Yunnan Yin Zhen

Yin Zhen Yunnan - dry leaf

This was the other half of the pair of white teas I recently bought from House of Tea.

As the name suggests, this is a Silver Needle tea, but with a bit of a twist. These buds are from Yunnan, and are of the local Da Ye varietal, the same one that usually ends up in Pu-erh.

According to House of Tea’s notes the tea was hand plucked and processed, and was from the first flush, i.e. pre- Qing Ming, of 2019. The buds were sun dried.

The aroma released when I first opened the packet was fantastic. It would have been familiar to anyone who has ever home brewed beer from a kit – it had the same hoppy, malty qualities.

Steeping method
Water Used: Filtered tap water
Weight of dry leaf: 6 grams
Infusion style: Asian / Gong-fu
Steeping vessel: 150 ml glass gong-fu teapot
Water temperature: 80°C
No. & duration: 10 infusions of 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, and 120 seconds.

After the first infusion the wet leaf smelled of old hay. The liquor, however, was candy sweet. At first, it vaguely reminded me of Skittles, but after the second sip I realised exactly which memory button it was pressing.

I’ve often waffled on about tea’s ability to dredge up long dormant feelings, and this sensation was another one to add to that collection.

Suddenly it hit me, like meeting a long lost childhood friend on a crowded street – Pink Panther bars – a UK treat from the mid-1970s that cost a whopping 2 pence.

Just one infusion later that feline gentleman, scholar, and acrobat had hopped into his groovy automobile and gone elsewhere, and that sweetness had morphed into something more fruity that had me thinking of peaches.

Yin Zhen Yunnan - a cup of

There was also a hay thing going on, which had brought with it a delicate, background floral note. It was like being stood in a barn storing hay, and catching the fragrance of a nearby rose garden on the breeze…

In my experience bud teas can often be a bit on the thin side in the mouthfeel department, but this tea was packing a body that weighed in somewhere around light heavyweight.

Right throughout the session I never once registered the slightest hint of bitterness.

Something that was a tad out of the ordinary was what I can only call an inverse Qi hit.

Normally I tend to slide into a dreamy state of mind when a tea’s Qi comes out to play, but here the opposite happened. I was feeling a bit run down, tired and a bit unfocused, but by the mid-point of the session I was wide awake and fizzing like 8 packets of Mintos dropped into a small bucket of soda.

The fifth round saw things starting to slide a little, so I bumped up the infusion times to compensate, but after a 2 minute long 10th. steeping it was crystal clear that the session had run its course.

Yin Zhen Yunnan - used leaves

The overall impression I was left with was that this was like a Supersized Silver Needle on steroids, if that makes sense, in other words similar to other Silver Needles in principle, but with just so much more of everything

Lately I’ve been reading quite a few reports where people have been pushing white teas a bit harder, by infusing them with boiling water. I think that will make for an interesting experiment. There might just be something extra here waiting to be uncovered by hotter water, maybe even something a bit more Pu-erh-y.

Even if there isn’t, it’ll still be fun trying, won’t it?

Watch this space, etc…

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5 Responses to Yunnan Yin Zhen

  1. Mr. Wapojif says:

    Get more tags in there, sir. You can have 14, go for: food, tea, brews, brewing, recipes, recipe, Teaism, health, lifestyle.

    Improves thy reach across the community here! Yours, the WordPress dork.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers, duly noted.

      On the subject of WordPress dorkery, I have a graphic designer chum originally from Barnsley but now a Floridian with alligators in the back garden, and he’s gone to places with WP page design and layout that not only push the boundary, but flick twos at it and stride defiantly into uncharted territory…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Wapojif says:

        BARNSLEY?! Well, good on him. He likely has WordPress.org if he can do that, different to what we use.

        You’re in Sweden aren’t you? It’s a nightmare in England. Post-Brexit I’m considering a move, anywhere, to find somewhere nice. Sweden be an option. If we don’t need a Visa all of a sudden.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve installed the .org framework on an old box on our home network to play around with – lulz a plenty if you’re that way inclined… 😉

        Brexit…oh Lordy…don’t get me started.

        Suffice to say that amongst those in the “expat” community who haven’t yet qualified for dual citizenship there are a lot of scared and terribly angry people…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Wapojif says:

        Hmmmm, well I hope that works out for you. I can inform you the last decade under Tory rule has been shambolic. But then most governments hardly ever excel, but this has been something else.

        Once it’s done I’m hoping to get to Sweden or thereabouts. If the situation allows it.

        Liked by 1 person

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