This is quite a nice tea from which you can draw a lot of complex intricate flavours, over multiple steeps, from a small amount of leaf. Of my two Silver Needles that I own at the moment this is the one that I go to want something softer, and maybe more meditative. The other one I own is Zen Tea’s offering.
Dry, the tea smells of straw and hay mixed together with soft and slightly powdery, sweet and citrusy notes. The leaves are pale yellow to pale green with fine silvery downy pale hairs. The leaves are around one inch long.
The first steep of around 50 seconds resulted in pale beige with a grey tinged tea. it smelled faintly of buttered rice both slightly nutty and creamy, of faint citrus notes, of notes of straw and grain, and of a touch of smoke. It tasted sweet, with a smoky note, a hint of citrus/vitamin C and of straw, all underlain with a silky sweet note that hinted of a mildly flavoured bready fruit and a taste that reminds me of Choclo ( a corn staple in many countries in Latin America). The tea has a noticeable full and silky body. The sweet flavour intensify as it cools.
The 2nd steep had a scent that hints of citrus, with nutty sweet grains, and a faint combined floral/vegetal note like blooming alfalfa mixed with a note of jasmine. The smoke was gone leaving a hint of amber. It tasted of citrus notes, combined with wildflowers nectar (clover and someting spicier), with the straw receeding to the background. The tea remained sweet, but in a cooked fuit / squash or grain type of sweetness. Their was a faint taste of smoke. The aftertaste was mainly a mix of sweet, citrus and vegetal notes.
The 3rd steep was a silky straw, and grain flavour, followed by sweet floral nectar/citrus flavour with an aftertaste of stewed mild flavoured plums with a lingering sweetness.
In the 4th steep the sweet nectar references were more dominant with citrus, straw accents in the background
The remaining steeps required an increase in brewing temperature and maintained a sliky, warm sweetness over straw flavour.
I have steeped this tea up to 10 times before and it is a nice tea when you have some time to explore subtle nuances in flavour and scent. A nice example of this genre of tea. but I am going to hold off rating at this time until I have an opportunity to compare it to Zen Teas option.