Kenya Silver Needle White Tea

Tea type
White Tea
Ingredients
White Tea
Flavors
Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Melon, Butternut Squash, Earth, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Nutty, Passion Fruits, Pastries, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Pumpkin, Squash Blossom, Vegetal, Wet Rocks, Zucchini, Butter, Celery, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Honeydew, Malt, Menthol, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood, Corn Husk, Hot hay, Creamy
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 4 oz / 126 ml

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From Our Community

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16 Tasting Notes View all

  • “A sample from derk and gone! (Sipdown) 5 grams, 85 ml gaiwan, preheated, 78°C water in litre thermos. Combined with chocolate dipped orange as well from derk. This is floral. Good for hot days. As...” Read full tasting note
    99
  • “I am continuing in my exploration of the samples derk sent me and this is another good one. I have already tried the purple needles from the same producer, which I really liked. There are...” Read full tasting note
    89
  • “Oy, I found my new silver needle. Don’t worry, Feng Qing, I can accommodate you, too. I had success yesterday with brewing the Kenya Steamed Purple Green Tea in a gaiwan. I chose today to brew...” Read full tasting note
    91
  • “Here is yet another review from the backlog. I finished a sample pouch of this tea back around the start of May, and at the time I started working my way through it, I had been looking forward to...” Read full tasting note
    95

From What-Cha

A very sweet and smooth silver needle with notes of melon and sweetcorn without any traces of bitterness or astringency.

Kangaita Tea Factory is a Fairtrade certified tea factory specialising in producing high quality orthodox teas including the processing of purple teas. It is located at a high elevation just above 2,000m and processes the leaves collected from 6,594 small-scale tea growers whose farms have a total tea acreage of 1,077 hectares. It is the farmers themselves who are the shareholders of Kangaita Tea Factory and elect the directors of the factory.

Tasting Notes:
- Smooth and sweet
- Sweet notes of melon and sweetcorn

Harvest: February 2017

Altitude: 1,500-2,200m
Origin: Kangaita Tea Factory, Mount Kenya Region, Kenya
Sourced: Direct from Kangaita Tea Factory

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 85°C/185°F
- Use 2-3 teaspoons per cup/small teapot
- Brew for 2-3 minutes

Packaging: Resealable ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

Company description not available.

16 Tasting Notes

99
236 tasting notes

A sample from derk and gone! (Sipdown)
5 grams, 85 ml gaiwan, preheated, 78°C water in litre thermos. Combined with chocolate dipped orange as well from derk.

This is floral. Good for hot days. As today it is. Again temperatures attacking 30 °C in shadow. God bless that we bought awning last year.

1st steep
Aroma of wet leaf is full of fruit tree flowers! In taste it is very floral, bit of hay; white grapes skins, fruit notes (could not pick any though). NICE

Ate candied orange, I expected it sweeter than it actaully was. I enjoyed it. Good dark chocolate used too.

2nd steep
Fruity, sweet. Velvety smooth in palate.

3rd
I like those short steeps. Now it is peachy. Fuzzy in taste as well.

4th
Mellow, refreshing.

I lose my desriptors. It is just great you know.

5th
Fruity with floral notes. Fruit tree flowers.

6th
Good, good…
have I said it’s great?

I do not know how many steeps I made. Just enjoying it!

Flavors: Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Melon

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 85 ML
derk

I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! This has been my afterwork tea brewed western style this past week. It makes me feel so light-hearted :)

Martin Bednář

I can imagine, it is so light yet flavourful. At least I know what to look for when I will make another order :)

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89
334 tasting notes

I am continuing in my exploration of the samples derk sent me and this is another good one. I have already tried the purple needles from the same producer, which I really liked. There are similarities between the two teas but they stand on their own for sure and provide a nice comparison.

I have to say that this tea proved to be quite challenging and sophisticated. Many of its characteristics I couldn’t easily separate and identify, which made the session all the more interesting, but also made me want to have more of the tea to play around with it.

