After a cool very springlike May, temperatures have started to slowly creep up this past week so now mornings are in the 50s when I leave for work. With temps in the 40s every morning for the longest time, I was beginning to feel that I had put away that winter jacket way too early! Last week I tried a first flush black Darjeeling from the Arya estate. This morning I am continuing with my Arya theme by trying their white tea called White Pearl. Its processing is as precious as its name. The full leaf sets are plucked at dawn when the dew is still wet on the leaves. After drying in the sun for several hours they are then carefully rolled in silk cloth and then allowed more drying time. This is truly a very unique artisan tea.
The beauty and quality of the leaf is apparent in this full leaf set I extracted from my steeped leaf. Guidelines call for an 8-11 minute steeping time in 180 degree F water. As I only had a precious 4 grams of this tea, I wanted to be able to resteep the leaves so my first steeping was at 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a pale straw color with crisp delicate vegetal notes. It was very light tasting.
I decided to resteep the leaves for 8 minutes and lowered the water temperature to 170 degrees F. The resulting liquor is stronger with a more pronounced crisp fruitiness that reminds me of a light crisp white wine. This tea would be fabulous iced with a floating slice of lemon in your glass and a wedge of melon on the side. Summer is coming!