Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Leaf Appearance: small silvery buds
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale gold
Harney & Sons is a tea brand that I’ve known and loved for many years. I was honored to be selected as their Teafluencer of the month for March 2021. In addition to being featured on their blog, they gave me a generous gift card. I immediately knew that I would use it to treat myself to their Ceylon Vintage Tips (along with many other teas). This tea had piqued my curiosity ever since I spotted it in their catalog.
Sri Lankan white teas are not very common. The description on their website indicates that is made from terminal buds. They are the dominant or the main bud of a plant that is responsible for its new growth. At $30 for 2oz, this tea is definitely on the pricey side. However, a quick Google search showed similar teas being sold for significantly more elsewhere.
The dry leaves were made up entirely of teeny tiny buds covered in silvery hairs. This is a tea that you can’t help but touch. They were so soft! They were thinner than what you might expect from a Chinese silver needle. The color was also more on the grey side than silver. They did have a very nice sheen to them that my camera couldn’t quite capture. I prepared this tea western style using a glass teapot with an infuser basket. The water temperature was 175℉ with an infusion time of 3 minutes.
Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips brewed up a pale creamy gold liquor. There were lots of trichomes swirling around in my teapot, so I was glad I opted for a glass brewing vessel. The taste started out very light. This is a tea that demands you pay attention to pick up all of its nuances. It was floral with a sweetness that lingered long after each sip. Hints of clementine danced around honeysuckle. There was a slightly metallic tinge to the finish that I find in many Ceylon teas. It wasn’t offensive in any way, though. This tea did not have any bitterness or astringency to speak of.
I definitely recommend giving Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips a try, especially if you already enjoy delicate white teas. If you are a fan of traditional Ceylon black teas it might just be a bit too late for your taste. The flavor profile is completely different from their usual full-bodied character.
Have you ever tried Ceylon Vintage Tips from Harney & Sons? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!