The dry leaf smell in particular I couldn’t really place, but some of its aspects did remind me of pumpkin pie and lavender. After the rinse, the bouquet becomes very unique and complex, yet subtle. It has an arid feel to it, with notes of fresh pumpkin, sunflower seeds/oil and nuts. Later on throughout the session, it becomes a bit more fruity displaying aromas of peach, fruit tree flowers and saurkraut/pickles (not pickled cucumber). One interesting association I get is a dark, but clean cobblestone alley on a rainy night.

Body is medium to light and the liquor is quite velvety. Taste-wise, I found the tea to be quite herbaceous and nutty overall. A bit less prevalent are the sour, vegetal and floral notes like lemon zest or courgette flowers. In mid to late infusions, the tart fruity aspects get amplified, mostly I could taste passion fruit and granadilla. There are some grassy undertones too. Even when I pushed the temperatures and steeping times, I never got much astringency, which is pretty remarkable.

The aftertaste is generally fairly protracted. Like derk I also noticed white peach and the light waxy/phyllo like feeling in the mouth. The sensation is mostly cooling and clenching in the throat, expansive in the mouth and body warming.

I greatly enjoyed this silver needle with its hard-to-describe-sophistication and impressive longetivity (I got about 1.2l from the 5g).

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Earth, Floral, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Herbaceous, Lavender, Lemon Zest, Mineral, Nutty, Passion Fruits, Pastries, Peach, Pleasantly Sour, Pumpkin, Squash Blossom, Vegetal, Wet Rocks, Zucchini

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
derk

It is a unique silver needle. I enjoy reading your reviews to see how somebody from a different region and thus somebody with a differing palate experiences the teas I sent. Thanks for sharing :)

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91
468 tasting notes

Oy, I found my new silver needle. Don’t worry, Feng Qing, I can accommodate you, too.

I had success yesterday with brewing the Kenya Steamed Purple Green Tea in a gaiwan. I chose today to brew these silver needles with the same method.

Gone gaiwan. 3g, 60mL, 195F, no rinse, 10s/12/15/20/25/30/35/45/1m/1m15/1m30. 11 infusions. I’m impressed. September 2017 harvest.

The dry leaf smells like some kind of fruit I haven’t yet tried. I know once I taste that fruit, I will go AHA! that’s the smell of the Kenya Silver Needle White Tea. The closest I can get with my current palate is a vibrant mix of white grape, pineapple, honeydew and fresh green hay. The needles are elegant – long and skinny – and attest to the taste of the tea. Unlike the steamed purple green, this tea had a pronounced evolution. I noticed my tasting notes are very similar to eastkyteaguy’s despite me using a higher temperature. That indicates to me this tea’s versatility and production of a consistent experience when brewing gong fu.

In the first steep, I picked up sugarcane, dry hay and phyllo dough. In the following steeps, the liquor became full and smooth. There was an addition of honeydew, cucumber, butter, white sweet corn, vanilla, cream, a muted ceylon cinnamon and faint malt wIth a persistent aftertaste of butter, white peach and sugarcane. Later steeps lightened in mouthfeel and the tastes moved into sweet lemon, mineral and phyllo dough. Toward the end, butter reappeared and eucalyptus, along with a slightness of its cooling properties, made a presence which I love in this style of tea. The bottom of the cup retained a strong scent of sugarcane throughout the session. There was a slight astringency brewed at this temperature but it did not take away from the experience. Afterwards, I noticed the feeling of a light layer of wax lining my mouth. I checked the scent of the wet leaf in between steeps and was surprised that it smelled very similar to YS Feng Qing silver needles with a note of cantaloupe that I did not pick up on in taste.

This is a tea elegant and somewhat delicate in flavor. It has an appreciable complexity and longevity. I look forward to trying this tea in my thermos at a lower temperature and also western style. These silver needles will have a permanent home in my drawer.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML
Girl Meets Gaiwan

Sounds lovely!

eastkyteaguy

This is a great silver needle white for brewing Western. So far, I have been truly impressed by the white teas coming out of the African countries.

eastkyteaguy

This is a great silver needle white for brewing Western. So far, I have been truly impressed by the white teas coming out of the African countries.

