Review: Teayama Silver Swallow

Organic Tea, Single Estate Tea, Teayama, White Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This reasonably priced offering is a first rate white tea. It has some exciting, unusual features, like anise, green bean and mint notes. Highly recommended!"
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Other Teaviews: Samantha gave it 7.8/10
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teayamasilverswallowThis organic, early spring tea is the product of small harvest. Unfortunately Teayama doesn’t tell us any more about this offering’s origins. It promises soft floral and vegetal flavours. The leaves are beautiful to behold: all are perfectly furry silver buds. Their aroma is somewhat typical for white teas, combining honey, muscatel and hay notes.

Since Teayama doesn’t provide brewing instructions, I decide to steep 3 grams of leaf (approximately 2 heaping teaspoonful) in 250ml of water heated to 70 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The gold coloured cup is very sweet. Green bean, honeydew melon, muscatel, and hay notes all contribute to the flavour profile. It has a very smooth and filling feel. While it’s delicate, it’s also not so subtle that you need to guess at the flavours.

I try a second steep for 4 minutes. The tea is a little sharper and more concentrated in flavour now, with astringent grass and anise notes in the finish. The results are still sweet and smooth however.

I manage to pull three more cups from the leaves following 5, 6 and 7 and a half minute-long steeps. The tea is progressively less sweet throughout the sip. Otherwise the flavours are very consistent from brew to brew. By the end, the finish still has some interesting minty fennel and grass notes to it. Only the top notes seem a bit watery and mineral. I could probably get a few more infusions if I was so inclined. The staying power of these leaves is quite amazing.

This reasonably priced offering is a first rate white tea. It has some exciting, unusual features, like anise, green bean and mint notes. It’s very smooth, sweet and flavourful. It also makes an excellent iced tea, bringing out prominent honeydew melon flavours. I highly recommend giving this tea a try. These swallows are clearly a step above most silver needles!

— To purchase Teayama Silver Swallow, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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