Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Nepal Tea: Silver Yeti, A Tea Review

The origami bug has bitten, and my fingers are getting back into practice folding. Every time I take a break from some craft that requires the use of my hands, it is a strange sensation to refamiliarize yourself with a once well-known set of movements. Tiny little protests in the fingers and wrists eventually give way to smooth movements and slowness gives way to speed. Of course it is also relevant in video games, nothing is as funny as the habit of expecting a key or button to do something, but you have switched to a different game so instead of crouching you hit the cliff you are standing on and of course fall off. Habits are hilarious.

Today I am looking at Nepal Tea's Silver Yeti, a Silver Needle tea from Nepal, one of my favorite regions for silver needle (and I love collection various silver needles from all over the world) it, along with Kenyan, Yunnan, and Fujian silver needles are the ones that cause me to go all grumpy when  my stash runs out. The aroma of the delicate little needles is a crisp blend of celery, lettuce, wildflowers, straw, peony flowers, and a touch of cedar which is very faint. I have often said (to anyone who is drinking this tea with me at the same time) that the aroma of Nepalese silver needles reminds me of a blend between a Fujian and a Yunnan, combining the best of both.

The aroma of the needles steeped in my clay teapot has a wonderful aroma of sweet straw, peony blossoms, wildflowers, and a gentle finish of cedar and honey. The liquid is wonderfully sweet, and pleasantly light, with notes of blossoming peony and honey with a finish of sweetgrass.

For those curious as to how I brew my silver needles, I use 195° (I swear I use other temperatures, though that being the default setting on my Zojirushi and also being the temperature I use the most is super convenient) and steep for a whopping 10 minutes...not sure it really counts as Gongfucha when I am steeping it that long, but oh well. White tea and occasional herbals are the only teas I give this treatment to, preferring shorter steeps (like 30 seconds maximum) for a first steep, I just find that Silver Needles (of excellent quality) can take a real beating. Of course,  the return from this kind of brewing results in an immensely sweet, wonderfully thick, and usually quite cooling powerful cup of tea. Starting with a strong honey and sweetgrass note, then moving to wildflowers and hay, and finishing with crisp celery and cedar. Leaving a wonderfully cooling Qi that blooms from my stomach into my lungs and arms, I love it...but teas with a notoriously cold Qi are my favorites.

The one sad thing about this brewing style is I tend to not get a lot of steeps out of it, true I can take it down to a more standard short steep and get a load of steeps, but the intense couple of steeps I get usually make it worth it. The second steep is mellow sweet honey and sweetgrass with a gentle peony finish. I really enjoyed this tea, and if you want to try it give their Kickstarter a back and choose it as a reward.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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