Saturday, October 4, 2014

What-Cha, Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Silver Needle White Tea

10g Sample Bag
What-Cha Description:
Another great Silver Needle with all the characteristics normally associated with the best Silver Needles; a strong fresh aroma and delicate taste of fruit along with the distinctive apricot finish associated with Nepali teas.

Silver Needle Tea is made purely from the youngest tea buds and has to be carefully selected and picked by hand.  As a result of being so labour intensive, only limited amounts are produced each year and the tea commands a very high price.

We are proud to source all our Nepali teas direct from Greenland Organic Farm, who is very much at the forefront of a burgeoning Nepali tea industry dedicated to producing high quality artisanal teas. Greenland Organic Farm is a completely pesticide and chemical free farm dedicated to producing tea in an ethical and fair manner. Greenland Organic Farm is located in East Nepal in the shadows of Mt. Kancghenjunga at an altitude of 3,000m.

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

Beautiful Fragrant Leaf
My Review:
I have had a bit of a rough tea day so far. It started at breakfast when our Saturday morning spot didn't have any tea. How does that even happen? Later, I ordered a green tea frappuccino at Starbucks only to be given the most sickeningly sweet syrup overload drink. I know they would have made it right but they were so busy I just accepted it. Now at home I have cast a threatening eye upon this innocent victim... er, tea, and have warned it had better not disappoint. The tea has not flinched.

What-Cha packs its samples in two different sized bags depending on how fluffy the leaves. Both contain 10g. One is nearly twice the size of the other. Bravo What-Cha! Also thank you for the simple label with brewing instructions and the resealable bag.

A Lightly Colored Liquor
Opening the bag I can smell sweet grassy hay, with some malt, and a hint of fruit. Nice. Removing a third of the sample for steeping, I get my first look at this beautiful leaf. White fuzzy leaves with some tan and hints of green. Simply gorgeous.

I could gaze on it forever... or I could put it into the press and add water heated to 80 C (176 F) for 2 1/2 minutes.

The result is a very lightly colored yellow liquor that is clear and bright. The white fuzzy buds are now alive and green. The wet leaf scent reminds me of fresh bread. My day is certainly improving.

It certainly looks beautiful and smells wonderful. Is the taste going to delight or be too subtle to enjoy?

Picking up the cup and taking my first sip confirms my speculation that this was going to be an exceptional tea. It is seriously good.

My first taste is very smooth and a mix of malt trailing into fresh hay. There is zero bitterness or bite. I am noticing no dryness associated with astringency. It does feel a little mineral at the very beginning of the sip and again at the end. Late in the sip I catch hints of melon or cucumber and the suggestion of fruit. What-Cha calls it apricot.

The aftertaste is fresh and clean with a lingering mix of hay and malt.

Yes, the flavors are more subtle compared to the usual black tea standards, but if you love a good white tea, this is a must try. To my personal tastes this is a superb white tea.

You can find Nepal 2nd Flush 2014 Silver Needle White Tea here.

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