I’m a big fan of white tea, so I couldn’t wait to try Harney’s version of silver needle. This is actually my first silver needle (everything else has been white peony/bai mu dan, which is absolutely delicious), so I was REALLY psyched to steep this up.
I used a heaping tablespoon in ~6 oz. of water, but I had to stop to admire the leaves. HOW pretty. The sample I received from Harney was full of unbroken, beautiful needles. So downy and soft and fluffy! And a beautiful silvery down over bright green. Gorgeous. The smell was a bit woodsy and vegetal. I’ve learned that whites aren’t exactly the best-smelling teas.
I anxiously awaited the steep. If you want something that unfurls and dances around in the pot, then this isn’t for you. The leaves barely budge. But still. Gorgeous. The infusion that came from the pour was a light yellow, a very pretty white color. And the smell coming off of the liquid was similar to the dry, but more concentrated. Very woodsy, a hint of sweetness, an a lot of planty goodness.
On the first sip, I was pretty disappointed. This lacked a lot of depth of flavor that I’ve experienced with other whites. And I really do enjoy subtle notes. But this one was mostly vegetal. As Steepster’s description says, this is definitely the most vegetal white I’ve ever had. It almost tastes like edamame, or the water that would result after boiling some of those nom-worthy beans. Edamame tastes wonderful, but I’m not sure I want my tea to taste like that. It’s nearly savory, in a very bizarre way.
There’s not much sweetness hitting the palate, which is a shame. That nectar-like love from white tea is one of my favorite things about it.
There are plenty of better whites out there. Samovar’s Bai Mu Dan, for starters, has to be one of the best whites I’ve ever had. I’m sure there are better silver needles out there as well, that will give me the sweet and yummy cup that I so crave.