This was one of my sipdowns from the early months of 2020. I want to say I composed the notes for this review in either late March or early April. I know that I was drinking this tea either immediately before or immediately after Covidmania reached these parts. At the time, I wasn’t expecting much. My previous encounters with Doke teas had left me unimpressed. This tea, however, struck me as being great. I enjoyed it much more than the previous two reviewers.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 fluid ounces of 194 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 17 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, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea buds emitted aromas of hay, straw, sugarcane, marshmallow, cedar, and eucalyptus. I also picked up a hint of smokiness in the background. After the rinse, aromas of cucumber, cannabis, butter, and roasted peanut emerged. In addition to the subtle smokiness in the background, I picked up another subtle scent that reminded me of sorghum molasses. The first infusion added mineral, cooked lettuce, pea, grass, and lemon zest aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor initially offered notes of cream, butter, hay, smoke, straw, corn husk, cucumber, cooked lettuce, and grass before hints of cannabis, sorghum molasses, horehound, roasted peanut, and fresh peas started to emerge. The majority of the subsequent infusions added aromas of malt, peppermint, plum, green apple, coriander, white grape, horehound, zucchini, corn husk, and orange zest. None of the previously mentioned flavors immediately faded or intensified, but new impressions of minerals, sugarcane, marshmallow, lemon zest, zucchini, coriander, orange zest, malt, white grape, sour plum, sour apricot, green apple, pear, and lychee appeared. Hints of cedar, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, and white pepper could be found as well. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, coriander, grass, cooked lettuce, green apple, cucumber, pear, lemon zest, sugarcane, white grape, cream, butter, zucchini, and straw that were chased by pleasant, lingering hints of horehound, sorghum molasses, malt, roasted peanut, orange zest, sour plum, hay, and peppermint oil.

Compared to the other Doke teas that I previously tried, this one was much more rewarding and likable. I appreciated that it had a very unique character; it was not all that comparable to the other Silver Needles that I tried prior to trying it. It did not even really have all that much in common with other Indian white teas. I also appreciated its relative lack of bitterness and astringency, characteristics that I had found to be distracting and unpleasant in other Doke teas. While the two previous reviewers seemed to enjoy this tea to a certain extent, I loved it. It was a very worthy offering.

Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Cannabis, Cedar, Coriander, Corn Husk, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Grass, Green Apple, Hay, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Peanut, Pear, Peas, Pepper, Peppermint, Plum, Smoke, Straw, Sugarcane, White Grapes, Zucchini

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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