Silver Needle Premium White Tea
Notes of honeysuckle, buckwheat honey and a hint of fresh hay
White Tea from Arunachal Pradesh, India / Harvested on March 2019 / Organic
In pursuit of rivalling the Chinese original, Ahista Tea's Silver Needle is an experimental tea crafted with infinite care by a Nepalese tea-maker in Arunachal Pradesh. With its fertile slopes, crisp winds from the Pasighat mountain and the constant perils of climate change; their tea-maker uses her vast knowledge of the region to produce a tea with unmatched delicacy, freshness and florality.
Using chinary bushes, the tea is grown at 1200m on an organic garden and crafted using only the most tender, young buds. It was hand-picked in March 2019, a time when heavy rainfall and droughts continue to disrupt tea production. Surprisingly, during the first week of March, there was little to no rain this year in the Siang district. This rare occurrence allowed their teamaker to preserve the texture and softness of the white pubescence leaf and the resulting subtle flavour of the cup, reminiscent of many first flush Darjeelings.
These tender buds covered by fine, white hairs were plucked, placed on trays and allowed to wither for 5 hours and air-dried. During this process, the tips are sharply pointed forming a curved needle shape. The resulting brew is mellow and pleasant with notes of honeysuckle, buckwheat honey and a hint of fresh hay.
One of the more interesting characteristics of this tea is its enhanced character note over multiple steeps. We rarely encounter a Silver Needle that develops more sweetness with each steeping, but this one does.