Aged Yunnan Silver Needle White Cake

Tea type
White Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Bonnie
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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25 Tasting Notes View all

  • “*Thank you Jason for this Sample Tea* *This is the first review on this NEW WHITE TEA from Verdant* (Only saying this because this is not one of the tea's that is gone!) It's Saturday and...” Read full tasting note
    96
    bonniejohnstone 673 tasting notes
  • “Received this from *Invader Zim* today! Thanks! I was really intrigued by the idea of an aged white, and I've been contemplating ordering some of this for ages. But fortunately, she said it...” Read full tasting note
    95
    michellefeda 318 tasting notes
  • “I'm sad; this is a sip down. I quite liked my couple tastes of this tea - as I drank some while carrying it up the stairs earlier, it definitely tasted like Laoshan Black initially (not the...” Read full tasting note
    82
    kittenna 2246 tasting notes
  • “Initially when I opened the package I picked up the aroma of butter - creamy melted butter! Like when you leave a stick of fresh butter out on the counter and it melts on its own, just perfectly...” Read full tasting note
    91
    azzrian 807 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

“A cake with all the floral sweet crispness and spice of a fine Yunnan white, and the nuance of clove and malt coming through as the tea matures”. . . .

Our search for the most flavorful and intriguing silver needle white tea brought us to this beautiful white cake, pressed for aging. A growing number of tea masters in China are becoming interested in the aging potential of white teas, as they have been observed to deepen in flavor and unfold into a sweeter and more lingering aftertaste than a conventional white tea.

This 2011 cake still exhibits all the fresh qualities we love about Yunnan silver needle. It is floral like honeysuckle and lilac, but balanced by a certain green grassiness and the signature silky texture and cinnamon spice notes of Yunnan budset teas. Yet, being pressed into a cake and allowed to begin aging has introduced other intriguing and harmonious flavor profiles.

There is a crisp alfalfa quality tempered by a malty flavor like bread or semolina pasta, along with a darker and more lingering aftertaste that hints at nutmeg and rosewater. These additions make our Aged Yunnan Silver Needle Cake one of the most intriguing and promising white teas we have tried.

Note: cake size is 357g, or 12.6 ounces.

About Verdant Tea View company

Company description not available.

25 Tasting Notes

96
673 tasting notes

Thank you Jason for this Sample Tea

This is the first review on this NEW WHITE TEA from Verdant
(Only saying this because this is not one of the tea’s that is gone!)

It’s Saturday and for most of the day, I’ve been considering this one tea.
First I needed to add it to Steepster, then make sure my palate was clear and my mind still.
The lighter tea’s are more of an effort for me. They are delicate, and for some strange reason, cause me to go places deeper…reaching for elusive flavors that sometimes flutter past me so fast that I can hardly keep up with them.

My preparations were simple. A 5oz. Gaiwan, Spring Water, small sipping bowl and tea. The color of the infusions was not spectacular ranging from pale green to light green. The scent was lovely. Others will follow and discuss this more. I followed the exact steeping instructions on the Verdant website, 20 seconds, 15 seconds, 25 seconds.

The tasting of this tea was a complete experience. An adventure of remembering a time and event without losing touch with the reality of
the tea experience taking place at the same time.

I began with the first sip which sparkled with effervescence, dancing on my tongue like the sun rays on the sea.
There was the softest hint of pine and lilac ending in bread baked in a hot brick outdoor oven.

This is what did it. The flavor and scent that was hardly there and like a small hand reaching out, pulled me into a memory.

Corfu. I began to see that beautiful Greek Island again with the pines and flowers and….

The second steep was stronger than the first. It sparkled then splayed a dryness like linen sheets from a clothesline…slap across my tongue and gone. Here again there was the soft floral flavor spreading like a vine and wrapped around the pine taste trying to come out but still barely there. The taste of semolina was strongest at the finish.

I remembered going to Paleokastritsa Monastery on Corfu perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea. Walls washed with white and tan, abundant bougenvilla flowers and many happy monastery cats laying about. I approached an old Heiromonk and placed my hands palms up in the form of a cross indicating that I was asking for a blessing. He was from the U.S. and had retired to this Greek Monastery(a common practice especially after a Priest is a widower http://flic.kr/p/cfhUGo ). He blessed me, we chatted in the shade under the trees and I went my way. It was such an ancient, beautiful and peaceful place…smelling of flowers, pine and baked bricks and bread. Monasteries always have tea for guests.

My final steepings were very, very tingling on the tip of my tongue and sweeter. A great deal of semolina and creaminess with a hint of salt. I could tell that there was a rose floral flavor in these pourings and a bit of tannin at the finish, although not much.

I had a decision to make. The salt is what prompted me to make this decision. Should I add some sugar? It is vulgar to some people I know…but this is MY cup and I am not a tea snob. I believe that if there is any saltiness in a tea, a little sweet will often enhance the flavor.

So…I…Did…IT….

NECTAR We have a place in Colorado that is beautiful called
Garden of the Gods. This is the tea version of the place!
Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls…whatever your AHHHH! is…this flavor is that AHHHHH!

http://youtu.be/q2pgPkZZZOg Music

This nectar flavor is where I began my journey back to Corfu with the sun shining on the clearest water I’ve ever seen, and pine trees dipping to the Ionian Sea. Flowers, pink, red and purple, white washed houses and Greek Taverna’s all along a narrow road leading up to a beautiful Monastery. Calm and unforgetable.

TEA!

Here are some pictures, Corfu..
http://youtu.be/WuUHIoo7raA

Azzrian

Ohhh I have been to garden of the gods!! Lovely place! I will have to get this – if they still offer it that is.

Bonnie

This just came out! I just put it on Steepster!

ScottTeaMan

Now that’s a good review. :)) 97

Bonnie

Awe thanks Scott. Missed you yesterday.

ScottTeaMan

What was yesterday?!?

Indigobloom

wow this sounds amazing. Kudos to you for adding sugar, I’d do the same. Just a tad!! :P

Indigobloom

why do you always inspire movie memories Bonnie! singin’ Mamma Mia now… (worse than Brosnan I tell ya)

Bonnie

You were missed Scott! That’s the point!

ScottTeaMan

Thanks Bonnie! :))

Azzrian

Oh wait thats right it IS new thanks for reminding me. :)

Kittenna

I wish I could write reviews like you, Bonnie. I guess in part I don’t have the life experiences from which to draw upon, but I also don’t have a way with words the way you do!

Bonnie

Krystaleyn thank you! Remember I don’t go to school like you either, already worked 30 years and don’t have a husband or boyfriend or roommate or kids etc. You’re right about time creating many experiences. Many good and some horrors.

jason

Yay Bonnie, Happy Saturday! (I realize that it is now Sunday but that doesn’t change a thing) I am glad that you were able to enjoy this one, beautiful review too!!

Bonnie

Thanks Jason! I know you’ve been to the Greek Islands too and can visualize!

Autumn Hearth

Yes nectar! I know I had read this a month ago, but didn’t reread anyone’s notes before posting mine. But yes I was totally going to use the term “nectar of the gods”. I need to revisit Garden of the Gods.

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95
318 tasting notes

Received this from Invader Zim today! Thanks!

I was really intrigued by the idea of an aged white, and I’ve been contemplating ordering some of this for ages. But fortunately, she said it wasn’t quite to her taste and offered to send me some!

Steeping in a tasting cup, with water that started around 185 and has since cooled (though by how much I can’t say). Steep times follow Verdant’s parameters – 20s, 15s, 25s.

First steep – 20s: crisp and cool and light. My mum saw me, and said “You’re drinking hot tea? You’re crazy.”

Second steep: – 15s – Sweet. I begin to taste a bit of the “age” on it – it’s not heavy like a pu’erh would be, but it doesn’t taste fresh. It’s not stale, it just doesn’t taste new.

Third steep – 25s: I’m beginning to get some of the semolina or wheat notes that Verdant mentions. It’s surprising to get this out of a white, as I’d normally expect it from a black, but it’s not unpleasant. It’s a very dry steep.

Fourth steep – 25s: Smooth, buttery. Verdant mentions honeysuckle, and it does remind me of the flowers (back before our bush got mown over…)

Fifth steep – 25s: The flavor itself is mellow, and we’ve gone back to the heavy dryness of of the third.

I really like this tea. It’s seductive. I look forward to the rest of the (generously large) sample Invader Zim sent me, and I can definitely see this as being a staple in my cupboard!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Kiaharii

I’ve been wanting to try this, I think this has convinced me to put in my first order from Verdant (when I have funds. :( ).

Michelle

It’s fantastic. Definitely recommend.

Invader Zim

I’m glad you like it. It tasted too much like a black tea for me to enjoy.

Michelle

(Not sure if I should be angry with you… I’m seriously considering shelling out for a whole cake of this. But I suppose I’m really happy you didn’t enjoy it? haha) :)

TassieTeaGirl

Dearie me that sounds delightful. Anyone want to smuggle some into Australia for me? It can wait until January when its a bit warmer here if you like… ;)

Michelle

I have your address, yes? :)

TassieTeaGirl

I was kinda joking but ok! I’ll let you know!

