Help w/ Silver Needles?


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Help w/ Silver Needles?

Postby auggy » Jun 11th, '08, 20:55

Okay, have a little sample of silver needle and brewed some up. It tastes a bit like soy beans. :shock: So maybe someone can give me a little direction? Of course, I'm assuming it's not supposed to taste like beans. I could be wrong.

What I did was 3g, 6oz, 175 for 3 min.
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Postby Geekgirl » Jun 11th, '08, 21:41

Try shortening the brew time to 2 minutes. No it's not supposed to taste like soy beans. Can't imagine that oversteeping should give you that flavor, although my Adagio Silver Needles tasted very faintly of crayons. :?
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Postby RussianSoul » Jun 11th, '08, 21:47

I love Silver Needle, have 3 in my collection. I don't think it's supposed to taste like soy beads, none of mine do. Where did your Silver Needle come from?

Your brewing seems alright to me, although I use different parameters myself: more water, lower temp, longer time. Like this: 3g, 8oz, 165-170°F, 4m, 5m, 7m. Perhaps, try it like this.
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Postby Geekgirl » Jun 11th, '08, 21:52

RussianSoul wrote:I love Silver Needle, have 3 in my collection.


Do you like all three RS? Where do they come from? So far I'm liking my latest from SensationalTeas best, but I don't think I've found the Holy Grail of SN yet.
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Postby RussianSoul » Jun 11th, '08, 22:30

GeekgirlUnveiled wrote:
RussianSoul wrote:I love Silver Needle, have 3 in my collection.


Do you like all three RS? Where do they come from? So far I'm liking my latest from SensationalTeas best, but I don't think I've found the Holy Grail of SN yet.


I have SN from TeaGschwendner, Adagio and Rishi. The one from TeaGsch leaves me indifferent, it would've been quite lovable if I didn't have the other two. Adagio's is really good, like it a lot. But it is Rishi's that really rocks my boat, it is amazing how full and long tasting this tea is. I think it even won some award at the recent convention, "best in class" or something like that.

<goes to check>

Yep, it did
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Postby auggy » Jun 11th, '08, 23:53

RussianSoul wrote:I love Silver Needle, have 3 in my collection. I don't think it's supposed to taste like soy beads, none of mine do. Where did your Silver Needle come from?

Your brewing seems alright to me, although I use different parameters myself: more water, lower temp, longer time. Like this: 3g, 8oz, 165-170°F, 4m, 5m, 7m. Perhaps, try it like this.


It's from Special Teas. From what I understand, their teas have somewhat of a middle of the road but I have run across ones that are really yummy (but others that are just okay).

I will try your brewing suggestions. I tend to like my oolongs and greens brewed at lower temps than suggested so this might work. Thanks!
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Re: Help w/ Silver Needles?

Postby Pentox » Jun 12th, '08, 12:36

auggy wrote:Okay, have a little sample of silver needle and brewed some up. It tastes a bit like soy beans. :shock: So maybe someone can give me a little direction? Of course, I'm assuming it's not supposed to taste like beans. I could be wrong.

What I did was 3g, 6oz, 175 for 3 min.


I normally find that SN gets a very smooth sweet flavor. Try using 4-5g, 175, 60s. That's what I've found to work well for the ToT SN that I've been drinking recently. The SN from Seven Cups though had a bit different take. That required less leaf and had a sweeter flavor. The ToT one though was not as sweet, but more flavorful.
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Re: Help w/ Silver Needles?

Postby auggy » Jun 12th, '08, 12:43

Pentox wrote:
auggy wrote:Okay, have a little sample of silver needle and brewed some up. It tastes a bit like soy beans. :shock: So maybe someone can give me a little direction? Of course, I'm assuming it's not supposed to taste like beans. I could be wrong.

What I did was 3g, 6oz, 175 for 3 min.


I normally find that SN gets a very smooth sweet flavor. Try using 4-5g, 175, 60s. That's what I've found to work well for the ToT SN that I've been drinking recently. The SN from Seven Cups though had a bit different take. That required less leaf and had a sweeter flavor. The ToT one though was not as sweet, but more flavorful.

I was just checking out the posts tagged with "white" on your blog! :)

I'm going to give this tea another go tonight.

Though I was thinking.... the box of tea spent about 5 hours on my covered porch yesterday in 90 degree weather. That probably didn't help the tea any at all... Gotta start shipping to my office.
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Re: Help w/ Silver Needles?

