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Big beautiful fat white fuzzy needles. A little too perfect looking.

While I enjoy some white teas, differentiating tastes and aromas in white teas is difficult for me. Going to keep it simple here and muddle the tastes and aromas together… say sweet summer melons, something green but different than honeydew, oats, hay, a touch of malt, lychee and a very light cinnamon buttery glaze. Now that I look at that list, it seems like I have my gustatory and olfactory senses in order but all of it just kind of runs together unlike my experiences with aged white teas. Not musty like some other silver needles I’ve had. Thick mouthfeel early on from the fuzzies. Found that I prefer this brewed western style over gong fu with a lower temperature to bring out the more delicate flavors while at the same time getting that melon to pop. Good for 4-8oz steeps before it really starts to thin out and become too astringent for my liking.

I’d buy 25 gram packages in the future. Fifty grams, though removed from its original packaging and stored airtight in the dark, lost a good amount of brightness after several months.

Being the large-leaved species Camellia taliensis, I can’t resist unfurling the needles once they’re spent. Thick and rubbery and always want to curl back in on themselves.

While this is a clean silver needle, I’m reminded of supermarket produce. Generally large and blemish free like that perfect tomato or apple but lacking depth of flavor at the expense of looking good. This could be a fault of my own tasting abilities with white teas. I would buy this tea again, however, if I were in need of daily drinker.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Always up for a trade. I keep an updated cupboard. Check it out. Don’t be shy — message me if you want to try something! I send international :)

Most enjoyment:

Wuyi and Taiwanese oolong, sheng puerh, Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, GABA oolong. I also appreciate Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Darjeeling and Nepali teas, bagged tea and herbal teas/tisanes.

I take my teas without milks or sweeteners except sometimes chai and the rare London Fog, matcha latte and golden milk.

I’ll try anything once because it helps me learn. Not opposed to well placed herbs, flowers, fruity bits and flavorings, just nothing cloying. And no added sugars, sweeteners, candy or chocolate.

I abandoned both my preference reference and the recording of detailed steeping parameters in January 2020, favoring a focus on qualitative descriptions. At this point, I am still comfortable toggling the “Not/Recommended” button.

Preference reference:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.
89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again. Some could be daily drinker teas.
79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.
69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.
59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.
Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s puerh, I likely think it needs more age.

Location

Sonoma County, California, USA

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