Silver Needle and I have had our disagreements. My first real experience with it created the (as yet) unalterable association of Silver Needle = Soy Bean Water. Not cool. So while I appreciate the free sample in my CTG order, I wasn’t all that thrilled with what the sample actually was.
But this tea could change my mind. The first steep (1min) was very delicate; I couldn’t pick out a whole lot about it. In fact, my only tasting notes were “Delicate. Sweet. Pretty aftertaste.” It was intriguing and I drank it quickly so it was obviously quite tasty, but it wasn’t enough to make me go wow.
The second steep (2min), however, was wow-worthy. It was so pretty. I actually liked it so much that I made the husband try it. (His reaction? “If that’s just a sample, I’m thinking we need to buy some.”) There is a bit of vegetal taste, but it doesn’t make me think of soy bean water. There’s also some very sweet and floral (or maybe fruity?) notes. The aftertaste is really quite gorgeous.
Steep number three (3min) is bolder, not as soft. As it cools, however, the lightness and sweetness begin to come back and bring with them an unexpected spiciness. Pepper, perhaps? It’s a bit like peppered flowers with a hint of vegetal-ness, but just a hint.
In the fourth steep (3min), the flavors start to muddy a little; it doesn’t taste as fresh and clean as the previous steeps. All of the tastes – sweet, peppery, floral, vegetal – are still there but they seem less crisp and clear.
This is definitely the type of Silver Needle I wish I had been introduced to first. I’m pretty sure that regular exposure to this one will remove any Silver Needle = Soy Bean Water associations I have. For this reason, I’m also pretty sure that whenever I place my next CTG order, a tin of this will find its way into my cart.
4.8g/8oz/175° → cup → teapot