Your favorite white tea?


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

Postby Ric » Dec 3rd, '05, 00:50

Serenity wrote:I hate to admit this but I've never had white tea. But a friend just sent me some and I'm anxious to try it.. :D


You'll love it!

I just finished a pot of Pai Mu Tan white tea from China. It has a nutty finish and is light but bold at the same time.

I really go into white teas about a year or so ago, and sometime I truly crave the tea. I only drink white tea unsweetened. :wink:
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Postby Robert Marotz » Dec 3rd, '05, 22:30

I made an order recently for mostly samples, and ended up with white tangerine, white peach, and silver needle for the white teas (also got gyokuro and white monkey for greens).

Of the three, I find silver needle the best, followed by the white peach. The white tangerine has a little more "bite" to it than I personally care for.

What impresses me about the silver needle is that it has a very smooth, soft, "rounded" taste to it. At least the way I've been brewing it produces this (I brew in a gaiwan). It's an incredibly mellow tea, very light color and complex aroma, and the taste is just great. When overbrewed or with too much leaf, I feel it has that more "grassy" scent and taste to it.

I haven't had the pleasure of trying the other varieties, but the taste of silver needle is very satisfying for me. White peach is pretty good, but I would prefer the silver needle if I was preparing tea just for myself.
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Postby Robert Marotz » Dec 4th, '05, 11:35

Hiya LadyArden,

As you no doubt are aware, tea brewing is a subjective art and there are very different methods out there for brewing what one considers to be the "best" of a tea.

I have tried following directions similar to the ones provided by Adagio and other companies, which tend to say 3-7 mins depending on tea with X amount of leaf per 6-8 ounces of water at Temperatures Y to Z. Since I brew in a gaiwan, I've found these directions fairly difficult to follow accurately since the gaiwan only holds about 4 ounces.

With some Chinese/Taiwanese methods, there is first a rinsing of the leaves, then the first steep is sometimes less than 20 seconds! Of course this tends to be related to using a higher leaf-water ratio, but I was shocked when I had what seemed like overbrewed oolong after a 20 second infusion. I've also found that if you use the wrong temperature water or timing, it reduces the quality to a very "generic" oolong flavor which isn't bad but not terribly impressive. I didn't know oolong was gonna be as finicky as it seems to be for my methods.

With the silver needle, I let the water cool off to 180 degrees or so and run a 50 second infusion the first time. The liquor really looks too pale to seem like it's done, but you can smell the inside of the gaiwan lid to determine if it seems ready. After a while it will start to have a kinda grassy smell reminiscent of some green teas, and you want to pour it off before that smell gets strong in my opinion.

In the cup there's very little color. It really lacks that orange-gold lustre that oolong has or even the kinda pale yellow-green of a green tea. It's kinda disappointing and perhaps can lead the mind into believing it's just water.

I will likely buy more silver needle in the near future as my sample is going to be gone soon (the adagio tin is about 4 gaiwan worth, barely enough to experiment). I also need to find a source for more dongding oolong and this snow orchid that a fellow sent me a sample of that I think I'm developing a fondness of.

I should try white peony, I'll probably get a sample in the future. I don't know what I'm gonna do with this army of sample tins though...
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Postby schwitterz » Apr 22nd, '06, 00:26

Best white tea on the planet?

Nine Dragons Silver Bud

If you try it, it'll ruin your ability to enjoy anything else.

Jack Strand has it at The Strand Tea Co.

Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Postby FairTaxGuy » Apr 23rd, '06, 23:59

What exactly is the difference between all the different types of White Teas? I know that might be liking asking the difference between white, black, green since they're all from the same plant, but these White Teas are all from the same plant!! :)

Like the difference between snowbud and silverneedle?
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Postby illium » Apr 24th, '06, 00:38

well, in the tea world, just as in the coffee, wine, or botantical world, you'll notice major differences in the way a plant grows depending on where it grows.

each plant, though techincally the same species, grows a little differently depending on where it is growing.. it also yeilds a different flavour. in the wine world, there are people who can taste the difference in grapes grown on the top of a certain hill in a certain vineyard, versus from the middle or bottom of the hill. there is a LOT of variance.

the same is true for tea. the flavour of what is technically the same plant can be comepletely different when grown on this mountain or that.. in this province or the next.. depending on the soil and climate conditions.

additionally, when you pick the leaves make s big difference. tea picked in the early spring is very different from summer, autumn or winter tea.. in fact, tea picked in late march or early april is considered the best tea, and is very different both in price and flavour than tea picked only one or two months later.

after it's picked, the processing determines it's category, wether it's white, yellow, green, oolong, red or one of the many pu ers.

white teas undergo very little processing, so the difference there is more of the difference between the specific varietal of plant/location and the time of year it was picked.

hope that helps,
troy
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Postby FairTaxGuy » Apr 24th, '06, 09:58

Ahhh, yes that makes perfect sense now! Thanks for the explanation :)
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Postby Phyll » Apr 24th, '06, 14:25

illium wrote:in the wine world, there are people who can taste the difference in grapes grown on the top of a certain hill in a certain vineyard, versus from the middle or bottom of the hill. there is a LOT of variance.


