Been working through some samples in the Andrews & Dunham tea tasting lab - today's selection: Havukal Silver Tips. For those of you who don't know, Havukal is a estate in Nilgiri, which is a mountainous region in southwestern India, which is a great big country on our planet. I'd never heard of Havukal either so I had to do some frantic internet research so I could pretend to be smarter than Eric and know all about it. it's OK, he does this to me all the time. It's something we do.
So the tea... To be honest I had no idea what to do with it. The dry leaves are big, pretty straight, fuzzy and pale like a white tea, but also had some darker colors like a Darjeeling black so I brewed it up a couple of ways. First try was with water at 180, steeped for 2 minutes. This was accidental, as I thought the water was warmer than it turned out to be but it worked fine - very subtle, round taste with a hint of that malty sweetness you get in a Darjeeling. Second try was with hotter water and a 3 to 4 minute brew - didn't seem to lose anything but didn't gain much other than a darker color something like apple cider. Still pretty damn subtle. I'm either a loser who can't appreciate subtlety (this is highly possible) or this tea is not quite there. I chugged through it, felt briefly contented and now can't remember much to recommend it.
This is not unlike the chick flick I watched with my wife the other night (because I'm so thoughtful and caring) which had plenty of plot and dialogue and good acting (no nudity), made me feel happy, then sad, but left me unable to determine whether I could recommend it to a friend or not. No matter, we'll just talk about sports & tea instead.