25
drank Silver Needle by Teavana
31 tasting notes

Pretty sure I got an old batch, next time I go into a teavana I’ll try to exchange it per their policy. This was my first silver needle ever, so at first I just followed their instructions.

What I got was a cup of barnyard hay and wet straw, kind of like walking through the farm animal exhibits at a county fair, not really much else. For the price of 2oz I could have bought an entire bale of straw from a local farmer and made 50-gallon drums of this stuff. Perplexed, I thought “hmm, maybe there’s some trick to this” and scoured the internet for more info. At first, I thought I was being a dufus and overbrewing it, but trying much shorter infusions, different temperatures from 100-190F (even went nozomi gyokuro style and tried room temp water once for 15 mins), nothing but hay and straw. So I figured, “hmmm.. guess I just don’t like white tea..”

Then I had some good fresh whites from a few other sources and voila! I love whites!

So long story short, based on all the other positive reviews I’m reading here and now that I know what to look for, I’m pretty sure I got an old batch and need to go back to switch out what I have. Until I do though, this is getting an appropriate rating.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Corn Husk, Grass

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Musician, pilot, philanthropist, tea lover. Nothing beats a spiced oolong at 10,000 feet. Except maybe a cuppa dian hong with my feet next to the fireplace. Or some fresh bai hao yin zhen before bedtime. My rating system is pretty much like this:

1-20 : ‘Blech’ cuppa. Didn’t even finish the one I brewed, rest went in trash. That bad, at least for me.

21-40: ‘Meh’ cuppa. Finished it but threw away the rest of the tea or used it for other purposes like baking, gifts for in-laws, or serve to unwanted houseguests. Kinda like Twinnings or Lipton bag tea.

41-60: ‘Standard’ cuppa. Won’t buy any more, but will certainly brew all that I have left. Probably will use it to blend with other teas or as a base, or large quantities of iced tea for parties and such.

61-80: Good cuppa. Now we’re talking. Worth buying more if at the right price, love blending some of these too. Sometimes a few oddballs will find their way into this score just because I liked the fruity flavor or having it as an iced tea. Also my starting score range for new kinds of tea until I develop a good feel for my preferences or learn to better distinguish quality characteristics.

81-99: Awesome cuppa. You’ll probably find this in my pantry pretty regularly, unless it has been discontinued or I’m waiting for my next trip to Asia or Europe to pick up some more. Holds up well to multiple infusions (unless black/herbal), and will typically drink it unadulterated/straight. I’ll gladly pay premium prices and chances are I’ll be ordering and tasting a bunch of other teas this producer/company offers.

100: Cuppa bliss, oh where have you been all my life???! I will burn frequent flier miles and journey to the ends of the earth while paying nearly any price to make sure I have this stocked at all times. Over time as I discover some magical new teas, a few may fall off this list. Try to keep it max 1 per type of tea.

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