How long to steep white tea?


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Postby Rainy-Day » May 6th, '09, 14:04

silvermage2000 wrote:This is interesting. I do agree though that some white teas differ and need to be steeped different times. I do believe experimenting would be good. I would say depending on the tea possibly anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes atleast for me.

Funny enough I have some celestial seasonings imperial white peach tea to. But I have to say that my favorite white tea so far would have to be ancient moonlight white from rishi I got some from a friend and it was great.

I am abit unsure about flavored whites though this I think is a helpful topic so thank you. Does anyone got any advice on flavored whites?


An aside about celestial seasonings - all the teas I tried by them were just sooo lousy. Worst tea company I know.. About flavoured whites: I honestly think whites are least suitable of all teas to be flavoured, and in fact all decent teas will taste better without added flavour, but if there's a tea that's strong but does not have an interesting flavour of its own, very slight flavour may be ok, like say rose or very light jasmine. On the other hand, in my experience, if a tea does not have its own good flavour, it will have a bad one.

Re: OP question, it depends on the type of leaf. Silver needles have very firm, tough, rolled leaves that take a long time to fully unfurl, so I would do 5-6, even 7 minutes, and I use higher temp than with most good greens. The idea that whites are the most tender and therefore need lower temp and shorter time is not correct. Whites have the most tender *taste*. They're less processed and the leaves themselves are "tougher", more intact than most greens, especially in case of silver needles, so it makes sense that you'd want longer infusion time and (slightly) higher temp. And experience bears this out.

Now with Pai Mutan, it's a slightly different story, the leaves are not rolled up, I usually use exactly the same infusion time as with greens that look the same - except for leaf color, of course; 2.5-3.5 minutes. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get good SN in a long time and no Pai Mutan even longer.. places I order from nowadays always seem to be out of these. Too bad, cause SN is my all-time ever-favourite.
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