Made quite a faux pas today

White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.


User avatar
Mar 27th, '09, 19:50
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 25th, '09, 07:44
Location: San Diego, CA

Made quite a faux pas today

by Morbese » Mar 27th, '09, 19:50

I got a quick question to ask, and it's probably a dumb one, but I couldn't find any reference anywhere in the message board so I'm just gonna throw it out there, so forgive me if this has come up before:

I'm about 7 cups (over an extended period of time, not at all at once, heh) into my collection of samples that I picked up from Adagio's website (the black tea sampler with the ingenuiTEA, a zodiac blend, a thing of decaf raspberry, and two white tea samples. Today I broke into my first white tea, the apparently new white symphony. Now, out of habit I overlooked that I had to let the water cool to sub-boiling before I threw it in with the tea. Realizing my mistake, and unable to accurately find what kind of impact this would have on the tea, I decided that I had no other choice but to let it steep for the full 7 minutes, but I have to ask, in a case like this, would one consider using a shorter steeping time or just throwing the batch out altogether? I'm sipping this now and it seems to taste okay, considering that I'm completely new to white tea, but what do you guys think based on personal experience? Did I completely ruin this cup or what?

User avatar
Mar 27th, '09, 19:56
Posts: 8107
Joined: Jan 8th, '08, 06:00
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Southern CA
Contact: Victoria

by Victoria » Mar 27th, '09, 19:56

If it tastes ok, then it's ok.
:)
I know I sound like a broken record, but I never
go over 3 mins on the first steep. Then 5 on
the second.

User avatar
Mar 27th, '09, 20:25
Posts: 1636
Joined: Jan 11th, '07, 16:13
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

by scruffmcgruff » Mar 27th, '09, 20:25

The length of the infusion, the temperature of the water, and the amount of leaf must be balanced for a good brew. Increasing any one of these factors will increase the infusion's "strength" (for better or worse, and often in different ways), and vice versa.

So, if you accidentally use water that is too hot, you can try to rescue the infusion by shortening its duration (or try fishing out leaf, but that is unnecessarily difficult). Likewise, if you accidentally use too much leaf, you can compensate by shortening its duration. Etc. etc.

User avatar
Mar 27th, '09, 20:26
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 25th, '09, 07:44
Location: San Diego, CA

by Morbese » Mar 27th, '09, 20:26

Thanks for the assurance. I did end up making a new cup with cooler water, and I picked up some sweeter notes in the taste, so that's a bitter lesson learned.

... worst pun of the day. :oops:

I'll have to try your method of 3:5 steep/resteep later this evening. As a noob I was following the simple instructions on the can (which led me to my original predicament). Nevertheless, I want to get the most out of my tea, so I'll try anything to make it even better. Thanks for the tip.

User avatar
Mar 27th, '09, 21:50
Posts: 130
Joined: Mar 5th, '09, 23:44

by teaskeptic » Mar 27th, '09, 21:50

You're actually lucky that it happened with a white tea. Others would not have been as forgiving.

User avatar
Mar 29th, '09, 14:27
Posts: 5191
Joined: Dec 20th, '06, 23:33
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Gainesville, Florida

by Salsero » Mar 29th, '09, 14:27

I follow the sage advice that TaiPing Hou Kui (Nick) gave somewhere on TeaChat once:
  • Whites are one of my favorite teas and this is quite a subjective question. Peronally, I brew my whites in 4 oz. gaiwan. I use roughly 3.5 grams depending on type....a little more for silver needle, a little less for bai mu dan. I will usually brew for about 2.5-3 minutes. The main thing that I have found is that your water temperature is crucial for white teas. 165 F is my magic number and it is enough to pull out all of the heartier earthy tones as well as the subtle, sweet nuances white teas are known for. If you screw up the water temperature who cares how much or how little tea you used, the brew will be ruined...at least in my opinion...however much that may or not be worth ha ha.
Also, while Teaskeptic didn't mention his own recent post, his thoughts on Bai Mu Dan are worth reading HERE.

Mar 29th, '09, 16:39
Posts: 519
Joined: Apr 1st, '08, 12:43
Location: united states IL.

by silvermage2000 » Mar 29th, '09, 16:39

As long as it does not taste too bitter or anything like that I think you will be ok.

User avatar
Oct 21st, '09, 19:19
Posts: 274
Joined: Sep 23rd, '09, 15:14
Contact: AlexZorach

Re: Made quite a faux pas today

by AlexZorach » Oct 21st, '09, 19:19

I've found that what happens to a tea when you brew it with water that is too hot varies hugely from one tea to the next. Some white teas can withstand boiling water, although in general I find that the darker ones become very astringent if the water is too hot, and the lighter ones end up with an unpleasant "cooked vegetable" aroma.

...which is not most people's cup of tea, unless you love overcooked broccoli.

Oct 28th, '09, 22:32
Posts: 509
Joined: Oct 7th, '09, 21:31
Location: South Carolina

Re: Made quite a faux pas today

by bryan_drinks_tea » Oct 28th, '09, 22:32

What did the white tea look like? Is it very whitish with a nice, fuzzy layer of tricomes?(down) is it just pure buds or is it a mixture of young leaf and bud? are there any brown or reddish leaves? this all plays a hand in how the tea can be brewed. if it is purely buds, the tea should taste very light and sweet, with a tiny bit of fruityness. then again, thats just my opinion.
what I mean to say is... drink what you like, like what you drink, and happy drinking! :D

Oct 29th, '09, 08:17
Posts: 32
Joined: Aug 12th, '09, 01:15

Re: Made quite a faux pas today

by theteascoop » Oct 29th, '09, 08:17

As an emergency measure, you could always toss in an ice cube or two.

+ Post Reply