__Morgana__

Wow, I wish I could appreciate white tea this way.

derk

Morgana: you say whites are tricky. They are for me, too, along with greens. You mentioned in your review today of a White Peony about your noob phase and searching for flavors. This one… idk, I didn’t have to search for flavors. They were pronounced and distinctive while retaining a sense of delicacy. It just worked for me. I think it’s worth a try.

__Morgana__

Sure sounds like it!

derk

eastkyteaguy: I’ve been eyeing the other Kenyan and Malawi white teas since my first order from What-Cha but since I’m not a big white tea drinker, I put them on the backburner. I have a lot of teas to work through over the fall and winter but I’ll reconsider those African whites next spring!

Daylon R Thomas

I was iffy about the Malawi teas I’ve had, but you might have a different experience. The White Rhino is super good, but very close to a Dianhong while retaining its unique flavor that is parallel to the same one here. The Ruby White from Taiwan is incredible in its menthol notes.

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95
832 tasting notes

Here is yet another review from the backlog. I finished a sample pouch of this tea back around the start of May, and at the time I started working my way through it, I had been looking forward to reviewing this tea for some time. The white teas produced by the Kangaita Tea Factory seem to enjoy a great reputation, consistently garnering high reviews on Steepster and elsewhere. After being highly impressed by Kangaita’s White Rhino back around the start of the year, I knew that I had to make time for this tea at some point. I finally managed to do that in May, and honestly, I ended up finding this tea to be better than the White Rhino. I’m just throwing this out there, but this may be the best white tea I have tried to this point in my life.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 185 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds produced lovely aromas of hay, straw, eucalyptus, puff pastry, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of butter, wood, and wheat toast. The first infusion did not strike me as presenting anything different on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered very mild, delicate notes of hay, straw, sugarcane, butter, wheat toast, and puff pastry chased by an unexpected note of sweet corn that popped out briefly on the finish. The subsequent infusions saw the nose turn fruitier as well as more savory and more herbal. Wood and eucalyptus emerged in the mouth while new notes of vanilla, malt, cream, minerals, cucumber, honeydew, cinnamon, tangerine zest, wintergreen, menthol, celery, and fennel also appeared. The final infusions offered mineral, cream, butter, sugarcane, celery, and fennel notes backed by fleeting hints of hay, straw, wintergreen, and eucalyptus.

A beautifully complex and satisfying tea, this is one of those teas that just has to be tried. Even if you are not the hugest fan of orthodox white teas, there is a good chance that you will find a lot to appreciate about this one. The Kangaita Tea Factory truly hit a home run with this tea. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Flavors: Butter, Celery, Cinnamon, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Hay, Herbaceous, Honeydew, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Pastries, Straw, Sugarcane, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

That one is one of my favorites too. If I didn’t spend so much on oolongs, I would probably make that one a staple.

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4476 tasting notes

This is an easy drinking white tea with delicious notes of sweet corn and cream. I quite enjoyed this one.

Check out the full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/11/14/kenya-silver-needle-white-tea-from-what-cha/

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62 tasting notes

Ripe honeydew melon and gentle sugarcane sweetness fill the mouth, transitioning into lingering notes of anise, vanilla bean, and light licorice. Beautifully complex and silky smooth, this is a sublime Silver Needle and one that I would recommend without reservation.

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27 tasting notes

First time I drank a silver needle tea, and it didn’t disappoint. Very beautiful tea leave needles, with a sweet smell. Also after steeping there is definitely some sweet corn-like flavor (exactly like the package promised!). I could detect some hay as well.

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987 tasting notes

The leaf on this one is really distinctive. I know that silver needle tea is supposed to be long, thin, and needle-like, but these look like tea leaves on steroids! The buds are easily 1-1.5 inches long and covered in a fine fuzz.

Dry, they smelled like sweet hay, with notes of lychee. Wet, they smelled a bit smoky but still sweet and hay-like.

I decided to go gentle on the tea and used water heated only to 70°C. However, that wasn’t really the right choice; I got notes of hay, peaches, and maybe a little strawberry and fruit leather, but the tea was in general so mild and unassuming that I kept on going “I can’t really taste anything! I can’t really taste anything!”

