I don’t know why but today was one of those days I really needed a solid Silver Needle white tea. I still had a Fujian Silver Needle sample from Teasenz and the reviews online looked promising. Before the session, I was hoping that this tea would be a warming and soothing tea because the weather was quite bad today in Belgium. I had some high hopes and started brewing…
If you want to read about the other samples from Teasenz, click one of the following links:
- Liu An Gua Pian Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Lapsang Souchong Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Anji Bai Cha Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Yunnan Gold Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
- Wild Orange 2009 Ripe Puer Tangerine Tea Tasting (Teasenz)
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Fujian Silver Needle
Silver Needle white tea is the most famous white tea in China. Although this tea is only harvested in early Spring, it is immensely popular not only in China but all over the world. Some people also refer to this tea as ‘Bai Hao Yin Zhen’. This tea is purely made from buds of the tea plant, which makes it more exclusive and more labour intense. It requires more effort to select only the best buds to produce pinnacle grade Silver Needle, hence the higher price tag. Being solely made of buds, this also implies that less of this tea is available, as there are a lot more leaves on a tea plant than buds. Once this tea is plucked, it undergoes minimal processing. The leaves are naturally withered and dried to preserve their natural state. The batch I’m tasting today comes from Fuding in Fujian Province and is from Spring 2019.
The dry leaves have a light gray/beige colour and some yellow tints here and there. I can see different medium-sized buds and some smaller ones as well. 95% is buds but I also spot some small leaves. The aroma is quite something. I’m getting an intense sweetness; almost as if I’m smelling wine gums. Some light notes of oranges are also noticeable.
The wet leaves are mostly buds but I still see some smaller leaves in there. The colour has changed and it’s mainly green and some browns. The aroma has also changed a tiny bit. I’m getting notes of citrus fruits in combination with a very sweet smell; almost like wine gums. It reminds me a bit of a Spring meadow because I’m also getting light notes of fresh hay.
- Water 80°C
- 5g for a 130ml porcelain teapot
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
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Infusion 1 (20 sec): this one is soft at the start. The flavours I’m getting are an orange kind of sweetness and light notes of hay. The finish and aftertaste are pleasant and sweet. The liquor has a light colour.
Infusion 2 (30 sec): I steeped this one a bit longer to see if the flavours would become more intense. The liquor is clear and has a dark yellow colour. The aroma of this infusion is a light sweetness that has some traces of oranges. Also some subtle notes of hay. For me, it shifted from a Spring meadow to a Summer evening on a very hot day. The aftertaste is actually sweeter than the infusion itself.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): the colour is more yellow. It’s becoming a bit sweeter again and the oranges have changed into more general citrus notes. These notes, however, are subtle. The aftertaste mainly consists of citrus notes and I’m experiencing a chalky mouthfeel after swallowing.
Infusion 4 (40 sec): I’m starting to have a warm and pleasant feeling throughout my whole body. The flavours are citrus fruits and I’m getting notes of oranges in the aftertaste. I’m also feeling some light hay that is a bit sweet. It’s a weird flavour and difficult to describe.
Infusion 5 (50 sec): more soft notes of citrus fruits and I’m also noticing some spices at the start. The sweetness is gone.
Infusion 6 (60 sec): more spicy notes at the start that give me a tingling sensation in my mouth when I take a sip. Light citrus notes in combination with some hay. Some traces of the sweetness resurface, although barely noticeable.
This is a pleasant and warming tea, which makes it perfect for this kind of weather. There was an intense sweetness at the start that was almost as if I was smelling and eating wine gums. It changed into notes of oranges and eventually into more general notes of citrus fruits. I even experienced a spiciness at the end. I particularly enjoyed the sweetness from the earlier infusions and I’m completely warmed up. What more can you ask for?
If you want to try this sweet and warming tea for yourself, visit Teasenz’ store by clicking here.