CHAKRA SILVER TIPS
Indonesian Silver Tips can only be harvested a few days each year before the spring rain falls. You'll know this tea is ready for harvesting when the white down appears on the unopened bud.
WHAT IS IT?
Guided by expert tea taster Mark Nicholls, this month we're delighting your senses with a beautiful, summer floral white tea - Indonesian Chakra Silver Tips.
This time on Tea Tasters we're looking at Indonesian Chakra Silver Tips, a beautiful white tea from the south of Bandung in Java. This tea gets its name from its beautiful colour and that it is found on the very tip of the plant.
WHERE IS IT FROM?
The Indonesian Silver Tips are found in the south of Bandong in Java. This particular area of Java is very fertile and a wonderful place to grow tea. You have everything from tall volcanoes to lush rainforest and fruitful terraces.
The plantations in Java are with a rich history going back to as early as the beginning of the seventieth century. Tea was introduced into Java in 1727. Back then, it didn't really take hold, but in 1824 tea from Japan was introduced and has flourished ever since.
HOW IS INDONESIAN SILVER TIPS MADE?
A Silver Tip is found as a young, unopened shoot from the very tip of the plant.
The traditional way to harvest the Indonesian Silver Tip is to pick the bubs straight from the plant and let the leaves wither in sunlight and this is where the process stops. The leaves are left in the sun to stop oxidation within the buds. Once this process has been completed they are packed up and shipped to the likes of us so we can enjoy this rare and pure tea.
This tea is one of a kind, it has the least amount of process than any other tea and is full of rich antioxidants.
WHAT TYPE OF SOIL IS USED?
3 million tonnes of tea is grown annually and with that in mind, it is essential to groom, care for and find the right soil to produce the perfect tea. As you can imagine, soil plays a vital part in the flavour, taste and smell of the tea and this is no different with The Indonesian Silver Tip.
This tea is grown in lush fertile areas near hilly territories, which supplies red and yellow mountain soils, year round mild climate and abundant rainfall. These diverse living conditions contribute to the Indonesian Silver Tips unique character.
Indonesian Silver Tips can only be harvested a few days each year before the spring rain falls. You can tell when the tea is ready when the white down appears on the unopened bud. The soil is full of rich nutrients that bring life to these mountain plants; the biological diversity that surrounds the Indonesian Silver Tips delivers an outstanding pure and natural product. As mentioned earlier, Indonesian Silver Tips undertake the least processing and because of this they retain higher levels of antioxidants than their siblings and carry these fantastic peach and rose flavours.
BREWING, SERVING AND TASTING YOUR TEA
Here is our perfect way to brew the Indonesian Silver Tips. We've used our two-and-a-half-litre glass teapot so we can see the beautiful Silver Tips infuse.
For our pot we'll need five or six teaspoons of Indonesian Silver Tips, but if it's just a refreshing tea for one, a single teaspoon will do.
As this is such a delicate tea we recommend pouring the water about four or five minutes before you want to use it and then allow it to cool. This will hopefully get you a water temperature of around about 85 degrees, which is perfect for this tea.
When your water's ready there should be just a gentle steam coming off the top.
For the perfect pot, add your water and let it diffuse for about three minutes. This is our recommended time for letting the tea infuse and release all those wonderful summer time, peachy flavours and aromas, but you could experiment with different brew times to find a taste that suits you.
Of course if you are going to do as they might do in Indonesia or in China, just take a pinch to the fingers and thumb and just drop that in the bottom of the cup. And again you can just keep refilling this until the flavour is exhausted, a great way of drinking tea.
Three minutes has gone, and using our Tea Tasting crockery we pour that into the bowl. If you are going to continue to refill your glass and use this pinch of tea that you put in, probably do that for a couple of hours, I do at home, so I just generally give it a little swirl to get the tea to hydrate and sink towards the bottom, and it just looks really attractive. If you’re lucky you get to eat a piece of tea as well, so that’s really cool. Of course, there are several things we look for when we are appreciating tea, and being the clarity of the liquor, or clarity of the infused tea. This is absolutely sparkly, bright, with no opaqueness to it at all, it’s a really good quality tea from that perspective. And of course I’m just going to display the infused leaf, oh yeah.
A really summertime, peachy aroma, really delicious. Let’s have a quick taste. That is classic silver tip; it has a nice peachy character, interlaced with a hint of rose. Again, you see that beautiful bright colour in our teapot. Who would not want to use a glass teapot to see such beauty? It really is fantastic! I’ve got my mugs here, and you can recharge your pot with hot water and get several pots from the same tea.
It is a really good quality tea that we have for you this month. Spoilt for choice, so many ways to drink. Well, this has been Indonesian Silver Tips! I hope you’ve enjoyed Tea Tasters this month, and until next time, happy tea times.