Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Life in Teacup
Production Year – 2012
Production Season – Spring, first day havest
Production Region – Fujian, Fuding County
Learn more about this tea here.
I can always count on Life in Teacup to offer some of the very best teas … and this Bai Hao Silver Needle – also known as Yin Zhen – is a perfect example of what I mean by that. The dry leaves are so beautiful with the coloration ranging from pale green to silvery white, and each needle is soft and covered with fluffy fuzz. The aroma of the dry leaf is soft, with notes of flower and hay.
The flavor is delightful. On the Life in Teacup website, there is a short discussion on brewing this tea using boiling water … this is something I’ve not tried (or if I have, I don’t recall having tried it!) I’ve always used a lower temperature, but today I was feeling a little rebellious and while I wasn’t feeling quite so courageous to try boiling water, I did turn up the heat just a little, using water brought to 185° instead of the customary 160° that I usually would use for a silver needle. The flavor is stronger … but not too strong. But … it certainly is no longer the “delicate” flavor that I’d expect from a silver needle.
And while I have a great appreciation for the delicateness of a white tea, I like the slightly bolder flavor of this cup using a higher temperature. Maybe next time, I might even try boiling water on my white tea!
As it is, though, I’m finding this to be quite delightful. The flavor is sweet and vegetative … but not a green tea vegetative taste. It’s more like the flavor of sweet flowers and hay … similar to the fragrance I enjoyed from the dry leaf. There is an earthiness to this as well … and I find that the earthiness here is where I notice the biggest difference between the lower temperature and higher temperature brewing water. The earthiness really comes out with the hotter water.
There are subtle notes of fruit to this cup as well, and I notice that as I continue to sip, the fruit notes become more distinguished. Overall, the cup is sweet, refreshing and light … but with a fullness to it that I find really satisfying.
If you are one who generally finds white teas to be too soft or delicate in flavor, I recommend trying a slightly higher temperature … this really brings out the flavor, and I am not noticing any bitterness or scalded tea taste from the higher temperature.
A really enjoyable tea experience – thanks to Life in Teacup!