5. June 2017

White Tea

White Tea

White tea 白茶 [bái chá] is a kind of very light fermented tea, the special tea kind of the six big Chinese tea kinds, which are white, yellow, green, oolong, black and dark teas. After a harvesting, fresh leaves need to withering, dry in the sun or dry with a gentle heat, unlike other tea processes, white tea leaves is lack of rolling processes. The good manufactured white teas are mainly buds with white hair as snow or silver, white teas in China are always used as herbal medicines. The processing techniques are mainly two steps: withering and drying, the most important one is withering, which includes indoor or/and outdoor sun withering. White tea could only dry with gentle heat at a low temperature till the water content reaching 4-5%, so these processing techniques would not destroy enzyme activities, and not promote oxidations, in order to keep the original hair fragrances and fresh tastes. Recently, new white tea processing techniques also add a light rolling procedure to make the dry tea shapes more regular, for example, Bai Mu Dan dry tea leaves are more like a White Peony.


Yunnan Yinsheng Tea

White Tea of the Yunnan Province is famous of high and pure fragrances, Yinsheng Tea 银生茶 is considered to be the best white tea in the Yunnan province, only tender shoots are harvested from Pu’er tea trees in earlier springs – before the Qing Ming festival. The name of Yinsheng, it comes from the ancient name of Pu’er tea in the Tang Daynasty, which had been earliest cultivated in Wuliang 无量 and Ailao 哀牢 mountian areas. The Tang government official, Fan Chuo had wrriten Yinsheng Tea in his book <Man Shi 蛮史 – Barbarian History>. In general, white tea could be perserved for many years (5,10 and 15 years).


Ya Bao Tea

Ya Bao 芽孢 [yá bāo] tea is from pure Pu’er buds, which is only harvested once a year at the begining of spring, so its yield is precious little. Different from other Pu’er teas, Ya Bao Tea has a green grass and nectar fragrance and a fresh, sweet and sour flavor. Its soups from first steps are clear like water, but its strong fragrances and flavors show, especially in purple Ya Bao and wild Ya Bao. It’s good to drink fresh on its own or with some other sheng Pu’er tea.


Moonlight White Tea

Moonlight white 月光白 [yuè guāng bái] is famous of its mystic process, plucking leaves under bright moonlight and processing without any sunlight on. The upper part of dry tea is white and the lower part is black, just like the moon shining on the tea bud. It has the fragrance of oolong and the mellow and peculiar taste of Pu’er tea. It is worth tasting and collecting. Its picking method is unique, because its technological process is secret to the outside world, it adds a bit of mystery to this tea.

Nanfalai is the seventh Princess of Zhao Meng, king of Jinghong Thai. She is beautiful, kind, hardworking and brave, the embodiment of beauty and wisdom of the Tai people. In order to make peace and friendship between the Bulang tribe and the Thai tribe, abandon the heaven like life of the palace of kings, and join the mountain with the Bulang people, and jointly ushered in a new era of Bulang society. Nanfalai not only taught the Bulang people to dig terraced fields to plant rice, but also brought technology to large-scale tea planting, which made the Bulang people enter the civilized society. Later, the Yunnan tea culture was first created by the Bulang people. Nanfalai (the seventh Princess) is known as the “mother of the clan” by the Bulang people, that is, the “tea mother”( Cambodian Khmer, another branch of the Bulang people, has made a great contribution to the world civilization – they have created the world-famous Angkor Culture)“. Moonlight white tea is the best choice of Bulang people from many tea to tribute to the royal family. It is praised by the people as holy and noble as “seven princesses”, and is the embodiment of the beauty of “seven princesses”.


Hubei White Tea

The white tea of the Hubei Province is a valuable and rare variety of tea trees, which has been transplanted from the Anji White Tea 安吉白茶 [ān jí] variety of the Zhejiang Province to Hubei Enshi and Wudang areas. According to its processing procedures including frying and rolling, Hubei/ Anji white tea should be considered strictly as a kind of green tea, only because this variant’s new sprouting leaves are jade white, we call it white tea. Like other green tea processes, after withering, Hubei/Anji white tea leaves (1 shoot and 1 leaf ) should be fried, gently dried and then frozen at 0- 5℃ to keep the jade color. Tea Blog

In 1930, tens of wild white tea trees were found in Xiaofeng Town, Anji , Zhejiang province, and the Anji county annals recorded, that new sprouts were white like jade, which turned to yellow after drying and were produced by the local Jinguang temple. After that time, these trees can not be traced, until a hundred year old white tea has be noticed at the 800 meter high Tianhuangping Town, local people call it Da Xi white tea. In 1980s, this valuable tea variety has been protected by the goverment scientific research personnel and succeeded in the asexual reproduction.

