Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: What-Cha Tea
Our Kenyan Silver Needles hits the usual notes usually associated with good quality Silver Needles while having its own unique characteristics not usually found in other Silver Needles. Kenyan Silver Needles is on the fuller side of the Silver Needle scale and features lovely soft tannins, making it perfect for those who find the more traditional Silver Needles too subtle and overly delicate. Our Kenyan Silver Needles represents a chance to try one of the great Chinese teas grown in the unique terroir of Kenya.
Learn more about this tea here.
Most Silver Needle teas tend to be on the delicate side and this Silver Needle would be considered “delicate” if it were being compared to a green or black tea, but it’s much stronger in flavor than many other Silver Needle teas I’ve had.
But I brewed it the same way I’d brew a Silver Needle: I used my gaiwan and heated the water to 170°F. After a 15 second rinse, I steeped the first infusion for 2 minutes. I added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion. And one thing you’ll find with white teas – they’re ready to keep on steeping! You’ll easily get five or six infusions out of this tea – perhaps more!
The first infusion was sweet and hay-like. I also got some lovely melon notes as well as a crisp, floral note. And even though the approach of a white tea tends to be subtle, I find so many wonderful layers of flavor. I think that’s why I enjoy them so much. True, they’re not the type of tea that will get in your face with the flavor. Instead, it offers its love sweetly and gently.
The second infusion was even sweeter than the first. A little less like hay and a little more like a sweet, juicy melon! Lovely! I am noticing very little to no astringency with this cup. I did notice a wee bit of astringency with the first infusion … not much, but some. Now, not so much.
The third infusion was very much like the second – sweet, melon-like, very little astringency and very few vegetal/hay-like tones. Later infusions slowly started to become less fruit-like and I started picking up on more of the hay-like flavors again as well as hints of an airy floral quality. Imagine the “taste” of the air when you’re walking through a field of flowers. Something like that. Really beautiful and wonderful to experience as those tastes washed over the palate. I started to notice a loss in flavor by the fifth infusion. It still had a lot of flavor but not as quite as much as the four that preceded it.
This is a fantastic Silver Needle. If you’re one who tends to avoid Silver Needle White teas because you find them to be too soft in flavor … don’t give up on Silver Needle teas completely – just widen your search to include this Kenyan Silver Needle! I think you’ll find it much more flavorful!