Kenya Silver Needle White Tea

Tea type
White Tea
White Tea
Butter, Celery, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Hay, Herbaceous, Honeydew, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Pastries, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood, Corn Husk, Hot hay, Melon, Creamy
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 6 oz / 192 ml

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From What-Cha

A very sweet and smooth silver needle with notes of melon and sweetcorn without any traces of bitterness or astringency.

Kangaita Tea Factory is a Fairtrade certified tea factory specialising in producing high quality orthodox teas including the processing of purple teas. It is located at a high elevation just above 2,000m and processes the leaves collected from 6,594 small-scale tea growers whose farms have a total tea acreage of 1,077 hectares. It is the farmers themselves who are the shareholders of Kangaita Tea Factory and elect the directors of the factory.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth and sweet
- Sweet notes of melon and sweetcorn

Harvest: February 2017

Altitude: 1,500-2,200m
Origin: Kangaita Tea Factory, Mount Kenya Region, Kenya
Sourced: Direct from Kangaita Tea Factory

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 85°C/185°F
- Use 2-3 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

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13 Tasting Notes

635 tasting notes

Here is yet another review from the backlog. I finished a sample pouch of this tea back around the start of May, and at the time I started working my way through it, I had been looking forward to reviewing this tea for some time. The white teas produced by the Kangaita Tea Factory seem to enjoy a great reputation, consistently garnering high reviews on Steepster and elsewhere. After being highly impressed by Kangaita’s White Rhino back around the start of the year, I knew that I had to make time for this tea at some point. I finally managed to do that in May, and honestly, I ended up finding this tea to be better than the White Rhino. I’m just throwing this out there, but this may be the best white tea I have tried to this point in my life.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced lovely aromas of hay, straw, eucalyptus, puff pastry, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of butter, wood, and wheat toast. The first infusion did not strike me as presenting anything different on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered very mild, delicate notes of hay, straw, sugarcane, butter, wheat toast, and puff pastry chased by an unexpected note of sweet corn that popped out briefly on the finish. The subsequent infusions saw the nose turn fruitier as well as more savory and more herbal. Wood and eucalyptus emerged in the mouth while new notes of vanilla, malt, cream, minerals, cucumber, honeydew, cinnamon, tangerine zest, wintergreen, menthol, celery, and fennel also appeared. The final infusions offered mineral, cream, butter, sugarcane, celery, and fennel notes backed by fleeting hints of hay, straw, wintergreen, and eucalyptus.

A beautifully complex and satisfying tea, this is one of those teas that just has to be tried. Even if you are not the hugest fan of orthodox white teas, there is a good chance that you will find a lot to appreciate about this one. The Kangaita Tea Factory truly hit a home run with this tea. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Flavors: Butter, Celery, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Hay, Herbaceous, Honeydew, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Pastries, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood

185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

That one is one of my favorites too. If I didn’t spend so much on oolongs, I would probably make that one a staple.

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4046 tasting notes

This is an easy drinking white tea with delicious notes of sweet corn and cream. I quite enjoyed this one.

Check out the full review here:

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60 tasting notes

Ripe honeydew melon and gentle sugarcane sweetness fill the mouth, transitioning into lingering notes of anise, vanilla bean, and light licorice. Beautifully complex and silky smooth, this is a sublime Silver Needle and one that I would recommend without reservation.

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27 tasting notes

First time I drank a silver needle tea, and it didn’t disappoint. Very beautiful tea leave needles, with a sweet smell. Also after steeping there is definitely some sweet corn-like flavor (exactly like the package promised!). I could detect some hay as well.

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987 tasting notes

The leaf on this one is really distinctive. I know that silver needle tea is supposed to be long, thin, and needle-like, but these look like tea leaves on steroids! The buds are easily 1-1.5 inches long and covered in a fine fuzz.

Dry, they smelled like sweet hay, with notes of lychee. Wet, they smelled a bit smoky but still sweet and hay-like.

I decided to go gentle on the tea and used water heated only to 70°C. However, that wasn’t really the right choice; I got notes of hay, peaches, and maybe a little strawberry and fruit leather, but the tea was in general so mild and unassuming that I kept on going “I can’t really taste anything! I can’t really taste anything!”

The tea was pale not only in taste but also in colour. All of the steeps were generally a pale wheat/straw colour. Gentle, but not that striking.

I brewed the same variety of tea a few days later using water just off the boil, but that was pretty similar. A little hay, a little smoke. Maybe a deeper, richer scent. Oh, and the colour of the tea was a bit darker too, sort of a deeper straw shading into orange. But still, the flavour was kinda hiding around in the background rather than dancing on centre stage on my tongue.

I will need to play around with this a bit more to see how to get the best flavour out of it. More leaf? Longer steep times? Different gaiwan? So many variables.

Full review at

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627 tasting notes

Hello corn…my roomie and I had this and wished we had sipped it with dinner, it would have made a good complimenting side “dish”.

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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1007 tasting notes

This became one of my favorite white teas after a while. I’ve had many since I started on steepster, and only a few have had the natural melon and corn sweetness this one possess. It also steeps fairly strong. And it does awesomely in my tea tumbler. I rated it 85 because I thought I wouldn’t want to keep this one on hand, but maybe get some every once in a while. Now that I’m finishing it off, I just realized how much I liked it in comparison to most white teas. If you’re newly reading my notes on this, I would recommend this as a prime example of silver needle. Just as good light and dark being steeped in a variety of ways.

