This was one of the most exciting white tea I have ever had. It had a sweet honey flavour which could not have been more pleasant. With some age, it felt like a real celebration and the taste kept changing from delicate honey, to citrus fruits as I kept steeping. It is definitely reminiscent of a rich young sheng pu-erh with a long lingering flavour but without any astringency.
According to the seller’s information, this tea is picked under the moonlight. Actually, there are debates concerning the truthiness of this claim. However, it is said that the picking is completed before the sunrise. The picking standard is 1 leaf 1 bud (pretty much like Bai Mudan although it cannot be called that as this tea comes from Yunnan). It was produced in a way that the leaf surface is black, and the back of the lead is white with the bud is bright. This is achieved through wiltering the leaves on a controlled temperature for a couple of days until they are dry. The other side of the leaves and the bud remain bright (silvery). Apparently, these colour compositions also resemble the moon in the night, which provides another story for the name moonlight.
So, this tea does not see the sun as from the tea cultivars they are brought indoors for drying. In typical white tea processing, the leaves are left for sun drying, same for pu-erh teas well.
I am looking forward to tasting more moonlight whites. Stay tuned!
Origin: Simao, Yunnan
Harvest time: 2014
Leaf colour: Characteristic black at the back of the leaves and silvery brightness on the front side and bud
Liquor colour: Yellow
Tea aroma: Fruity
Tea taste: Mellow with honey sweetness and citrus fruits
Steeping/brewing: I placed about 5 gr in my tea pot and steeped for 10 sec. I added around +10 sec for consecutive steeping. It steeps multiple times.
Shelf life: Can be aged