In springs, new sprouts and tender leaves’s colors are changing with the temperature, from bright yellow to jade white, and the leaf veins are emerald green, looking like a blossoming of Yulan magnolia. This phase is called the Flourishing white stage, one sprout and two leaves are the right shape to be harvest, after this phase, mature leaves turn to pea green, and new sprouts in summers and autumns are light green. Recent years researches show that, Anji white tea is a stable  temperature-sensitive mutant from genetic mutations.

Dry tea is emerald green with light yellow color, wet fragrances are like grass and bean, tastes are sweet and fresh without any bitterness. Hubei/Anji white tea‘s amino acid content is the double of other green teas, a low content of tea polyphenols makes it taste less bitter than other green teas. Wet leaves are extreme beautiful, jade white and lightly transparent blades with green leaf veins.

Golden bud tea was discovered by Zhang Wanlin, director of Deshijia tea farm in Sanqi City, Yuyao City, Zhejiang Province in the 1990s. After more than ten years of breeding, with the support of Yuyao related departments and Zhejiang University, they have systematically completed the research on breeding characteristics, application fields and key technologies of industrialization. It has been bred by Tea Research Institute of Zhejiang University, Deshijia tea farm of Yuyao City and linte general station of Yuyao City for nearly ten years. Now it has been introduced into the rare and famous tea germplasm resource garden of Tea Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. It is the only new variety with yellow variation in China. The amino acid content of golden bud is as high as 9%, while that of white tea is 5- 7%, and that of common tea is 3- 4%. The character of golden bud was stable, and the leaf was golden yellow, while the leaf turned from white to green when the temperature reached 25 ℃. Yang Yajun, director of the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that generally speaking, because of the strong sunlight in summer, tea contains more tea polyphenols and less amino acids, so it is difficult to sell tea at a good price. Tea farmers usually finish picking spring tea. Golden bud tea can be harvested in three seasons a year, and its quality is not inferior to other spring teas even in summer and autumn. It can be developed as a high-grade rare tea.

The biggest characteristics of golden leaf are “three yellow”: dry tea is bright yellow, soup is bright yellow, and wet leaf is pure yellow. Golden bud tea is rich in nutrients, including volatile oil, alkaloids, flavonoids and other effective ingredients, trace elements such as iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium and vitamins VB1, VB2, VC, etc. the content of various amino acids is as high as 9%, which is 3-4 times of ordinary tea, and golden bud tea contains tea polyphenols as high as 20%. Tender fragrance is one of the characteristics tea, whether it is dry tea or brewed tea soup, the thicker the tender fragrance is, the longer it lasts and the higher the quality is. After three minutes, the yellow leaves stretch out and return to jade yellow. The tea buds bloom, the wet leaves are jade yellow, and the veins are yellow. It looks like pieces of jade dancing, and each golden branch is independent.


Fu Ding White Tea

According to Tang Dynasty Luyu’s <Tea Classic>, “There is a white tea mountain three hundred miles east of Yongjia County.” Experts believe that it is Mount Taimu in Fuding. Tian Yiheng of the Ming Dynasty believed in <Boiling Spring Water> that: “The tea made fire as the second, the sun dried tea as the first, and it is also closer to nature….” The sun-dried tea falls into the middle of tea bowl, so the standard for picking fresh leaves and the tea making process are considered to be the embryonic form of white tea production. Fuding white tea is named because the finished product is fat and heavy, is covered with white hair, and is like silver like snow. It is not roasted and not rubbed during production, and it is dry with gentle fire, with moderate natural oxidation, while retaining rich active enzymes and polyphenols. Its initial production principle and process regulations mainly includes two processes: withering and drying.

Fu Ding white tea 福鼎白茶 [fú dǐng] is original from Mont. Tai Lao in Fujian province,  jade white 1 shoot and 1 leaf are harvested in springs and then  should be withered naturally or in temperature controlled ovens, dried, and then put into freezers for 3 hours at 1-5℃. This tea variety, Dabai tea tree is also known to produce Bai Mu Dan – White Peony 白牡丹 [bái mǔ dan] tea, which is famous of its dry tea appearance, a green leaf is wrapped a white hair covered shoot like a white peony bud.

Fat shoots from this variety are produced Bai Hao Yin Zhen tea – White Hair Silver Needle 白毫银针 [bái háo yín zhēn],

寿眉 (贡眉 Photo) [shòu méi (gòng méi)] is from another variety Cai Cha in Fujian province.

Sanbao tea is composed of tangerine peel, white tea and straw grass. This combination should be familiar to people in the Pearl River Delta. It is basically adapted from the famous sanbaozha in Guangdong, replacing the salty olives in sanbaozha with white tea. The delicate and elegant taste of white tea has always been integrated with the mellow and versatile flavor of Xinhui tangerine peel. In addition to the straw aroma of glutinous rice straw grass, three kinds of aroma of Sanbao complement each other, and the taste is unique.