Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Jumpmonkey » May 21st, '12, 22:43

I've had similar experiences to a number of those here. Keep in mind, I'm very new to tea. I've found I get a very nice, light sweet tea when I steep at about 70-75*c for 1min. I'm on my 5th infusion in a 100ml pot right now. Still enjoying the same great cup it seems.
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby gingkoseto » May 22nd, '12, 16:41

Chip wrote:I cringe when I hear 7 minutes or 185* ...

I guess you mean above 185? Actually I tend to cringe when I hear below 190F. So the funny thing is, when somebody brews, at least one of us would cringe. And sometimes we may both cringe :lol:

Oh well I guess we both exaggerated. We don't really cringe. As long as nobody touches *my* tea :mrgreen: :lol:
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Chip » May 22nd, '12, 22:01

Next time I have some on hand, I will try it hotter, but somehow over the years I have been lowering the temp, not increasing it. I think my tastebuds are telling me something about my presonal tastes.

I like it lighter, delicately sweet ... and lots of steeps. I don't go after intensity which I would suspect the higher temp would bring out?
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby teaisme » May 23rd, '12, 13:57

gingkoseto wrote:So the funny thing is, when somebody brews, at least one of us would cringe.
:lol:

Chip wrote:I like it lighter, delicately sweet ... and lots of steeps

I think with hotter water you can still get that if you leave a root yeah?
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby iovetea » Jul 12th, '12, 16:52

Proinsias wrote:gaiwan 1/2 to 3/4 full. water a few minutes off the boil. first few brews are pretty much instant. After 4 or 5 brews step up the temp.

Five mins in a gaiwan sounds like an awfully long time.

churng wrote:I find whites taste very good brewed with lid off a porcelain teapot


A gaiwan with the lid off, aside from when pouring, works a treat.



i totally agree white tea tastes absolute best when using gaiwan!!!!!
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Poohblah » Jul 12th, '12, 17:20

I can't believe this thread is still alive. It was practically my first post two years ago, before I stumbled upon the tea community on the internet.
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Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby debunix » Jul 12th, '12, 18:54

It's a perennial issue when people come to white teas from a background drinking stronger stuff.
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby sencha » Nov 15th, '12, 11:27

Considering white tea contains EGCG/EGC/ECG, which are cannabinoid receptor agonists (i.e. activates the same receptors marijuana does; albeit to a weaker degree), I'd say it's possible that you are indeed high. 8)
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Jspigs » Nov 26th, '12, 12:39

sencha wrote:Considering white tea contains EGCG/EGC/ECG, which are cannabinoid receptor agonists (i.e. activates the same receptors marijuana does; albeit to a weaker degree), I'd say it's possible that you are indeed high. 8)


Wow. I did not expect that one.
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Alex » Jan 10th, '13, 05:59

I brew mine at no higher then 70c. Unless its indian white tea in which case I may go up to 80c
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby zeto » Jan 12th, '13, 01:41

I've brewed whites both cooler and hotter.

Colder tends to bring out the flavors in layers, but probably lacks the majority of the healthy components that create the later astringency.

Hotter has been shown in studies to release the most poly-cyclics, and therefore the balance is between getting the most out versus degradation due to heat.... here of course you will get a stronger, more bitter, more astringent brew.

To get the best flavor profile, you have to brew cooler with many steeps to see all the individual layers, then choose a temperature and time combination that overlaps the layers you think will taste best together.... this process applies to all teas technically.
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby teagenesis » May 28th, '15, 09:57

Poohblah wrote: I have found that a lower temperature around 135-150 degrees and a short steeping time of a minute or less results in a sweeter, stronger, and more savory taste. Any hotter or longer than this and the astringency arrives. I only have a couple of whites, the first is a silver needle and the second is unlabeled (read: cheap). For the record, I am brewing gong fu in a glass gaiwan.

Am I just sensitive, am I high, or are whites really as delicate as they seem to me to be?


