Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest

Postby JRS22 » Aug 31st, '10, 08:42

I participated in the Silver Needles OTTI and now I want more Silver Needles. I've been checking various vendors - especially Rishi, because their 2 silver needles in the OTTI were the best. Some vendors always include all the harvest information including the date. Some vendors, like Rishi, rarely include the harvest date. Many vendors are still selling the 2009 harvest.

I wrote to Rishi about their harvest date because I planned on trying a small package of this year's harvest before stocking up. The response was that they only include the harvest date if the tea is a specialty tea that may only be available for a short time (possibly like that wonderful Grand Funding).

So two questions:

How important is it to purchase this year's Silver Needle now - how long will last year's tea still be fresh enough to drink?
What do you think of sites that don't include harvest date?
User avatar
JRS22
 
Posts: 1090
Joined: Nov 7th, '0

Re: Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest

Postby bagua7 » Oct 2nd, '10, 00:38

I dunno my friend. Just buy the tea and drink it. Enjoy life as it is :)
User avatar
bagua7
 
Posts: 1222
Joined: Jul 21st, '

Re: Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest

Postby Chip » Oct 2nd, '10, 01:03

I have gotten on the soapbox more than once on the forum about how I would like vendors to post the harvest info right on their sites. Pipe dream perhaps, but I would like to see much more of it. I realize it requires more work and more updating of sites.

I feel that it shows that vendors are trying harder when they do, and they know more about their teas. A lot of vendors likely have no clue about the harvest info, sad to say. I would not lump Rishi in this group as I am pretty certain they are aware of the harvest info for virtually every one of their offerings, however for some reason they have chosen not to share this on their site.

I am pretty sure Rishi would provide this info if asked, at least Suzanna who last I heard was on maternity leave.

Regarding JRS22's other question. I included some 2009 Grand Cru SN in OTTI 2, everyone seemed pretty impressed with it, however I had kept this in cold storage ... so it was not sitting on a shelf in a warehouse. So, I think a lot would depend on how the tea is stored, and what kind of tea and how good was it to begin with.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22157
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest

Postby JRS22 » Oct 2nd, '10, 09:20

Rishi did reply but in my original post I paraphrased. Here is the full text of their answer:

Thank you for your question. We do not always provide a current lot date because we only give certain specialty teas a date. These teas are often only available for a short time and so we want our customers to know that this is not a tea that we are trying to get rid of, rather it is a specialty tea that we want them to enjoy while we have it. That being said, our silver needle teas are from the 2009 crop.


This response was from customer service so it's not an official policy statement, but the answer implies that older tea will appear less desirable than the current harvest. That's my attitude since I have difficulty believing that even properly stored year-old tea has the same shelf life at home as the new harvest. IE would 2008 Grand Cru SN been just as good during the OTTI as the 2009 that we all loved?

I don't know the answer, but thanks to Chip and Teachat I have tea suppliers that routinely post the harvest year, and sometimes month, and I've improved my storage methods.

But the other issue on my mind is this - if 2009 was a great year for a given tea, such as silver needle, and 2010 is a poor year, will the silver needle "wear" well enough so that I'd be better off purchasing the older tea even after newer tea is available?
User avatar
JRS22
 
Posts: 1090
Joined: Nov 7th, '0

Re: Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest

Postby Chip » Oct 2nd, '10, 09:33

JRS22 wrote:Rishi did reply but in my original post I paraphrased. Here is the full text of their answer:

Thank you for your question. We do not always provide a current lot date because we only give certain specialty teas a date. These teas are often only available for a short time and so we want our customers to know that this is not a tea that we are trying to get rid of, rather it is a specialty tea that we want them to enjoy while we have it. That being said, our silver needle teas are from the 2009 crop.


I am curious whether this was signed by someone?

JRS22 wrote:But the other issue on my mind is this - if 2009 was a great year for a given tea, such as silver needle, and 2010 is a poor year, will the silver needle "wear" well enough so that I'd be better off purchasing the older tea even after newer tea is available?

Ahhh, good question, especially since 2010 is supposedly a rather "off year" for SN and many other teas as well due to the draughts, etc.

I still have a bit of the 2009 Grand Cru, a leftover sample from the OTTI. Still in cold storage. If I had the 2010 version, I could compare. I think it is hard to make a complete generalization in this instance.

All other things being equal, I would pick 2010 every time, but not everything is equal as we know.

In this case, I might guess the 2009 Grand Cru is better, though long gone. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22157
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Silver Needles 2009 vs 2010 Harvest

Postby JRS22 » Oct 2nd, '10, 09:59

Chip wrote:In this case, I might guess the 2009 Grand Cru is better, though long gone. :mrgreen:


If we had only known at the time ..............
User avatar
JRS22
 
Posts: 1090
Joined: Nov 7th, '0


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation