Silver Needle white tea from China’s Fujian Province from tea vendor Teavivre offers a very good insight into the world of Chinese white tea, especially yin zhen teas. A lots of flavor, and a fresh, surprising and gentle character, make this tea an excellent choice.
Name: Silver Needle
Tea Vendor: Teavivre (China)
Type: Chinese white tea
Other names: Bai Hao Yin Zhen, Yin Zhen
Silver Needle white tea – description
This tea comes from Fuding, Fujian. As I wrote before, Fuding is the main production area for this tea. Silver Needle is produced in other areas as well, but Fuding is the original location. This Silver Needle is last year’s harvest, and Teavivre currently offers new season’s tea as well.
Dry leaves are pretty big, mostly buds with lots of white hair and some smaller broken greener leaves. You can smell the intense aroma immediately upon opening the bag. Smell is characteristic for white tea, subdued sweet and dry hay like with hints of freshness. Placed in a heated teapot they get more intense smell, extremely sweet. They are light and fluffy. Silver Needle white tea from Teavivre is certainly a good value for money and offers a great smell & taste experience.
5 grams of tea, 85ml of water, gaiwan, temperature of 80 degrees Celsius and 45, 60, 90, 105, 104, 180 seconds steepings. Teavivre offers guidelines for western brewing type, but I would rather not go into that. IT would be too bad to miss all subtle nuances of each and every brew. In my opinion, one should almost never use teapot larger than 300ml, with optimum being 200ml for everyday use, many times even smaller capacity would be a better choice.
First steeping results in a liquor of a clear and bright yellow-green color, incredibly fresh and full of flavor. The leaves are becoming really green, with still quite visible white hairs and intensely deep smell, like leafy vegetables, sweet melon. They are incredibly sweet. They still retain same aroma after the second steeping. Second steeping brings out even fresher tones. It leaves incredibly mild, but fresh and sweet aftertaste, with a little but noticeable signs of a lemon peel aroma. Liquor is darker, more intense yellow-orange-brown. Literally you can taste that this tea undergone minimal processing. After the third steeping it still retains a lot of aroma, but more deeper, fuller and heavier. Fourth steeping loses a bit of freshness but is still very good. It starts to resemble bai mu dan of a higher quality. Taste of dry fresh hay is more evident but mild. After the fifth steeping, it starts to bring out a mild taste of spices. Leaves are still so full and still not completely used-up. Absolutely all of six steepings held the quality level and a very long sweet taste and feeling that I want more and more. It leaves and incredibly good taste in mouth. I haven’t drunk almost a litre of tea in only a few minutes for quite some time. Until today. This tea does this to you. Wet leaves are so full and fat and heavy, complete opposite of those fluffy leaves from the beginning. Color is quite uneven. This tea certainly gives very very much of taste and satisfaction.
Silver Needle white tea is ideal choice for summer, especially hot. It is so light and fresh that it can make you cool down in a second. Many feel an unjustified aversion towards drinking hot tea in summer, but you should not be afraid of it. Hot tea in the summer will help you cool down really fast, and especially good choices are such fresh and mild teas.
Great Silver Needle tea of a pleasing quality, nice appearance and very good taste. Surprising amount of freshness even this tea is from last season's harvest. Taste is extremely smooth, sweet, mild but full. Very good introduction into white teas.