Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

96

As I spend another day at work, tethered to a computer, watching my muscles atrophy and my interpersonal skills decline… I think to myself, “At least I have Osthmanthus Silver Needle!”

This tea is underglorified.

The explanation is likely quite simple. I don’t think the average American knows what Osthmanthus Blossoms are. Or maybe they do (Do you?) – but I certainly didn’t before my tea obsession thoroughly set in!

So allow me to share, in case you’re unfamiliar. Osthmanthus Blossoms, or “Guay Hua,” usually come from East Asia. Cute little osthmanthus flowers grow on shrubs, and are typically harvested late in the year (autumn). As a result, osthmanthus-scented teas are often the last teas available each year. Osthmanthus scenting, from what I understand, is quite similar to jasmine scenting. Osthmanthus Blossoms are mixed in with the tea, allowed to sit&scent the tea overnight, picked out the next day, and then fresh Osthmanthus Blossoms are mixed in so it can happen all over again. The process is repeated, up to 10 times, and then… voilà! Sweet nectar of the gods.

The difference to note, however, is in the flavour. I don’t want you comparing my glorious Osthmanthus-scented Silver Needle to Jasmine-anything.
While some may find Jasmine-scented teas to be perfumey and overpowering, (me) Osthmanthus creates a unique luxurious nectary flavour unlike any other. I would describe the tea as being smooth and sweet, with notes of honey and ripened yellow fruits, and a subtle floral aroma. The first infusion is always best, as it contains the most of that fresh-steeped Osthmanthus flavour.
And while I’ve seen Osthmanthus Oolongs elsewhere… NOTHING is like this Osthmanthus Silver Needle. It’s perfect.

This tea is easily in my Top 5. I dare you to try it and not like it.

Have a great day everyone! :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Rob Yaple

I had a small batch of this a few years back (needless to say, it’s only a memory now :) and I have to say that I usually don’t really go for white teas with added anything; but this tea was really wonderful. I shared it with a few close friends, and it was met with unanimous praise. Thank you for reminding me of this fantastic tea!

Erin

I had Samovar’s version of this and loved it. It seemed like such a unique tea, but I didn’t know why. It’s not until I read this note of yours that I even knew that Osthmanthus was a sort of flower. I thought it was some sort of different kind of Silver Needle. : / Thanks very much for enlightening me! Now I know what to look for in other teas because I absolutely loved the sweet nectar-like flavor.

teaplz

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’ve got a sample of Samovar’s version from takgoti. Seriously, O-Cha!, you are the resident Rishi expert. Hearts all around!

Erin

@teaplz – Prepare to be delighted by Samovar’s version.

mattscinto

yes you seriously are the rishi queen

Oh Cha!

The Samovar version compares quite closely to the Rishi version. I would recommend either!

k_t_bug

Thanks for the info and recommendation!

Dhamma

You seem to have tried a lot of Rishi’s catalog. I am thinking of ordering from them, what green teas do you recommend? I was thinking of ordering 4-5 types for the free shipping.

Oh Cha!

Hi Dhamma! I have a personal preference for Japanese greens, so I will start my recommendations there. Genmai Matcha, Kukicha, Organic Sencha, Sencha Sakura if it’s available, annnnnnd… For a little Chinese green tea fun perhaps Dragonwell and Green Needles Premium. Also: Houjicha is a roasted (as opposed to steamed) Japanese green – so if you’d like something tasty that pairs well with breakfast foods and such, that’s a good selection.

Forgive me, I also have a personal preference for pure teas, so if you’d ever like recommendations for scented or flavoured varieties, that’s a whole other category for me as well :)

Enjoy your tea! Happy shopping! And don’t forget to use a kyusu and 180 degree water for brewing… that’s the most important part!

Anatta

do you recommend any specific website to buy a kyusu from?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Comments

Rob Yaple

I had a small batch of this a few years back (needless to say, it’s only a memory now :) and I have to say that I usually don’t really go for white teas with added anything; but this tea was really wonderful. I shared it with a few close friends, and it was met with unanimous praise. Thank you for reminding me of this fantastic tea!

Erin

I had Samovar’s version of this and loved it. It seemed like such a unique tea, but I didn’t know why. It’s not until I read this note of yours that I even knew that Osthmanthus was a sort of flower. I thought it was some sort of different kind of Silver Needle. : / Thanks very much for enlightening me! Now I know what to look for in other teas because I absolutely loved the sweet nectar-like flavor.

teaplz

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I’ve got a sample of Samovar’s version from takgoti. Seriously, O-Cha!, you are the resident Rishi expert. Hearts all around!

Erin

@teaplz – Prepare to be delighted by Samovar’s version.

mattscinto

yes you seriously are the rishi queen

Oh Cha!

The Samovar version compares quite closely to the Rishi version. I would recommend either!

k_t_bug

Thanks for the info and recommendation!

Dhamma

You seem to have tried a lot of Rishi’s catalog. I am thinking of ordering from them, what green teas do you recommend? I was thinking of ordering 4-5 types for the free shipping.

Oh Cha!

Hi Dhamma! I have a personal preference for Japanese greens, so I will start my recommendations there. Genmai Matcha, Kukicha, Organic Sencha, Sencha Sakura if it’s available, annnnnnd… For a little Chinese green tea fun perhaps Dragonwell and Green Needles Premium. Also: Houjicha is a roasted (as opposed to steamed) Japanese green – so if you’d like something tasty that pairs well with breakfast foods and such, that’s a good selection.

Forgive me, I also have a personal preference for pure teas, so if you’d ever like recommendations for scented or flavoured varieties, that’s a whole other category for me as well :)

Enjoy your tea! Happy shopping! And don’t forget to use a kyusu and 180 degree water for brewing… that’s the most important part!

Anatta

do you recommend any specific website to buy a kyusu from?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I’m a foodie. I’ve worked in tea professionally, and the obsession never left. I’ve also worked at a wine bar (with cheese, truffles & charcuterie) and a teahouse/restaurant (with excellent artisan pairing dishes) on the side.
So I’ve done a lot of tasting… and you’ll notice I bring up food pairing a lot!

I’m all about sharing recipes and recommendations, so please feel free to throw any of yours my way, and should you ask I’ll be happy to do the same. I’m also old school with my brewing methods – so if you have any questions of brewing or artisan teaware, feel free to ask.

Activities:
Drinking artisan tea, indulging in an entire bottle of wine, savouring microbrewed beer, making everything from scratch, putting cheese on/with everything like a true Wisconsinite, spending months’ worth of paychecks on Amazon, and flipping through and smelling the pages of books I surely won’t get to for another 8-10 years.

Location

Milwaukee, WI

Following These People