Baihao Yinzhen (Silver Needle)

Organic White Tea 2023

The delicate fragrance of Silver Needle’s nutritious tea buds is like fresh flowers. The smooth, juicy flavor fills the mouth with a clean, lingering sweetness. Consists entirely of single tea buds with highly concentrated nutrients, harvested by hand from the original white tea bush cultivars organically grown in Fujian Province.

2023’s harvest of Silver Needle brings the cereal character and complex sweet aromatics of this tea to the fore, like a fresh meadow of grain and flowers.

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Tea Origin
Shaowu City, Fujian Province, China

Tea Bush
Dabai (Big White), Dahao (Big Hair), Quntizhong (Heirloom Tea Bush)

Tea Maker
Chen Qingwen

Harvest Time
Late March

Plucking Standard
One bud

High-quality Silver Needle from Fujian Province should be made up of large, healthy tea buds with most of their white fuzz intact. When infused, the buds will turn to a light green color right away. The color of the infusion is like a light honey. When compared to infused green tea, it will appear slightly yellow.

For first-time tea drinkers and seasoned aficionados alike, Silver Needle is a very approachable tea. Even a long infusion with high temperature water will not make the tea bitter. You will find it very easy to drink and brew.

The Silver Needle white tea garden

Unripe tea plant seeds, yellowish-red soil, and silver needle pluckings from garden in Fujian Province
Unripe tea plant seeds, yellowish-red soil, and silver needle pluckings from garden in Fujian Province

This particular Baihao Yinzhen is made from a blend of the two main Fujian white tea cultivars, Dabai (Big White) and Dahao (Big Hair), as well as some of Fujian’s local Quntizhong heirloom tea bushes. This produces a deep and complex yet balanced flavor.

Our Silver Needle is produced by a certified organic tea garden that is cared for without any pesticides or herbicides and weeded by hand. This has allowed other natural vegetation to flourish in the undergrowth around the tea plants.

The making of Baihao Yinzhen

Silver Needle white tea drying naturally on large raised trays outdoors in the sun.
Baihao Yinzhen (Silver Needle) white tea drying naturally in the sun.

Silver Needle is made up of only buds hand-plucked from the tea bush.

Meticulously separated from the stem, the freshly harvested white tea buds are fanned out into a single layer on bamboo trays and air-dried naturally until 85-90% of their moisture is removed. After 36 to 38 hours of withering, the drying process is then completed with a gentle baking to stabilize the tea. The very low temperature drying of this tea is designed to preserve the white color of its buds. Too high of a temperature will make the buds yellow. The final moisture content of the tea should be under 6% to maintain its quality level.

What makes white tea different from green tea?

Two side by side images of a basket of freshly plucked Silver Needle tea buds and a close-up view of the buds themselves.
The fuzzy single tea buds of freshly harvested Silver Needle white tea.

Unlike green tea, white tea leaves are never pan-fried  or steamed to kill the enzymatic action that causes oxidation. Instead, oxidation of the leaves is prevented by the removal of moisture. The withering process is very long and gradual, thus slight oxidation of the leaves (or buds) will naturally occur. With this slight amount of oxidation, white tea’s color is typically not as bright or green as you would expect from a green tea.

This delicate drying process is responsible for the smoothness of its flavor. Silver Needle does not have the dominant vegetal or grassy flavor of green teas, nor the toasty flavor of teas with more aggressive baking.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

Baihao Yinzhen (Silver Needle) 2023 brewing guidelines

5 grams (2 Tb) tea

12 oz 88°C (190ºF) water

5 min. first infusion

At least 4 infusions: 5, 5, 6, 10 minutes