I got up early this morning to go birding and climbed a lot of big hills. Saw a baby Barred Owl, which was amazing. But now I am exhausted; it’s warm outside but cool in our house; all of these things seemed appropriate for a white tea, and I admit I have been quite curious about this one. I recently decided, upon tasting several whites from Teavivre, that Silver Needles are my favorite type of white tea.
The dry leaf on this is some of the most gorgeous leaf I’ve ever seen. The leaves are ‘plump’ and large, and covered with the softest downy covering that felt like the finest velvet. Beautiful. I don’t have a gaiwan and can’t justify a purchase of the one I want right now, so I decided it would be fine if I brewed this one in my ru kiln gongfu pot. My rinse was almost colorless but I took a sip anyway… you never know when a tea will provide an amazing rinse. This one was not super flavorful, but it does have some light, creamy, hay notes popping through as well.
Even my first steep at 10 seconds was quite light in flavor, although it was quite tasty. I think I had expected more sweetness from this, but instead it is more like a dry white wine. The flavors seem like they should be sweet but the tea itself is not. I do think I get a sense of marshmallow from this, though it’s more the pillowy-ness than sweetness. Later steeps were thicker, more squashy and also more like clover honey. I am getting a bit of the breadiness that I have gotten from silver needles in the past, but not a lot. A nice, smooth white tea that isn’t too hayish nor too green. I did get some interesting cucumber notes as well in late steeps.
I very much enjoyed this tea, and now I am feeling the buoyant energy of a white tea. What a pleasant afternoon tea.