Scent in tin: Very subtle scent, typical white tea
Brewed in: ingenuiTEA pot by Adagio
Steeping: 1st infusion = 7 minutes, 2nd infusion = 9 minutes both at just under boiling
Cup: stoneware mug
I realize that I’m pretty harsh on most of Adagio’s flavored black teas. The flavoring is just too subtle for me – I want peach tea to taste like peaches, etc. But white tea is completely different for me. Subtle flavoring is necessary with white teas (in my opinion), otherwise the delicate natural flavor of the tea is overwhelmed, rather than married with the flavoring.
I needed a white tea sampler for my mom’s stocking – white tea is kind of a “delicacy” for her, as she uses grocery store teabags most often. I was a little apprehensive about the White Pear after reading the reviews…most said it was “too subtle”. But pear really sounded like a good blend for a white tea to me, and I knew that even if the flavoring didn’t stand out, the remaining tea would still likely be good, so I ordered two samples of it, one for her, and one for myself. Oddly, even though I don’t care much for green tea, I do enjoy white tea occasionally.
I decided I should try my sample before gifting her with one (though I likely would have followed through anyways, knowing her tastes differ from mine somewhat), and was pleasantly surprised when I took my first sip. The thing is, this tea *smells* terrible when brewing, which did not make me want to drink it. But as soon as it hit my tongue, and I rolled it around in my mouth, I was completely hooked.
It feels like honey, a bit thicker than your average white tea, and the pear taste is there, albeit in the background, lingering just behind the flavor of the tea, lending a sweet aftertaste to the experience. It’s very subtle and decadent, without a trace of bitterness, though as far as white tea goes, it is stronger in flavor than many. I literally couldn’t get enough, and while I rarely do second infusions of tea at work, I decided to see what the next “incarnation” would be like. I don’t think I’d like the first infusion iced – though it was tasty and refreshing even as it cooled.
So after lunch, I came back and heated more water, to just under boiling, and decided to let it brew a bit longer for the second go-round. I noticed how beautiful the leaves are the second time, suspended in the water, thick and long and bright green. Asthetically, it’s a beautiful tea to watch infuse as well, so use something clear when you brew it.
I was again surprised by the off-putting aroma when I decanted it into my cup for the second time. When I tasted it, it was like a completely different tea! This is the infusion that should be poured over ice – or ice chips, to be precise. Or even frozen…it is very light, very sweet, and the pear flavor shines through brilliantly, leaving the tea flavor as the more subtle hint this time. I may try freezing second infusions of this tea into “tea-pops” this summer, because I think they’d be very cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. Even still in the cup though, it’s a joy to drink, and it makes me wish I had a gaiwan at home to try it out with gongfu brewing, just to see how many infusions it would yield, and how the flavor would change throughout. I’d definitely want a glass gaiwan though…and I think I’ll have to add one to the order I’m planning for next payday.
Needless to say, this is an incredibly complex, flavorful, lovely tea, and I will be ordering a full-size tin of it very soon. It’s one I hope to have on hand at all times – it would be perfect for a “company” tea.