Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Silver Needle White Tea from Teavana

I'm going to start my tea travels with the mention of my favorite white tea which is Silver Needle.  I happen to currently have the Teavana brand because that is the first and only Silver Needle that I tried.  If there are better brands, then all the better because I just adore this tea.

I first found out about the white tea and its benefits back in September 2012 and right away I wanted to score myself a package.  Back then I was still oblivious to the loose tea existence and so I began my search for the perfect cup of bagged white tea.  I bought countless boxes of bagged white tea and each time I was more disappointed than the next.  Not only the taste wasn't anything special, but also every brand of white tea I bought brewed into ugly brown liquid even though white tea supposed to have gorgeous golden color.  My white tea was looking darker than my green tea!  How could that be? Every website I checked said that the color indicates the freshness and quality of the tea and so I thought I'm simply not having any luck finding fresh, top quality white tea.  Sadly, I eventually gave up and went back to drinking green tea.

My Silver Needle Storage Tin
When in December I finally discovered Teavana, I also discovered that they carried Silver Needle which I knew was premium brand loose white tea.  I was super excited and immediately bought myself a tin full of it.  What a delight!!  The only regret I have is that I haven't done it sooner.

I store my Silver Needle in a metal tin, which is mostly white in appearance (as you can see in the picture to the left) because this is such light and delicate tea.  Although I have a fondness for glass jars and would love to stare at those beautiful tea buds whenever I'm in the kitchen, I do understand that tea leaves have specific storage guidelines and should not be exposed to several things, one of them being light.  I could always put the jar in my tea cabinet but then I couldn't stare at it anyways so for now I will keep the tin.

I love opening the tin and taking a whiff of the wonderful aroma this tea emanates.  The buds are of various sizes, some smaller, some larger and they are all covered in tiny white hair, giving the tea a bit of a silver hue.   Add to it their pointy shape and you got the name Silver Needle.  Nobody told me this... I figured it out myself... Ha!

Silver Needle before brewing

Silver Needle after brewing

I usually brew this tea for about seven minutes or so, a bit longer than the recommended five.  I find that I get more flavor this way and you cannot go wrong with that.  I don't worry about bitterness because I found that no matter what I do, this tea simply doesn't turn bitter.  Ever.

The resulting brew has a gorgeous golden color and the aroma reminds me of raw honey.  As to taste, it is very light, a bit sweet and slightly floral... maybe even a hint of honey as well.

My youngest daughter who is seven years old often asks to have a sip of this tea and when I give her the mug I usually don't get it back.  I don't add any honey or sugar to my teas so I think it speaks volumes if seven years old likes it.

On the scale of 1-10 I give this tea a full 10.  Remember, I'm not a seasoned tea critic, only an average woman who happens to like tea... but I do like this one... a lot.


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