What's In a Name

Striking in appearance and intoxicating in flavor, Silver Needle Tea is also known as YinZhen in Chinese.  Its name derives from the unique shape of the leaves, which are like thin needles with fine silvery white hair.  Silver Needle Tea is the most expensive and most popular variety in the White tea category.  Recent discovery of its high antioxidant level by the scientific community has further increased its popularity, especially in the Western world.

Silver Needle is a historically prized tea, once reserved for only emperors and a few court dignitaries in China.  Legend has it that only gloved young virgins using gold scissors were permitted to clip the stems to carefully remove only the bud and first leaf from the tea bush. These would be placed in a golden basket to dry before finally reaching the emperor’s bowl.  The finest Silver Needle Tea is found in rare gardens situated on the high plateaus in Fujian, China.  Traditionally it can only be plucked for two days out of the year, and should wind or rain arrive during that time, the annual harvest is simply cancelled. 

Today, the finest Silver Needle continues to be hand plucked, and made from tip bud of each tea bush.  Leaves from the first harvest in the spring are the most desirable, but Silver Needle Tea is now also harvested in the fall, as well as from various other regions in Asia in order to meet increasing demand.

For new tea drinkers, Silver Needle Tea is deceptive at first because it’s subtle in taste compared to other tea categories.  However with each steep, the taste profile changes and the delicate leaves reveal a surprisingly elegant flavor with honeysuckle floral notes and fragrance of orchid. 

White tea is the least processed of all tea categories since it is not fermented. Instead it is simply dried in the sunlight for one to three days before briefly being oxidized; a process that can take from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the weather. 
Known for its high antioxidant content, Silver Needle and all White teas offer anti-aging qualities, help with the body’s immune system and provide a host of other health properties. 


This exquisite tea is the inspiration for our name and captures the essence of all the finest single estate teas. Discover why this rare hand-picked and sun-dried tea, with its anti-oxidant properties and elegant exotic flavour is still so popular today. The taste should speak for itself.

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