This is about to become the newest victim in my 2020 sipdown campaign. I have not quite finished the last of this tea, as I still have 3 or 4 grams left, but I will very likely finish it up later this evening. The last Jing Gu White Pekoe Silver Needle I tried from Yunnan Sourcing greatly impressed me, and this tea has also been a favorite among the spring 2018 white teas thus far. I found this particular production to be a little smoky and somewhat spicier than the 2017 offering, which struck me as being smoother. Overall, this one is about as good.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea buds in 4 ounces of 180 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased 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 produced aomas of hay, grass, eucalyptus, and sugarcane that were underscored by a subtle smoky scent. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of straw, wood, peanut, lemon, and basil. The first infusion introduced aromas of tree bark, white pepper, and minerals. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented soft notes of hay, grass, straw, cream, wood, eucalyptus, lemon, and sugarcane that were balanced by subtler impressions of oat, butter, cinnamon, and white pepper. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of oats, butter, cinnamon, cream, lychee, plum, vanilla, thyme, and wheat toast. Mineral, basil, and tree bark notes appeared in the mouth alongside subtle peanut and smoke impressions and more immediately apparent flavors of oats, butter, cinnamon, and white pepper. I also detected notes of vanilla, lychee, plum, wheat toast, malt, apricot, rosemary, cantaloupe, honeydew, and thyme as well as hints of white peach, camphor, watermelon rind, and wintergreen oil. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized notes of minerals, oats, cream, butter, wheat toast, hay, lemon, basil, watermelon rind, and sugarcane that were underscored by delicate hints of eucalyptus, white pepper, thyme, wood, cinnamon, lychee, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
It seems that the Jing Gu teas almost always end up being some of my favorite Yunnan offerings from year to year, and this one was yet another Jing Gu tea I quickly came to hold in high regard. I adored the gorgeously layered and integrated aromas and flavors this tea offered. I also continue to appreciate the fact that the Jing Gu Silver Needles always seem to be less reserved than the more highly regarded Fujianese Silver Needles. Speaking of Silver Needle white teas from Fujian Province, I really need to get around to trying some more in the coming year. I haven’t had any in forever.
Flavors: Apricot, Bark, Butter, Camphor, Cantaloupe, Cinnamon, Cream, Eucalyptus, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honeydew, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Melon, Mineral, Oats, Peach, Peanut, Pepper, Plum, Smoke, Straw, Sugarcane, Thyme, Toast, Vanilla, Wheat, Wood