Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sampling Silver Needle Tea
As soon as I started reading "The Silver Needle Murder" by Laura Childs, which I finished last week, I got a bee in my bonnet to go try some Silver Needle Tea. Here's how the book described it: "Silver needle was a white tea from China's Fujian Province. Picked in early spring, its dried leaves resembled white pine needles. Brewing yielded a pale yellow tea with a delicious buttery almond flavor." Yum! So off I went to Teafusions, a tea shop in Peachtree City that is about 10 minutes from my house.
The Silver Needle was rather expensive, I thought, at $9 for one ounce. The tea was very fluffy, however, so the bag that I usually get with two ounces of other teas was nearly full. Once home, I transferred the tea to the vintage tea caddy I found recently, and I couldn't wait to try this "buttery almond flavor" tea.
Now I should probably emphasize that I am merely an amateur tea taster and by no means have a refined tea palate that is capable of sensing every little nuance of a tea's flavor. I like the fruity stuff as well as a good Darjeeling, and it has been my experience that the most expensive teas aren't necessarily the tastiest. (Not at all, I find.) That said, I did not find this to be a "buttery almond flavor" taste. I've tried other white teas that had a bit more flavor to them. This was fine, but only fine. Maybe it's just not a great quality of Silver Needle, or maybe this is the way it is supposed to taste. Advice, anyone? Should I try another Silver Needle Tea or just let it go? It's not that I'm *dying* to get my hands on some great Silver Needle Tea, I just want to experience it properly as part of my ongoing tea education! And maybe I did ...