They are so delicate, but the flavor need not be so light. Also, the side-effects of the tea should be noticeable and pleasant, if brewed well and they still have some freshness.
The key to extracting the sweet and tangy flavor of the white tea is not a heartfelt extended steeping, but rather to use the critically low temperature to avoid obliterating the infused flavor. If the water is too hot, even for just the first moment of infusion, the very soft and ghostly flavor is destroyed, as well as the pleasing side-effects. Consequently, the infusion tastes like astringent water, metallic, or otherwise too light. However, if the water is not hot enough, then the infusion will turn out weak.
What this means is, filling the gaiwan or other small brewing container (200 to 500 ml) with hot water to warm the vessel beforehand, preventing the tea from cooling down--overcooking the leaves may damage their taste permanently; on the other hand, if the tea becomes cool it is only one failed steeping--good tea soup can still be made from that point.

Of all leaf varieties, this leaf should be steeped at a low, low temperature--once the small "crab-eye" sized bubbles appear, or shortly before; the water is just beginning to boil. This is really the most critical aspect of the brew. One cannot allow the water to completely boil, or the infusion will be stale. If the water has become too hot (above crab-eye bubbles), then you can add a little fresh water to it--the steam should be rising very slowly and gently from the water.
The most important aspect of the tea is always water, because there must be oxygen in it to carry the taste. Chemicals disrupt the flavor of the brew, while mineral helps define it more. Spring water is always perfect, make sure it's fresh and cold or otherwise contains oxygen.

Fill the preheated gaiwan or small brewing vessel by half volume or slightly less. White tea needs somewhat more leaf to water than other teas, and so the higher quality of silver needle calls for a generously plump scoop of leaves.
Put the lid on and shake up the leaves to expose them to the moisture. If you want to rinse these leaves, I suggest filling the vessel halfway and adding the leaves to the water, then stirring gently until wet and immediately drain. Alternatively, pour rinse the leaves very, very gently and slowly, but don't use too hot water or else. Outwell the infusion immediately.
This gentle preparation or rinse method helps to preserve the good taste and assure flavor. Smelling the damp leaves after removing the lid can help you appreciate the flavor afterward. Use the warming water or rinse to warm the cup(s).

Initially, steep the leaves for an ordinary 10-20 seconds, while keeping the lid off to prevent the leaves from overheating. A longer steeping time will reduce the the extraction of the brew overall, providing less tea soup. I wouldn't go above 30 for the first steeping.
You can use the lid or a tiny tool to scoop the leaves from the rim or sides of the vessel, to aid the infusion by helping them to relax. Outwell the tea directly into the cup(s), pouring alternately to evenly distribute the flavor. Outwelling into a serving pitcher is all right, but it must be very warm or the tea might cool.
Sip generously.

For the additional infusions, each steeping requires about five more seconds. 10-15 sec., 15-20 sec., 20-25 sec., and so forth. The importance of the brewing lies moreso in the not-too-hot temperature (well under boiling), the generous quantity of leaf, and shorter steeping times. Longer steeping times may over extract the flavor, and you would notice an increasing weakness in the flavor of the soup. The tea's flavor should be light, but definitely should become stronger with each steeping. If done carefully, the infusion should increasingly sensitize your mouth to the taste. Remember, water loses freshness after 3 boilings.
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Bok » May 28th, '15, 22:46

My teachers in Taiwan tend to brew White teas with the spoon and bowl method, rather than a gaiwan or teapot.
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby .m. » May 29th, '15, 07:45

Bok wrote:My teachers in Taiwan tend to brew White teas with the spoon and bowl method, rather than a gaiwan or teapot.

Can you please expand on this method? How do you use the spoon?
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Re: Am I high? White teas seem to me to be rather delicate

Postby Bok » May 29th, '15, 11:41

.m. wrote:
Bok wrote:My teachers in Taiwan tend to brew White teas with the spoon and bowl method, rather than a gaiwan or teapot.

Can you please expand on this method? How do you use the spoon?


Well, basically you put the leaves in a bowl (preheated), add water (no rinsing) and then use a spoon to level the tea delicately into the cups. The kind of Chinese soup spoon. This way of making tea is quite difficult as the water cools quickly and all the parameters are tricky to control. But - very good for delicate teas like White and yellow tea.

Also there will always be some water left in the bowl with the tea, which is why this method should be reserved for high quality teas with little astringency. Or so I was told, I am in no way an expert in this way of brewing.
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