About White Tea
The Art of Simplicity
White teas are the least processed of all tea types, and yet often the most challenging to perfect in production. China’s Fujian Province is the traditional home of this tea type, and where we source two of our finest white teas: Silver Needle Supreme and White Peony. Silver Needle Supreme (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) is considered the rarest and most famous, composed entirely of individual buds, picked in early spring. White Peony is more full-bodied, with the addition of spring leaves as well as buds.
Heralded for its health benefits and delicate taste, white teas have been widely embraced around the world. More recent trends within China have seen the emergence of a sought-after market in aged white tea. Locals in Fuding have a saying: 一年是茶，三年成药，七年为宝的老白茶 – after three years aged white tea becomes like medicine; after seven years it becomes like treasure.
The Taste of True White Tea
The sweet, often fruity flavour, soft texture and thirst-quenching character of white teas make them an excellent choice for drinking throughout the day. Silver Needle teas are sweet and mellow with light notes of cucumber and melon. White Peony exhibits more body with hints of honey and fruit flavours.
How White Tea is Made
The Key: Long, Slow Processing
White tea production is characterised by a long withering stage. Traditionally the picked spring leaves are spread thinly on bamboo mats and left in ambient conditions for up to 72 hours before being gently heated over several hours to finish the drying. This minimal processing is perfect for retaining the natural shape of the tea material. White teas are in fact lightly oxidised, as the enzymes are not deactivated by a heating stage, as they are in green tea.
Pickers carefully and quickly select suitable leaves from the tea bush.
The leaves are laid out in ambient conditions to allow them to wilt and lose moisture.
To reduce the moisture content of the leaves to 5% for storage.
White Tea Making Tips
Key Making Tips
The delicate nature of fresh white tea lends itself best to being made with 70°C – 80°C water. This will avoid extracting bitter-tasting tannins. Our high quality loose leaf white teas can be re-infused twice, but be sure to fully decant each infusion to avoid an over-infused bitter taste. Read our carefully designed recipes on each product page.