Kenya Silver Needle Purple Varietal White Tea

Tea type
White Tea
Ingredients
White Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apricot, Blackberry, Butter, Cut grass, Dry Grass, Floral, Fur, Leather, Mineral, Muscatel, Nectar, Peach, Plums, Popcorn, Strawberry, Vegetables, Zucchini, Almond, Baked Bread, Cedar, Citrus Zest, Cream, Eucalyptus, Hay, Malt, Marshmallow, Menthol, Peanut, Pear, Straw, Sugarcane, Tobacco, Toffee, Vanilla, Fruity, Honey, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Sweet, Kettle Corn
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 oz / 147 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Take Togo’s tasting notes (thanks for the swap sample!) and combine it with eastkyteaguy’s praises and quibbles and you have my experience of the 2017 harvest of this tea. I wanted to love this...” Read full tasting note
    81
  • “This was another of my recent sipdowns. I finished what I had of this tea a couple days ago. I was a big fan of What-Cha’s other Kenyan white teas, so I went into my review session for this one...” Read full tasting note
    87
  • “From the dry leaves I get aromas of hay, honey, old leather, courgette and animal fur. In the wet leaf smell, notes of cooked vegetables and strawberries are more prominent. The floral aromas...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “I had some pretty poor white teas yesterday, so I decided to return to one of What-Cha’s to remind myself of what a great white tea tastes like. I’ve had a few teas from them that I didn’t really...” Read full tasting note

From What-Cha

A most unusual silver needle produced with the Kenyan purple varietal! It has a smooth sweet taste with light plum notes and hints of peony flowers, completely unique and unlike any other silver needle!

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth texture
- Sweet taste with light plum notes and hints of peony flowers

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

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 85°C/185°F
- Use 2-3 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 4-5 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

Kenyan Purple Tea
Kenyan scientists have spent the past 25 years developing a new tea plant cultivar designed to revolutionise the Kenyan tea industry with TRFK306/1 being the fruition of their work.
The most significant feature of TRFK306/1 is that the tea leaves are purple rather than green which gives the processed tea unique characteristics allowing it to stand out in a crowded and over-saturated tea market, and thus command a higher price compared to other Kenyan cultivars.
In addition to purple leaves commanding a higher price, TRFK306/1 has been developed to be higher yielding and more drought resistant, which is very important for Kenyan farmers who are subject to harsh unpredictable weather patterns.
Further details can be found here on TRFK’s website.

About What-Cha View company

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10 Tasting Notes

81
490 tasting notes

Take Togo’s tasting notes (thanks for the swap sample!) and combine it with eastkyteaguy’s praises and quibbles and you have my experience of the 2017 harvest of this tea. I wanted to love this tea for its unique savory, grassy and fruity, well structured and complex profile but I found it lacking in assertiveness in any one flavor and in mouthfeel at times. The bright minerality of this tea is stellar if you’re into that kind of thing like me.

Of the Kenyan teas I’ve tried so far — Silver Needle, Purple Silver Needle, Purple Green and Golden Tips Black — I find they offer a liveliness, whether its citric or fruity, that isn’t necessarily found in their Chinese counterparts. This Purple Silver Needle is like the subtle swells of Lake Superior with a slew of sun-ripened stonefruits bobbing in the ebbs and flows. That’s probably not an accessible comparison for most people interested in this tea, oh well. If you’re a fan of soft, subtle and well rounded teas or are looking for a fruity silver needle without the weight of mustiness, I can definitely recommend this one.

To keep the review the focus since my current life happenings don’t tie into this tea, a bit of an update here at the end: one of my ailments was found out and I’m on a hefty antibiotic regimen. There are a few other things I’m being tested for that could be related or not and I have been referred to a specialist. The issue that’s requiring a specialist is, um, disconcerting. But I’m here and able to actually start my new job next week and luckily Doc didn’t say NO TEA, so I’ll keep the reviews coming. <3

Flavors: Apricot, Blackberry, Butter, Cut grass, Dry Grass, Floral, Fur, Leather, Mineral, Muscatel, Nectar, Peach, Plums, Popcorn, Strawberry, Vegetables, Zucchini

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
Martin Bednář

I am glad that you feel better derk!

