Dang, looks like I didn’t write a note about this at all. I really can’t honestly say what it was like…. disappointing. I’m trying to be better about writing notes (again!)
“Dang, looks like I didn’t write a note about this at all. I really can’t honestly say what it was like…. disappointing. I’m trying to be better about writing notes (again!)” Read full tasting note
“Broke into this tonight because I was really craving a silver needle, and I blew through my Mandala ounce in no time flat. I tend to prefer sweeter, honeysuckle notes in my silver needle, and this...” Read full tasting note
“Corn, hay, green beans, and cream – a strange combination in theory but in this cup it is really working. All the elements are present and tasty and yet come together beautifully to create a...” Read full tasting note
“This is another one of those teas I got during the birthday bash. I’m so happy I did. And then The Tea Spot conned me into trying grandpa style today, and Stacy suggested...” Read full tasting note
Our Kenyan Silver Needles originate from the Mount Kenya tea region in Kangaita, Kenya. Tea is grown at 5,000 to 7,000 feet above sea level in this region, where the soil is rich with minerals. These gorgeous silver needles produce a full-bodied tea with fresh cream, churned butter, roasted cashew, grilled corn, banana, and green bean notes. Kenyan Silver Needles are rich in flavor, produce a buttery texture, and have a lingering sweetness.
Ingredients: Kenyan White Tea
Recommended Brew Time: 3 minutes 30 seconds
Recommended Amount: 1 tablespoon of tea for 8oz of water
Recommended Temperature: 180 F
For more information, please visit www.butikiteas.com.
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Broke into this tonight because I was really craving a silver needle, and I blew through my Mandala ounce in no time flat. I tend to prefer sweeter, honeysuckle notes in my silver needle, and this does have elements of that, but there’s a secondary, complex flavor strung throughout as well. In truth, it kind of reminds me of Easter bread? So essentially a sweet, almond bread with a light sugar glaze over the top. As a kid, Easter bread was a spring staple for me, and I loved my noni’s version of it. She used to make it every year, freeze it, and then wait for me to visit so that she could give me a big hunk of it. She knew it was my favorite. Regardless, I suspect I underleafed this slightly, as is my tendency with any and all of my Butiki hoard, but I’ll remedy that for the next steep. Still, I find myself sighing happily into this cup. Nothing eases away the film of the day like nostalgia and good tea.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Sweet
This is another one of those teas I got during the birthday bash.
I’m so happy I did.
And then The Tea Spot conned me into trying grandpa style today, and Stacy suggested this as a really good tea to do that way. I have yet to find Stacy to be wrong when it comes to tea.
So I tried it.
And I liked it.
I would do this again.
It’s really interesting to do this way.
It was very nutty at first, kind of a cashew or maybe a raw almond. Really nice. Rich and almost creamy.
As I refill and refill my carry mug, I find it a little sweeter, and not quite so nutty, but still somewhat nutty. It’s also now got a little bit of a mineral taste, I think, in a good way. I really like this.
This is a really nice way to do tea, and this tea in particular. I’d do it again. But the next time I have this tea, I’m going to do a normal brew instead of this grandpa style.
I’m just going to add that the first day back to work after vacation is rough. Really rough. And it seems more so this time because I didn’t get nearly enough vacation.
Myahaaa! CRAZY CAT ALERT!
Okay, so there are times in my tea journey when I encounter a tea that is… for lack of a better term… catnip… to me. In fact, I am surprised this is happening now, because there is only one tea that does that to me up to this point! To elaborate… I am just so intoxicated and shocked by the flavor… it’s like I’m discovering flavors I never knew existed. I can hardly begin to describe the incredible freshness and enjoyability of this tea… and due to not knowing exactly what to think except “WHOA!” I get this giddy cat-on-nip reaction that makes me make vocal noises of pleasure after each of the first few sips. The next several sips all I do is wildly brag to my guests or friends about just how wonderful it is. I preach and yet I feel rather like just flailing around and doing donuts on the carpet. This is only the fourth tea I’ve tried out of hundreds I’ve tried now that I’ve given a perfect 100 score in my review here on Steepster.
Okay, so, where to begin with this? I’ll start with Stacy’s tasting notes from the website because they are spot-on. Fresh cream, churned butter, roasted cashew, grilled corn, banana, and green bean… it’s all there, though if I were to order them by predominance with the most obvious first it’d go like this… Fresh cream, grilled corn, banana, churned butter, green bean, roasted cashew. I will be honest. I ate some roasted cashews about half an hour before I drank this tea… though I had a few palate cleansing foods and drinks in between, so I don’t think that it masked the cashew flavor in this tea necessarily. Rather, having that close of a comparison… I’d say it may be the one tasting note I’m not really getting much of from Stacy’s observations. I wouldn’t describe it as cashew. I will add one though.
