Yesterday, I received a package of samples from Teaneer’s Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm in the Nilgiri district of southern India. I previously reviewed the Teaneer Flow Green Tea, and since then have been interested in trying their other products. For more information on Teaneer, please visit the grower profile on the Tealet Teas website by clicking here.
I decided to start with the Shining Arrows white tea. Not only is that a catchy name for a silver tips style of tea, but I am always impressed with the silver tips from India and Sri Lanka. I have had silver tips from the Darjeeling district of northern India and from the Uva district of Sri Lanka, but this Shining Arrows will be my first silver tips from south India. It’s always interesting to note how the climate of the growing region affects the character of otherwise similar styles of tea.
The sample package is open, and I see fairly large tips with plenty of downy looking hairs. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves, or tips, have colors ranging from white/silver to pale green to a purplish-brown. All tips are covered in soft, downy-like hairs. The tips have a fairly uniform length of around one inch (20 – 30 mm). All tips have the slightly bent, pointed shape. Most are unbroken, full tips, but there are some fragments and the occasional bare stem. The tips have a scent of delicate and dry sweet hay.
Five grams of dry tips were placed in an 8.5 ounce (240 ml) kyusu teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 185°F (85°C). The tips were infused for four minutes.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a light, pale yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma had delicate scents of hay, dandelion, and light honey. The body was light, with a silky, round feel. The taste had delicate notes of sweet hay, dandelion, and very light honey. There was a very mild astringency. Perhaps the infusion time was thirty seconds too long. The aftertaste was delicate, and a nice mix of sweet and floral.
The second infusion produced a liquor with darker shade of pale yellow with a gold tint. The aroma and taste retained the same general notes, but at a slightly stronger intensity. The body was slightly heavier than the first infusion. The very mild astringency of the first infusion was non-existent in the second infusion. Overall, I liked this infusion better than the first.
The third infusion produced an even darker shade of yellow-gold than the second infusion. The aroma and taste were nearly identical to the second infusion in terms of notes, but more similar to the first infusion in terms of intensity. The difference between this third infusion and the first infusion is that the third lacked some of the freshness and delicate character of the first infusion. I am not sure if this will properly explain the difference, but while the first infusion had a freshness to it, this third infusion had a soggy character, which makes sense.
I infused the tips a total of five times, and was pleased with the taste and aroma of even the fifth infusion. Despite the longer infusion times, these tips held up very well to five infusions.
The infused leaves had two primary colors, either light brown or fresh pale green. The length of the tips after infusion extended by about a quarter of an inch (5 – 8 mm). The shape remains slightly curved and pointed. There are some broken tips, but mostly unbroken. The aroma is mostly sweet, with a floral bouquet existing in a lighter intensity.
These Shining Arrows from Teaneer definitely fit the mold of a good quality silver tips white tea. It was delicate, fresh, and natural tasting. It also had a refreshing effect to it. I will be interested to do a side by side by side comparison in the coming months between silver tip teas from different regions. It is difficult to say how this one differed from the others that I had reviewed with putting them all in front of me at the same time. With the new year comes new harvests, and hopefully new packages of samples.
Thank you very much to Suresh at Teaneer and Vijayalakshmi Natural Farm for providing these excellent samples. I look forward to progressing through the other products. Cheers!