Thursday, August 18, 2005

Tea Review - Vanilla Silver Needles

This post will review my experience tasting a new tea. This tea, Vanilla Silver Needles, is a special one from the tea club (Imperial Tea Court) that was a Christmas gift from my mother. It's worth pointing out that this is not a flavored tea. Rather, it's a scented tea. Tea takes on the smell of things near it. This works beautifully when done by design! This is how your highest quality Jasmine teas are scented. In the case of the Vanilla Silver Needles, the tea is dried in between layers of vanilla bean.

The write up by Roy Fong (proprietor of the Imperial Tea Court, ordained Daoist priest, and one of America's leading tea experts) describes the tea as follows: "A perfect harmony of the sweet fragrance of vanilla beans and the soothing elegance of our Vanilla Silver Needles white tea. This tea is mild and forgiving but never lacking in flavor." I believe this is an appropriate description. Besides, who am I to argue with Roy? :)

Dry Leaf: The dry tea leaves are quite large and downy. I felt a sense of cognitive dissonance with the aroma. My mind detected something sweet, but the prevalent aroma was spinachy, and I couldn't seem to congeal these two together.

First Steeping: My first steeping was for 2.5 minutes. (The directions recommended between 2 - 3 minutes with water just shy of boiling.) The directions also suggested this tea would hold up well to multiple infusions. The liquor at 2.5 minutes reminds me of gingerale. There are even a few bubbles. The aroma of the steeping tea highlights the vanilla scent. The taste is very smooth and light. I notice a sweetness at the mid and back of my mouth.

Second Steeping: The leaves sat overnight (in the fridge). They held up well for the second steeping. Water at the same temp, but steeped for an additional minute. The sweet aroma is still prevalent. I notice a little more of the spinach flavor this go.

I've enjoyed this tea a great deal and look forward to exploring it more!

1 comment:

shawnsmith5324 said...
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