Monday, February 23, 2009

Bai Hao Yin Zhen

Tea: Bai Hao Yin Zhen
Vendor: David's Tea
Price: $20.00 / 50g
Vendor Description: This is a true luxury, considered by many to be China’s most famous white tea. To create it, only the first leaves and downy, silvery unopened buds of the tea plant are picked by hand during the April harvest. How does this influence the flavour and aroma? Connoisseurs rave about its sweet complexity, and about an underlying grassy taste that makes it uniquely perfect.

Leaf: This tea was a very mixed bag of needles. Some where very broken for a Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen), but yet it was very fluffy. It was primarily a budset tea, but did not appear as purely of one compared to others. It has a light and fresh aroma to it and an interesting green hue amongst the silvery white hairs.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5 oz, 185F, 1:00

1st Infusion: The tea has a very sweet aroma to it. The color is a clear yellow hue. The sweetness of the aroma reminds me of the Emerald Needle from Adagio. The flavor however does not seem to match the aroma well. The flavor is light and smooth, but lacks the sweetness of the aroma. It is a subdued and subtle taste, very conservative for a Silver Needle. The flavor feels muddled and mixed, more akin to a white peony than a Silver Needle.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 185F, 2:00

2nd Infusion: This infusion has a darker straw yellow hue to it. The aroma is distinctively a silver needle. The flavor is richer and more appropriate. The backend of the flavor feels emptier and there is a light sense of bitternes, partly from the increased strength of the infusion, but also from the tea itself I suspect. There are honey tones in the flavor, similar to a honey smoothness. It finishes off with a light sense of astringency.

Rating: 6/10

Conclusion: This Silver Needle didn't seem as pure as some of the others I have tried, most notably the Seven Cups and Swan Sisters have better flavor to them. The flavor of this one is a bit muddled like it's mixed with a little White Peony. The cost is higher than that of the Seven Cups or the Swan Sisters versions, for something that does not perform or look as appealing.

1 comment:

Salsero said...

Your comparison to the Emerald Needle is telling. I have wondered if the Emerald Needle is really some sort of white tea or yellow tea. I just have trouble believing that the taste and appearance of E N are actually those of a Chinese green.