Zhangjiajie is a hotspot for tourists both domestic and international. It is home to the gorgeous Wulingyuan scenic area which is beyond this world. While I was travelling in the Hallelujah mountains, I saw tea fields (although they were tiny). I knew that Hunan produces some fine teas, but I did not expect to find tea fields in Zhangjiajie. Obviously, Anhua dark tea, Fuzhuan brick tea, and Junshan Yinzhen yellow tea are all from Hunan. But I never heard of white tea from Hunan. Actually, it is such a thing.
As this article suggests, white tea production is being promoted in Hunan amongst tea producers. The colour of the leaves was dark and diverse. They had a floral aroma but different from that of Fujian white teas, which are reminiscent of freshness. But Hunan white tea did not remind me of freshness at all. Another fragrance that was present was roastiness. The taste was very smoky. I had no idea this was coming. It was like an aged shou mei which was smoked. I never had any smoky flavour from a white tea. So, I think this white tea is really unique and different from Yunnanese or Fujian whites and in that sense, it can find itself a place in the tea market.
I am not sure if I liked this tea. I would drink it again for sure, mostly out of curiosity.
Origin: Zhangjiajie, China
Harvest time: 2019
Leaf colour: Tones of brown and green with some white fuzz
Liquor colour: Dark yellow
Tea aroma: Floral and smoky
Tea taste: Mellow with strong smoky notes and mineral and floral undernotes
Steeping/brewing: Place 4 g of this tea in a teapot or gaiwan and add about 100-120 ml water at around 90°C. Rinse after 5 sec. Steep for 20 seconds for the second time and increase the consecutive steeping time by 10 seconds each time. You can steep this tea up to three times.
Shelf life: Can be aged.