Postby Pentox » Jun 12th, '08, 12:56

auggy wrote:
Pentox wrote:
auggy wrote:Okay, have a little sample of silver needle and brewed some up. It tastes a bit like soy beans. :shock: So maybe someone can give me a little direction? Of course, I'm assuming it's not supposed to taste like beans. I could be wrong.

What I did was 3g, 6oz, 175 for 3 min.


I normally find that SN gets a very smooth sweet flavor. Try using 4-5g, 175, 60s. That's what I've found to work well for the ToT SN that I've been drinking recently. The SN from Seven Cups though had a bit different take. That required less leaf and had a sweeter flavor. The ToT one though was not as sweet, but more flavorful.

I was just checking out the posts tagged with "white" on your blog! :)

I'm going to give this tea another go tonight.

Though I was thinking.... the box of tea spent about 5 hours on my covered porch yesterday in 90 degree weather. That probably didn't help the tea any at all... Gotta start shipping to my office.


Hehe, I fear going back and reading my own posts. I'm glad to hear that someone's reading it though :)

Let us know how it goes.

To be honest, I don't think that 5 hours really does that much bad for it, if you think about it, think about how much time the box probably spent in hot weather in the ups truck, getting tossed around, and everything else associated with shipping. Although shipping it to your office can't hurt. That's what I do anyway.
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Postby olivierco » Jun 12th, '08, 13:43

Silver needles have been always a mystery to me.

Many sellers advise 1g/oz 8 min 80°C (175°F), explaining that silver needles need time to open up.
Some other advise less leaves and shorter steeping times.

Any thoughts on this?
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Postby Pentox » Jun 12th, '08, 14:21

olivierco wrote:Silver needles have been always a mystery to me.

Many sellers advise 1g/oz 8 min 80°C (175°F), explaining that silver needles need time to open up.
Some other advise less leaves and shorter steeping times.

Any thoughts on this?


The 8 mins seems ridiculous to me. That would make an incredibly strong cup of tea, and you really would only get 1 infusion from it.

8mins with a 1g/oz seems a bit crazy to me. The flavor becomes too strong if you do it like that. I advise less leaf and much much shorter steeps.
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Postby olivierco » Jun 12th, '08, 14:38

Pentox wrote:
The 8 mins seems ridiculous to me. That would make an incredibly strong cup of tea, and you really would only get 1 infusion from it.

8mins with a 1g/oz seems a bit crazy to me. The flavor becomes too strong if you do it like that. I advise less leaf and much much shorter steeps.


Actually the taste is not too strong with 6-7 min (I have just tried it) but it might not be the same taste.
I was anyway able to get a second infusion with a similar taste.

I guess I will write "silver needles" on my too long to do list
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Postby Chip » Jun 12th, '08, 14:55

Silver needles are sublime, subtle, sweet. I could see the soy nut reference, but it was not my experience that they were dominated by this...more of a gentle sweet floral character.

There are so many kinds from different areas...it is muddying the water a lot. Bai Hao and Fuding seem to be the best from China. Ceylon and Darjeeling are stepping up with some amazing offerings superior to many inferior grades of Chinese.

I love them, yet have not had them in over a year. But when I had them last, I was going with a lot of leaf I felt. 5 grams per 6ish ounces. An intermediate steep time of 2-3 minutes. Not too hot at first, but til I steeped them 5 times, I could use boiling water.

I almost always glass brewed so I could watch the lovely needles hanging vertically at first, then dance. Float up and down in the cup.....

Sometimes an aroma or taste will pop into my head with a particular tea. One very similar to Silver Needles first reminded me of a hot dog on a bun...seriously. I could not drink it...tried a bunch of times. Could be, Auggy, that you will never get over that taste with this batch...but don't give up on Silver Needles.
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Postby auggy » Jun 12th, '08, 15:05

It's really interesting the flavors that are brought to mind with tea (good and bad)... Fruity Pebbles, crayons, hot dogs....

I'll keep trying but try different grades and suppliers... though maybe I can get something non-soy bean-y in this tea.
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Postby teaisgood » Jun 13th, '08, 11:57

White tea should have a complex honey like taste to it if bewed properly. It needs a long brewing time to bring out the complexity. I usually fill the Gaiwan half full. Temp about 160. Brew for 10 min.
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