Blend: The Tao of Tea White Earl Grey is a refreshing blend of natural, organic bergamot essence from Sicily and high grade organic white tea ‘Silver Needles’ from China.
We hand blend this tea to develop a consistent balance between the flavor of the leaf and the bergamot aroma. More often than not, blenders will mechanize the process and distort the flavor of the leaf.
Reggio di Calabria in Southern Italy is the native growing area for ‘Citrus bergamia’ bergamot. Its arrival in Calabria is shrouded in mystery, and even though it grows elsewhere, only in this area does it give us the essential oil popularly used to make Earl Grey tea.
The oil is also widely used for aromatherapy treatments and is known to have antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties.
Small batch production ensures that superb quality is maintained.The Bergamot essence used in this blend is steam-distilled which provides a very clear, refreshing taste unlike synthetic based essences.
Water Temp: 170°F (77°C)
Quality of Water: Best with Spring water
Quantity of Leaf: 1 tsp per 8oz water
Steep Time: 4 minutes
The young tip bud and first leaf sets used to make this tea are very tender. As such, we recommend using mineral or spring water at a lower temperature (160-180 F) to avoid stewing the leaves and to bring out a more balanced flavor.
This tea is much lighter in weight and requires a little more leaf to make a full flavored cup. Around two level teaspoons per 8 oz of water is a good place to start.
Steeping time can range between 2 to 4 minutes. Although the amount of re-infusions possible can vary to taste, the above guidelines usually provide 2 to 3.
As a general rule of thumb the longer the steeping time and/or the higher the water temperature, the less leaf needed and fewer re-infusions possible.
Although white teas can be brewed in any vessel, teapots and gaiwans made from porcelain, glass, delicate ceramics, and other materials that release heat quickly work best. If you wish to use a yixing, cast iron, or any vessel made from a heavy material, it is a good idea to tilt open or remove the lid so that some heat is released and the leaf is not stewed.
Traditionally, white teas are enjoyed from porcelain gaiwans. Not only does a gaiwan make it easy to stir the leaf and control the temperature, but also to view the leaf as it is steeping, an important aesthetic in drinking these beautiful teas.
Another common method for brewing and drinking white teas is to just place a few of the leaves in a clear glass, add heated water, and wait for the leaf to infuse and submerge. The beverage can then be enjoyed directly with the leaves and more water added as needed.