Kawaii433

Being referred to a specialist is always an alarming thing, derk. You’re in my thoughts and I really hope they can help you and get you to a 100% recovery. Glad they didn’t say no to tea <3.

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87
853 tasting notes

This was another of my recent sipdowns. I finished what I had of this tea a couple days ago. I was a big fan of What-Cha’s other Kenyan white teas, so I went into my review session for this one with incredibly high expectations. Fortunately, it delivered, yet I could not help feeling a slight tinge of disappointment with it because it was a couple steps down from the others in terms of appeal for me.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose leaf buds in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 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, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry buds produced aromas of hay, cedar, sugarcane, vanilla, and eucalyptus. After the rinse, I picked up on new aromas of almond, cream, butter, straw, and marshmallow. The first infusion then introduced a slight peony scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered delicate notes of cream, butter, almond, and vanilla that were chased by faint straw, sugarcane, and eucalyptus hints. The subsequent infusions brought out aromas of toffee, plum, peanut, malt, menthol, and baked bread as well as a few traces of tobacco. Impressions of hay, marshmallow, and cedar belatedly emerged in the mouth alongside stronger sugarcane and eucalyptus notes and a few stray hints of peony. I also noted new impressions of minerals, plum, peanut, pear, malt, baked bread, and tangerine zest as well as some hints of menthol, tobacco, apricot, and toffee. By the time I decided to wrap up my review session, I could still pick out notes of minerals, malt, baked bread, butter, cream, almond, and sugarcane to go along with stronger toffee notes. There were also some lingering hints of tobacco, eucalyptus, straw, menthol, pear, and plum in the background.

This was a subtle yet incredibly deep and complex white tea with tremendous longevity. I was particularly impressed by the sophisticated and harmonious integration of its eclectic aroma and flavor components. That being said, I was often left wishing for a little more oomph in terms of body, texture, and overall flavor. All in all, this was a very good and very unique white tea, but when compared to some of the other Kenyan white teas sourced by What-Cha, it suffered somewhat. A lot of that is due to the combination of the busy and cluttered composition, understated expression, lighter body, and delicate, airy texture of its liquor. Since no one component or set of components was overly attention grabbing, this tea ended up being one of those that required extreme focus to appreciate. Honestly, it made for a challenging drinking experience that was ultimately a bit exhausting for me. Normally, I can squeeze a couple of gongfu sessions into a day if I so choose, but after doing a lengthy session with this tea, I was simply done for the day. I know that I am being a bit hard on this tea, but it was just not as fun or as immediately likable as some of What-Cha’s other Kenyan whites. It was still very good, though, and I would not caution interested drinkers to avoid it.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Cedar, Citrus Zest, Cream, Eucalyptus, Floral, Hay, Malt, Marshmallow, Menthol, Mineral, Peanut, Pear, Plums, Straw, Sugarcane, Tobacco, Toffee, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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90
368 tasting notes

From the dry leaves I get aromas of hay, honey, old leather, courgette and animal fur. In the wet leaf smell, notes of cooked vegetables and strawberries are more prominent. The floral aromas appear mostly in the empty cup and the liquor.

Taste of this white tea is very delicate and balanced. It is somewhat sweet with a little bit of a fruity (peach, nectarine) edge to it. There are also sour, grassy and savoury flavours complementing it though. The aftertaste is long, very floral and warming in the throat.

As for the mouthfeel, it is light, velvety and mouth-watering. In later steeps, slight dryness in the finish appears as well, which makes them not as delicate as the first infusion say. I wouldn’t say it’s for the worse though.

This is most probably the best white tea I have tried to date. Furthermore, the leaves are so pretty! Both dry and wet, when you can see the interplay of the different colours – yellow, green, purple and brown.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Fruity, Fur, Honey, Leather, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Stonefruits, Sweet, Vegetables, Zucchini

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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35 tasting notes

I had some pretty poor white teas yesterday, so I decided to return to one of What-Cha’s to remind myself of what a great white tea tastes like. I’ve had a few teas from them that I didn’t really love, but their white teas have all been excellent.

