The Silver Needle teas are the least processed of all teas, prepared by simply drying the young buds. The young leaves still have silvery white hairs that cover them, produced by the tea plant to help stop the young bud from drying out and possibly also to protect it from insects.
The high levels of polyphenols in Ying Zhen act as powerful antioxidants and this makes it a popular choice with health-conscious tea drinkers.
When brewed Ying Zhen produces a pale golden liquor, a clean taste, and notes of melon.
The legend is it that this tea is only harvested during a full moon, by young women with golden scissors, probably highly unlikely but it is true that there are only a few days each year when the pure silver tips used for this tea can be picked.
Considered amongst the most beautiful and rare teas in the world, Silver Needles should be carefully prepared using water off the boil.