I was feeling like a light cup of afternoon tea, and this Emerald Needle tea from thePuritea caught my fancy.
Review: Emerald Needle
Emerald Needle is a dependable green tea with a pleasing aroma, vegetal taste and sweet finish. The tea has a delicate taste without an overpowering sweetness, which makes it a satisfying everyday tea to accompany a meal. Here is how thepuriTea describes from their website.
If you love Japanese green teas, then this is a must-try Chinese green tea for you! Emerald Needle has the vegetal, savory notes Sencha and Gyokuro are known for, but with an added complexity of flowers, cream and sage. Its underlying sweetness gets stronger with the second infusion, so we love to pair it with dinner (first infusion) and a savory dessert (second infusion). Try this flavorful, full-bodied green tea with a meal of freshwater white fish, chicken-broth udon with seaweed or creamy risotto with asparagus and a dessert of sea salt ice cream or shortbread with lavender sea salt.
Steep at 1 to 3 minutes with nearly boiling water. Best served straight up without milk or sugar.
The needles are a dark olive green with contrast from silvery streaks along the edges of the thin leaf buds. The buds are compact and neatly pointed. The dry leaves smell woody and vegetal. Unlike the picture on the website, the tealeaves I received were actually darker as pictured above.
After steeping, the buds expand and transform from thin, slivery needles. They brighten into fat little olive green pods, still furled tightly around themselves.
The resulting tea after brewing is delicate and light, with a body and thickness reminiscent of white teas. It has a sweet and floral flavor, but retains a savory, vegetal aftertaste. The leaves release a pale yellow liqueur with a slightly woodsy smell, but otherwise very little scent. At the first infusion steeped at 3 minutes, the tea was not quite as flavorful as I would have hoped, but not in an unpleasant way. The taste was refreshingly light. The second infusion is sweeter and more delicate.
Pricing & Where to Buy
This tea is priced at $15 per 4 oz. pkg. which brews approximately 40 cups. If you’d like to try this tea for yourself, you can head over to thepuriTea.com Emerald Needle) to buy it directly online.