Chinese White Tea

White tea is one of the 6 major types of Chinese tea. It earned this name by the extensive coverage of fine white hairs that resemble the color of silver and snow on the tea leaves. The color of the soup is yellow-green and the taste is fresh, mild and mellow. Chinese white tea is an assortment of light-fermented tea, made only by drying in the sun or over low heat. The main planting regions lie in Fuding, Zhenghe, Songxi and Jianyang towns in Fujian Province of southeast China.

Chinese White Tea Types

1. Baihao Yinzhen

Chinese name: 白毫银针(bai hao yin zhen)

It means silver needle covered by white hairs literally. The fragrance is fresh, the soup is light yellow and the taste is fresh. It is honored “the king of tea” for its super quality.

2. White Peony

Chinese name: 白牡丹(bai mu dan)

It gained the reputation for the peony-like appearance. When brewing the green leaves, they unfold just like the blooming of the peony. It is made of bud from big white tea trees or narcissus.

3. Gong Mei

Chinese name: 贡眉(gong mei)

It contributes to half of the total yield of white tea. The hairs of Gong Mei in high quality is quite white and dense. Before brewing, the color of leaves is jade green and the tea water become orange yellow or dark yellow after brewing.

What is White Tea Good for?

1. Cure Urticaria

It is considered as a more effective medicine than antibiotic for urticaria in Fujian Province. Old-aged white tea can be used to reduce child fever.

2. Balance Sugar Level inside Body

On top of the general elements in tea, white tea is also abundant in the active enzyme, which is helpful in improving the activity of lipoproteinlipase, promoting the decomposition of fat and controlling the secretion of insulin.

3. Improve eyesight

The abundant Vitamin A can give people a better eyesight in the dark light, preventing from blind night and xerophthalmus.

4. Protect the Liver

The natural matter in the tea like flavone can protect your liver and accelerate the transformation of acetaldehyde to toxic-free substance, lowering the damage to liver cells. It is also a good product to sober you up.

5. Relieve Tiredness

White tea caffeine can promote the activity of the central nervous system so that to get rid of tiredness after long-time working.

Chinese white tea benefits also include lung-cooling, anti-inflammatory, detoxification, pressure and fat-reduction and sobering up. The longer the white tea is kept, the higher its medicinal values.

How is Chinese White Tea made?

Step 1: Pick Tea Leaves

The fresh white jade leaves with a single bud is used to make premium Chinese white tea. You should pick the pure, tender leaves in the morning frequently. The leaves should be full and even in size and pure and tender. The picked leaves should be kept and transported in a bamboo basket gently.

Step 2: Wither

The collected leaves should be flatten in even thickness and with no random stirring. They can be withered in the mild sunlight, over low fire or in two combined ways according to the weather condition. When the tea leaves are 70~80% dry, gather them for next step.

Step 3: Bake

First, the tea leaves should be put in the dryer 100-120℃ for 10 minutes. Second, spread it out for cooling for about 15 minutes. Third, re-bake it under 80-90℃ till they are 95% dry.

Step 4: Pack

Put it in the freezer of 1-5℃. 3 hours after, take it out and pack it for storage.

In recent years, a new making method appears. Gentle kneading is added in the process after withering. It is the specialty of Fujian Province. The processed tea leaves are featured by the more tight shape and the stronger taste of the soup.

How to Brew Chinese White Tea

The temperature of water should be kept between 90 - 100 ℃. The first brewing lasts about 5 minutes and then you can drink the tea water after filtration.The second brewing takes only 3 minutes. Generally, white tea can be brewed 4~5 times. The light tea is better than strong one. For reference, 150 ml of water can brew 3~5 g white tea leaves.

How to Store

It should be kept in a place with ventilation condition and low temperature, blocking sun and moisture. Odorous smell should also be avoided. 

 Further Reading:
How  to Make Chinese Tea
6 Major Types of Chinese Tea

- Last updated on Sep. 30, 2019 -
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