Updated: Feb 19
White teas are the least processed and the most delicate teas in the world. Their aromas are so subtle but also so distinctive that they easily find a place in your aroma/taste repertoire once you experience them. This tea, also known as White Peony, comes from Fuding, the white tea capital of China where it is mostly drunk during spring and summer. Chinese believe that white teas have a heat reducing, energising but at the same time calming effects. White teas are also used in the beauty industry, some cosmetics giants are known to own white tea plantations in China. For more scientifically based benefits of white tea, I strongly recommend this link.
You can see the hairy buds and leaves clearly on the photo below. These precious hairs are called Peh-oe-ji (白毫) or Pekoe in English, and they indicate that the tea comprises of newly emerging buds and leaves that were plucked in early spring. The hairy buds contain the highest levels of antioxidants and caffeine on the plant. It is therefore a misconception to say, 'white tea has low caffeine levels'. Indeed, the level of caffeine depends on the variety of tea but also brewing temperature and time. More caffeine will be released the higher the temperature of the water and the longer you infuse the leaves.
Origin: Fuding county, Fujian province
Harvest time: Spring 2019
Leave colour: Green leaves with silvery white
Liquor colour: Light yellow (champagne white)
Tea aroma: Fruity, floral and fresh sweetness
Steeping/brewing: You can use 85-100°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time, and use your common sense.
Shelf life: 2 years or more if appropriate storage conditions are present for ageing.