From the Regional Group Buy. These are some of the thinnest and pointiest silver tips I’ve come across – I can definitely see why they’re known as needles now! They actually remind me of pine needles in shape and size, although obviously these are white and downy. Christmas tree needles covered in snow?! Irrelevance, anyway.
I struggle to get much flavour from white teas, so I followed the instructions to the letter this time. I used 2 tsp of leaf (or there abouts – it was hard to measure using a spoon…) and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to 185 degrees.
This one is mostly still sweet water, with a mild hay-like flavour and a touch of dustiness towards the end of the sip. In other words, it’s very similar to 99% of other plain white teas I’ve tried – more delicate than some, perhaps, but broadly the same in flavour terms. I imagine this is a lot more expensive than some whites, and white tea is expensive to begin with. Sure, it’s better than the bagged clipper stuff I started out with (you know, the one that I used to brew like black tea and put milk in. It was an easy mistake to make, though, given that it brewed up to a pretty solid amber colour all by itself.) This tea is in another league entirely, but I can’t really say what, if anything, distinguishes it from most other silver needles offered by other vendors, and that’s a sticking point for me. I understand flavoured white better, I think, because sometimes an airy base is just the thing. Plain? Perhaps I’m just not subtle enough to really appreciate it…