Saturday, February 5, 2011

Silver Needles

An Italian farmstead.

The BBC has a website and on that site is a list of good tea houses to visit if you are in China. Their site is The tea house article is at the bottom, past the fat belly.

Not only was there sun yesterday, but I got a bunch of samples from Life in Teacup, a generous gift to bloggers from Gingko Seto. I just had to try one. I am edging my way into white teas, so I am trying Silver Needle, Bai Hao Yin Zhen. And silver needles it is. The buds and leaves are about 1 - 1.5 inches long, covered with beautiful silver down. In the packet there is a faint aroma of white wine. I brewed the whole packet in my new little glass pot for 1.5 minutes and was rewarded with a delightful mild coconut taste. Really delicious. The liquor was a soft pale old gold color and smelled faintly of grass, with a hint of the coconut taste to come.

The second cup I brewed for 2 minutes and it was a tiny bit paler. By now, the leaves were fully expanded, a nice pale green. There was a clear, mild fresh springy green scent. The tea tasted of fresh green life with a hint of bubblegum or cotton candy - I couldn't make up my mind.

The third cup I brewed for 2.5 minutes and found it to be a darker gold than the others, which was a surprise. There was still a nice fresh green scent to it. It tasted of fresh baked greens, not at all a heavy taste, but very light.

By the fourth infusion, I was getting pretty full of tea. This was the darkest one yet - the color of straw. And that is what it tasted like - the very freshest of straw, clean and new. As a farm kid, I was always chewing on the end of a piece of straw or timothy, so I know whereof I speak.

All in all, this was a delightful trial and I am happy to add it to my list of three white teas I have liked. I told you I was new to this branch of tea.

Those darn deer have done it again - I put out peanuts for the squirrels, so the little buggers will leave the bird seed alone and the deer ate them - every one!

For those of you who like to play in the dirt and raise herbs for your tea the following article will give another reason for doing it. . So dig away and let your kids be dirty.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

Receiving samples from Life in Teacup is an exciting thing indeed! I have been so impressed by their offerings. I have yet to try a silver needle tea that I am a huge fan of, tends to be too delicate for me.