Yin Zhen Yunnan Silver Needle (雲南銀針) white tea is a light and delicate white tea grown in Yang Ta village located in Jinggu Dai and Yi Autonomous County in Pu’er, Yunnan Province. Made from Camellia taliensis, it is a little more unusual when compared to classic Silver Needle white teas from Fujian Province. Grown at a plantation of 40-60 year old trees at an altitude of around 1,700m, it was harvested in March 2020.
This Yin Zhen Yunnan Silver Needle is made from fine young buds of Camellia taliensis. The taliensis species is a wild relative of Camellia sinensis and is closer related to Camellia sinensis var. assamica than to Camellia sinensis var. sinensis. Given the closer relation to assamica, it is perhaps not surprising that it is mostly found in the wild in Yunnan Province and surrounding areas in Thailand and Burma. In Yunnan Province taliensis is used to make white, black and pu-erh teas. We currently stock a black version of this tea, Dian Hong Da Li Cha in our shop.
The tender leaves of this Yin Zhen Yunnan Silver Needle have been carefully hand processed to create neat silver needles. There are plenty of white ‘hairs’ on the leaves, indicating a very high quality of both the leaf and processing. The pale liquor is very clear and bright, lightly darkening as the tea cools. It has a slight vegetal and woody aroma. The clean taste has a herbaceous profile with vegetal and sweet notes of spinach, salad leaves and cucumber. The aftertaste is crisp, with lightly sweet, fruity and woody notes. This tea is extremely easy-going with a fresh, cleansing taste.
This tea is best brewed at 90°C for 3-4 minutes according to your taste, brewing multiple times. Like with all white teas, you can experiment with lower temperature and longer steeping time as an alternative way of brewing.