The World Is a Tea Party Presents: White Teas We Have Tried Over the Years – Silver Needles Teas

Note: These teas were for the most part samples received from various tea vendors, some of whom are no longer in business. These reviews are presented as general information to help you in selecting ones to buy. Spring is usually the best time. And go for the best ones you can afford.

Silver Needle (Imperial Yunnan Spring) White Tea

Dry leaves: Per company, the leaves were harvested in Spring 2011 from big white pu-erh tea trees and consist of “One bud only” in a “Tight, fat needle shape full of silver hair.” A wonderful, lightly sage aroma (the fresh plant, not the dried, pale version used in recipes). (People tend to associate tastes and smells with what’s familiar to them, so don’t worry if your experience is different from what we describe.)
Water temp: Company site says 203°F, but we used 160°F
1st Infusion: 1 minute

Delicate, light, and smooth, with a sage quality

2nd Infusion: 1.5 minute

Delicate, light, and smooth, with a sage quality

3rd Infusion: 2 minutes

Delicate, light, and smooth

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Silver Needle White Tea (Imperial Fuding Spring) White Tea

Dry leaves: Closed tender leaf buds with plenty of silvery hairs, nutty, sweet aroma (almost like leafy candy).

Top quality Silver Needle should be all “buds” (technically, just young leaves that haven’t fully opened) harvested early in the growing season in early morning when the dew is still on them. They should be covered with silvery down hairs, thus the name of the tea. Here’s a close-up of one of those leaf buds.

Water temp: 203°F
1st Infusion: 40 seconds

Very light, as expected, with a melon/apricot impression to the flavor combined with a sweet and tangy sensation that was also a bit leafy.

2nd Infusion: 40 seconds

A more pronounced melon quality. Very nice! Not bitter, not astringent, not overly tangy. Just a light, fruity and pleasant taste sensation. Exactly what we look for in Silver Needle.

3rd Infusion: 40 seconds

About same as #2.

4th Infusion: 1 minute

About same as #2.

5th Infusion: 1.5 minutes

About same as #2.

6th Infusion: 2 minutes

About same as #2.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

“Silver Needle” — the very name can put some tea lovers into a salivating frenzy of flavor anticipation. One of the best we’ve tried ever. Be sure to use enough tea leaf buds here. We constantly hear people saying that white teas have no flavor and then it turns out that they were using too little of the dry tea.

We also let the liquid cool slightly before trying it — an important step for fine teas since you will taste the flavors better when the liquid is cool enough to sit on your tongue awhile.

Silver Needle White Tea

Dry leaves: The vendor did not specify which country this was from.

Stem pieces!?! Not a good sign. We suspect this is a White Peony, but not an imperial grade. The dry tea leaves had a planty aroma.

Having tried Silver Needle white teas from other vendors (and being particularly fond of them), they could see instantly that this was not Silver Needle.

Water temp: 85°C
1st Infusion: 3 minutes

The liquid was pale yellow, had a very faint aroma, and a haylike flavor that did not appeal to us.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Silver Needle White Tea

Dry leaves: Bright green leaf buds covered with silvery fuzz (hairs).

White teas have quite a range, from totally low brow to heavenly. Silver Needle is top of the list. It is usually comprised of tea leaf buds tightly wrapped inside to fresh, tender, bright green leaves covered with silvery fuzz (thus giving this tea the name “white”). One look inside the sample pack showed that this tea certainly looked right.

Water temp: 176°F (80°C)
1st Infusion: 1-2 minutes

A pale liquid that had a fruity flavor like honeydew melon (the part of the flesh near the rind) and a smooth mouthfeel.

2nd Infusion: 1-2 minutes

A pale liquid with a fruity flavor like honeydew melon (the part of the flesh near the rind) and a smooth mouthfeel. A slight tang developed that enhanced, not detracted from, the honeydew flavor.

3rd Infusion: 1-2 minutes

A pale liquid with a fruity flavor like honeydew melon (the part of the flesh near the rind) and a smooth mouthfeel. A slight tang developed that enhanced, not detracted from, the honeydew flavor.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

This tea is a great example of letting the tea flavor speak. Unlike teas with fruit flavors added, this one had a subtlety that still had a tea quality to it, in this case a slight hayness. An excellent version of this classic white tea.

Silver Needle White Tea

Dry leaves: Silvery, downy leaf buds, each hand plucked before the leaf opens, then gently steamed. Fresh and lightly nutty aroma (sort of like raw walnuts).
Water temp: 185°F
1st Infusion: 4 minutes

A light yellow-green color with a faint, nutty aroma and flavor. The vendor says to sweeten to taste, but it was not needed.

2nd Infusion: 5 minutes

Same as #1.

3rd, 4th, 5th Infusions: 6 minutes

Same as #1.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Silver Needle White Tea

Dry leaves: Some full leaves, some broken leaves, dark green to green to silvery color, hint of walnutty aroma
Water temp: 180°F
1st Infusion: 2 mins.

Faintly sweet aroma (brings to mind caramel, vanilla, maple syrup, and honey). Mild, smooth, slightly planty flavor. Pale peachy color.

2nd Infusion: 2.5 mins.

Faint honey aroma. Mild, smooth, hint of sweetness in the flavor. Pale peachy color.

3rd Infusion: 3 mins.

Faint aroma and flavor. Pale peachy color.

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

Silver Needle is supposed to be a very high-level white tea with a wonderful light flavor. So how does this one stack up?

The dry leaf buds don’t have as sweet an aroma nor are they as consistently whole and green to silver in color as others. A number of them are dark green to brown. However, the flavor is mild and appealing, with three good steeps possible from the same batch of leaves (the same as the other version of this tea).

Silver Needle White Tea

Dry leaves: Fresh, planty. Gorgeous full-leaf tea.
Water temp: Below boiling, per their Website
1st Infusion: Up to 5 minutes, per their Website

Planty, light aroma. Mild, no aftertaste, slightly buttery.

2nd Infusion: Up to 5 minutes, per their Website

About the same (could easily have done a 3rd infusion)

Click on photos for details:

Disclaimer: This was a tea sample provided by the tea vendor. Nevertheless, any opinions concerning this tea are strictly objective.

Comments:

We prepared the sampling a little differently than the tea vendor’s web site recommends. We heated the water to boiling and then let it sit for a minute. We used approximately 2 spoonfuls of dry tea in 2 cupfuls of water (about half the amount of tea they recommend). So, our infusion was a bit lighter than you would get using their method. We suggest you try different combinations to get the infusion strength that’s right for you. In fact, do 3 or more infusions from the same batch of tea leaves. This is definitely a “sipper tea” — you need to take your time enjoying it to make sure you don’t miss any of the flavor.

© 2016-2020 World Is a Tea Party photos and text

YOUR SPONSORED AD COULD BE HERE OR YOUR SPONSORED LINKS COULD BE APPEARING IN THIS ARTICLE. See here for more info.

Guest writers are welcome – just send us a private message in Facebook or Twitter.

Advertisements

FREE to you always!! Contributing well-researched information to the world's compendium of tea knowledge since 2009. Hundreds of articles about tea and more. No need to buy a book or pay for site access here!

%d bloggers like this: