Help with white peony??


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Dec 26th, '10, 12:49

Hello :) I recently received my order of White Peony tea. I followed the instructions recommended by Adagio and steeped 2 teaspoons in 1 cup of water for 4 minutes at 195 degrees. The second steeping I tried it at 180 for 7-8 minutes. However, it is now what i expected. I had to add sugar to make it appealing and I couldn't really sense any natural sweetness. It almost had a tart, bitter flavor. I know that can be from too hot water or oversteeping, but i Followed the instructions. Any advice? Thanks :)
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby debunix » Dec 26th, '10, 13:14

For most white teas, I like to brew them even cooler to start, usually 160 degrees, and shorter, 30-90 seconds first infusion.

I'd suggest setting yourself up so you can sip the tea at different times after starting the infusion--in a teapot or small pitcher--and start with the cooler water. Pour out a tiny sip at 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, and keep going until you like what you have, then call that your preferred first infusion time.
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby laura99 » Dec 26th, '10, 13:54

I have good results with Adagio's White Peony at 180 degrees for three minutes. I use the same timing for one to two more infusions. Not sure on the exact amount of leaf, hard to measure this one by teaspoon's. I just grab a large pinch out of the bag to 8oz of water.
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Dec 26th, '10, 14:04

wow, great advice guys, thank you debunix!!! that's some great advice!!! i'll try that next time. i would really like to not have to use sugar because i feel that it wastes the natural-flavor of the tea! (as well as its price lol!)
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Dec 26th, '10, 19:57

also, i noticed that some of the leaves are slightly brown. shouldn't they be green? the other leaves that were mixed in seemed to be dead (brown). Is this normal? And i took your advice dubnunix, but it didn't seem to improve. I tried it at 50 secs, 1:30, and finally stopped at 2 minutes. I still couldn't sense any natural sweetness, only a slight bitterness. Maybe white peony just isn't my cup of tea ;P?
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby AdamMY » Dec 26th, '10, 20:12

garrettmc wrote:also, i noticed that some of the leaves are slightly brown. shouldn't they be green? the other leaves that were mixed in seemed to be dead (brown). Is this normal? And i took your advice dubnunix, but it didn't seem to improve. I tried it at 50 secs, 1:30, and finally stopped at 2 minutes. I still couldn't sense any natural sweetness, only a slight bitterness. Maybe white peony just isn't my cup of tea ;P?


It is perfectly normal, white Peony often has many brown leaves in it, it has to do with how it is processed. White teas can be quite different than green teas.
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby debunix » Dec 26th, '10, 21:43

White teas are dried without the early heating step that kills the enzymes of green teas that would turn the leaves dark.

So some brown leaves are normal in white teas.

Check out this great diagram from Wikipedia about tea processing.
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Dec 27th, '10, 03:16

Thanks! That diagram was fantastic! And it's good to know that my order is not a misfit. Perhaps I should just brew longer to get more sweetness? I had high expectations for this tea, but so far it's failed me
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Dec 27th, '10, 22:37

I found the sweet spot :) On a second brewing at 175 for two minutes I have finally found the tea I was looking for :D!
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby debunix » Dec 28th, '10, 11:51

Yay for you!
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby Frontsider » Jan 3rd, '11, 02:32

Im used to brewing all my whites with the general rule of 1 teaspoon for every cup or 6oz. I noticed as well that on the packaging it says 1.5 per cup. Ive read elsewhere on the web about using more tea with less steeping time, and also from what debunix wrote. Ill have to try that out because tonight I just had some white peony and i used 1 teaspoon a cup and steeped for 7 minutes. Is that too long and too less? I know everyone has their preferred strength, but this tea hasnt won me over yet. Im going to try it again with the advice from above.
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Jan 3rd, '11, 03:17

Well personally I've kinda found my sweet spot for white peony. I brewed it at 180 for two minutes, but for the next brew i'm gonna try 10 at 170 (just to see how i like the other extreme). however, i doubt that 1tsp of white peony leaves are enough. If you want to be able to appreciate the full flavor I would say you need AT LEAST 2tsps, that's the advice from Adagio and I've seen the same everywhere else. Like debunix said, it's all about experimentation. But don't give up on white yet, once you find what you're looking for, and you will, you won't believe what those little leaves can do :) good luck :)
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby Frontsider » Jan 3rd, '11, 04:02

Yeah, experimentation is definitely the key. I wont give up on white peony and would never give up on white as a whole, especially since my favorite teas are white teas and i know what those special leaves can do :D . Ive had every white tea adagio has to offer. Silver needle is one of my favorites along with other flavored whites. I still have many whites to try that arent available on adagio, i just have to find them. Luckily we have debunix and all the other "lord of the teas" that we have to help us out! Next time I have peony, im going to try the 180 for 2 and see how I like it. Most likely ill try that test tomorrow haha.
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby garrettmc » Jan 3rd, '11, 17:50

well last night i did mine at 180 for six minutes and honestly I couldn't tell much of difference over 2 minutes! tonight i'm gonna go all out and do 180 for 12 minutes! the only thing i did notice was that the white was a little more pronouced, but it wasn't the change i expected. Also, though i live in the country, our water is very "minerally" I used bottled water last night and it changed the consistency in a way. (seemed to be a lot smoother and not so rough) idk how to explain it!
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Re: Help with white peony??

Postby JRS22 » Jan 3rd, '11, 19:48

After all this talk about White Peony I included some in my order with Seven Cups. They recommend 1 minute at 190 degrees as a starting point - and to expect at least 4 infusions.
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