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82
2246 tasting notes

I’m sad; this is a sip down. I quite liked my couple tastes of this tea – as I drank some while carrying it up the stairs earlier, it definitely tasted like Laoshan Black initially (not the chocolate, just the… black-tea-ness…?), but quickly morphed into a light sweetness. Very tasty.

I did just learn my lesson that this one’s quite delicate though – ate a ketchup-flavoured Crispy Mini and took a sip…. and pretty much tasted nothing. Since I drank a bit earlier, I know that there is definitely flavour in the cup, so I guess pairing such a snack with this tea was a bad idea :P

ETA: Drank 2 tasty re-infusions, at which point I decided it no longer tasted like something special, and I wanted something else. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for an aged white tea again!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Kashyap

a great reasoning for ‘food’ pairing with teas…

Sil

hmmm i think i have some of this in my cupboard as a sample. i’ll need to pull it out if i do.

Kittenna

Haha, yes, although I’ve never had success with food/drink pairings before (except milk & cookies, of course). Sil – I quite enjoyed it. In a world where I could access any tea I wanted at any time, I’d probably drink this again :)

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91
807 tasting notes

Initially when I opened the package I picked up the aroma of butter – creamy melted butter! Like when you leave a stick of fresh butter out on the counter and it melts on its own, just perfectly soft and smooth.

The initial sip was of Hay, hay that has been warmed by sunlight sitting out in the field!
As the cup cools some the cinnamon starts to develop and I got a slight tingling sensation around the sides of my mouth.

Through out the entire cup I could feel a slight tingling sensation in my mouth along with a velvety mouthfeel to accompany the sparkle. This tea is a movie star! No, rather this tea is a voluptuous sexy lounge singer, female of course, in a long slinky yet classy dress with sparkles on it, on top of a piano.

Sorry – what I am trying to evoke here is that this tea will take you in and seduce you, if you allow it to, and give it time to temper as the longer I wait – the more this cup develops and this is only steep one!

This is the first cup today I have allowed myself to full enjoy, drinking every last drop so without further ado I am going to haul my behind over to the sofa and nurse as many steepings as I can out of this sample!

DaisyChubb

I am fully seduced!

MegWesley

That sounds wonderful! It sounds like a nice sexy tea.

TeaBrat

It is pretty nice!

Geoffrey Norman

Muuuuust try. I’ve had aged white teas before, but never a Silver Needle – ’cept in pu-erh form.

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99
917 tasting notes

I finally decided to break into my sample of this tea, my boyfriend wanted to try some as well. I have been wanting to hoard all my new samples of Verdant teas that are discontinued, but I am telling myself “there will be more new teas you will want to try, so you better drink some to make room!” So here I am, sipping this lovely tea.

The dry smell is faintly of hay and flowers. It is very clean smelling, and the leaves are a little bit fuzzy :) I used approx 190 C water and about half of my 7 g pack for about 5 oz in my gongfu pot. The bf and I are splitting each gongfu and having half a cup.

The wet smell reminds me so much of spring! And summer! Early clover blossoms, fresh hay in the fields and barn, bees humming away in the flowers, honey…ahhh this smells just perfect.

First steep was for 20 seconds. The liquor is perfectly pale and clear, with the barest hint of a light golden tinge. My boyfriend said it looks like water. But this is definitely not just water. There is a wonderful fresh hay taste to this tea, followed by a crisp linen feel. I can actually kind of recognize the base of Yunnan Jasmine Silver needles now, that crisp flavor was also present in that tea. Mmm and that floral goodness is in there, definitely honeysuckle, and some actual honey too maybe.

The second steep – 15 seconds. Following Verdant’s page. Now the liquor has some color, light yellow. Oh, and the wet leaves just smell INTOXICATING! So sweet and floral! I want to sniff them all day! This steep still has the hay taste, but more honey, and a lot thicker. I can see the bread resemblance in the mouthfeel a bit. Also a tiny bit of rose at the back of the sip, not much nutmeg. This is a heck of a complex tea. I don’t think I’m doing it justice with finding all the nuances, but it is very very good. I’m going to have a bunch more steeps of this, but I think I will leave off here so this review isn’t insanely long haha.

Overall, this is a beautiful white tea. This is thick, soft, spring like. This makes me think of bees pollinating flowers. This puts me in quite a nice place. Very happy I got a chance to try an aged white tea, thank you again Verdant for an outstanding tea.

ETA: Man, my review already is pretty long. Haha.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Not really long…I do long review’s myself!

MissLena

I love your reviews! Your long ones are much more interesting than mine, love your stories in them!

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70
4923 tasting notes

Sipdown of this tea as well because I’m splitting the sample i receive from verdant to let my other friend try this tea. She’s a huge fan of white and greens teas so I’d like to try and get a few higher end teas to her to see if she really enjoys them.

