Time and time again I have shared my preference against white teas, specifically bai mu dan and shou mei teas. I don’t like the floral notes nor the soapy quality they can often have. If I am going to have a white tea, I tend to reach for either a White Rhino because it tends to be more robust like a black tea, or a Silver Needle.
I also have now tried a few What-Cha teas and been pleased with all of them.That is why when I came across this What-Cha Kenya Silver Needle White Tea, I had to give it a try.
Following the recommended steeping parameters, I brewed this for 2 minutes at 175 degrees. I was left with a pale and translucent liquid, typical of a white tea.
This tea boasts sweet notes of corn and it delivers, despite the packaging suggesting that this is best before June 2017. It’s so simple and yet so good. Flavorful without being in your face which means it is a tea that can be reached for again and again without becoming tired or boring.
I don’t reach for white teas often, especially straight white teas but when I come across Silver Needles like this, I am reminded that they can make a pleasant alternative to all the dessert and fruity teas I usually drink.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: White Tea
Where to Buy: What-Cha
A very sweet and smooth silver needle with notes of melon and sweetcorn without any traces of bitterness or astringency.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Luhse
Unbeknownst to most, Queen Song longs for the day when she meets her island mate, King Kong. She has recently taken up hula dancing to keep fit and has begun wearing sexy, eye-catching outfits to attract attention. Despite the gang’s misgivings, she can be found wearing risque coconut bras when she is not at work.
Coconuts have migrated into your cup of tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
Another Luhse sample from my recent order. Nice Coconuts is a white blend, flavoured with coconut. The dry leaf smells amazing – strongly of coconut, with an undertone of creaminess, and a hint of something almost rum-like. Alcoholic, at the very least. The dry leaf looks to be a mixture of silver needles, which are white and downy, and white peony, which is blackish-brown in appearance and not particularly fresh looking. There’s a predominance of broken leaves and twigs. Scattered throughout are red safflower and blue cornflower petals, and a smattering of dried coconut shreds. There’s enough leaf in the pouch for about two cups, although if your cup is larger than average you might want to use the whole sample (about 3 tsp), as per the recommended parameters. My cup is on the smaller side, so I went with 1.5tsp of leaf, and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-green; the scent mildly coconutty with a floral undertone.
To taste, this one is deceptive! I wasn’t convinced at all by the scent of the brewed liquor, but it’s actually very pleasant. The initial sip is all coconut cream; sweet, tropical amazingness! It has remarkable depth of flavour, with just a hint of rum rolling around the mid-sip, and an almost thick mouthfeel. It’s like a decadent dessert – rum babas, maybe, with a side of coconut ice cream. It’s possible to taste a little of the white tea towards the end of the sip, although it’s by no means prominent. Just an edge of floral, hay-like sweetness. Mostly, the white tea seems to contribute most towards the mouthfeel, and doesn’t at all overpower the sometimes-delicate flavour of coconut. This really is a delicious, summery cup. I’m impressed with this blend, and it’s definitely one I’d consider repurchasing in the future.
Where To Buy:
Enjoyed exclusively by the imperial family in China for centuries, the Silky Silver Needle is a top-grade white tea with a soft, smooth, and silky-sweet taste experience. An ethereal cup with a lingering fragrance and refreshing aftertaste. Pure and refreshing.
How is Pekoe Silver Needle produced?
The tea leaves for making Pekoe Silver Needle are gathered only for a few days in early spring. Teas cannot be picked on rainy days or early morning when there is still dew on the leaves; leaves which have experienced any kind of damage are discarded. Only the finest, healthiest tea buds are picked. White teas differed from green teas in that their processing did not incorporate any steaming or pan-firing. The teas were simply allowed to wither dry, thus the tea leaves are preserved most close to their natural state.
How to steep Pekoe Silver Needle?
To fully appreciate the exquisite shapes of this tea, using a clear glass is strongly suggested. Warm the glass first with boiling water and then pour 200 ml of water (80 degree) over around 3 grams of tea. The tea leaves will start to float on top of the glass. After 5 minutes, some leaves will sink down to the bottom of the glass while others remain at the top. All tea leaves will then stand up vertically performing a magical dance – An enchanting sight to enjoy before drinking the tea.
Which region is Pekoe Silver Needle from?
Our Pekoe Silver Needle is from Fuding. Different from the Zhenghe Silver Needle, the Fuding Silver Needle is famous for the tea’s thick layer of white coat, resulting in a clean, fragrant, and refreshing taste experience.
I have to say LEARNING about Silky Silver Needle from Teasenz was just as fun as tasting it! This is incredibly clean, thirst quenching, sweet, juicy, pure, and delicious! I enjoy this both hot and cold. It’s hard to over infuse which is always a plus. It doesn’t turn to bitter even if over infused. I can envision myself even using this in cooking – in soups or rice or even with noodles. This is a very good Silver Needle!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Art of Tea
Organic Silver needle is the most sought after white tea and is only harvested for a few days each year in the northern district of Fujian, China. This magnificent tea has a light golden flush with a unique savory aroma and a woodsy body. The finish is pleasant with a lingering, yet balanced sweetness.
