As silver needle white tea is a delicate and subtle tea, it is especially important to choose the best quality variety. Selecting the right tea will help to ensure that you are getting a delicious flavor when you brew your tea. It is also important to follow the brewing instructions for this tea, as you want to enjoy the gentle flavors and not ruin the taste by under steeping your tea and not getting enough richness.
How to Select Your Silver Needle White Tea
It is easiest to select silver needle white tea if you can actually see and touch the tea for yourself before you make your purchase. This is because the tea leaves themselves can be extremely telling of the quality and age of the tea that you are about to buy. Typically the silver needle white tea is found as loose tea where you can purchase a certain quantity of tea leaves to brew for yourself at home. This means that the tea leaves are not pre-packaged into individual tea bags.
Since the tea is loose, you should be able to go to a tea shop and ask the owner if you can see the leaves. If you want to ensure that the tea you are purchasing is of the highest quality, all you need to do is touch the leaves to see how they feel. If they feel elastic and are fairly generous in size then they are likely better quality. When purchasing loose tea, if you notice that the silver needle leaves look brittle or dry, then it is likely not the best variety for you to choose as it will not produce as nice of a flavor when brewed.
You should also inspect the appearance of the tea leaves to see what color they are because this is a direct indication of when in the harvesting season the tea leaves were picked. The more silvery in color the tea looks, the better it is likely to be since it was picked at the beginning of the season, which is the month of April. While tea harvested later will still likely produce a nice brew, it is less desirable than the tea that is selected early in the season.
The Basics of Preparing Silver Needle White Tea
This tea has an extremely light flavor and is popular with people who want a relaxing and smooth cup of tea. As this tea is extremely light in flavor, it will take a longer time to brew than you might typically be used to with traditional teas. This can be good, however, as it is tough to over-steep your silver needle white tea since it is so mild.
Silver needle white tea gives you an excellent clue to knowing when the tea is starting to steep and is beginning to absorb the water to brew. The needle-like leaves will stand vertically in the water as opposed to lying on the surface horizontally like most teas do while they steep. Most people recommend steeping the tea for a few minutes, and always give the option of re-steeping the silver needle white tea as it will not ruin the flavor.