White teas are generally not my thing. Not because i hate them, but because i don’t like them lol My taste buds tend to feel largely unable to get much out of whites. Generally when i drink white teas, the weight of them is so imperceptible, that most of the time i feel like i’m drinking hot water with a splash of “something very nearly undetectable.”

This tea? It’s better than most. Initially it was much like drinking something the way that Hay smells. That fresh barnyard smell after you’ve cleaned all the stalls out. I have to say, after several steeps though, I’m just feeling like i’ve had too much water to drink. Again, not a bad tea, but nothing that knocks my socks off.

It did give me a chance for more practice with my gaiwan, so that’s wonderful. :)

Barbara

Initially I wasn’t very impressed with the somewhat hayish smell and taste of the ordinary Silver Needle either. Somehow it grew on me however… :-)

Nicole

I have not been impressed with many whites. Only from Shang. Those are the only ones I’ve been able to say taste like something besides water.

Starfevre

I’m the same way with white teas.

tigress_al

That is what makes the tea world so wonderful, the variety and choice that is offered to us. Personally, I love whites!

Sil

tigress – i think everyone is in agreement there…especially given the size of most of our cupboards hahaha

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94
2395 tasting notes

Well, I got the 1 oz. sample to try from Verdant and I was not disappointed at all…

I did the first two steeps at once and they were quite lovely together. I get a light medium-yellowish color with the tea liquor. I am really picking up on the semolina type flavors or maybe a touch of pastry. Plus the floral notes are coming through in a very light way. I would say this is gentle and sweet at the same time. I used water that was nearly boiling and for around 10 seconds so I will try a slightly lower temp. for the next steep.

3rd and 4th steep, intriguing this tea is now a bit darker and the delicate notes have disappeared a bit and I am finding the cinnamon spice flavors coming to the forefront.

this is a very intriguing and interesting cake and it is tempting to purchase a whole one for aging, although I feel $110.00 for a cake this young (2011) seem rather pricey, even though the quality is fine. It has not been aging for very long so far, but it would be very interesting to see what happens to it in the future. Perhaps I will age this smaller piece for a bit or pick up another smaller piece to age. I have certainly enjoyed trying it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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93
812 tasting notes

Thank you to David and Verdant Tea for this sample. And what wonderful customer service to hand-write a note!! It really shows that you care about your tea!

I steeped 8 steeps per the website’s directions at 20,15,25,25,25,30,35,40s.

Ah silver needle, I have missed you. I am sorry, I didn’t mean to ignore you like this. I feel like I should be wearing a pretty dress, big hat, and white gloves to drink this tea. It is just so delicate and romantic.

It is sweet and floral with not an ounce of astingency. It is just the slightest tad malty. Like a fine wine, this is aged to perfection.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C

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2953 tasting notes

I’ve decided monday is my day to sample white teas. I don’t have very many of them, mostly in ‘sample’ size, so once a week seems good to me.

I’ve had this sample for quite some time, & it’s about time I drink it!
I’m not an expert or even a huge fan of white teas. For the most part, they tend to be kind of boring & lame to my tastes, but in an effort to be open minded, I will continue to sample one every week & try to develop more of a sense for what they offer.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that white teas are not always so much about taste, as about sensations. The earliest steepings had a lovely floral sense about them, with a hint of allspice I think. This developed into a crisp & slightly tart mouth, with a bit of a lemony taste. Later there is also an almost chalky sensation as well, which I think, if it were processed as a black tea, would become that resinous & malty tongue thickening bit that many of us love so much in our yunnan teas.

This tea also packs a decent ‘third eye’ energy. :)
Sipdown!
The boys informed me that they polished of ‘Eleven’ as well, so I’m officially at 288 teas!

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96
300 tasting notes

Now this is my comfort tea of the evening. So pure, so silky, so hydrating. The leaves are stunning silver and silky to the touch, they glisten and darken when brewed. The liquor is silky on the tongue and so just enlivening. The word nectar keeps coming back to me, flower nectar not fruit, yet some how I think that would be too sweet, or sticky or even astringent, this is just divine but I’d so honeysuckle is fairly accurate. Ooo and there is peach in the bottom of this cooled cup. Brewed three short steeps in a row in my 10oz glass infuser mug only a third of the way full, all of them heavenly and I’m going back for more.

Fourth steep is more familiar white tea territory, herbaceous, rosemary, bit of pine and hay. Fifth has some creamy green tea qualities and the sixth I’m sipping on? Smells like honey, tastes like honeydew and several of these infusions have left the sensation of cocoa powder on the tongue. I know I’ve tasted several of these things before, but not all from one tea and not all so pure. Oh how I wish I could buy I cake of this to age.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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