Tastes of honey with flowery notes. The packaging describes the flavor as like peony, but I honestly don’t have the faintest clue what that tastes like so flowery will have to do. No bitterness present at all.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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93
661 tasting notes

Oh Lordy this tea is good. Sweet , sweet corn taste. I didn’t get much hay notes like other white teas. It was very juicy , sweet & fresh. I would consider getting more of this tea.

Flavors: Kettle Corn, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Equusfell

Mmm.. Sounds fabulous!

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86
4843 tasting notes

Backlog:

Beautiful dry leaf that almost looks like pine needles. (But they don’t smell like them!) They are darker in color than a typical “silver needle” with more of a purple-y color to them than the pale green to silvery color that you’d find in a Chinese Silver Needle. The aroma is soft and floral.

The liquid is very pale and the taste is delicate. Sweet and floral. It’s lovely and soft tasting. Even though it’s a very delicate and subtle tea there are many layers to it.

The second cup was stronger than the first. The floral notes are not quite as sharp as they were in the first cup, but they are also not quite as delicate. This cup has a creamy overtone that is very enjoyable and the tail has light, fruity tones that evoke thoughts of peach and orange.

This tea is not quite as “haylike” as some white teas can be. This is sweet, creamy with nutty tones. It’s a different silver needle, but different is good! I enjoy the classic silver needle too but it’s nice to try something a little different that will challenge what I know about silver needle!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/14/kenya-silver-needle-purple-varietal-white-tea-from-what-cha-tea/

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45
736 tasting notes

Feel like I have heard so much about this company…so I was pretty excited to finally try one of their teas. This one tasted strongly of hay. Not really sweet even, just of hay…
If I were to drink a silver needle, it would definitely not be this one…would probably go for a sweeter one, because that adds a lot for me.
Oh well. Glad I tried. Thanks for the sample, LiberTEAS!

Flavors: Hay

What-Cha

The Kenyan Purple Silver Needles are a newly developed tea and I’ve done a lot of experimenting to get the best out of them and have found that generous leaf quantities with a higher than normal water temperature for whites combined with a long brew (6-8 minutes) can produce a very special and unique cup of tea. I think the issue may be that the purple buds have a thicker outer layer than non-purple buds hence utilising the same brewing methods elicits a weaker cup of tea.

Hope you get an opportunity to try some of my other teas

Kirkoneill1988

the hay taste probably would not bother me

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85
921 tasting notes

So, I am going to do something new…I am upping my previous rating from 76 to 85, why? Because I am sitting here waiting for my sweetheart to arrive (last leg of his 16 hour road trip! Wooo!) and to keep myself from being too antsy, I needed tea.

Rummaging in my pile, I found the last of this sample and decided, eh, why not? I am probably not going to pay that much attention to it. Brewed it at 200 degrees, on a whim, and steeped it for 8 minutes…and holy moly that is tasty!

Plum notes are there, along with hay and a delicate chestnut and sweet corn finish. It still pales in comparison to Kenyan Silver Needle, but it much improved on a higher temp. If I wanted a really mild silver needle, like if I feel really sick or have a sensory hell migraine, this would be such a soothing tea.

I might actually have to get more of this now that I know its little secret…and now back to watching Minecraft tutorials…man, redstone is hard! I wish I would have taken the electrical elective in shop instead of robotics!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more

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1719 tasting notes

I first tried this tea when Steepster was behaving badly. I am actually glad I couldn’t post a review. My first experience was not the best. I did a western style per directions (176 F, 3 minute steep, and 3 g of leaf). There was almost no taste.

Next I brewed it in a 90 ml gaiwan. I used 3 g and 190 F and long 3 minute steep. It was better. It reminded me of potato with some White peony notes and a pine note late in the sip. Later steeps developed a TGY like aftertaste.

Today, I prepared it western mug style with the last 3+ g of leaf, 190 F water and an 8 minute steep. It was the best cup yet. Slight potato when hot but as it cooled that faded. The cup was more white peony like but as with the gaiwan I really thought it closer to camellia flowers which are more wood like in flavor. It had some light fruit notes and maintained what to me is a light green oolong aftertaste.

Definitely requires long steeps to develop the flavor. My least favorite from What-Cha but the neat part of the experience is getting to try a purple varietal white tea – from Kenya.

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