Spirit Tea

Earth Humanity Heaven

An uncommon selection of handmade teas, each reflecting a unique moment in space and time.

What is White Tea?

When you are thinking about buying white tea many people are motivated for different reasons. However, if you are reading this we are going to assume you have experienced other types of tea and you are looking to explore the nuances of white tea.  

What is White Tea? 

White Tea was originally created in China in the early 16th century.  At first it was reserved primarily for royalty and came in powdered form.  Rarely did you see the artisan craftsmanship that you see with the many styles of white tea today.  

Chemically speaking White Tea has the highest in particular polyphenol content as it is composed of the pure form of the leaf.  

There are five basic cultivars of White Tea: 

  • Fuding Da Bai (Fuding Big White)
  • Fuding Da Hao (Fuding Big Sprout) 
  • Zhenge Da Bai (Zhenghe Big White) 
  • Zhenge Da Hao (Zhenghe Big Sprout) 
  • Xiao Bai (Small White) 

Where does White Tea come from? 

As we discussed in our article 'What is Tea?' we learned that all tea types come from the same tree, and that any tree can produce any type of tea based off a process called oxidation.  

Historically speaking White Tea comes from Fujian Province in China, but there are now styles of White Tea being grown in Yunnan China,  and Darjeeling, India.   There are some out there that say that White Tea such as Silver Needles can only come from Fujian,  but as you get deeper into appreciating tea you will find that each region has its own terroir and pleasing nuances.  

What are the styles of White Tea? 


Bai Hao Yin Zhen - also known as Silver Needles  


Bai Mu Dan - also known as White Peony  

 

How do you make White Tea

e answered many of these questions in our article 'Steeping Instructions for Tea'  but as a quick recap.  

teeping White Tea 

Dose:  2 tablespoons for leafy tea such as White Peony

           2 tablespoons for bud tea such as Silver Needle White Tea 

Temp:   180 degrees

Time:    2 minutes for three total infusions

ow to appreciate white tea? 

One element that we find particularly interesting about white tea is its soft mouthfeel.  It can range from very airy and light,  to a pleasant astringency.   The flavor profile can be sweet like vanilla frosting,  earthy like mulch or hay,  or woody like an oak caste.