Help w/ Silver Needles?


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Postby auggy » Jun 18th, '08, 20:12

Okay, tried little lower temp, shorter brew and more leaf. Worked a bit better. Now there is a good (but short) initial sweet taste that goes into honey-ish flavor and then we are back to beans, maybe cooked asparagus. But occasionally I get flashes of a plum-honey flavor.

It's enough of a glimmer that I'm not going to give up! I'm thinking maybe even lower temp will be next to see what happens.
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Postby Chip » Jun 19th, '08, 02:10

That is the TeaSpirit...don't give up!!! :D
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Postby Salsero » Jun 19th, '08, 02:13

auggy wrote:Now there is a good (but short) initial sweet taste that goes into honey-ish flavor and then we are back to beans, maybe cooked asparagus. But occasionally I get flashes of a plum-honey flavor.
What's the problem here? This sounds like an ad for the tea! Also, a 3-course dinner. You've got me jonesing to get some just based on your complaints.
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Postby Pentox » Jun 19th, '08, 02:57

auggy wrote:Okay, tried little lower temp, shorter brew and more leaf. Worked a bit better. Now there is a good (but short) initial sweet taste that goes into honey-ish flavor and then we are back to beans, maybe cooked asparagus. But occasionally I get flashes of a plum-honey flavor.

It's enough of a glimmer that I'm not going to give up! I'm thinking maybe even lower temp will be next to see what happens.


You are way to good at the food comparisons. I've never been able to tie flavors together that well.
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Postby auggy » Jun 19th, '08, 10:34

Salsero wrote:
auggy wrote:Now there is a good (but short) initial sweet taste that goes into honey-ish flavor and then we are back to beans, maybe cooked asparagus. But occasionally I get flashes of a plum-honey flavor.
What's the problem here? This sounds like an ad for the tea! Also, a 3-course dinner. You've got me jonesing to get some just based on your complaints.

:lol:
It's the asparagus taste that is throwing me. But I like it much better than the soy bean taste (similar, but not as overpowering). I do like the plum-honey taste, but much like the actual plum-honey I had, it takes a slight adjustment for me to get into. I guess based on descriptions, I was expecting more floral.

My third steep brought out a lot more of the honey taste, so that makes me happy. I think the key to the honey taste (which I want more than the cooked bean/asparagus taste) is the lower temp.

Pentox wrote:You are way to good at the food comparisons. I've never been able to tie flavors together that well.

Yeah, but people think I'm nuts when the food comparison is breakfast cereal! :lol:
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Postby Mary R » Jun 19th, '08, 16:31

I think SN can be very floral...my favorite ones just smack me with the lilac.

But getting the lilac is tricky. I can only get it with decently fresh SN. I also have to use a light-ish ratio of tea per water (maybe a little more than half a gram per oz? I usually use 3.5 per 5-6 oz), water lurking in the 180ºF range, and short steeps (1.5 min, tops for first infusion). The first infusion is really the only one that smacks you with floral, and really only while the tea is very hot--first three or four sips. After that, the water cools and things mellow...and you get used to the floral. It's a little disappointing, but I think the experience is well worth the trouble.
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Postby Pentox » Jun 19th, '08, 16:51

Mary R wrote:I think SN can be very floral...my favorite ones just smack me with the lilac.



Lol the first thing that came to mind was a bag of SN holding a swath of lilac hitting you across the face. Damn internets...
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Postby Mary R » Jun 19th, '08, 17:11

Hah! My imagery was successful!
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Postby inspectoring » Jul 25th, '08, 21:45

auggy wrote:Okay, tried little lower temp, shorter brew and more leaf. Worked a bit better. Now there is a good (but short) initial sweet taste that goes into honey-ish flavor and then we are back to beans, maybe cooked asparagus. But occasionally I get flashes of a plum-honey flavor.

It's enough of a glimmer that I'm not going to give up! I'm thinking maybe even lower temp will be next to see what happens.

I think with silver needle you might want to be in the 180 range. I have experimented a lot with Rishi - over the course of years gone through lot of sliver needle. What I realized is that to bring out that complex flowery flavor - you really need high temp. Otherwise, at lower temps you will just get that generic sweet honey like flavor. My thing is about a tablespoon of tea for 6 oz water at 180 deg (measured using starbucks 5 $ thermometer) for about 2 mins. Anything longer than 3 mins and shorter thand 1.5 mins and you will go past that delicate multifloral taste and back to the sweet thick honey like taste.
Please let us know how is pans out.. good luck... :)
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Postby RussianSoul » Jul 25th, '08, 21:52

inspectoring wrote:I think with silver needle you might want to be in the 180 range. I have experimented a lot with Rishi - over the course of years gone through lot of sliver needle. What I realized is that to bring out that complex flowery flavor - you really need high temp. Otherwise, at lower temps you will just get that generic sweet honey like flavor. My thing is about a tablespoon of tea for 6 oz water at 180 deg (measured using starbucks 5 $ thermometer) for about 2 mins. Anything longer than 3 mins and shorter thand 1.5 mins and you will go past that delicate multifloral taste and back to the sweet thick honey like taste.
Please let us know how is pans out.. good luck... :)

I love Rishi's SN. I love it exactly for its thick honey flavor that I get using lower temps. But now I am intrigued by the flower taste you are describing. Will try to brew at 180 degrees and see. Thanks!
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Postby Salsero » Jul 25th, '08, 23:52

inspectoring wrote: I think with silver needle you might want to be in the 180 range. I have experimented a lot with Rishi - over the course of years gone through lot of sliver needle.
How about yellow teas? Any similar words of wisdom?
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Postby inspectoring » Jul 29th, '08, 14:20

Sorry guys....I have never tried yellow tea. And that is the reason I started frequenting this side of TeaChat...usually I have my head buried in the green tea forum.

Salsero - There is a very small window during the brew to catch that flowery taste. I actually came across it completely by accident. Good luck - and please let me know if you find it. I was using the 2007 SN crop from Rishi. I have not tried the 2008. Even after I received my order, I think I mentioned here that the 2007 was the best SN crop they have ever had. And I have been buying their Silver Needle since 2002 (I may be off by a year or two but you get the idea)
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