White Tea is famous for it’s delicate aromas and subtle flavors. It undergoes the least amount of processing so tea leaves stay very close to their natural state. It is also considered one of the healthiest teas.
White tea is a specialty of Fujian province in China, however some estates in Darjeeling have also started producing this kind of tea. There are usually two styles of this tea. Bai Hao Yin Zhen or Silver Needle and Bai Mu Dan or White Peony. Silver Needle style is the highest quality and usually made from downy buds. They are so tender that sometimes have fine fuzz or “pekoe” on them. Bai Mu Dan – the second style- consists of a mix of buds and leaves and are slightly more oxidized. Shou Mei tea is also from the second style.
White tea is processed in tow main stages. The first stage is withering. They spread the leaves on bamboo racks and let them air dry for 12-24 hours. The second step is sorting during which they pick out broken leaves and undesirable residue. Therefore only whole buds and leaves are kept and preserved.