White Tea 白茶
In appreciation of the tea plant in its nativity, white teas seek as little human alteration as possible to elicit a soft, smooth, and rounded cup of tea. Named for the small, downy hairs that occur on tender new tea sprouts, white tea elicits the dewy, aromatic and refreshing qualities of the plant. The prolonged withering and drying—indoors, under sun and, sometimes, moonlight—plays to the natural water stress reaction of the tea plant, naturally creating an aroma complex. The more consciously balanced the withering, and the more evenly the leaves are exposed to air—the better the result. With sleep, the sharp, bitter grassy smell of freshly picked tea leaves turns to something floral, creamy and sweet. Stored properly, the style ages well. What can be called white tea is an ever-widening definition: including its contemporary update employing explicit rolling, baking and oxidation: New Craft.