Sugar cookie. Oh yes. I wasn’t expecting anything like this. When I poured the first infusion from my gaiwan to the fair cup, nowhere near me, I was met with a whiff of tea steam that made me do a double take. It smelled INCREDIBLE.
I’d say I have a decently sensitive palate. Really light white teas and even some oolong and green can on occasion taste like hot water with a bit of salt or honey or sugar added and not much complexity. I understand that feeling, but I have found that when this occurs I can usually brew the tea a different way and many more flavors emerge (more or less leaf, different time or temp). Also, I can’t stress enough that for brewing very light teas like whites, you really should be using very neutral tasting water. I used spring water for the longest time until I realized a certain evil monolothic chain grocer here in the US has filtration stations in all their stores that use sediment filters, carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, and uv filters (all 4 together) to give you some very clean tasting and slick feeling local water for substantially cheaper than spring water. Even with home filtration systems, I often taste a lot of mineral and chemical and that can easily overpower light teas. I even did a blind taste test against the spring water I liked with my favorite teas, and the filtered water from the store won out.
Off my pulpit about water quality, just a tip for those who say they are tasting “hot water”, this tea was very full of flavor and is a totally different creature from any of the Chinese Silver Needles I’ve had before. Those tend to have notes of fruits like peach or melon, sweet honey and nectar notes as well. This tea is creamy, light and yet rich… like a chantilly cake. The ending notes of a sip carry the light vegetal quality, which is a bit like a sweet green bean or snap pea. I can see where others say this is like a mellowed down Chinese green tea.
I used 2 grams of needles per 100ml of water (that’s about a heaping tablespoon per 3 oz). Brewed it gongfu style for 1 minute, adding 15 seconds each time at 185F. There was never any dryness at all on any infusion.
Now I need to see how long I can prevent myself from ordering insane quantities of this tea.
Flavors: banana, Butter, Cookie, Corn Husk, Cream, Green Beans
My first experience with this tea was actually last night. I was packing some up for boychik to try, and after I’d already put everything away I found a leaf on the table. Instead of getting stuff back out or throwing it away I just popped it in my mouth, LOL. I sort of swished it around in there for a bit (the fuzz felt weird at first) and then chewed it up. It was surprisingly tasty!!! Very malty and crispy/crunchy. I don’t make a habit of eating tea leaves (except gyokuro) so it was a unique experience.
ANYWAY, just steeped up my first cup. It is sweet, creamy and lightly malty! I am not usually real big into white teas unless they are flavored but this one is very nice. I think next time I might try it with a little more leaf and see if I can coax out a flavor that is even more bold :)
So… Stacy did what she always does when i order from her (it’s been a while it feels like…though a mere 5 months has passed) and challenged me with the samples she included. I never ask for specific teas – rather it’s more fun to let her pick and choose unless there’s a really green tea i want to try or something. This was one of the samples…and my main problem with White teas is they typically taste like warm water to me.
This one has a smell that reminds me of really fresh green tea, but dialed back. Drinking it, it’s still closer to water (sorry stacy) but there ARE subtlties there that i can appreciate. i get no floral notes as stacy did (thank god), instead this is just a more mouthy feeling white tea. Not quite “green” but closer to that than warm water. :) Not a tea i’d need to order again at this moment in my tea journey but i DO like that i’ve gotten to try it. I also think that if you are a fan of white teas, you’ll enjoy this one :)
This tea is so interesting. I get notes that are not very common in most teas. For instance there are grilled corn notes (bordering on corn nuts but not quite) and roasted cashew nuts. Also, very strong butter and cream notes. This session, I’m also getting a light floral note at the end, maybe jasmine but it is just hardly there. This is definitely the most flavorful white tea I have ever tried. So good.
In other news, we are finishing up adding our new straight teas, so pretty soon we will start back working on flavored teas, which I am very excited about. I say that now before the frustration sets in when the flavors don’t work out how I want them but I do love creating new blends. It’s one of the tasks I most enjoy. Right now, we are working on a new chai. I have really been debating whether we go traditional or do a crazy flavored chai. Not sure yet, which way we will end up. Also, in 1-2 weeks we should finally have our new Silver Needle and Chinese greens in stock. We have been putting it off a bit but I’m excited to finally get the new harvests in.