Another gratuitous sample from Teavivre! I really wanted to try some more of their teas but I didn’t feel like sitting down to something dark, and I’d already had a cup of the Dragonwell this morning. So here goes with this one.
When I opened the sample package, I looked inside to see that the buds were a bit more curled than I’d seen previously, and there are some small leaves mixed in with the buds. Bending down to take a closer look, I was hit with a really strong scent – much more strong than I’d expected. It was a lot different too – very flavorful. Beyond the jasmine I got whiffs of peach, plum and nectarine. There’s something else there that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe a sort of orchid scent? It almost reminds me of the forest, mossy and cool, but not dark. Regardless, it’s the best smelling unaltered white tea I’ve ever smelled.
The steeping instructions asked for 1-3 minutes; I steeped mine for approximately 2 to 3. I didn’t set a timer. After steeping, the buds look a bit of a brighter green than before, and they’ve started to unroll just slightly. The wet scent of these is similar to the dry scent, but not as strong. I’m also getting a little bit closer to the flavor I was unable to identify in the dry leaves – it smells almost mossy, somehow.
I used my 2-cup teapot for this, which is a light rose color. I really do need to get a glass or a white teapot. I’ve been eyeing the 18oz glass ForLife ones… sigh. Too many teapots, so little money. As it pours, the stream looks white. Even in the light pink teacup, I can see that the liquor is a pale yellow in color. The scent of the liquor is even fainter than the scent of the wet leaves, but it’s still along the same line.
It tastes fantastic. I haven’t had a lot of experience with yin zhen teas – I’ve tried the Teavana silver needles and David’s jasmine-scented. Both of them have been soft but fairly tasteless to me. I can hardly taste the jasmine in David’s.
But this – this is something else. I can taste the jasmine there without a doubt, but it’s light and delicate, without the overpowering dryness or “soapy” qualities it can have when used in excess. The best descriptor I can find for the tea is “round.” It’s clear and pure, mild and sweet. It’s the fullest-flavored yin zhen I’ve ever tasted, and it has its own distinctive flavor.
The first time I went into Teavana (hardly knowing anything about tea, but knowing that silver needles was considered “expensive and quality”) I asked for a cup of their silver needles so I could taste it. The girl there said “Sure, but it has a very light flavor it’s really best blended with other teas. Would you like to try that?” She blended it with another, and it was good, but this is a tea which, while very light, needs nothing extra to taste fantastic.
Thanks again Teavivre – you’ve sold me. Another one I have to add to my shopping list!