Monday, July 25, 2016

Discovering White Tea

A specialty of China's Fujian Province, white tea is the most minimally processed of all the tea types. White teas were once reserved exclusively as imperial tribute teas and are divided into two types: 1) those made entirely from leaf buds that are covered with whitish hairs such as Silver Needle and 2) those made from a mixture of both buds and leaves such as White Peony.

White tea is made usually from a particular type of tea plant known as the Da Bai Hao tea bush and is picked in early spring. Unlike green tea which is heated at high temperatures after picking, white tea is air-dried, either in the sun or at low temperatures indoors. This helps to preserve the tea polyphenols. The natural drying process also causes the tea to oxidize very slightly. After natural drying, the leaves are sorted so that only the whole buds and leaves are preserved. The result of this processing is a tea with a delicate aroma, natural sweetness and refreshing, savory taste. 

White Tea - 3 Different Styles

Silver Needle

The origin of Silver Needle dates from the late 18th Century. It was produced exclusively as a tribute paid to the Qing Dynasty emperor. This highly prized white tea, entirely hand-picked during the early spring,  is made only from tender new buds that are covered in silver-white hairs. When infused, Silver Needle tea produces a clear, straw colored liquor with an aroma of fresh-cut hay and flowers. The taste is both vegetal and sweet with a note of fresh summer corn. Its long finish is soothing to the palate.

White Peony 

Our White Peony is picked in the early spring and carefully crafted from a mix of light and dark green leaves and lots of silvery buds. White Peony has a fresh bamboo aroma, a full-bodied mouth feel and a lightly sweet flavor with notes of melon and grape. Refreshing and cooling, White Peony pairs well with most foods and is especially good with sweets.

Darjeeling Silver Tips

This white tea from the award-winning Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling is a rare treat for tea lovers. Hand-picked from special bushes, Silver Tips tea is made only from young buds and tender leaves. Careful processing by the tea maker results in an excellent tea with a delicate floral bouquet and notes of vanilla and honey