Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

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White Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g 11 oz / 325 ml

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14 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 2859 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 757 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 12, 2013

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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14 Tasting Notes

2859 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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757 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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590 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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4715 tasting notes

yes…yes i can cheat as much as i want! 28/28 sipdowns as i wanted to try this before giving the remainder to my friend. on the whole…while this is a lovely tea, it doesn’t sing to me like my black teas do…it’s really just toooooo soft. and quiet. :)

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347 tasting notes

This was part of my sampler prize. I don’t usually make white tea, and might have steeped this too warm. It smells nice though, a bit floral and sweet.

Not so sure of the flavour at the moment, but it does seem to go with my orange cake.

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348 tasting notes

I went to the hospital this morning, and I saw great beauty.

There was an older man sitting next to me in the waiting room. He told me he had a brain tumour and only 6 months to live.

I asked what were his plans for the next 6 months. With tears in his eyes, he pointed at the little boy next to him, his grandson. His daughter was also there. He told me he was going to spend as much time as possible with them.

Then the little boy, (three years old) got up, gently took his grandpa’s face between his two miniature hands and stared. He said with a big smile on his face: «Don’t be sad Pappy, all the pain is gone…»

I cried. His daughter cried. Then we all looked at the little boy, and laughed. It was one of those moments where you can’t help reflect on your own life. It was special. That little boy will be forever in my heart and so will be the old man.

When I got home, I was exhausted, but grateful. Grateful to have time in front of me to love and cherish those who are important to me.

I chose to dink this tea for its beauty and purity.

It’s clean, and it gives me some peace and quiet inside. It’s very sweet, brothy and slightly vegetal. It’s milky in a rice milk kind of way. It’s soothing. It’s what I need.

I don’t have much else to say, just thought I’d share this beautiful story with you all :-)


That’s lovely. So lovely.


Yes, We sometimes meet the most wonderful people at the most unexpected places…


Thank you for sharing that – so very touching and beautiful!

Doug F

Beautiful. A good reminder to be in the moment so that you don’t miss experiences like this.

inranger Thanks, you reminded me to reach out and keep in touch with my sister.

Wow, powerful stuff


This is the day when Steepster made me cry. Thank you for the story, TeaFairy!


Very poignant and a great reminder of what’s truly important in life.


Thank you guys, I’m glad I’m not the only one who was touched by this little boy today…

Inranger, that’s what it was all about :-)


It’s the little things that mean so much. And words from a child the purest and most honest sayings.


Thank you for sharing this lovely story! A great reminder to enjoy every moment in your life, especially with loved ones


I’m sitting here sobbing. This so beautiful and so heart-wrenching. I lost my very beloved Daddy to brain tumors much, much too soon. I want to hug that little boy and that man so hard. It’s Father’s Day next weekend and that is always a bittersweet time for me and he’s been gone for years now. Thank you for sharing this.


MzPriss, so sorry this post brought back sad memories…I’m very sorry for your dad.


It’s OK really. I still miss him a way lot. My Daddy was hilarious and and loving and I was the light of his life. I got a lot
From my Daddy and I have great memories.


moving story. Be happy even in the darkest days, and always find something that can bring you peace or cherry you up.

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405 tasting notes

I’ve got to admit something: I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to white teas. I don’t know what it is – maybe I can’t ever brew them right – but they just don’t hold as much appeal to me unless they’re flavoured or blended with fruit.

This tea is a good example. The smell of the leaf and the taste of the tea are both extremely mild. So mild, in fact, that last night when I did my first taste of this, I couldn’t taste anything at all. Giving more leaf and steeping for longer did bring out some sweet notes, but nothing identifiable.

I just don’t have luck with straight white teas. What am I doing wrong? I know that white teas are delicate, so I steep them for less time at lower temperatures, but I just can’t find a straight blend that makes my heart sing.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

I suspect it isn’t just you—a whole ton of us just can’t really get into white teas. I hear butiki’s white rhino is pretty flavourful, though.


The temp looks good. You might have better luck doing it more gongfu style or attempt using more leaf. I usually use around 1.5 TSP for 8 oz. I usually only use one minute for my first steep. I sometimes find the first steep weaker but the later steeps are usually richer in flavour and creamier. You might try bringing the leaves as well. The Chinese whites I’ve had range from Cornsilk and floral, to fruity. So it might be that you haven’t found the right one yet. The African ones sound really nice and some of the higher quality Ceylon’s can be very nice as well.


I use extra leaf with my whites, almost always. Mine are so light that a tsp is hardly any tea at all.


Perhaps saying I used 2 tsp for 16 oz is off-base. I didn’t have my measuring spoon handy, so I just took a few pinches out of the sample packet.

I think I’ve just been underleafing things in general these days – had similar issues with some Mao Feng teas and a Dragon Well.

Sami Kelsh

Honestly, even when I use more leaf and stuff, I just tend to prefer a more robust tea most of the time, and since whites are more delicate, they tend not to be what I gravitate towards, even if the flavours are nice. Shrug.


+1 what yyz said. I was having the exact same issue you describe until I tried yyz’s instructions. It was like a whole new world opened up! I’ve been filling the gaiwan to half and using water at 175 and steeping 45 seconds to a minute for the first few steeps. It appears the leaf/water ratio has to be much higher for whites than other teas for me to get flavor out of them.

TeaVivre As white tea is made solely from the buds (top shoots) of the tea plant, the leaves are very delicate, so it is mild, delicate, slightly sweet.

You can use water at approximately 80 ºC (180 ºF) and Steep between 3-5 minutes. If you prefer flavored teas instead of plain teas, you can add herbs such as peppermint or lavender, or you can also add honey for a more soothing tea. Blueberry and other fruit flavors work well also.

Agree with yyz, you also can try gongfu style with Gaiwan, Pour 80ºC water into the Gaiwan, and wait for approximately 1-2 minutes. To extract the flavor from the leaves when brewing them multiple times, be sure to add an additional minute to the brewing time each time you re-steep the leaves. This will assure that you get the most flavor, aroma.

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4 tasting notes

I just opened my sample of this tea from Tea Vivre. The smell of the dry tea leaves were very pure. I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t rate it.

Edit: I tried to brew this tea in a small cup, not a gaiwan. This was a huge mistake on my part, because the messiness distracted me from the actual tea. Overall, I did like what I was tasting as it was very pure and elegant. I loved the subtle fuzziness of the leaves and the texture of the tea after it was brewed. I need to try this tea again to gain a full understanding of the taste.

Flavors: Earth

5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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