Recently Mana Organics has been expanding its sustainable management activities to tea gardens beyond Chota Tingrai. While working at one of our recently recruited estates, Dinjoye, we came across this wonderful silver needle white tea. Because white tea has such mystique surrounding it, I thought it would be a good time to share what makes Dinjoye’s silver needle white tea so special.
White tea comes from the same plant as both green and black tea. White tea is made from the newest growth on the plant at the very start of the plucking season. The tea buds are covered by fine white hairs at this stage in their growth, hence the name “white” tea.
These buds are handpicked with great care. The tea buds are so small at this stage in their growth, and so few, that even an experienced plucker can only harvest about one pound per day.
Once plucked, these buds are immediately dried in the sun to prevent oxidation. Otherwise, they are not processed in anyway.
The made Silver Needle tea from DInjoye Tea Estate
This minimal processing preserves many of the antioxidants and other healthy compounds that naturally occur in tea. You may have read that white tea has a multitude of health benefits. I am not a doctor and therefore won’t speak to those. However, you can read about the potential health benefits of white tea here.
It’s unusual to find a silver needle from Assam. However, Dinjoye Tea Estate has a unique collection of tea cultivars – specifically P126 and S3A3— originally planted for making premium golden tips tea. Luckily for us, the buds from these varietals also make fine white tea!
Silver needle tea brewing
Brewing silver needle tea takes a little bit of effort, but is worth it. First, bring fresh water to 185° F (85° C). Pour a small amount of the heated water into your brewing vessel and gently swirl it around to warm it. Then discard the water and add 3 grams of silver needle tea to your heated pot. Then fill the pot to approximately one third and brew for 2 minutes. Then fill the teapot and brew for an additional 3 minutes. Pour and serve. Repeat up to at least three brews.
When brewed, Dinjoye’s Silver Needle tea makes a liquor the color of the harvest moon. The brew's flavor is reminiscent of honey suckle flowers and sweet melons. I find drinking this tea a unique combination of soothing at the beginning of the first cup, and energizing by the end of the third.
I hope you will give Dinjoye’s Silver Needle White tea a try, and let us know what you think!