To the Lochans, thank you for the tea, and I apologize for the delay.
I've never been proficient at identifying and describing the characteristics of white tea, but I will do my best. I used the same parameters for each tea: 3 g/8 oz/5 min, brewed in a kyusu.
Lochan Silver Silver Snow Buds
2nd Flush 2007
I rushed this one a bit. Over all it was okay. The color was strong, but the taste was sort of watery; I should have brewed this one longer. There was a slightly unpleasant, artificial taste, that had me checking to see if my water was the culprit, but it wasn't. I have some leaves left, so I plan to try this tea again.
Giddapahar White Tea Needles of Jade
2nd Flush 2007
This one was my favorite. The color was very strong, like a 1st flush Darjeeling. It has the characteristic white tea smell, a clear Darjeeling taste, and a mild astringency in the back of the throat. This is the first and only Indian white tea I've had that I would hold on par with bai hao yinzhen in levels of uniqueness and enjoyment
It also came with a toy surprise.
Doke Silver Needle
2007 "Special Edition"
Doke is an interesting garden started in 1998 by Rajiv Lochan on a plot of land that others said was useless. Nonetheless, Doke started to prosper, and Rajiv shared the profits with the local community through the development of the Indus Foundation, a non-profit organisation promoted by Lochan Tea. Its main goal to promote education and primary schools in a way the will most benefit Indians. As a supporter of Transfair USA and Fair Trade Federation, I'm pleased to see a grass roots project such as this.
The Silver Needle was enjoyable, similar-ish to the snow buds in color and in that I should have steeped it longer, but kind of sweet. Over all a decent tea but not super great.
Locahn Wiry Delight of the Himalayas
The wiry delight is my second favorite of these four. Good strong color, and a pleasant fruity smell I can't place. It is kind of tart. Very good. I like the unique appearance of the dry leaves.
While some were better than others, all of these teas were enjoyable. Thanks again to the Lochans for the samples.