drank Yin Zhen by Nannuoshan
1362 tasting notes

This is my eighth, and final, sample from nannuoshan. Thanks so much to Gabriele and nannuoshan for sending this my way! I should mention that one reason I asked to sample this tea is that I have yet to find a white tea that I really like. I’m hoping this one will change my mind.

This tea is beautiful. The leaves are a mint green color and are covered in what looks like white down. The ends are darker, especially the stem ends which look as though they’ve been scorched. Such a wide array of colors in each leaf. This is really something special.

Side note: I think I must be having some trouble with my digital kitchen scale because it never gives me consistent readings. I thought at first that I must be doing something wrong, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just not that great. With that said, I think I used about 3 grams of tea leaves here.

I did a quick rinse with the leaves though I’m not entirely sure this is necessary with a white tea. Gabriele mentioned in his note that this would work for all but green teas so I did it here just in case. The first infusion is very light in color and in flavor. I was worried that this would be bitter which has been my experience with other white teas but it really isn’t. I’m not picking up any specific flavors though.

The leaves on the second infusion smell stronger, almost malty like a dark rye bread. It doesn’t necessarily taste like rye, just like a dark wheat bread. Maybe something like pumpernickel. This surprises me because I don’t think of white tea as having a bold flavor. It’s not quite as strong as a darker tea, but the flavor is definitely there.

By the third steep, the tea is starting to calm down. It’s still very flavorful, but it’s nothing like the punch of the second infusion. I might otherwise try to steep this one again, but it’s getting late so I’m going to end here.

Infusions
4 ounces water + 195 degrees + 45 sec, 45 sec, 60 sec

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Wheat

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Bio

Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. Thirty-something elder millennial. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Favorites
Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, red fruits, bergamot, chai spices, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, peaches, plums, valerian root, cinnamon, cardamom

Not a huge fan
Lime, white teas, green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice, lemongrass, lavender, hot hibiscus, hibiscus in black tea blends

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband, James, who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-49: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

50-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Currently reading:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
by Diana Gabaldon

Updated October 2020.

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Alabaster, Alabama

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