Chinese White Tea
Benefits of White Tea
Generally, Chinese White Teas
are considered to be quite rare in China. They are rare in China since most of the white tea is exported for maximum income from the tea plantations that grow and process white teas.
For many years the Chinese tea drinkers have been hip to white tea’s benefits, until recently it was virtually unknown outside of Asia. But today more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of white tea.
Everyone from chefs to medical researchers are praising the delicate flavor and purported health benefits of white tea.
But what really is white tea?
What is White Tea?
Chinese types of white tea are considered by some as a subclass of Chinese green tea. It is slightly fermented with its body covered with fluffy white hair. It is usually harvested in the cold of earliest spring when tea bushes have just shed their protective scales on the tips of their branches to show to the world their fuzzy white down on the leaf buds. The white fuzz is what gives white tea its name.
These delicate buds are among the most carefully plucked and processed of all chinese teas. The buds, as well as the first few unfurling leaves are not allowed to oxidize whatsoever. What happens is that immediately after picking, the buds are naturally dried in sunlight or inside under low heat in a very well-ventilated structure.
Unlike the oolong, black and pu-erh teas which undergo cellular oxidization to develop fragrance, color and flavor, most white teas are formulated with the absence of such processing step. This then results in a beverage whose taste is closest to fresh leaves from the tea bush. Adagio Teas offers one of the best selections online.
Types of Chinese Grown White Tea
Just like the other varieties of Chinese tea, white tea is divided into different types. There are the Chinese Silver Tip white teas and Chinese White peony tea, these are the two most common types of chinese grwon white tea. There are also many others, but we will take a closer look at these two specific white teas and a couple of others
•Silver Tip White Tea – This variety of Chinese grown white tea is produced at Fuding and Zhenghe areas in Fujian province. Many tea drinkers consider this as a top grade white tea. In the processing, the 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”. Also, this Chinese white tea is taken as “the beauty” in teas.
Many tea lovers also describe this tea as “white like cloud, green like dream, pure like snow, aromatic like orchid”. And, as commonly noted, every bud stands in the cup upright just like bamboo shoots after a spring rain, when infusing.
•White Peony Tea – Also known as “Pai Mu Dan”, this Chinese white tea variety is made from the buds and leaves that remain after the famous silver tip white tea has been harvested. This is sweet and mild, yet very full-bodied. Also, the cup color is darker and the aroma is bolder. Its natural sweetness clearly determines the close relationship to the silver tip white tea.
•Gong Mei – This is the third grade of Chinese white tea. The production of this tea uses leaves from the Xiao Bai or Small White tea trees.
•Shou Mei – This is a fruity furry Chinese white tea that is a chaotic blend of tips and upper leaf. According to some Chinese tea drinkers, Shou Mei has a stronger flavor than other white teas, similar to oolong. Also, it is the fourth grade of white tea and is plucked later than the White Peony, hence the tea may be darker in color.
Today, these varieties have reached America and many market researches predict that consumers will soon share their enthusiasm, turning the Chinese white tea into one of the hottest new food trends. Buying high quality white tea from Adagio Teas is what we recommend.
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