Tuesday, June 16, 2009

REVIEW: You, Me & Tea, Jasmine Silver Needle

You, Me & Tea has a high-end Jasmine Silver Needle white tea, which can be found on their Web site here. Silver needle is a quality designation known as yinzhen in Chinese. It indicates the tea is made only from the tea buds, and not at all from leaves. In this case, the tea is long spears, or needles, which because of the tiny white hairs on the buds, have a silvery appearance. This is a tea that is very carefully produced. It has to be flash-steamed quickly after being plucked, so the tea has minimal oxidation. White teas are typically very delicate and light.

There are a couple ways jasmine aroma and flavor can be introduced to the tea. One is by adding jasmine essential oil to the leaves. The tea experts frown on this method, though, and instead want their teas to be infused with jasmine aroma by placing the tea in close proximity to the flowers themselves. This can be done a number of times for the same tea, to get the desired strength of the jasmine aroma in the tea.


PREPARATION
70C, 1 cup filtered water to 1 heaping tsp tea.

When I'm brewing a delicate white tea, I try to keep the temperature low and sometimes allow for a longer steeping time to make up for it. In this case, 70c and about 3-4 minutes' steeping time, with 1 heaping teaspoon of tea per cup.

THE CUP
The taste of this tea is crisp and clean, and it's pretty pleasant. That being said, the jasmine aroma and flavor were quite dominant, and I was not able to discern much of the white tea flavor. For those like my wife, Suzanne, who enjoy the jasmine aroma on its own, this would be a very good choice. But for tea drinkers like me, who really want to taste the tea in tea, this will not work so well.

3 comments:

James Oh said...

Your post is great, well describe of the tea and drive me to look forward to taste it. Thanks.

Imporcha-Oriental sensations said...

Really a great article.I am goona try.

Steven Knoerr said...

I am glad to have introduced you to the You, Me & Tea Jasmine Silver Needle. I hope you enjoy it!