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What is White Tea?

White Tea is a pure and noble expression of Camellia sinensis. Unlike the other types of tea, white teas are neither fired nor rolled & allowed to simply air dry...

Date:

October 26, 2019

Author:

Rishi Tea

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Elegant & Esteemed for Noble Sweetness

White teas are a pure and noble expression of Camellia sinensis, sometimes referred to as “Scholars Tea”. Unlike the other types of tea, white teas are neither fired nor rolled. They are picked early in the spring season and allowed to simply air dry, or wither, on racks in a special room with controlled airflow, temperature and humidity. The moisture content inside white tea leaves evaporates slowly over the course of 1-2 days of withering, curing the leaves in their own juices and concentrating the present sweetness. White teas undergo gentle enzymatic oxidation during this withering period.

The First Harvest

White tea is picked only during the first weeks of the spring harvest when the tender leaves contain the energy and sugars of new growth. These young leaves are coated in a soft downy hair known to botanists as trichomes, which protect the tender shoots from pests and bright UV rays. They also lend a soft mouth feeling and cotton candy-like sweetness to the brewed tea. Known in Chinese as bai hao (“white hair”), trichomes give the young buds a silvery-white appearance. This is why they are called “white teas.”

The absence of shaping presents two main styles of white tea, depending on the plucking standard used. Silver Needles consists of “single buds,” which are new tea leaves that have not yet opened. White Peony, on the other hand, is made with “one leaf and a bud” or “two leaves and a bud” plucking standards. For that reason, it is “leafier” in appearance when compared to Silver Needles.

Silver Needles

Widely esteemed for its delicate appearance, elegant sweetness and noble character, Silver Needle tea is comprised of pure, individually plucked tea buds harvested only in the early springtime. Our Silver Needle is unique in that it is sourced from Menghai and Mengku broad leaf varietal.

White Peony

White Peony, also known by the traditional name Bai Mu Dan, is a popular style of white tea made of young tea leaves and silvery unopened leaf buds. Our White Peony comes from Zhenghe town in Fujian Province, the original birthplace of white tea centuries ago.

Peach Blossom

Our most popular white tea blend highlights the natural peachy character of White Peony with the essence of succulent peaches. This tea’s juicy peach notes are enhanced with hints of quince and zesty tangerine. With its abundantly fruity flavor, Peach Blossom is an approachable introduction to the category of white tea

Origins of White Tea

White tea originated in the eastern Chinese province of Fujian, north of the Min River in a town called Zhenghe. Tea bush cultivar selection in white tea growing regions favors moderate caffeine, high amino acid content and mild tannin. This creates a refined, gently stimulating energy that feels natural at any time of day. In fact, white tea is popular as a “scholar’s tea,” and has a history of promoting wakefulness and focus among the literati of ancient China.