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Posts Tagged ‘Silver Needle’

When it’s cold and dreary outside, nothing is better in my humble opinion than the aroma of flowers.  During the winter months, the trees are barren of their leaves, the sky is often gray, and the lush grass of summer is long gone.  It is during these times that I miss the burst of color found in spring blooms and the fragrance of summer gardens.  This is when I reach for and savor the opportunity to sip a cup of scented tea.  Today’s choice – Jasmine Silver Needle – a sample I received from Adagio Teas.

Composition: White tea from China. Silver Needle is produced in the Fuding and Zhenhe districts of its Fujian province.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves (resembling fat pine needles) with silver fur – hence the name.  Thanks Adagio Teas for the photo.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and amazingly floral – just like Jasmine.

Flavor: Jasmine Silver Needle is delightful. Traditional of white tea, Silver Needle itself is quite delicate and mild. However, after scented with jasmine becomes somewhat full-bodied.  It is naturally sweet and quite floral as one would expect.  To be frank, the jasmine dominates the flavor.  It is consistent from start to finish, yet never unpleasant.  Instead the floral taste and aroma provide an amazing sensory experience. I found myself alternately inhaling the steam and sipping the tea until gone.  Be advised if you are looking for the extremely delicate, clean taste of silver needle this is not where you will find it. Jasmine Silver Needle is in a category of its own.

I found the brew to have a hint of astringency (no bitterness, but a subtle dry feel in the mouth).  Nevertheless, no sweetener was needed nor would I recommend it.  I simply cannot imagine the impact sweetener would have on the floral characteristics of the tea.

Liquor: A rich yellow hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 7 minutes in 180 degree water. I steeped 7 minutes for the first infusion and 7 minutes 30 seconds for the second infusion.  I intend to play around a bit more with the steeping times as I am interested in discovering how Jasmine Silver Needle tastes with shorter infusion times.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Jasmine Silver Needle, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

**Tea was provided by Adagio as a sample.

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jun_shan_silver_needle_yellow_teaIf at first you don’t succeed, try… try again. I cannot remember who penned this quote, however, I believe it to be quite true. Especially when steeping a cup of tea. Several days ago, I made a cup of Pre Rain Jun Shan (Imperial Mountain) Silver Needle Yellow Tea. In a rush to make a cup of tea, I added too many leaves, not enough water, and steeped for entirely too long. The end result… a rancid cup of tea. Immediately my instincts told me to disregard this experience and start all over again. Tonight I did just that!

Composition: First crop silver needle yellow tea from China picked in late March.

Dry Visual: Very green whole leaf tea buds with silver tips mixed throughout. Thanks to Jing Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Mildly grassy – permeated by a sweet almost honey aroma.

Flavor:  Pre Rain Jun Shan (Imperial Mountain) Silver Needle Yellow Tea – what a mouthful – tastes delightful.  The first sip, while hot, was quite sweet with a floral finish. Sip after sip, Imperial Mountain did not disappoint, maintaining a consistent flavor profile from the first sip to the last. However, midway through, the floral quality began to fade while the taste of honey began to present itself. Surprisingly, as my cup began to cool, the taste of honey became more dominant.

Naturally sweet, there was no need for a sweetener of any kind. I fear sweetener would alter the flavor, especially since Imperial Mountain is a very mild tea.

Liquor: A very clear yellow tea.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time is 1-2 tsp for 3 minutes – water temperature at pre-boil.  I steeped for 3 minutes.

Manufacturer: Jing Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had an opportunity to try Pre Rain Jun Shan (Imperial Mountain) Silver Needle Yellow Tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

What’s In A Name?

275px-china_hunansvgPre Rain Jun (Imperial Mountain) Silver Needle Yellow Tea has a lot of meaning within it’s name. Pre Rain, speaks to the time of year (March) when the leaves are picked. Jun Shan speaks to the location where the tea plant grows.

Jun Shan is located in Yueyang, one of the fourteen prefecture-level divisions within Hunan, China. (A prefecture is an administrative or political division.)  Whereas, Hunan is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, meaning “south of the lake”). Hunan is sometimes called  Xiāng for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the province.

Silver Needle describes the portion of the tea plant from where the leaves are derived. Finally Yellow Tea describes the color of the liquor.

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All weekend long, I have been drinking Silver Needle. Purchased as part of my White Tea Sampler from Adagio teas, I was excited to brew and taste. For over a year, I enjoyed Winter White Earl Grey by Harney and Sons daily. The purchase of the White Tea Sampler was encouraged by my desire to enjoy a pure White Tea with no added flavors. After brewing and tasting, I could not wait to share my Silver Needle experience.

Composition: White tea, nothing more and nothing less.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves (resembling fat pine needles) with silver fur – hence the name.

Dry Aroma: Slightly vegetal – but very light. 

Flavor: Delicious! I was very impressed with the light taste. Naturally sweet, easily enjoyed both with or without sweetener. I must admit depending upon my mood I really enjoyed with just a hint of sugar in the raw – preferring it over honey whose flavor almost overpowered the delicate taste of Silver Needle. This tea had  very unique flavor – not vegetal, not woodsy, not smokey, just pure tea. I could drink Silver Needle every day.

Liquor: Beautiful amber – actually gold color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 7 minutes.  I brewed for 7 minutes during the first two infusions. 10 to 12 minutes for subsequent infusions using my new Yixing Teapot dedicated to white teas.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes

Silver Needle is a tea I could drink on a daily basis. It is light and refreshing maintaining its character after multiple infusions. Never bitter always delicious. Until we meet again… Happy Tea Drinking!

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