Employee Selections: Silver Needle

“A Cup of Sophistication.”

Darryl is a marketing specialist and one of the newest members of the Octavia family. Quizzed about his favorite tea, he writes:

Prior to my employment at the Octavia Tea Company, had someone asked me what silver needle was, my first guess would have been tea made from the needles of pine trees, and I would have felt very foolish for being so wrong. The needles are baby tea leaves that have not yet matured into full leaves, and constitutes one of the rarest varieties of tea available.

White teas are rare because they can only be harvested for a few days each year. The baby tea leaves at this time are packed with even more of certain nutrients than the fully mature green tea leaf, contain less caffeine than the mature leaf, and have not yet developed their mature flavor. White teas are smooth and nectar-like having not developed the body of flavor of green teas, because they are free from processing as well as from the oxidation of the tannin in mature leaves.

I find the smooth, bright finish of white tea subtle and refreshing, and within that subtlety comes the purity and complexity of the tea. What you’re tasting in white teas is the purest natural form of the plant imaginable. They also contain the highest l-theanine content, an amino acid that elevates mood and promotes focused thought, which I notice the benefits from almost immediately. For information on l-theanine and how it helps reduce stress and anxiety, read about it in our previous blog post here.

My enjoyment of this tea does not end there. The delicate nature of this tea makes it one of the most versatile for infusing with other herbal flavors. Fruits bring out the sweetness of its nectar-like flavor, and earthy herbs add an element of robust body to the beverage. Personally though, because of its mild nature, I find it refreshingly pleasant by itself or with just a teaspoon of honey. Whether you’re a tea connoisseur or an enthusiast, don’t pass up the opportunity to try this rare and delightful tea.

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