Review: Canton Tea Co. Silver Needle White Tea

Canton Tea Co., White Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The combination of a creamy body with constantly evolving sweet notes is a winning one. Any silver needle fan should be more than satisfied, if not completely smitten!"
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.1/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9/10, Nicole gave it 9/10, Daniel gave it 9.1/10, Alexa gave it 9.3/10, Emma gave it 8/10
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cantonsilverneedleI've had nothing but wonderful experiences sampling Canton Tea Company's wares, so I always look forward to trying another of their quality offering. Coming from Fuding, in the Chinese province of Fujian, this award winning, high grade tea is touted as having a creamy body and a delicate melon flavour. Going by looks alone, it certainly seems to be an exceptional product: the beautiful needles are some of the velvetiest I've come across. They are also very plump-looking and almost entirely whole. Their scent is fresh, floral and honeyed, like a warm spring rain... So far, so good!

As per Canton Tea Company's suggestion, I prepared this cup using a generous teaspoon of leaves infused in water heated to 75 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The gold-coloured cup is delicately scented with the aroma of clover, honey and warm hay. Generally speaking, sweet grass and muscatel notes play at the fore, while less prominent nut and butter flavours bring up the rear. The elusive finish lingers on and on, sometimes leaning more towards vanilla, sometimes towards honeydew melon, or even spearmint. The flavours and the body really intensify over time, becoming creamier and more honeyed. It's worth waiting a few minutes before sampling the cup to catch the brew at its best, otherwise it initially comes across as being a bit on the watery side.

I infused the leaves a second time for 4 minutes. Except for just a hint of muscatel in the foreground, it was less sweet and more focused on intensely grassy and nutty notes. As one of my colleagues noted, this steep is quite different from the previous one, being more on par with a lightly astringent, vegetal green tea. Although this cup doesn't completely wow me, it's interesting enough, if only to experience the full range of flavours that can be extracted from these leaves.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to steep a third infusion for 5 minutes. The aroma is lightly "cinnamony", which is something I hadn't noticed before. The tea is back to being smooth, sweet and buttery, with a melon finish. Although muted compared to the first steep, it's well balanced and creamy. This tea certainly likes to keep drinkers on their toes!

Sophisticated, engaging and flavourful, this is indeed a high quality offering. The combination of a creamy body with constantly evolving sweet notes is a winning one. Any silver needle fan should be more than satisfied, if not completely smitten!

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Silver Needle White Tea, 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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