Troy, you are a wine connoisseur as well as a tea expert! In the wine world, what you mentioned above about differences in geography, altitude, soil, weather, processing, techniques, people, etc., is called "terroir" (te-rowar), a French term.
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Postby illium » Apr 24th, '06, 15:55

haha.. well, I wouldn't call myself a wine connoisseur, but I do have the advantage of living in Oregon, that has a huge wine industry.

Also, in my spare time I write reviews for the local newspaper about restaurants, vineyards, and winerys.. so I get to go try things new things out, and absorb knowledge (and wine).. and get paid for it! Awesome stuff!

Also, my brother-in-law likes to brew beer and wine at home, so I often help him. We've made Blackberry, Huckleberry, Cherry, Pinot Noir, and Syrah wines, and just finished up a batch of Amber Ale.. yum yum yum!!

I've found a lot of parallels between tea and wine culture. It's one of the things I'm working on building in the tea world, if possible. I would like to see the tea culture in America on the same level as the Wine and Coffee culture.

That's why I organize and hold tea tastings, that are something of a combination between a wine tasting and a Japanese style tea ceremony, with a somewhat modern feel. I hope to build respect for tea up from "sugary bottled cold drink" or "excessive marketing-bull laden crappy tea bag" to something a little deeper.
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Postby Chip » Apr 26th, '06, 13:07

Looks like this has been the hot topic...
Asking a tea fanatic what his fav tea is...well it's just cruel... :D I have favorites and won't torture myself trying to figure which I like best.

I have a pretty good selection of fresh white tea and have a cup almost every day. Some people say all their unflavored whites taste the same...knowledge of white tea and careful selection will create a pretty decent range of flavor and aroma.

For me as with all tea, I prefer unflavored, but with white the flavor and aroma can be so sublime to begin with that to flavor it, could mask it totally. Different strokes for different folks, just give it to me straight up.

I have had Ceylon Slver (Needle) Tips mentioned by somebody, and that was amazing, never had anything like it but at around $25 for 2 oz...; Chinese Silver Needle is great so long as it is fresh and, I won't order again til I know I can get 2006 harvest!!! Fuding White Treasure is considered an art form in its hand manufacture and is quite different from my other whites, Wang Fu Jing Hao (drinking right now) is nice, fruity, and sweet, and White Point Reserve is like Silver Needles kicked up a notch.
I like Pai Mu Tan, Mutan, Shou Mei, but to me, unless you are comparing side by side they are very simular in every repect.

For preparation, since they are so light and fluffy, I always weigh my whites with my electronic scale. It only takes seconds, but I get consistantly perfect results that way. I use around 2.75 grams for a 5-6 oz. cup for 3 min., temp varies by tea, and get several quality infusions. I am sure the Gongfu method works quite well also.
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Re: Your favorite white tea?

Postby Ric » Nov 9th, '06, 22:34

PeteVu wrote:I'm new to white teas and was just curious as to what all of your favorite white teas are. I didnt get a chance to order silver needle or jasmine blossum, and was wondering the impressions of those who have tried it before.


Darjeeling White! :D
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Re: Your favorite white tea?

Postby cherryking » Dec 11th, '06, 23:59

well, for me, my favorite white tea is Silver Needle. the dry silver needle leaves are very lovely with full of tender silver hair, long large buds. Silver Needle is the special tea in white tea school.

Its taste is very smooth and sweety with flowery aroma. The color of liquid is very clear, light. :P

Jasmine Silver Needle is very good also !

I like both of them.

Cheers.
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Postby maxman » Dec 14th, '06, 20:57

I just bought some silver needles. It is the first white tea I've tried. I could see it becoming my regular tea. It's the best tea I've tried so far. My usual has been yunnan jig and jasmine #5.
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Postby cherryking » Dec 15th, '06, 03:12

Silver Needle is very previous white tea in China, the real high - quality Silver Needle grows in Fuding County, Fujian Province. Try to taste your Silver Needle carefully, you would find silk-smooth, sweety and flowery taste in liquid. 8)

Silver Needle is my favorite. :roll:
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