Okay, time for another review from the incrementally shrinking backlog. This one comes from either April or May of 2020. I was drinking a ton of white tea at the time, so unlike some of my other recently posted reviews, I have a relatively good idea of when this one was initially composed. With regard to the quality of the tea, it was more or less great. I am a huge fan of Feng Qing Silver Needles, and this was a production that was well worth my time.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 fluid ounces of 180 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was followed by 20 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 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 tea buds emitted aromas of malt, hay, marshmallow, straw, and eucalyptus. After the rinse, aromas of wood, peanut, lemon, and sugarcane appeared. The first infusion introduced aromas of butter and cream, while the previously noted peanut aroma intensified. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented delicate notes of peanut, wood, cream, hay, butter, and straw that were chased by hints of lemon, malt, marshmallow, and eucalyptus. The majority of the following infusions were responsible for adding aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, oats, lychee, and honeydew to the tea’s bouquet. Slightly stronger and more immediately detectable notes of malt, lemon, marshmallow, and eucalyptus emerged in the mouth, while impressions of minerals, puff pastry, vanilla, white pepper, cinnamon, sugarcane, oats, lychee, honeydew, and plum made themselves known. I was also able to pick out hints of apricot, pear, watermelon rind, cantaloupe, and white peach. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, wood, straw, peanut, cream, butter, oats, and eucalyptus that were backed up by fleeting hints of sugarcane, lychee, honeydew, cinnamon, hay, white pepper, pear, vanilla, and watermelon rind.
Feng Qing Silver Needle is almost always a pleasant and approachable tea with a lot of subtle depth and complexity, and this spring 2018 offering was very much a tea in that particular mold. While it did not surprise me in any way, I found it to be a very drinkable, easygoing tea with considerable and surprising longevity and gently invigorating energy. It would be hard to find a better Yunnan Silver Needle of any sort at this price point.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Cantaloupe, Cinnamon, Cream, Eucalyptus, Hay, Honeydew, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Oats, Pastries, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Pepper, Plum, Straw, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Watermelon, Wood