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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a special tea for me because it is the first raw pu erh that I tried. I was in Edinburgh in February 2013 (just last year at the time of writing) and found there were a few tea shops selling what I would regard as not your average teas. I found a tea shop called ‘PekoeTea’ to be a considerable walk, but judging by the list of teas on their website, I had to go there. This tea was recommended to me by a regular of the shop and I was intrigued by how different this tea was from any other I had tried. I recall there being a pungent flavour about it that didn’t appear to fit. Anyway, I recently bought some of it and here is my review.
It’s been one year since I found raw pu erh tea (I actually found cooked pu erh sometime earlier). I’ll raise a cup to all you pu erh fans. I’m currently drinking 2002 YONG PIN HAO “RED YI WU ZHENG SHAN” by Yunnan Sourcing, which has gone up in price for 25grams from $17.50 to $24…
Dry leaf: Loose leaves; colourful, ranging from white to dark green. The aroma is dry, fruity and dusty.
Wet leaf: Fruit; floral.
Summary: Sharp bitterness dominates sweetness to provide a stimulating, mouth-watering experience.
5s – Very well balanced. The bitterness is contrasted by sweetness.
10s – This has a nice bite, not just of bitterness, but of tarty, citrus fruit bitterness that makes the mouth water. Underneath this is a pleasant sweet fruitiness that balances out, but never quite does; the bitterness provides a more bitter than sweet finish. Stimulating stuff.
15s – Sharp, citrus bitterness with some sourness against some plummy sweetness. Great stuff. Resfreshing; stimulating; a joy to drink.
20s – Lemony bitterness.
~60s – This steep worked quite well as a palette cleanser to ease the ammonia taste after having some Camembert.
So far, to me, this doesn’t have a lot of flavor. I’ll let it cool more and see if anything comes out. Right now it just tastes generic-white to me, nothing special or distinct.
As it cools it doesn’t get much more depth to it. Maybe a very, very, barely there hint of melon.
It’s not bad and I’ll finish the pot, but I’d not buy it.
I am definitely getting a melon/cucumber flavor as well as a sweet grass taste. White teas are never my favorite and I usually group them in “drink when desperate” category. That being said it isn’t terrible and it is nice and relaxing. So many white teas are infused or stuffed or packed full of other fruit flavors that you forget what pure white tea tastes like, which isn’t much. After drinking a whole cup it does remind me of a bath and body works lotion and sadly is just as appetizing, no fault of the tea or the company just my own bias against white teas.
Backlogging from yesterday since the site was buggered, good to see it’s back up and running well.
It looks like any other Silver Needle tea, long fuzzy buds. These ones turn green the instant you pour hot water on them. Dry you get the slightly sweet hay smell, wet the buds have an additional cucumber note to them.
Taste is sweet hay with cucumber and juicy melon. The juicy melon is more of a texture than a taste and lasts into the aftertaste with a hint of mint feeling. I brewed it up gaiwan style first and the hay notes were very prominent. Then I brewed up more traditional style and I get a much better taste and blend of the notes. I find it so fascinating the difference in taste of the same tea depending on how it’s brewed.
This Silver Needle is really quite lovely. One of the finest I think I’ve yet to encounter. Delicate, yes, but also intensely flavored … surprisingly so. Notes of cucumber and hay, as well as a very subtle young asparagus stalk that has been steamed and lightly buttered. As I continue to sip, a mineral-like taste seems to come into play. There are some delightful fruit notes to this tea as well, and I like the way they transition – starting out with a delicate apple-pear kind of flavor, and as I continue to sip, the flavor becomes more of a honeydew melon. It has a refreshing quality to it, and is one of the most complex silver needle teas I’ve yet to taste.