I’ve already brought up the history of Harney and Sons in my last Tea Time post. They’re one of my favourite companies for loose-leaf tea (also they do supply bags, and bagged teas).
My experiences in my youth with white teas has always been heavily-scented Jasmine tea served in restaurants. Those teas were watery and despite the intoxicating aroma of Jasmine, had very little flavour to go on. I had assumed this is how white tea was to be: light, pointless, and almost as interesting as drinking straight boiled water.
I was wrong! So wrong! I’m wrong all the time, in the world of tea! White tea is not boring! It’s not flavourless! White tea is very gentle, with a little bit of sweetness to match the little bit of savory. It’s not as naturally sweet as the Golden Tip Assam, but that’s certainly not a fault.
The leaves of the Pussimbing Silver Marbles are beautiful to look at. The tea is made of large leaves rolled into balls about the size of summer sweet peas. They keep that shape through multiple brewings (I suggest multiple brewings — the leaves can take it, and you’ll be getting the most out of your tea).
To avoid scalding the leaves, brew the tea at a lower temperature — just before a full boil at 175F, for 2 – 3 minutes. A note: It takes boiling water about 30 – 45 seconds to cool down to this temperature. There’s no need to be exact — just wait a minute.
There is no need to sweeten this tea with honey or sugar. It’s a pleasing, mild taste that leaves you feeling refreshed. It’s not a very “brothy” tea, but it’s satisfying in the way it leaves the mouth feeling cool, meaning this tea is a little astringent. I recommend this tea as a gentle way to wake up in the morning.
Notes: I take all instructions direct from the source. This doesn’t mean that you must brew the tea to exacting standards every time. The instructions are more like guidelines created by the tea makers to produce what is determined to be the best version of that tea. If you followed these instructions and didn’t like the tea, by all means fluctuate the instructions to your liking (and let me know! I’m interested in learning how everyone else likes their tea).
Try out some white tea! It’s refreshing, and if you believe what everyone’s saying about antioxidants, it’s very good for you.