The tea was pale not only in taste but also in colour. All of the steeps were generally a pale wheat/straw colour. Gentle, but not that striking.

I brewed the same variety of tea a few days later using water just off the boil, but that was pretty similar. A little hay, a little smoke. Maybe a deeper, richer scent. Oh, and the colour of the tea was a bit darker too, sort of a deeper straw shading into orange. But still, the flavour was kinda hiding around in the background rather than dancing on centre stage on my tongue.

I will need to play around with this a bit more to see how to get the best flavour out of it. More leaf? Longer steep times? Different gaiwan? So many variables.

Full review at http://booksandtea.ca/2016/03/comparing-two-types-of-silver-needle-white-tea/

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91
627 tasting notes

Hello corn…my roomie and I had this and wished we had sipped it with dinner, it would have made a good complimenting side “dish”.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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90
1124 tasting notes

This became one of my favorite white teas after a while. I’ve had many since I started on steepster, and only a few have had the natural melon and corn sweetness this one possess. It also steeps fairly strong. And it does awesomely in my tea tumbler. I rated it 85 because I thought I wouldn’t want to keep this one on hand, but maybe get some every once in a while. Now that I’m finishing it off, I just realized how much I liked it in comparison to most white teas. If you’re newly reading my notes on this, I would recommend this as a prime example of silver needle. Just as good light and dark being steeped in a variety of ways.

Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Honeydew, Hot hay, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g 9 OZ / 266 ML
Xxxxx

I enjoy this one a great deal, too. Alistair never disappoints.

Daylon R Thomas

He really doesn’t. Even the sampler I got from him has lasted me a long time. Interestingly enough, one of the next major white teas I wanted to try were the Malawi Antlers lol. Unfortunately, the Discover Taiwan and Darjeeling samplers went bye-bye…which had all the teas I wanted to get from him. Though there are more things to try from him yet.

Rasseru

interestingly I have never had this one. I will order it next time

Xxxxx

Daylon, I think Alistair carries the Malawi Antlers White by itself; however, I can understand being at a place in the discovery journey where the Discover sets fill more tasting needs. When I re-order from What-Cha and get the Antlers again, I’ll alert you and send you some. It’s an astonishing cup!

Rasseru

I have never seen malawi antlers before! That is totally up my street, I know im going to love it.

I’m placing an order tomorrow. One plus of living in the UK is next day delivery from what-cha

Xxxxx

Rasseru, I am jealous of that one day delivery! What-Cha ships fast to the USA-usually I get my tea in less than 2 weeks-and it is always worth the wait. I’d be very surprised if you dislike the Antlers. Can’t wait to see your tasting notes.

Rasseru

Yeah iv read a few things about leaving the stems in increases the sweetness of the brew, using all stems must make it taste really different. I love teas like this

Daylon R Thomas

Wow, whiteantlers, that would be awesome! I was actually going to sample it. What-cha orders are always large for me, and usually are a giant batch of samples. At least the group buy and my first official purchase were lol. And Rasseru, that is interesting. The sweeter teas I like tend to be the stemmy ones.

Rasseru

with green oolong, they remove a lot of stem and trim the leaf edge, so greener brew. you can get one with red leaf edge and red stems, some of it is pretty amazing apparently. Its the same as the type LP uses in his. I think thats one reason I like his tea a lot. Sweetness from these parts of the plant

Xxxxx

Rasseru, interesting comment about the leaf edge and stems in LP’s teas. I have not yet tried them but my wallet is nudging me now…

Rasseru

its in the oolberry, which has a lovely berry/oolong mixed aroma, quite perfumed, nice stuff.

I especially like his peachy elixir #9, that one is really good tasting, but ive just bought the last of it. I hope he makes it a staple, but I dont know if hes going to go over old recipes or make new ones.

Xxxxx

I will add Oolberry to my “to buy” list. I am looking for good teas for cold brewing; this sounds like it could be quite nice for that. Thanks for the information.

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