I previously wrote about a white tea from Turkey and it was amazing. This one comes from another city called Rize. It was collected from a cultivar which is only 200 meters above sea level. The tea bushes in this cultivar had been pruned recently. In my opinion, this adds to the freshness of this tea. The tea farmer does not use any artificial fertilisers and waited for a sunny afternoon in May to hand pluck the fine buds. The buds are collected in a basket that is hand-knitted and made out of hazelnut trees which are endemic in this region. About 3000 buds make 1 kg of tea when plucked. Out of this 1 kg, only about 250 gr of tea is produced when the buds are dried under shade for five days. This excellent white tea is then ready for consumption and until then it is stored in sealed containers.
I loved the freshness of the loose leaves. The floral aroma of this tea is balanced perfectly with its mineral flavour. I was so impressed to taste so much minerality that reminds me of Fuding white teas. Also, I could see that the tea farmer immaculately plucked the buds. They were almost identical in size and truly beautiful to look at.
I have to say, the more I discover about hand-crafted Turkish teas, the more I fall in love with them. I am starting to think that I should do more to promote them. This Bai Hao Yin Zhen, for instance, deserves to be appreciated by tea enthusiasts globally in my humble opinion.
Origin: Rize, Turkey
Harvest time: May 2020
Leave colour: Fine green buds with silvery-white pekoe (fuzz)
Liquor colour: Bright yellow
Tea aroma: Floral and mineral
Tea taste: Very mineral with a subtle floral sweetness
Steeping/brewing:You can use around 100°C water temperature (yes don’t be afraid) 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. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 10 years or more if aged appropriately