Jasmine Silver Needle Tea (Moli Yinzhen in Chinese) is the highest quality jasmine tea. The mellowness and sweetness of the famous white hair silver needle leaves meld perfectly with the freshness and fragrance of the jasmine.
Jasmine tea as a whole is considered the most relaxing tea and this variety is milder than ones made with green tea or oolong tea, making it the most relaxing of all.
Since silver needle tea is made from the young buds of the tea plant, which contain more caffeine than mature leaves, this is a high-caffeine jasmine tea.
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Where To Buy Moli Yinzhen Tea
Jasmine Silver Needle Tea can be found in many specialty tea shops or through a number of online vendors. If you are unsure where to begin, you can check out some of my recommendations below.
How To Brew Jasmine Silver Needle Tea
The preparation instructions given here are for loose leaf teas. For tea bags, you can just follow the instructions given on the box.
Like all white teas, this one should be steeped in cooler water than black or oolong teas.
A temperature of 75-80°C (167-176°F) is a good starting point. To get this temperature, you can just use a simple stove-top kettle to bring the water to a boil and then let it cool down for about five minutes. If you would like to be more accurate in judging the water temperature, you can simply use a thermometer.
If you plan on trying a lot of varieties of tea and/or coffee it might be worth it to invest in a water boiler/warmer or an electric kettle with a variable temperature setting.
Personally, I recommend this Cuisinart kettle, because it has presets for every type of tea, so you always get the perfect temperature:
You can brew Jasmine Silver Needle Tea in any regular teapot, although I would recommend using one made from glass or ceramic. Many connoisseurs use a traditional lidded brew cup known as a gaiwan.
- Fill both your brew cup and tasting bowl about halfway with hot water to preheat them. Tilt them a bit so that the water creeps up the side and then rotate them so the insides get wet all the way around. Then pour the water out. If you are using a teapot and tea cups, warm those up in a similar fashion.
- Put 1 very full teaspoon of tea leaves in the brew cup. If you are using a teapot, use 1 teaspoon for each cup of tea.
- Pour hot water onto the leaves in the brew cup (or the teapot). The water temperature should be below boiling; around 75-80°C (167-176°F) is ideal.
- Place the lid on the brew cup and let the tea steep for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the tea into the tasting bowl, using the lid of the brew cup to hold back the leaves. Enjoy your tea!
- You can get 3-4 infusions out of most varieties. Increase the steeping time 30 seconds to one minute for each infusion. How many infusions you do depends entirely on your taste. Experiment.
Use the amounts given in these instructions as a rough guide. If you find the resulting tea too weak, add more tea leaves; if it is too strong, reduce the amount of leaves used. Similarly, try increasing or decreasing the steeping times.
If the tea is too bitter, reduce the temperature of the water. Basically, you’ll want to keep experimenting until you come up with the perfect brew for your particular taste.
Best Jasmine Silver Needle Teas
Many people already have an account with Amazon.com so it is probably the easiest place to buy tea online. Unfortunately, their selection of this tea is lacking; they have a few decent choices, but nothing exceptional. The best option is definitely the Silver Needle Jasmine from Tealyra.
For a high quality tea at a reasonable price, try Teavivre’s Jasmine Silver Needle. Sweet, mellow, fresh and fragrant — I love this tea!
Sample available for $3.00
More Information About Jasmine Silver Needle Tea
White tea originated from the area around Fuding city, in Fujian Province, China. From there it eventually spread to . It later spread to the nearby cities of Shuiji and Zhenghe.
White hair silver needle tea was the very first white tea in existence. It came to life in the Taimu Mountain near Fuding. It was made from only the buds of a small and slow-growing variety of tea bush called Xiaobai.
A small and slow-growing bush means small harvests and only one harvest per year. This made the original Silver Needle tea very expensive.
Because of that growers in Shuiji switched to the Dabaihao tea bush in 1857. These bushes form larger buds and higher quality tea with more white hairs. This is the tea bush that is used for white hair silver needle tea today.
Jasmine silver needle pairs that excellent white tea with the lovely aroma and flavor of fresh jasmine flowers. The tea buds are picked in April and then kept in wait until August, when it is covered in jasmine blossoms for 5 nights. The result is a wonderful balance between the sweetness of the white tea and the fragrant floral tones of the jasmine.
The best varieties use jasmine that comes from the Hengxian area in Guangxi Province, China. Known as “the city of Chinese jasmine”, this area grows high quality jasmine and a lot of it.
As mentioned, the production of Jasmine tea (green jasmine tea or white) is done in two main steps. The first is harvesting and standard processing in the spring and the second is the addition of jasmine in the summer.
Adding the jasmine takes several days. The tea leaves are covered with a layer of jasmine blossoms and left overnight. When it gets dark, the blossoms open up and give off their scent, which is absorbed by the tea leaves.
The temperature is very important. It needs to be controlled exactly. If it is not just right, the leaves will not absorb the jasmine scent.
The tea leaves are left to lie underneath the jasmine for 6 to 7 hours. In the morning the jasmine is removed. The next night, the process is repeated with new jasmine blossoms. This continues for 5 to 6 nights.
Once the leaves have reached the perfect aroma balance, they are fired again to dry and of the moisture they absorbed from the flowers. In order to make 1 kg of finished jasmine silver needle tea, it takes 3.5 kg of fresh tea leaves and 6 kg of jasmine blossoms.
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