Teavana’s Silver Yin Zhen is a nice little white tea. Pearl teas are fun ’cause of the whole unfurling process — adds visual enjoyment and reminds me that I should relax like the little pearls in warm water.
The flavor here is fairly classic white tea. I’ll preface by saying that I tend to like white teas a little stronger and, in fact, enjoy a wee bit of bitter. I brewed for longer than the recommended time of 4 to 5 minutes, but at a slightly cooler temperature.
First steep: I let it go to about 6.5 minutes because it didn’t really look like the pearls had unfurled much, and I like the unfurling. 3 or 4 minutes would probably be nice for folks who like a lighter tea because there was some bitterness in that first brew. It was light in color with a pit-of-the-fruit type of flavor (not fruit flavor, but that slightly astringent, slightly woody flavor of the actual pit of a peach or cherry). I enjoy that. After tasting plain, I added a bit of sweetener and this brought out the light florals while minimizing the bitterness.
Second steep: About 5 minutes. Similar, without the bitterness, less astringent. A bit fruitier. I imagine it would have been stronger if I hadn’t steeped the first cup for so long. The leaves are nicely relaxed yet not limp — they’re dancing or doing yoga.
Third steep: Also nice, I let this one steep a looong time ‘cause I got distracted. It didn’t get bitter. Still a really nice cup of white tea. With sweetener, the floral notes are still present.
I’m not sure that there will be much flavor for a fourth steeping of these leaves. Folks who like a lighter tea who don’t steep as long can probably get a very nice fourth and even fifth cup out of Silver Yin Zhen Pearls. Instead of throwing away these leaves, I’ll make a flavorful blend by adding a fruity herbal or rooibos to what is left just to get a wee bit more out of the little dancers.
I purchased Silver Yin Zhen Pearls from Teavana during their after Christmas sale. I don’t know if I’d purchase again at full price. Love those pearls though!