Updated: Feb 19, 2020
With a history of over 200 years, and limited production capacity white teas from Fujian are known to be special. I found this tea at Shenzhen Tea Expo and the producer told me that this was one of their finest teas. I tried it and took a sample with me as I like trying a tea two to three times. By the time, I drank it, it had over 3 years of age (which is called medicine by the Chinese) and it offered more complex yet subtle tasting profile than Fuding White Peony 2019 (click to see the post). Yes, vintage white teas are very sought after and they are also compressed into tea cakes like pu-erh teas. Obviously, silver needle (Baihao Yinzhen) is already a better grade than white peony as it is comprised of buds only. This draws the prices up, quantity down, and the taste becomes even sweeter and more floral.
First, the farmers pick tea buds with one or two leaves and then peel the buds off from the leaves. The buds are made into the silver needle, and the leaves produce Shou Mei. The timing of the peeling (before or after drying) apparently results in differences that I yet to discover.
White tea is known to have multiple health benefits including cooling down the body and detoxifying the skin thanks to rich antioxidants it entails.
Enjoy your cuppa!
Origin: Ningde city, Fuding county, Fujian province
Harvest time: EarlySpring 2016
Leave colour: Light green leaves with silvery-white pekoe (fuzz)
Liquor colour: Pale yellow
Tea aroma: Subtle floral and fruity tones
Tea taste: Mineral, delicate and sweet
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.