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Honeydew, Hot hay, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

I enjoy this one a great deal, too. Alistair never disappoints.

Daylon R Thomas

He really doesn’t. Even the sampler I got from him has lasted me a long time. Interestingly enough, one of the next major white teas I wanted to try were the Malawi Antlers lol. Unfortunately, the Discover Taiwan and Darjeeling samplers went bye-bye…which had all the teas I wanted to get from him. Though there are more things to try from him yet.


interestingly I have never had this one. I will order it next time


Daylon, I think Alistair carries the Malawi Antlers White by itself; however, I can understand being at a place in the discovery journey where the Discover sets fill more tasting needs. When I re-order from What-Cha and get the Antlers again, I’ll alert you and send you some. It’s an astonishing cup!


I have never seen malawi antlers before! That is totally up my street, I know im going to love it.

I’m placing an order tomorrow. One plus of living in the UK is next day delivery from what-cha


Rasseru, I am jealous of that one day delivery! What-Cha ships fast to the USA-usually I get my tea in less than 2 weeks-and it is always worth the wait. I’d be very surprised if you dislike the Antlers. Can’t wait to see your tasting notes.


Yeah iv read a few things about leaving the stems in increases the sweetness of the brew, using all stems must make it taste really different. I love teas like this

Daylon R Thomas

Wow, whiteantlers, that would be awesome! I was actually going to sample it. What-cha orders are always large for me, and usually are a giant batch of samples. At least the group buy and my first official purchase were lol. And Rasseru, that is interesting. The sweeter teas I like tend to be the stemmy ones.


with green oolong, they remove a lot of stem and trim the leaf edge, so greener brew. you can get one with red leaf edge and red stems, some of it is pretty amazing apparently. Its the same as the type LP uses in his. I think thats one reason I like his tea a lot. Sweetness from these parts of the plant


Rasseru, interesting comment about the leaf edge and stems in LP’s teas. I have not yet tried them but my wallet is nudging me now…


its in the oolberry, which has a lovely berry/oolong mixed aroma, quite perfumed, nice stuff.

I especially like his peachy elixir #9, that one is really good tasting, but ive just bought the last of it. I hope he makes it a staple, but I dont know if hes going to go over old recipes or make new ones.


I will add Oolberry to my “to buy” list. I am looking for good teas for cold brewing; this sounds like it could be quite nice for that. Thanks for the information.

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1109 tasting notes

Today I put 7g of this in my Kamjove at work and added apple spice to it… instant Apple Jacks tea.
This isn’t the delicate white tea I’m use to, it tasted kind of like unflavored cereal and I’m not imagining that. While that sound odd, I was able to get 6 full pots of this at work and I wasn’t complaining at all.
Now at the tea party, when we drank this, it wasn’t the same… it was a bit lighter but I think using 7g kind of changed that. Regardless, I think I like the lighter needles that have a bit of floral notes in them. White tea for me is best when it’s TOO strong or TOO weak, if that makes sense.
Happy with my brewing this morning :)

Terri HarpLady

white teas almost always remind me of cream of wheat :)

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4847 tasting notes


Silver Needle teas are among the most delicate teas that I’ve tasted and while this is also a delicate Silver Needle, it’s not as delicate as a Chinese Silver Needle would be.

I got quite a few lovely infusions from this tea. The earliest infusions were sweet, haylike, with hints of melon-like flavors and a crisp, floral note. Later infusions proved to be even sweeter than the earliest infusions.

Very little astringency with this tea. Just smooth, lovely flavor.

A really good silver needle. I’d recommend this to those who think that silver needle teas are too subtle. This one’s very flavorful.

Here’s my full-length review:

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1719 tasting notes

Prepared this again this morning after my morning green tea powder and milk. I used hotter water (185 F) and a 15 minute steep per Amanda’s method. Using this method, I learned this is an exceptionally forgiving tea. I might try really hot water with the last of this just to test. I also learned Amanda has amazing sensory powers. Today’s cup was pretty much identical to yesterday’s cup for me. Don’t get me wrong that is a good thing. I was just hoping to detect all the awesome notes as she described. The corn is easy. I get a light floral and a bit of fruit – neither of which I can identify.

I was really hoping to catch the peony as a childhood memory trigger. Mom loved peonies when I was growing up. For whatever reason she never replanted them when they moved several years ago. Ha, look at that – triggered just thinking about trying to smell them. Love it. They were right outside my bedroom window. There was no air conditioning back in the neolithic period that was my childhood. I slept with the window open. On really hot nights I would lay my head on the window sill. The scent of peonies filled the night air. During the day the bees and ants loved the flowers as much as I did…


Yep, funny what triggers what. Sight and scent of peonies make me think about ants crawling up my arm :)


I’ve always had a fascination with ants, well not in the house. Spiders on the other hand are just wrong.


I remember sitting in the garden as a kid, with the peonies, and letting ants crawl all over my feet. It’s a surprisingly good memory, considering I became intensely afraid of bugs as some later point.

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