Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Tea type
White Tea
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Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Straw, Sweet, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Autumn Leaf Pile, Dust, Sugarcane, Creamy, Oats, Pastries, Flowers, Lettuce, Sage, Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 4 g 9 oz / 264 ml

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28 Tasting Notes View all

From Teavivre

Origin: Fuding City, Fujian Province, China

Ingredients: Pure tea buds

Harvest time: March 22, 2014

Taste: sweet and slippery taste; has slight soymilk flavor; sweet aftertaste presents quickly

Brew: bew at 176 ºF (80 ºC) for 1 to 2 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Silver Needle White Tea gives you the greatest health benefits of all White Tea’s. Composed of only unopened, fresh leaf buds, none of the beneficial antioxidants and minerals in this tea has yet had a chance to be used by the plant to convert to chlorophyll or other parts of an opened leaf’s structure

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28 Tasting Notes

3230 tasting notes

It’s the last day of July already? Unbelievable!
A few months ago I started using the last day of the month to update my “Tea Collection” database, re-arrange my cupboards as needed, & kind of review what I drank. I have this insane goal to drink a cup of every single tea in my cupboard once a month, & as my cupboard continues to expand, that goal gets harder & harder to accomplish. I didn’t even come close in July, having started the month with 307 teas (including samples) in my cupboard. I only drank 132 of them (some several times, like Zhu Rong), with 36 sipdowns. That’s ok. There’s always August! :)

In looking through my cupboard, I realized I still had a sample from Angel that I hadn’t tried yet. I guess I’m starting to like white tea, or maybe this is just a really tasty one! It’s hard to describe the flavor of it. It started out almost buttery & malty, but then it took on a kind of soymilk flavor, & near the end it reminds me a little of split pea soup, very savory.
Thank you to Angel @ TeaVivre for sending me generous samples of this, & also for allowing me to be part of the sampling program, as I truly enjoy the quality of your teas!


Wow. I still think drinking 132 different teas in one month is pretty good! You need to give yourself time to enjoy each cup, and resteep if it’s worthy of the extra attention. :D

I think I’ll be reviewing my collection every month or so, and updating the estimates on how much (in oz) I have, as well as total number! It’s pretty relaxing.

Terri HarpLady

Oh, don’t worry, I enjoy every single sip!! Including re-steeps when they are worthy :)
I know there is no way I can drink through 300 teas a month (or however many I have by now…I’m afraid to count). That would be 10 teas a day, which might be doable if I wasn’t drinking oolongs, puerhs, etc.


yeah…those damn puerhs always slowing me down! and SOMEONE just sent me a zillion of them!

Terri HarpLady


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1350 tasting notes

Thanks to Heather for passing down a sample of this. I’ve never been a huge fan of white tea, but seeing that I haven’t had a straight up white tea in years, it wouldn’t hurt to revisit them.

Freshly steeped, there are notes of cooked vegetables, maybe mild snow peas. It’s hard to pinpoint but definitely some sort of cooked green vegetable. As this is cooling, it’s going a little wonky, along the lines of chlorine, unfortunately.

Beautiful leaf but the flavour is not my thing. I’ll abstain from rating seeing that no one else has so far and I’m not the greatest fan of white tea to begin with.

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206 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box #10
I snatched this one out of the box to sample later and I am soooooo glad I did. This was such a delicate white tea I love! The dry leaf was so beautiful. The aroma as it steeped worried me a little… It smelled grassy and savory and I’m not a fan of vegetal teas. But the taste is nothing of the sort. It had this creaminess I was not expecting at all and then when I looked it up it says soy milk notes. I get it now! Ha ha. My favorite steeps were definitely the second and third. Was not a huge fan of the first steep but was definitely worth it to get to the further steepings:) I have enough left to try some other time! Yay!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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255 tasting notes

This sample arrived today from Teavivre, and I didn’t wait long before trying it out. The dry leaves were lovely and intact, and it was fascinating to see how much character each little leaf contained. The smell was deceptively simple, and primarily grassy.

When steeped, its other flavors came out to play, and I must say the 2nd and 3rd steeps continue to be my favorite. The liquor remains the same very pale yellow, but the sensation of each sip is light yet silky. The understated notes of butternut squash, nuttiness, and dry grass balance each other beautifully.

I’m trying to build more whites and greens into my cupboard, and this was a fantastic place to start!

You can read my full review here:

2 min, 0 sec

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708 tasting notes

I am a total novice to straight white teas, so I don’t know how I will properly review it. But here goes.

The leaves are quite long and lofty, and covered in a fine fuzz, and they are really beautiful! I’m not sure how to describe the scent, but it smells fresh and clean.

I may have under-steeped this one since it is extremely mild, but it is still quite hot to take a better sip. I’ll try to go more into detail when it is a little cooler and I can try to pick out other notes.

Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for the generous sample for review.

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58 tasting notes

Expectations. Quite high, this is a famous tea after all.

Steeping. 65ml gaiwan and 75-80C water. I tried to steep this tea also with a champagne glass, but the leaves floated on the surface.

Appearance. The leaves were smaller than I thought, about the size of my finger tip (or 0,5cm to be precise.) They were all covered in white fur.

Aroma. Sweet and straw-ish. There was quite a lot of dust (probably loose fur) so I had to sneeze a couple times while appreciating the aroma. Spent leaves have greenish-gray hue. The tea is pale yellow in color.

Tasting. Really light and sweet. I thought this would have more tartness, but the flavor is so delicate. It has only light note of straw and hay, maybe cucumber or melon too. Longer infusions have that nice little kick in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasantly astringent.

Comments. The Silver Needle is really good tea, but to me it doesn’t give that ‘wow!’-feeling. Still, I will see this one again when it’s freshly picked, my sample is 9 months old after all so I’m intrigued to try this one again.

PS. Happy New Year 2016 everyone!

Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Straw, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 4 g 2 OZ / 65 ML

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341 tasting notes

This is my last tea for the night. I haven’t had white tea in awhile, and I remembered that I had this. The dry leaf looks a little darker. This tea resembles more of a tarnished silver rather than a silver. However, I don’t judge tea solely on appearance. I decided to brew these little needles in my glassware. I used cool (175F) water to brew it up. The liquor was a pale glistening white gold. The taste was incredibly sweet. This brew begins with a dry hay and melon flavor and then smooths out to sweet and honeysuckle. This helped calm me down before bed. it was nice to revisit white tea again.

Flavors: Hay, Honeysuckle, Melon, Nectar, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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30 tasting notes

This Silver Needle has made me want to start trying more white teas. I haven’t tried a lot, but the ones I’ve had, I didn’t really care for. They seemed too light…not enough flavor. This one, I’m really liking though. I’m getting a lot of hay in scent and taste. It’s creamy and a little sweet. Something else, I think might be soy milk….it’s been a while since I’ve had any, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it reminds me of.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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1908 tasting notes

I wanted to try this white tea with the same parameters as I tried the Nonpareil a while ago. Though it might be way too far back for me to compare these two. The leaves are huge and there are a TON in a 5 gram sample. They have such a strong scent for a dry leaf – very surprising for a white tea. I can’t really tell a noticeable difference in flavor from this one and the Nonpareil (though that was months ago that I tried it.) The first cup is mostly mellow dried grass. Maybe I say “mellow” because it also reminds me of lemony marshmallows, if that exists. Maybe cotton flavored, in the best possible way. These are flavor notes I typically find in a white tea! These flavors intensify with the second steep! A nice white tea but I adore the Jasmine white.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a mug (about half of a 5 grams pouch) // 40 minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Harvest: 2015

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261 tasting notes

I haven’t tried enough white teas. They are arguably my favorite type. Okay, I don’t really have a favorite type… but one of my two favorite teas (tied for the best I’ve had) is a white tea. I love the subtle nature of them. I can drink them often and not get tired of them or feel overwhelmed.

This silver needle by TeaVivre is just about what I’d expect from a Fujian silver needle. My entry point to white teas was through the award-winning white teas of Shang Tea, so I feel a little spoiled in that regard and tend to compare white teas to those ones.

In comparison to the silver needles I’ve had before, this one seems a bit more sugary sweet, but lacks the subtle peach notes I’m used to. The gentle color of the brewed liquor is like cream. The aroma has subtle hints of fallen autumn leaves. The downy buds have a nice coat of silvery white fur.

On the second infusion, my little white porcelain pinming cup looks like a yellow early evening moon is in it. There are subtle notes of spices in the aroma and the tea itself now has a bit of a cucumber taste. There’s more of that mouth-filling sugary flavor, and there’s a bit of a dusty taste in the background, subtle enough not to be unwelcome.

As with most silver needles I’ve tried, the flavor is rather consistent from one Gongfu infusion to the next. The flavor remains delicate and sweet.

This is certainly a good silver needle. It’s not the best one I’ve had, but it’s definitely good. It has a lot of sweetness. I’d say that’s the main distinguishing feature between this silver needle and others I’ve had like it.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cucumber, Dust, Sugarcane

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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