I was in the mood for a good white tea last evening, and thankfully I still have some samples left from Satemwa Tea Estate. Among those samples, I found the Satemwa Needles. My search quickly ended for the subject of last evening’s review.
To learn more about Satemwa Tea Estates, located in the Shire Highlands of Malawi, check out their website here.
The sample packet has been opened, and the look of these needles have me excited. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a pale green to dark pale green color, with a generous portion of silver tips. The leaves are long, narrow, and some are slightly twisted. There are some bare tips, but most appear to be a fine leaf with the tip. There are fine silver hairs covering all leaves and tips. The aroma has scents of hay, and light sweet wood.
Five grams of dry leaves were placed in a 9.4 ounce (280 ml) Tokoname kyusu teapot. Filtered tap water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes, with thirty seconds added to subsequent infusions.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright, light golden-yellow color, clear and transparent. The aroma has scents of sweet hay, light papaya, and light spice (black licorice). The body is light-medium, with a delicate, soft, easy sipping texture. The taste has notes of sweet hay, light papaya, very light honey, and very light black licorice. The aftertaste is delicate, with notes of sweet hay. The essence left on the breath also resembles sweet hay.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly darker golden-yellow color. The aroma is stronger on the papaya and black licorice scents, and lighter on the sweet hay. A citrus marmalade scent is also evolving. The body remains light-medium. The taste has also lightened on sweet hay notes, with the papaya, black licorice, light honey, and a touch of citrus marmalade taking the place of the sweet hay. The aftertaste and essence retain the delicate sweet hay note.
The third infusion produced a liquor with an identical color as the second infusion. The aroma remains fruity and sweet, with a light spice. The citrus marmalade and papaya scents are most dominant. The taste is also dominated by notes of papaya and citrus marmalade, with lighter notes of sweet hay, light honey, and black licorice. The third infusion had plenty of aroma and taste. It was nearly as good as the second infusion.
The infused leaves have a light forest green to light brown to brown color. Leaves consist of mostly a one fine leaf and generous bud pluck. The mature buds have a curved spear shape. The leaves and buds have a strong structural feel, and can easily produce another infusion or two of acceptable aroma and flavor. The buds average 0.5″ (13 mm) to 1″ (25.4 mm). The aroma is phenomenal, with scents of papaya, black licorice, and citrus marmalade.
The Satemwa Needles white tea definitely satisfied my desire for a white tea with a soothing aroma and relaxing texture. This tea blended the classic sweet hay aromas and tastes of Chinese silver needle tea with the citrus marmalade and papaya tastes that I have become familiar with in the white teas from Satemwa Tea Estates. This is a very good quality tea, and is a nice alternative to classic Chinese silver needle teas. Producing three strong infusion, with more to give, will assure you that this white tea will keep you company through the evening, or through a few hours sharing with friends.
Thank you again, Satemwa Tea Estates. Cheers!