Ceylon Vintage Silver Tips is a rare white tea with a flavor that's light, sweet and sublime. A Harney & Sons exclusive, this tea is plucked and made just for us, from the terminal buds of tea bushes grown high in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). They are handled with great care, so the bud remains whole, and becomes silvery. Since there is no leaf, the flavor is different than traditional tea.
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Almost all white teas come from China. However, there are a few white teas made in other regions. This one is made in the island nation of Sri Lanka. In tea tradition and lore this island is known as Ceylon. In the the mountains and hills, a few teamakers attempt white tea. They send their pluckers out to scour the fields to find the few plants that make a big bud. This is much harder work than in Fuding, China where the hills are covered with the tea plants that make white tea.
There are no leaves, only slender, slightly curved silver buds that are just over an inch long. Since there are less of the downy tricomes than in other white teas, Ceylon Silver Tips look more like tiny skewers than the pussy willows associated with Chinese Silver Needle.
The liquor is the lightest possible with just hints of pale yellow.
Ceylon Silver Tips has the gentlest citrus-spice suggestion of oranges stuck with cloves and wafts subtle sweetness.
We find that the body is a medium light, somewhere in between the gossamer Silver Needle and the rounder Bai Mudan.
There are hints, just hints, of oranges and cloves, but also green grapes and honeycrisp apples and some floral notes at the finish.