White tea is a lightly oxidized tea grown and harvested almost exclusively in China, primarily in the Fujian province.White tea comes from the delicate buds and younger leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. These buds and leaves are allowed to wither in natural sunlight (also known as wilting) before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further fermentation. This protects not only the delicate flavour of the white tea, but also retains high levels of the chemicals responsible for the tea's health benefits.
The name "white tea" derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance.
White tea is the least processed of all the tea types and most reflects the look of a natural, unadulterated tea leaf. Once the buds and a few of the freshest leaves have been gathered, they are allowed to wither slightly before being quickly baked dry. Many times, however, the withering stage can be skipped altogether. Due to the simplicity of this method, the processing of white tea is particularly susceptible to temperature or weather conditions, such as humidity, during drying. If the temperature is too hot during the drying process, the leaves may take on a reddish tint. Conversely, if it is too cold the leaves will acquire a blackish tint rather than remaining the silvery-white hue that white tea is famous for.
Fuding white tea culture
White tea:One year is tea Three years is medicine Seven years is a treasure
Fuding White Tea (福鼎白茶) was originally produced on Taimu Mountain, Ningde. Fuding (福鼎), Zhenghe (政和), Jianyang (建阳) and Songxi (松溪) in Fujian are the main growing and producing regions of white tea in China.Fuding White Tea has two main kinds, Silver Tip White Tea and White Peony Tea, both of which are rare and thus precious in the world. It was named as one of the 10 most famous teas at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
White Silver Needle Tea
is produced at Fuding and Zhenghe areas in Fujian province.It is a top grade white tea. Single buds are plucked right when they fully develop and are ready to open. The beautifully acerose buds are covered with silvery hairs,hence the tea named "silver tip white tea".It's taken as "the beauty" in teas.Tea lovers describe it as "white like cloud, green like dream, pure like snow, aromatic like orchid". When infusing, every bud stands in the cup upright just like bamboo shoots after a spring rain.Silver tip white tea offers a light yellow liquor with an extraordinary fresh aroma and refreshing taste.Medically white tea is refreshing and is good for the stomach. It can also be used to dispel the heat.
Bai Mu Dan or Pai Mu Dan (White Peony)
Same as silver tip white tea, white peony tea is mainly producted at Fuding and Zhenghe areas in Fujian province. White peony tea is also a delicious white tea that consists of buds and leaves picked from great white tea plant in the early spring,sometimes blended with buds and leaves plucked from daffodil plant.
The liquor created is a very pale hay or champagne color with a slightly nutty aroma. The taste is sweet, nutty and can be slightly vegetal with a smooth and velvety mouth feel.
Shou Mei is a white tea that is produced from naturally withered upper leaf and tips, with a stronger flavor reminiscent of lighter Oolong teas. It is mostly grown in the Fujian Province or Guangxi Province in China. Because it is plucked later than Bai Mu Dan the tea may be darker in color, but it should still have a proportionate green color.
Tribute Eyebrow (Gong Mei) White Tea is produced using leaves from the Xiao Bai tea tree and is processed more than the Silver Needle and White Peony teas and is therefore considered a lower grade tea. "Eyebrow" teas are named for the long, thin, crescent-shaped leaves used in production
Travelogue in Fuding
In this 3-part series, Travelogue presenter Tianran He travels to China’s southeast coast to explore the little-known town of Fuding. In this episode, Tianran feasts on the bounty of Fuding’s sea, and heads up into the mountains to run a gauntlet of caves in order to reach the source of all white tea.
Travelogue in Fuding 1: discover white tea in Fujian
Travelogue in Fuding 2: In the guise of a tea leaf
Travelogue in Fuding 3: Celebrating with the She ethnic minority