|"I echo the Green Tea Lovers notes by saying there were hints of honey in on the palate. Not sure about a pine note, though. I would be more inclined to say deciduous maple instead."|
For while, though, there was a bit of a moniker confusion. Upon first coming across Darjeeling white tea, I had thought it was called "Silver Tips", rather than Silver Needle. I would later stand corrected when I was informed that the "Tip"-py name was designated to white teas from Sri Lanka. Now, I was already a fan of Ceylon black teas, particularly ones from the Nuwara Eliya region. Ceylon white teas were an "undiscovered country". Green Tea Lovers - a husband-and-wife op that was new to me - would provide me with that opportunity.
Adam's Peak - for which this Ceylon white was named - is actually located in Sabaragamuwa Province. The growing region for this tea - Nuwara Eliya, may favorite - lies in Central Province. (Right next door.) I'm not sure if this was a descriptive error on the tea profile or if this was in reference to the fact that the mountain was near the Central Highlands. Either way, I liked the story regarding the mount's significance in Buddhism. The "footprint" story was fascinating.
The appearance for this tea was quite appealing. Light green leaves were thinly rolled into needles, closely resembling their Yinzhen cousin. I also noted that they varied in size rather greatly but also possessed the celebrated white tea bud fuzz. Putting nose to bag revealed a wilderness-like aroma with a buttery/citrusy lean; it smelled like making toast on a mountain.
Brewing instructions on the GTL site, I thought, were a bit on the heavy side. They recommended 1 heaping teaspoon per cup, steeped in 180F water for three minutes. Because white teas were touchy, and this was a very rare specimen, I wasn't in the mood to chance it. Granted, Ceylon white teas probably had White Peony-esque resilience, but I didn't know for sure. I went with 165F for three instead.
After the allotted time, the liquor infused...well...clear. Only the periphery of the liquid was lined in white tea gold, and even that could be seen when putting the clear cup up to the light. The nose, however, dispelled the "hot water" comparison by revealing a subtle, fruit-hint aroma with a leafy back. The taste was light as well but on the creamy side of wonderful. I echo the Green Tea Lovers notes by saying there were hints of a honey note. Not sure about pine. I would be more inclined to say a deciduous maple instead.
A second infusion at an undetermined steep time yielded a cup with a nut-sweet, almost green rooibos-like aroma. The taste was a bit on the vegetal side, though. My decision to use a lighter temp water was the correct one.
Nuwara Eliya does it again. This was a superb white tea that totally lived up to its fuzzy kin. I'm permanently adding Green Tea Lovers to my list of companies for off-the-beaten-path white teas. I have my eye on their African ones now. Pocketbook, don't fail me now.
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