Ceylon Silver Tips
Have you ever tasted white tea? Silver tips tea is a treasurer of white tea which is known as the highest tea grade among other popular tea grades such as BOPF, FBOP, Dust, and Pekoe. The silver tip is an exquisite and rare tea type that is made from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis). It’s entirely a handmade tea made only from the unopened tender tea bud/ tip.
Usually, these buds are called silver needles or tips because of their appearance. The silver color comes from the hairy layer on the leaf underside. The tip is the sweetest and nuttiest part of the shoot. The plucking of tender tea buds is not that much easy.
The trained hand pickers handpick just the buds from the tea shoot in the early morning before sunrise, so-called imperial plucking. The elegant and quality silver tip teas come from Ceylon. Nowadays you can see jasmine flavored silver tip tea in the market and has a great demand among tea lovers.
How to process silver tip tea?
As mentioned earlier, Silver tips are entirely handmade tea and, the processing is not complex as black tea manufacturing. You also can try making sliver tip tea if you can find quality tea leaves.
Handpicking tea leaves
Harvesting the perfect buds from the tea plant is the first step of processing. In some plantations, tea fields are specialized only for harvesting buds to make silver tip. Moreover, tea research institutes have introduced tea varieties such as TRI 2043 (Ceylon Silvertip) to the planters.
However, tips can pick from other tea fields also. But it’s not easy to select and pick the buds. On the other hand, handpicking is time-consuming work. Only slightly curved buds covered with silver hair go for the processing. Usually, hand pickers pick buds early in the morning to protect the quality of tips. There harvesting is known as imperial plucking.
Hand rolling is not essential to make Silvertips. But most of the time, picked buds are lightly rolled by hand without damaging the leaves to get a curved shape.
Then the rolled buds are left in sunshade to dry to prevent oxidation and maintain the flavor. Sorting
Dried buds are sorted from the hand. Remove unwanted particles such as matured leaves, stem parts, etc. Tasting
Usually, a tea taster or an expert tastes the brew to check the quality. The high-quality silver tips give a savory aroma, smooth, sweet taste, rich body, and a delicate cup.
How to brew Silver tip tea?
You can brew the tea either in the western or Chinese way. The Chinese method is highly traditional and prepares tea in a special tea set called Gaiwan (A traditional Chinese tea brewing vessel with three parts including the lid, bowl, and saucer) and warms it before preparing the tea.
Characteristic of silver tips tea
Flavor: Silver tip has a unique flavor with refreshing, delicate, mellow and a bit sweet. It sometimes gives a juicy or citrus flavor with little bit tangerine or mandarin orange. Color: The color of the brew vary from ivory to golden pale with some silvery-white downy hairs floating in it, which reflect the light and make the tea shimmering in the light. Aroma: It has a special aroma with light, sweet, and floral, like fresh wildflowers with a hint of honey.