Review of Organic Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)

6 of 103 of 52 of 557 of 100

I found this to be a finicky tea which required care in brewing and which I was not always in the mood to enjoy. To be fair, I tend not to be a huge fan of silver needle, but even then this was not my favorite example of such a tea. Contrast this with TeaVivre's white peony, which I thought was one of the best examples of this style.

Dry leaf is particularly un-aromatic, the first example like this from TeaVivre, which usually impresses me with their intensely-aromatic teas.

Upon brewing, I was surprised at how rich and flavorful this tea was, even when I only used a 2 minute steeping and not a lot of leaf. Steeping this way, I was able to produce 3 cups that were mild but flavorful. I tried brewing with one long infusion (which I usually prefer with silver needle), and I found this brought out vanilla-like tones in the aroma, but I didn't like the results because it also produced an unpleasant sourness, a strange metallic taste, and a surprisingly strong bitter undertones leaving a bitter taste on the palate.

Overall character, especially the aroma, reminds me more of pai mu tan (white peony) than other bai hao yinzhen (silver needle). In the second and third infusions, cinnamon tones come out, especially in the finish. Not the most complex aroma.

Mild flavor...slightly sweet, almost no discernable bitterness, but a fair amount of astringency, especially in the finish in the longer, later two steepings.

I can't see buying this one, when TeaVivre's white peony is so much better-suited to my tastes. I've also had a couple examples of African white teas in the style of silver needle (from Kenya and Tanzania) that were slightly lower than this in price, and which I preferred flavor-wise, and found easier to brew to my satisfaction.

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