find the right temperature and steep time because this is probably a user error thing, but at the same time, the broken up leaf bits are a pain in the rear and I’m not enjoying this at all. I have too many other teas I think are delicious to waste time and energy on something that doesn’t smell or taste good.