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.
Silver Needle White Tea with a white downy appearance comes from the province of Fujian. The Silvery Needle, highest quality white tea, is picked during the spring before the buds open to preserve its tenderness. Exquisite and delicate, Silvery Needle has a fresh, sweet fragrance and produces a pale yellow brew. Brewing with a Yixing (ee-shing) teapot can best show the aroma of Silvery Needle. This tea has high concentrations of polyphenols (antioxidants that help fight against cancer-causing free-radicals and heart disease).
White Downy Silvery Needle gets its name because it consists of nothing but needle shaped buds that are covered with lots of tiny whitish hairs. This extremely rare tea from Jianyang county in the Fujian province is only harvested for two days every year and originally came from wild mountain trees. Not being satisfied with the most tender green tea leaves, the ancient tea connoisseurs looked for something even more delicate: the tea leaves before they had even burst from the bud. In early spring when the buds are fully grown and are just about to open, they are plucked from the end of branches along with a few attached leaves. Buds of about an inch long are picked out for the finest quality tea which is White Downy Silvery Needle. There is hardly any processing involved in producing white tea and the enzymes in the buds and leaves are denatured by steaming almost immediately after picking to prevent fermentation. White tea is said to be good for stimulating the digestive system.