Okay, this review finally catches me up on my reviews. I will undoubtedly have more reviews to post by the middle of the week, but I can relax for now. This was the last of the Whispering Pines white teas I ordered a couple months ago. It compares favorably to the others, but unfortunately I am not a huge silver needle fan. That may be why I put this one off for awhile.

I prepared this tea using the three step Western infusion outlined on the Whispering Pines website. I steeped 1 tablespoon of this tea in 190 F water for 3 minutes. The initial 3 minute infusion was followed by two subsequent infusions at 5 and 8 minutes respectively.

First Infusion: Delicate aromas of pine, raisin, minerals, honeysuckle, cinnamon, and eucalyptus were evident. In the mouth, I detected subtle, smooth notes of pine, raisin, honeysuckle, eucalyptus, cinnamon, hay, and butter underscored by a trace of minerals.

Second Infusion: Slightly stronger aromas of raisins, dates, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and honeysuckle were evident on the nose. I also detected a scent somewhat reminiscent of powdered sugar that I did not pick up on the first infusion. In the mouth, I picked up distinct notes of butter, cream, cinnamon, powdered sugar, honeysuckle, raisin, dates, hay, pine, fresh basil, eucalyptus, and minerals.

Third Infusion: Mild aromas of minerals, fresh basil, eucalyptus, pine, and cinnamon were present on the nose. Gentle, integrated notes of cream, butter, minerals, hay, basil, honeysuckle, pine, eucalyptus, and cinnamon were detected in the mouth.

Overall, I think this is pretty good for a silver needle. In truth, I am not a huge fan of this particular type of tea as I tend to prefer more robust flavors, but this is by far the most interesting silver needle I have tried so far. I found it interesting that the scents and flavors I was picking up were rather different from those detailed by others. I was initially expecting a very sweet tea, which this one kind of is, but I also found it to be somewhat earthy and herbal. Maybe it’s just my palate or maybe it’s the most recent harvest. Who knows?

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Dates, Eucalyptus, Hay, Herbs, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Pine, Powdered sugar, Raisins

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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