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white tea 101

Posted by Sarah on 6th April 2016

white tea 101

Tea or not tea??

Tea! White tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant making it a fully-fledged member of the tea family.

Where is it grown?

The Fujian province...specifically: Fuding, China – lots of people in the tea biz feel that to be ‘genuine’ white tea, it has to come from the Fujian province, but lots of other regions are starting to produce some really top notch white tea.

What makes it one of our most special teas?

It’s hardly processed at all - simply plucked and left to air-dry.

What makes it EVEN MORE special?

It can only be picked for a couple of weeks a year! The bushes lie dormant throughout the winter months, and when spring finally hits, everyone ’springs’ into action, picking the tips of the tea bush as soon as they appear!

What happens next?

When we say it’s unprocessed – we really mean it. The first two weeks of production are most precious in the white tea timeline. The leaves aren’t cut or allowed to oxidise – traditionally, they’ll be left to dry in the sun, but on racks indoors works too! In an ideal world, leaves will be plucked early in the morning in warm sunshine – where they’ll be at least risk of damage.    

Why are they hairy?

We’ve had a number of concerned customers over the years, worried about their ‘hairy looking tea’ – but fear not, the shoots are naturally coated in tiny downy hairs – this is what gives white tea its name and is a sign of great white tea! (Think of it as the bearded hipster of the tea world.)

Are there different types of white tea!?

Yep! The two most popular types being Silver needle tea and White Peony Tea. The top grade white tea; Bai Hao Yin is known as ‘silver needle’ or ‘silver tips’ due to the shoots looking like silver needles.

 It’s one of the most expensive on the market, gives the lightest and clearest flavour and would you believe is the only one we stock online (we like the good stuff.)

Why is there a shark on our pack?

The tea bushes grown in the Fujian province are a particular cultivar of Camellia Sinensis called Dai Bai – also known as the Great White cultivar! 

Throughout April you can mix and match any white teaoolong and jasmine pearls 15s in our 2 for $25 shop! Perfect for newbies and established silver tips lovers alike!