White tea is highly respected for its mild taste and health benefits, which makes it a sophisticated but intimate beverage selection. Due to its slight flavor and minimal processing, it is a great starting point in teas.
Understanding White Tea
White tea comes from buds that are young and leaf of Camellia sinensis plant prior to when they reach maturity. Its light to moderate processing, signified by minor oxidation, makes it a gentle and easy brew compared with its green and black tea counterparts. Here is the detailed information that will help you with white tea selection.
Factors To Consider
Quality: Opt for high-quality loose-leaf white tea. Often more subtly flavored than tea bags.
Origin: White teas originate from around the globe, offering unique tastes and properties. Chinese varieties such as Bai Hao Yin Zhen or Bai Mudan and regions like Darjeeling in India make special white teas.
Flavor Profile: White teas can range from floral and fruity to grassy notes or sweetness, possibly with a nutty undertone. Go through descriptions to discover tastes that suit you.
Pricing: White tea prices also vary relative to origin, quality, and processing. Here’s an approximate price range of various white teas available in the market:
- Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen): 25-gram pack.
- White Peony (Bai Mudan): 25-gram pack $ 10 – $ 25 USD.
Other Varieties: 25-gram packs range in price from $5 to USD 20, depending on quality and rarity.
You can explore the varieties of tea all around the world. https://aboutthecup.com/ is a good place online to kick off your search.
Choosing Your Perfect White Tea
Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen)
Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yin Zhen) is a leading point in the hierarchy of white tea. This tea is constructed from only opened buds of the tea covered with thin white hairs and has a delicate, aromatic taste. Its light infusion is typically imbued with hints of melon, honey, and a subtle grassiness, which makes it highly sought-after by connoisseurs looking for sophisticated tea drinking.
White Peony (Bai Mudan)
White Peony or Bai Mudan combines buds and young leaves from the tea bush. This variety is somewhat more substantial in the body than Silver Needle. It has a low sweetness and floral and fruity tastes. Usually valued for its creamier feel, White Peony is a more satisfying white tea traditionally enjoyed by those searching for greater depth.
Shou Mei (Longevity Eyebrow)
Shou Mei, a lesser-known variety, diverges from Silver Needle and White Peony using more extensive and mature leaves. This selection gives the tea a unique depth and dirtiness. Addressing nutty undertones, Shou Mei is known for its more substantial presence and richer-bodied texture, engaging connoisseurs who prefer a more robust white tea brew.
Darjeeling White Tea
Darjeeling White Tea is produced in the highly revered region of India known as Darjeeling, where tea plant varieties differ from those found in China. This white tea version has a mild and floral taste, accompanied by that typical muscatel feel. Bright and vigorous, Darjeeling white tea offers a cooling and lively brew that would suit those interested in samplings of the differing regional forms of this type.
Brewing White Tea
- Use recently boiled water, but cool to 175°F – 185°.
- 2-3 minutes for delicate teas like Silver Needle; 3 – However, Bai Mudan and other regional varieties must be steeped longer.
- Try different steepings to your taste, but never over-steep, as it will result in bitterness.
Taking a ride into white tea selection means learning about different types, tastes, and how to brew it. But always remember that the passage of the perfect white tea should be based on your preference and what kind of experience you seek from this refined, delicate brew.