Our selection of white teas consists of harvests stretching from early to mid-Spring. When brewed, they produce infusions of exceptional smoothness with a clarity of flavor and aroma.
The term “white tea” comes from the silvery downy fur that appears on the young leaf buds of the Da Bai (Big White) tea plant. Native to Northern Fujian, Da Bai is a cultivar distinct from those generally used to make green, black or oolong teas. To be considered a true white tea, the varietal used must be from the Da Bai tea plant.
Because of their popularity, white teas are grown in regions outside of Northern Fujian, including Yunnan and Zhejiang, but we find that the best white teas still come from Northern Fujian, where their production can be traced back to the 12th century.
Traditionally the least processed of all tea types, white teas were customarily plucked, gently withered and then sun dried.
The slow process dried the leaves, but allowed slight oxidation to occur.
Today this process, called “fading,” is replicated in a humidity and temperature controlled room. Fading develops creaminess and the floral aromatics, and a gentle baking locks in those characteristics. Only Da Bai leaves that have undergone "fading" can be considered a true white tea.
Silver Needle is the highest grade of white tea and consists only of unopened tea buds.
White tea quality is determined by when it’s harvested and how fresh the tea leaf is. Earlier harvest times yield younger leaves. The higher grade white teas have a higher relative concentration of bud to leaf, as buds produce smoother infusions.
Provenance is also a vital determinant of white tea quality. We find the character of white tea grown and crafted in Fujian produce the most complex and delicious results. So there’s a reason why most commercial grade white teas are flavored -most are astringent when unaltered, lacking the freshness and quality to produce the natural floral aroma, creaminess and sweetness of a good quality white tea.
The Standard Organic Fuding Silver Needle
Something New Xin Gong Yi
The best representation of a true white tea is our Organic Fuding Silver Needle. The tea is floral, creamy and incredibly smooth. But Xin Gong Yi, our newest white tea addition (and our most unusual) is worth trying. Higher oxidized for a darker, fruitier character.