Leaf Type: White (Purple)
Where to Buy: What-Cha Tea
A delicate tea with sweet hints and a gentle taste of peony flower.
A completely new tea which has just been released to the world; Kenyan purple varietal silver needle white tea represents the latest development in purple varietal tea from Kenya. It is a very subtle and delicate tea which requires the greatest of care and experimentation to unlock its full potential.
Learn more about this tea here.
These leaves are beautiful. They are so long that they almost look like pine needles (they don’t smell like pine needles though!) They are darker in color than the typical “Silver Needle” – they have more of a purple-ish hue than a pale green or silvery color. If I look closely, I can see very fine, short hairs on the leaves. The aroma is soft with notes of flower and a hint of vegetation.
To brew this tea, I grabbed my glass tea cup. I added 2 pinches of tea to the cup (these leaves are much too long to be measuring with a scoop!) and then added the water, heated to 175°F. I steeped the first cup for 3 minutes and added 30 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.
I don’t often use this cup except for the times that I brew a “blooming” tea or other tea that I want to watch steep, and this was one that I thought would be interesting to watch because the “silver” (they look more purple than silver!) needles are so long and elegant looking, I thought that their dance would be something cool to watch. Unfortunately, they didn’t really dance much. But they still produced a delicious drink!
The liquid is very pale. It almost looks “white” – not an opaque white but a very clear, transparent, slightly off-white, almost yellowish colored liquid. It almost looks like water, it’s so pale! I’m happy to say that it doesn’t taste like water!
The flavor is quite delicate though, especially in this first cup. It is sweet and floral. The floral notes hint at sharpness, but don’t quite get there because the overall tone of the beverage is so delicate. It’s quite lovely and soft. It’s one of those types of teas that you want to take some time to drink so that you can allow it to take you on a journey. So many layers of flavor. A soft, pleasant mouthfeel. No astringency noted in this first cup.
My second cup was much stronger in flavor than the first. Still a rather delicate tea, I am picking up on more flavor this time around. The floral notes are less sharp and have melded with the other flavors. I’m noticing a sweet, creamy flavor this time. Still sweet and floral, but the creaminess softens any of the floral sharp notes. At the tail, I pick up on a light fruity note that tastes of peach and orange.
A third cup? Sure! These leaves just keep on going. This cup seemed less creamy than the previous one. I could pick up on some nutty tones this time. The sweet floral tones are still there. I’m picking up more fruity flavor this time but it’s less distinct. In the second cup, I tasted distinct notes of peach and orange but this time it’s more like an indistinguishable fruit.
As I sipped on this tea, I tried to compare it to other Silver Needle teas I’ve had. This has less of a “hay like” quality to it, and the fruit notes are different. Usually, I get like a delicate melon-like flavor from a Silver Needle – but here this is more like peaches and citrus. I don’t get so much of that “fresh, airy” refreshing quality from this tea, instead, I taste more of a creamy, sweet, nutty flavor.
Sure, it’s different. But that’s what makes it so good! I love it when I discover a new tea like this!