Review of Okayti Silver Needle Darjeeling White Tea Second Flush

9 of 105 of 55 of 593 of 100

I thought this an exceptional tea, probably the best white tea I've ever sampled.

Another lost review that I somehow missed posting.

The leaf of this tea is wonderfully fragrant, with an aroma completely distinct from both Chinese silver needle teas, and the very different variants of them I've tried from Africa or Sri Lanka. The aroma is floral, with hints of the muscatel quality I associate with Darjeelings, and also a pungent earthy note, and a bit of malt. The leaf is intact but looks small and frail, relative to the juicy buds of most Chinese teas.

The brewed cup takes on a surprisingly different character from what I expected. It's darker in color than most silver needle, and I detect notes of vanilla, sweet cocoa, and even coffee in the aroma.

Upon sipping it though, the flavor is much more like a typical silver needle. Sweet, mild, and a floral fragrance evolves as I'm drinking it. There's a marked absence of melon notes, but instead more vegetal characteristics, like asparagus.

The flavor is bold, enough to hold its own against strong flavors if eating this with a meal.

Resteeps beautifully. I started with the recommendation of 4 minutes for the first steep, and made a second, 12 minute infusion. The second cup retained the floral character beautifully. I also found it had notes of caramel that I usually associate with darker white teas like white peony or shou mei.

I experimented with brewing temperature as well, and found that it didn't seem to affect the tea much. If anything, I slightly preferred using boiling water--nothing was lost, there were no "off" qualities, and the flavor came out a bit bolder.

Price is also excellent. Silver needle tends to be pricey but this one isn't unusually so, and I think it is one of the best white teas I've sampled.

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