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I’m a big fan of white tea, so I couldn’t wait to try Harney’s version of silver needle. This is actually my first silver needle (everything else has been white peony/bai mu dan, which is absolutely delicious), so I was REALLY psyched to steep this up.

I used a heaping tablespoon in ~6 oz. of water, but I had to stop to admire the leaves. HOW pretty. The sample I received from Harney was full of unbroken, beautiful needles. So downy and soft and fluffy! And a beautiful silvery down over bright green. Gorgeous. The smell was a bit woodsy and vegetal. I’ve learned that whites aren’t exactly the best-smelling teas.

I anxiously awaited the steep. If you want something that unfurls and dances around in the pot, then this isn’t for you. The leaves barely budge. But still. Gorgeous. The infusion that came from the pour was a light yellow, a very pretty white color. And the smell coming off of the liquid was similar to the dry, but more concentrated. Very woodsy, a hint of sweetness, an a lot of planty goodness.

On the first sip, I was pretty disappointed. This lacked a lot of depth of flavor that I’ve experienced with other whites. And I really do enjoy subtle notes. But this one was mostly vegetal. As Steepster’s description says, this is definitely the most vegetal white I’ve ever had. It almost tastes like edamame, or the water that would result after boiling some of those nom-worthy beans. Edamame tastes wonderful, but I’m not sure I want my tea to taste like that. It’s nearly savory, in a very bizarre way.

There’s not much sweetness hitting the palate, which is a shame. That nectar-like love from white tea is one of my favorite things about it.

There are plenty of better whites out there. Samovar’s Bai Mu Dan, for starters, has to be one of the best whites I’ve ever had. I’m sure there are better silver needles out there as well, that will give me the sweet and yummy cup that I so crave.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Bethany

It’s funny how widely Silver Needles vary. I love Adagio’s, which tastes very true to the general Silver Needle description (somewhat sweet, somewhat vegetal, very buttery). Rishi’s definitely was more vegetal and not as smooth.

takgoti

Awww, dagger.

teaplz

Yeah, I’m trying to figure out if it has to do with water temperature, amount of leaf, etc. Silver Needle is extremely finicky! White Peony/Bai Mu Dan is much more consistent.

Ricky

Adagio’s silver needle requires a lot of time. What I generally do is pour out tea at intervals to test it. I mean you are using the IngenuiTea, so you can just place it on top of a cup and test a little. I usually do 1/2 of a cup at a certain interval, take a few sip if it’s delicious I pour the remaining out. If it’s bland, I wait a bit longer and then pour it out. If the flavors go weird…. I try mixing the two.

Bethany

Ricky, how long do you usually end up steeping Adagio’s Silver Needle in total? I’ve been using their 7 minute guideline and it turns out delicious.

Ricky

Seven minutes just as you have. I tried three before and it was a bit bland.

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Bethany

It’s funny how widely Silver Needles vary. I love Adagio’s, which tastes very true to the general Silver Needle description (somewhat sweet, somewhat vegetal, very buttery). Rishi’s definitely was more vegetal and not as smooth.

takgoti

Awww, dagger.

teaplz

Yeah, I’m trying to figure out if it has to do with water temperature, amount of leaf, etc. Silver Needle is extremely finicky! White Peony/Bai Mu Dan is much more consistent.

Ricky

Adagio’s silver needle requires a lot of time. What I generally do is pour out tea at intervals to test it. I mean you are using the IngenuiTea, so you can just place it on top of a cup and test a little. I usually do 1/2 of a cup at a certain interval, take a few sip if it’s delicious I pour the remaining out. If it’s bland, I wait a bit longer and then pour it out. If the flavors go weird…. I try mixing the two.

Bethany

Ricky, how long do you usually end up steeping Adagio’s Silver Needle in total? I’ve been using their 7 minute guideline and it turns out delicious.

Ricky

Seven minutes just as you have. I tried three before and it was a bit bland.

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22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

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New York City

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