Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Nannuoshan, Yin Zhen
Yin Zhen is the highest grade of authentic Fujian white tea. Only young buds from selected varieties of tea plants are plucked to manufacture this traditional white tea.
The leaves are covered with white, downy hair. The taste is delicate, with a light sweetness reminiscent of ripe fruits.
Original Yin Zhen is specific to restricted areas in the Fujian province. The small production, the exclusive selection of young buds, picked only under perfect weather conditions, and meticulous withering and drying processes are responsible for its high price.
Sample provided by Nannuoshan
The last few days have been absolutely gorgeous. We just got our first healthy taste of spring and I liked it. Reviewing and writing about tea kind of got traded for outdoor activities, especially for my favorite sport - porch sitting. Oh Yeah!
Now back to our white tea extravaganza. This is the fifth and final entry from Nannuoshan. This is an authentic Fujian Silver Needle. One of my personal favorites. White tea in general and specifically silver needle is sometimes seen as too subtle by tea drinkers who are more inclined to drink very brisk or highly flavored teas. Not me. I love getting lost in the cup, and meditating on and with it. Let's get started.
Opening the bag, I smell the usual hay like aroma of silver needle. In this case it is fuller and resembles wine and fruit - maybe apples? Very lovely.
The leaf is beautiful full young silver haired buds. The buds are so soft to the touch and so strikingly nice looking, I really did not notice the green in the leaf that is captured in the picture.
I used my clear glass teapot and half the sample (3 grams). 5 ounces of filtered water (abt 150 ml) was heated to 195 F (90 C). The steep time was 30 seconds.
The wet leaf had a deeper almost fired scent, even though I know that is not the case. It is almost malty.
The wet leaf is now almost completely green and still very fresh looking.
The first sip is melon. It is kind of like the taste when you have eaten all the red fruit from a watermelon slice and begin to scrape into the white rind. Next I am noticing cucumber. There is no bitterness and no bite, as expected. This is slightly sweet and almost salty. It feels heavy on the tongue like it has weight. There are hints of grass and hay, as well as hints of mineral. It is also, at times, leaning towards floral. Some have called it honeysuckle. I can see this but it is faint, so don't expect it to jump out at you. It is causing some light cheek tingle.
I wish I had time this afternoon to go another round, but I have to eat something, then run out the door, as I have praise band practice tonight - I play guitar. I can't be late as I have invited an awesome guitarist friend to come out and jam with us tonight.
To wrap up this review. I have tasted many silver needle white teas. This is among the top two or three I've tried. Frankly once you reach that level they get hard to pick a clear winner.
You can find Nannuoshan, Yin Zhen here. I did notice, at the I wrote this note, there were only a few 50g amounts of this year's harvest left.