Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #3 - Ceylon Silver Tips

My white tea tips have gone on a diet! The tea leaves (tips, actually) that poured out of this week's sample packet were skinny little things and weren't as fluffy as the Silver Needles tea. And while I knew that visually it would be hard to beat those beautiful Bai Mei flowers last week, I have to say this particular white tea's flavor is my favorite so far.

And without further ado, this week's tasting notes:

Name of tea: Ceylon Silver Tips

Category: White Tea

Purveyor: Harney and Sons

When purchased: December 2008

Dry leaf appearance: Long, thin tips - reminds me of fat pine needles

Wet leaf appearance: Elegant green tips, many standing perpendicular in the water

Steeping temperature and time: 175 degrees, 3 minutes

Scent: The usual vegetal scent, with almost a woodsy note(?). (I hope I'll develop a better "tea taste detector" this year in order to better describe what I'm smelling and tasting!)

Color: Pale golden yellow

Flavor: Has a more robust flavor than the other white teas - really liked it!

Additional notes:
It *would* be nice to taste all these white teas together sometime. Maybe I should host a tea tasting instead of a tea party ...

Next week's tea: Bai Mu Dan (White Peony)


  1. Do you know - are "needles" regular tea leaves, and just called needles because of their shape, or are they some other part of the tea plant?

  2. Thanks for this week's tasting. I may have to try this sometime. I don't normally like white tea but I trust your judgment, so maybe I would like this.

    I've been meaning to ask do you watch The Young and the Restless? There is a coffee house everyone on the show goes to. On the counter of they have a huge teacup holding muffins (or something) for sale. Have you ever seen giant teacups for sale? This would be cute to use as a fruit bowl or centerpiece on a table filled with flowers. If you don't watch The Young and the Restless, I'll see if I can find a picture online and email it to you.

  3. Melanie, Silver Needles tea, like all white teas, is just the "tips" or "buds" of the leaves, formed before the tea leaf fully opens. (And hey, I couldn't have told you this until I started reading Mike Harney's wonderful book this year!) And my understanding is that the word "needle" in the name comes from the fact the leaves look like white pine needles.

    Ginger, I haven't watched "The Young and the Restless" since college, but you've got me wanting to tune in to see the giant teacup! I *have* seen such pieces before (and regret not buying one!), usually at home decor stores. A year ago, Michaels had some with flower designs, but they didn't match my decor. I should have bought one and painted it! I believe the Tenderheart Treasures catalog has had these before, so you might look there, too. Good luck!

  4. I hope you don't mind that I linked my blog to your tea tasting post! Keep up the great work!!!

  5. Sounds good. I'd like to try a more robust white tea. After so many years of drinking strong black tea (Assam is a favorite), my palate has difficulty with the subtley of white tea. I did however enjoy last weeks Silver Needle.

    A tea tasting party is an excellent idea. It would be easier to compare the flavor of four or five teas at once, rather than one a week. Guess that's where the notes come in handy.

  6. I could almost taste it...mmmmm!

    Have a happy weekend!♥

  7. Greetings! By the way, hope you got my email yesterday with my address info? Anyway, this tea review was really helpful to me because I tend to like black teas. Because of your discription, I think I will give it a try. Question for you... drink it plain or with sugar?

    Thank you!

  8. Angela,
    Delights of the Heart has tagged you today. Visit and see what it is all about.

    BTW, I really must get the Harney book.

  9. Angela,
    I almost wanted to cheat and put in another picture, since I had posted something similar at Christmas time.

  10. Janeen, I definitely drink these plain. And I must say they are quite enjoyable!


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