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It’s such a nice feeling to go outside and feel warm rays of sunshine on your face. The whistling birds in the background is a nice bonus and really gives the impression that spring is right around the corner. I don’t know why, but all of this made me crave a silver needle today. I purchased quite a few teas during Mei Leaf’s Christmas sale and one of those teas was the Guangxi Silver Needle.
Guangxi Silver Needle
Most white teas come from Fujian Province and that is why it’s interesting to try teas that come from other regions. The Guangxi Silver Needle comes, as you might have guessed, from Guangxi Province. The fact that this tea is from Hengxian in Guangxi has a particular effect on the leaves. It’s supposed to be more floral, fruity and more exotic than equivalents from other provinces. This particular batch is from early Spring 2019, when the buds were most fat and flavourful. The cultivar of these leaves is the Da Bai Hao cultivar.
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The tea consists of beige and medium-sized buds with silvery hairs on them, hence its name. It looks really soft and silky. The aroma is sweet with a fruity touch, which makes is refreshing. The sweetness is similar to cotton candy.
The aroma of the wet leaves is still sweet, but more floral. For me, the aroma is spring in a cup! The sweetness is less like cotton candy and more like wine gums. The colour of the buds is olive green and the size didn’t change much.
- 90°C water
- 5g for a 100ml shibo
- 1 rinse
- 6 infusions
Infusion 1 (25 sec): this one has a light colour, but the flavours are definitely noticeable. When the liquor coats my mouth, I’m getting sour apples on the sides of my tongue. This quickly fades and changes into sweet, but subtle oranges. This combination works fairly well and the finish and aftertaste are sweet.
Infusion 2 (35 sec): the aroma is almost like a fresh bouquet of chrysanthemum flowers. There is no sourness at the start now. The flavours are similar to the aroma as I’m mainly experiencing floral notes of chrysanthemum flowers. There is also a light touch of oranges. The finish and aftertaste are still sweet, although not as sweet as during infusion 1.
Infusion 3 (45 sec): the colour is a darker yellow. It’s also a bit less floral, but still sweet. There are no big changes, except for the floral notes that are not as prominent anymore. The aftertaste has less sweet notes to it and some orange flavours. I feel that oranges are somewhere in there, but I really have to look for them.
Infusion 4 (60 sec): there are absolutely no harsh or sharp flavours! It’s a refreshing combination of sweet notes and oranges.
Infusion 5 (long): no big changes during this one as I’m still getting sweet oranges. The aftertaste is lightly floral, which makes the cup taste like spring.
Infusion 6 (long): this one was really long because I wanted to push the leaves a bit. Now I’m getting a punch throughout the infusion. The sweetness is less prominent, while the oranges are more in the picture. It’s also astringent.
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I’ve had this tea a couple of times already, but this session really amazed me. This is such a rewarding tea when you take your time and look beneath the surface. A lot is going on and when you’re looking for it, it’s such a rewarding experience. In general, this is a very sweet tea with a floral flavour profile. Between the sweetness and floral notes, there are hints of oranges waiting to be picked up. If you’re looking for a good silver needle tea, this is the one.
If you want to buy this tea, you can go to Mei leaf’s website here or visit their tea house in Camden Town.