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White tea undergos little to no processing and no oxidation; the buds may be shielded from sunlight to prevent formation of chlorophyll. It is produced in lesser quantities than most of the other styles, and can be correspondingly more expensive than tea from the same plant which may be processed by other methods. Its popularity is growing, increasing with the increased research of tea benefits and wider spread commercial usage.
Tips are harvested exclusively by hand, or rather glove, because until it reaches your teapot, white tea never comes into contact with human skin.
White Tea leaves are not steamed or pan-fired as is the case in green tea but rather the leaves are naturally withered, hand selected and sun dried. The tea leaves are tenderly spread out on wooden trays almost immediately after harvesting.
While black tea is poured into industrial drying machines, white tea must dry naturally in the sun. White tea does not go through the process of the flowing of hot air, so that the fine white hairs are not destroyed. In doing so, the delicate appearance and flavor of the leaf are also preserved.
1. Bring fresh cold water to a temp of 180F.
2. Warm your teapot with several ounces of hot water for about 30 seconds and then empty.
3. Add 1 tsp. of tea for each 6 - 8 oz. cup you are making (depending upon how strong of a cup you like). Since different teas have widely varying leaf size, it is important to adjust the amount of dry leaves accordingly. With lighter weight teas use more, with tightly rolled leaves use less.
4. Rinse the leaves. Pour water over the leaves and allow to set just a few seconds. Pour the tea out.
5. Fill your pot again with water. Cover and let steep for 1 to 3 minutes. The time it takes for tea to brew depends on the leaf size. The smaller or more delicate the leaf, the faster the tea infuses.
Until familiar with a particular tea, steep for a minute or two, then taste. Pay attention to the taste rather than the color.
Most green, oolong and white teas are good for multiple infusions. Just add fresh hot water to the pot and increase the steeping time slightly for each subsequent infusion. Repeat until the flavor starts to fade.
Pai Mu Tan First Flush
aka White Peony, Bai Mu Dan
Certified Organic / Fair Trade Certified
This white tea with an appearance of a full tea leaf is made from the buds and leaves. Smooth and flowery with a hint of earthiness it has a bolder aroma and produces a darker cup color. Pai Mu Tan leaves are plucked from a special varietal tea bush called Narcissus or chaicha bushes. The leaves are not steamed or pan-fired. The leaves are naturally withered and dried in the sun. The processing rules require this tea only be picked between March 15 and April 10. It is not picked on days that may be raining or if the dew has not dried or if there is frost on the ground. No purple buds are allowed and the stems must not be too long or too short. The best Pai Mu Tan is produced using the two leaves and a bud proportion and is naturally or mechanically withered to produce leaves that are not black or red but green in color.
Should there ever be an official hall of fame for the world's top teas, this specialty certainly would belong in the upper category. It was originally grown in Fujin at such high altitudes that monkeys were trained to pluck the leaves. Today, this is done by people during a period of several days. The rough, slightly fluffy leaf makes a light green infusion and a mild cup.
Slight nuances of honey characterize this fascinating tea.
aka Silver Needles
This rare tea from the Fujian Province, is made with only buds. Said to be picked on two days of the year only. Sweet, light fragrance with subtle flavor & nuances.
Regarding Yin Zen (Silver Needles)
"I am not very familiar with white teas, but I enjoyed this one! This tea is somewhat mild and seems a little bit on the sweet side. Someone who is new to tea or expanding their tastes, like myself, might find this tea enjoiable to try without adding any sweeteners. I brewed it for about 2 minutes, at around 175F and was very happy with the results I got."
Bold, bright with sweet apricot notes and somewhat tart. Contains White Tea, dried apple pieces, Hibiscus, Rosehip, dried orange peel, Calendula petals, Natural flavors. Bold, bright with sweet apricot notes and somewhat tart. This blend, despite the tart nature, has the softness and exotic flavor of sweet apricots. To enhance the flavor try adding a bit of sugar or stevia. The sweetner combines with the natural flavors and intensifies the flavor. An additional benefit is that this blend contains Vitamin C. What could be better - a healthy drink that tastes GREAT!