Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: whole buds, covered in downy hair
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: glass gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold
Time flies really flies when you’re having fun but it’s still hard to believe that it has been six years since I have written about anything from my friends at Arbor Teas. This blog and my own journey with tea have changed so much in that time. The last batch of samples included teas like masala chai and earl gray. There’s nothing wrong with flavored teas but my tastes have changed quite a bit since then. The focus of the blog has shifted to the unflavored and unblended end of the spectrum. I’m looking forward to sharing some of Arbor Teas’ current offerings with you all here.
The leaves of this tea were wonderfully fuzzy and soft. There’s something about silver needle that always makes me wish I could shrink down and jump into it. There were a large number of hairs in the brewed tea even after filtering. Tiny hairs on your tea might sound off-putting but trust me, they are a very good thing. The technical term for these appendages is trichomes and they protect the delicate buds from damage. Trichomes usually fall of tea leaves during processing but white teas are able to retain them because they are treated much more delicately.
This tea was sourced from the Guoyang Shanhugang Tea Project in Fujian. Silver needle can be very delicate so it’s important to take your time and focus when tasting them. Sipping lukewarm water or nibbling on a plain, salty cracker can help wake your taste buds up a bit as well. This one was no different. A honey-like aroma gave way to meadowy floral notes. There was a pleasant lingering sweetness in the aftertaste. There was no bitterness or astringency, even when the brewing parameters are pushed a bit. While it was very nice using the vendor’s brewing recommendation, gongfu was definitely the way to go for me.
One really cool thing about Arbor Teas (besides their wonderful tea) is that their labels and packaging are made out of backyard compostable material. Not only that but their entire catalog is certified organic (with a good portion being Fair Trade to boot!). I love their commitment to sustainability and hope that more companies follow their example in the future.