This is the second tea I am reviewing from chaochatea, and I’m uber impressed. The first one was a gushu sheng pu-erh, and I fell in love with its most refreshing and delicate scent. This white tea looks fantastic, I have tried several white teas including silver needles from Fuding, but none of them was as fluffy and giant as these buds. They are extraordinary!
I am not sure if the size of the buds matter when it comes to flavours and aromas. One can argue that they can. It pretty much depends on the cultivar, and some cultivars yield more giant leaves than others. Actually, I think this should make the tea more affordable as less time would be spent on picking buds. In other words, a kg of the silver needle would contain fewer buds if they are considerably bigger. But this reasoning may not work in reality. The perception is, the bigger, the more nutritious hence better.
The taste had no astringency, faint sweetness, fresh floral notes and pleasing mineral flavour almost with a citrus edge.
Well, I now found out that this tea was made from pu-erh material in Yunnan. That explains the size! But I’m still impressed because I have not had silver needle from Yunnan before. As far as Yunnanese white tea is concerned, moonlight is the common variety. I’m so glad that I have now tasted a silver needle from camellia sinensis var. assamica that comes from an elevation of 1000 meters in Yunnan. Thank you chaochatea!
Harvest time: 2019
Leaf colour: Light green with intensive white fuzz
Liquor colour: Pale yellow
Tea aroma: Freshly cut flowers
Tea taste: Slightly sweet with floral and strong mineral notes
Steeping/brewing: Place 46 g of this tea in a teapot or gaiwan and add about 150 ml water at around 80-85°C. Rinse after 5 sec. Steep for 15 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 10 seconds each time. You can steep this tea up to six or seven times.
Shelf life: Can be aged