The dry buds of this wild (tall, unpruned tree) silver needle are beautiful. They show evidence of the mati (horse hoof) pick at the base of the bud (evidence of picking tall tree tea); they are longer, sometimes twisted, and are sometimes accompanied by down-covered leaves. Tea of this quality is difficult to find access to (even in China) as it is so sought after. For this reason, many fakes and teas with false claims find their unscrupulous way onto the market. This situation is comparable to that of Laobanzhang within the puer market. This tea is from a small producer in the Taimushan area. It was harvested from a chemical-free wild plot on March 28th. The processing was done by hand and featured a charcoal roasting. For more information on the farm, operation, and the tea, check out the full blog post. (coming soon).
The aroma from the leaves still has the floral, cut-hay fragrance of the cultivated silver needle, but there is also something deeper, spiced, and savory about the wild silver needle. The first brew is almost opaque with down, though still brews a very white-gold color. This tea delivers cup after cup of a consistent, smooth, rich, fragrant liquor. It is thick in the mouth, sweet on the tongue, and produces a profound huigan. One of the most impressive aspects of this tea is its brewability, it quickly finds its true nature and delivers a beautiful, consistent brew for at least 12 infusions. Personally, I spent one memorable hour-and-a-half session drinking this tea with a friend and still felt as if we didn’t steep through it completely.
As Zhu is a wild tea farmer, he is less obsessed with manicuring the leaves, and thus his teas are not always sorted as well as the other clean-cut farmers. Please forgive some broken buds or leaves, and remember that this tea is wild through and through. It's origin and hand-processing attach more significance to taste and mouthfeel than how it may look in the cup.
This tea is only sold in 25 and 50 gram increments. Due to its incredibly small production, we cannot accommodate larger orders.