(Gifted for review purposes)
Special mention to the knowledgeable and kind Teaisawish for support and advice
Okay teaple, let’s get fuzzy with some Fuijan Silver Needle tea, sent to me by the very lovely Pure Chinese Tea. This is my first ever pure silver needle, so please bear in mind I’m even more of a novice than usual.
So what do we do when we know nothing? We
turn to wikipedia do our homework of course. These hairy little critters are some of the most delicate of all teas, being made from just the tippy top buds of the tea plant, and being very time consuming to collect. You also have to wait until a certain time of day to harvest, so all of the moisture has dried from the little downy hairs. High maintenance or what! So we should be very grateful to Pure Chinese Tea for bringing us this bounty.
So, on with the tasting!
I must admit, I had a bit of an odd time with this tea, and not just because the steeping instructions on the packet would ruin the delicate flavours (for those of you who aren’t Tea Snob Literate, white tea requires a much lower temperature than boiling). The instructions on the Pure Chinese Tea website are a little closer to what I’d expect (80-90 degrees) but after some toing and froing I plumped for the lower end and stuck to that all the way through my experiments.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I like a ripe pu-erh, a smoky lapsang, a rock oolong – all quite punchy flavours, which are what I’m naturally drawn to, and may have effected my palate. Upon brewing this beautiful, delicate, downy soft tea for 4 minutes at 80 degrees, western style, I was a bit… perplexed. The liquor was very light indeed, and to my tongue there was more aroma than taste. I tried again with more tea (more like a tablespoon), and had more of a result, but I couldn’t help thinking I wasn’t doing this tea justice.
So the next day, I broke out my gaiwan, and this is where I think this tea speaks to me more. I brewed 5g to 90ml water, starting at 2 minutes for the first infusion, and increasing each steep time by a minute, and was able to start to appreciate the subtle and delicate flavour a lot more. The first two infusions especially had a very silky mouthfeel, and a soft, fresh daisy aroma.
I still don’t know if silver needle is my… (yes, I’m going to do it)… cup of tea… but if you long for a combination of low caffeine with mellow, sweet and subtle flavours, and appreciate a tea with real dedication behind it, this prized Chinese white tea may be right for you.
❤️ ❤️ ❤️ (based solely on my palate preferences – this is clearly a famed tea but I can’t love ’em all!)
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