Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

Tea type
White Tea
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Cucumber, Melon, Sweet, Creamy, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Oats, Pastries, Flowers, Lettuce, Sage, Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 6 g 11 oz / 332 ml

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21 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 2952 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...” Read full tasting note
    fjellrev 770 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...” Read full tasting note
    Mnoelle225 206 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...” Read full tasting note
    wheezybee 251 tasting notes

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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21 Tasting Notes

2952 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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770 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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251 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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604 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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694 tasting notes

First thoughts: Wow, those are big! The leaves are uniformly whole, about 1.5 inches long.

I got some of this in my recent package of samples from Teavivre and now that Steepster seems less broken, I’m finally reviewing it. I don’t often drink white tea but when I do I tend to enjoy it. I steeped this for about two minutes in 75 degree water per the instructions on the sample. I used the whole packet to make a pot for the beau and I since he is a big fan of white teas.

At two minutes western style, this is light tea. Very light. Maybe too light. I poured the tea back into the pot for another minute steeping – and made a mess. Whoops. Then I forgot it, and it went two more minutes. So, a four minute steep it is. The water was only 75 when poured though, so I’m not worried about over-steeping.

Now, we have a lot more flavour. It is still a light-tea but full-bodied and sweet with some notes of hay and melon or cucumber. No bitterness, astringency or dryness. Light but yummy. Sort of unassuming. Another tea that I like when I drink but don’t always think to go for. The beau proclaims it “really good.” He gets a bit of jasmine (which is likely floral in general). He had a sip of scotch before trying it though, so his impressions are now confused.

I don’t think we will have any problem enjoying these samples and I am interested to compare it to the Organic Silver Needle we also received. I think I will try a second steep of this later at higher temps as well to see what we get.

It’s been a little while since I’ve had the white peony, but so far I would say I liked that a little better. It had a little more oomph for me and stood out a bit more. I think it also had different brewing parameters though which can really change the outcome.

Flavors: Cucumber, Melon, Sweet

170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec 7 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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463 tasting notes

Yeasty dry leaf aroma.
Very flavouful, bright sweet taste. Lingering sweetness.

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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912 tasting notes

Thanks TeaVivre for including this sample with my recent order.

This is a mild, sweet, haylike white. It is creamy and tasty, but I generally find white teas a little bland and boring. Not bad though! Glad I got to try it :)


YES. BORING. I couldn’t think of the term to apply to white tea. But this one’s good :]


You two are crazy :-P. White teas are amazing!

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476 tasting notes

This was a freebie bonus sample from Stephanie. She magically managed to send me a different one than I got from the last round of TeaVivre samples, and for that I am very thankful! The leaves are large and fluffy, fuzzy and silver-green in color. They cling together tightly, I had a difficult time separating the sample into halves. Dry scent is soft hay and oats with a slight grassy aroma. There is also a touch of honey. I brewed this at 185 degrees for 3 minutes, just because I wanted to. :P

Once brewed, this tea smells strongly of sweet hay and oats/oatmeal, with a bit of a vegetal note and some lovely honeydew or cucumber (I have trouble telling them apart when there’s sweetness in the tea). This tea is extremely creamy and lovely, and there are strong oat and grain notes with a bit of hay mixed in. I am reminded of slightly sweet pastry, maybe with a touch of honey over the top. I’m so happy to find honeydew/cucumber in the taste as well as the aroma, as I love melon in general.

Overall, I’m finding this tea to be delicious and I’m amazed that this is TeaVivre’s “lowest grade” of silver needle. I can only imagine how wonderful the organic and nonpareil varieties are! Thanks again, Stephanie!

Flavors: Creamy, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Oats, Pastries

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Oh good, glad you hadn’t tried this before! :D Don’t forget to get your points for the review ;)

Cameron B.

Oh, totally already done. I’m on top of that always. ;)

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126 tasting notes

This is from the review contest winnings. Thank you, Angel and Mary!!

After having only a cup of Tanzanian black tea in the morning and some coffee with lots of milk and sugar a while ago, I needed something clean-tasting, something light on the tongue. I thought of green tea but remembered this Silver Needles that I still needed to try. Not a white tea person, but I rolled with it.

Brewed grandpa style. How wonderful to look at the leaves in the glass tumbler!

The aroma of the dry leaf consists of sweet grass, sweet hay (mmm barns), and honeydew (love that fruit!). At this point, I already know I’m in for something.

The liquor is so light-bodied that it is air. It is air. It feels like air. It tastes like air. Clear, fluffy air that has a sweet grass note. By gum, it really is FLUFFY.

This not-a-white-tea person was completely taken by surprise. Considering some things, though, I’ve never really had good quality Silver Needles until now but I feel like a rating is needed for people who are also not white tea drinkers. Holy mackerel, did I well in choosing to drink this now. Thanks again, Teavivre!

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Before tasting this tea, my experience with white tea was limited to tea bag stuff from the likes of Stash. I thought white tea was just a lighter tasting tea similar to black. Who knew there were melons, cucumbers, and hay in leaf? This is an awesome tea.

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