Water Temperature: 175-185 F degrees
Caffeine Content: Medium
Steep Time: 1-3 minutes
Suggested Serving Size: 1 Tbsp/8oz
Ingredients: Organic, Fair Trade Chinese White Tea
Origin: Fujian, China
Learn more about this tea here.
Organic Silver Needle from Art of Tea surprised me! I am not a huge fan of white teas. Well I suppose a more accurate statement would be that there are few white teas I have found that really wow me. I have found a few though! This white tea sort of wow’d me, it more so surprised me, confused me a little, and has made me want to drink a lot more of it to really understand it. Why all the confusion you may ask? Well to begin with the dry leaf is stunning, white, downey, soft, cuddly, lol yes, cuddly. It makes me wish I could buy enough to just pour all over my bed and lay upon it at night. Its so dreamy! But that is not what got me. What “got” me, is that the initial aroma of this tea is of cucumber! And that is exactly what it tastes like to me as well. Fresh, watery, cucumber! Yet, wait for it, its not watery at all! Its rather quite creamy! Creamy, fresh, mouthwatering cucumber!
It is also quite sweet on the palate. A warm natural sweetness that does not so much coat the mouth with a cloying sappy sugar but one that is sweet and creamy like a condensed milk. So what we have here, is a sweet, creamy, cucumber, tea. Strange I think. Usually I get a totally different flavor profile from Silver Needle!
I had this before bedtime, and I could not stop thinking about it as I fell asleep. I woke up this morning to my spent leaves, as I had several steepings, and just wanted to wake up enough to make another cup, have another session with this perplexing tea. I am not sure quite yet how I feel about it exactly. I need to overcome my pre-conceived notions of what this was “supposed” to taste like and just enjoy it for its unusual and wonderful nature unto itself. On the other hand I am craving it like crazy! A huge thank you to my Steepster friend for sending me this tea! My views may be changing on white teas, I may need to explore them with more abandon!
I am not going to say this is my all time favorite white tea, as it is so unusual, but it is one that I would like to have in my stash! I can’t wait to try this cold brewed although I don’t know if I would appreciate a milky, creamy, cucumber tea, cold. Yet I have plenty to play with so I will give it a try. Cucumber to me says summer, yet creamy and milky are more reserved for cooler months. Maybe I am just too narrow minded. Its just such an unusual flavor profile to me.
Time to make that other cup I was talking about … discovery ongoing….
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
New Spring 2012 Harvest!
This jasmine makes us understand what jasmine is all about. It starts with a silky smooth silver needle white tea from Yunnan with notes of cinnamon sweetness. Jasmine blossoms are scattered around the tea while drying for several nights in a row, and removed in the morning to be replaced by fresh blossoms, scenting the tea in the traditional method. The result is a perfectly integrated flavor, that starts off with the textures of a white tea, and sweetness drawn out and extended by a silky jasmine aroma. Continue steeping this out, and an intriguing apricot jam flavor starts to come out and compliment the subtle spice of the yunnan white. In later steepings there is even the slightest hint of pine needle.
ICED: Perfumed florals are more potent, with an exquisite silky texture and notes of melon and banana fruit salad.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was so pleased to sample this tea. I was surprised at the first flavor note I tasted being that of nut, rather than jasmine. Interesting because I have not really noticed anyone else picking up on that in other reviews, and it is not listed on the Verdant site as being a flavor note in the tea. Everyone experiences their tea in their own way though. I find the jasmine to be natural and light in the first steeping. A light sweetness and a slight rock mineral quality, but no one note is standing out in the first steep beyond the nutty flavor I am now so focused on. The mouthfeel is creamy, and the cup color is very pale yellow, almost beige, and quite clear. The after flavor is somewhat vegetal but only so slightly, more like a green tea than the after taste of a white, but lovely. Everything about this steep is slight, delicate, gentle. Now I am not saying I detect absolutely no jasmine in the flavor, I do, but even then it is faint and does not make me declare this a strong jasmine tea. I think however that is what is so lovely about this cup, the jasmine is so natural that it does not make you feel assaulted by its note. Toward the end of the cup of this first steep I am beginning to pick up on hints of a baked sugar confection flavor. Quite enjoyable!
In the second steep more of the notes come forward and the color of the brew is slightly darker. There are some lightly cinnamon notes but to me they come over as more like a black pepper which is delightful and awakens the senses. This note is detectable both in the aroma and flavor. Fruity notes are also coming forward which taste like red and blue berries. The sugar notes develop more as the cup cools. Jasmine is still of course a flavor note that is present but unlike many jasmine teas this one does not come over like grandma’s perfume! For those who have experienced a jasmine before and hated it – you must know that not all jasmine teas are created equal. There is a distinct difference between one that is done well and one that is not. This is done to perfection. A natural jasmine will taste, and for that matter smell far different than an artificial one. I leaned this long before my tea journey through natural perfumery and essential oil training. There is nothing quite like true jasmine.
Steep three evokes somewhat of a savory flavor palate with the citrus and linen notes in the background. There is a light drying sensation now on the tongue with grapefruit and orange notes. I am also detecting an oregano flavor. This is quite pleasing and surprising! I was not expecting the savory notes.
I am going to get many more steeps out of this tea!
All in all – a wonderful experience! I enjoyed this tea while listening to a Reiki CD and it was such a glorious way to welcome a new day!