Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Imperial Tea Garden
First planted with tea in 1903, the majority of Kenya’s tea gardens are clustered on the slopes of the Great Rift Valley which produces 22% of the worlds tea exports. Unlike most of the tea produced in the Nandi region, Kenya Silverback is one of the rarest teas in the world with only 600 kgs produced annually. The tea is only made from the choicest white tips harvested from select plants 5600 ft – 6500 ft above sea level. The fresh leaf is hand plucked, hand rolled and naturally dried resulting in a white tea with a lot of character. The cup opens with notes of honey, roasted nuts and Madagascar vanilla that lead the way to a long smooth finish. A lot of mouth feel for most white tea connoisseurs.
Learn more about this tea here.
I drink a lot of tea. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to those who read this blog regularly. Every day, I drink at least one type of black tea and one type of green tea, and I try to find time for Oolong daily too. White teas, I don’t drink as often as I drink other tea types, because while I do adore white teas, I find myself tiring of them faster than I do other types of tea. I like them, but, I just prefer green, black and Oolongs.
But I don’t think I could ever grow tired of this Kenya Silverback White Tea from Imperial Tea Garden. The aroma is gentle and sweet, and the mouthfeel is velvet-y smooth.
And the flavor! It’s amazing! So many nuanced layers of flavor within each sip! The above description suggests notes of honey, nuts and vanilla, and I taste those. They sit right at the forefront of the sip, tantalizing the palate with sweet, creamy, toasty flavor.
But then, off in the distance, I notice the distinct flavor of freshly cut hay. If you’ve ever been out in a hayfield just after the hay has been cut, you know what I’m talking about here: I taste the air of the hayfield just after harvest. It is a light, airy kind of taste with distinct hay-like notes. Slightly vegetative and warm, sun-ripened notes. I taste crispness and even hints of flower.
This white tea is truly remarkable! Sweet, but not too sweet. Juicy and refreshing and absolutely delightful. I love it, and highly recommend it to all tea enthusiasts out there.
2 thoughts on “Kenya Silverback White Tea from Imperial Tea Garden”
I liked this tea a lot more than I typically like silver needle style white teas. What I liked most about this tea was that it had a fair amount of a twiggy or faintly roasted quality, and some nutty qualities, and a richer overall flavor…on top of the usual meloney tones that I find most silver needle white teas have.
Yes, I think that perhaps what you call the “twiggy” quality might be what I am experiencing with the hay-like quality… I lived in a farm community throughout my teens and it was not unusual for the scent of freshly cut hay and burning woods/fields to fill the air where I lived. Because it was such a wide open space and not a city, they didn’t have burning restrictions on anything, no worries of air quality. I think that is what I loved so much about this tea is that it brought back to me the “taste” of the air that I’d experience back then… a very rich, unusual taste – quite unlike what I’d typically experience from a White Peony, for example. I like White Peony too, of course, but, it’s nice to come across something so uniquely different, too.