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Jasmine Imperial Spring 2017 Silver Needle White Tea Organic-Certified - 50g

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Product Description

Jasmine Silver Needle 2017 Spring Imperial Organic-Certified White Tea is spring fresh. Silver needle white tea is a slightly oxidized tea, named after its shape, that appears to have a silver-like white appearance because of the conspicuous natural, fine tea hair. This is the top grade of white tea because it is composed of plump tea buds. This silver needle white tea is made from big white Pu-erh tea trees, so the sweetness in tea liquid lasts longer than Fuding silver needle and it has another totally different aroma from the Fuding silver needle. White tea is recognized by some sources for its anti-cancer health benefits and is known to contain the largest amount of antioxidants of any of the tea varieties due to the limited processing that it undergoes. In Chinese traditional medicine, white tea is commonly used to cool your body heat and remove toxins from the body.

Quantity: 50 grams

Tea tree: Big white Pu-erh tea trees

Harvest time: 2017 spring

Picking standard: One bud only

Shape: Tight, fat needle shape full of silver hair

Dried tea color: shiny silver color

Aroma: fresh and clean, jasmine flower fragrance

Tea soup color: light, shiny yellow

Taste: fresh, sweet, mellow, and light honey taste.

Brewing vessel: Recommended Gaiwan and glass cup

Brewing guidelines:

i) Gaiwan: 4 to 5 grams per time (based on personal taste); the first 3 infusions should be at about 95°C (203°F) for about 40 seconds; then later infusions will require between 1 to 2 minutes.

ii) Glass cup: 2 to 3 grams per session (based on personal taste); the first 2 infusions are conducted with water at about 95°C (203°F) water for about 3 to 5 minutes; then the latter is about 4 to 5 minutes.

Infusion numbers: i) Around 5 to 7 times in gaiwan; ii) around 2 to 3 times using a glass cup

About Silver Needle

White tea is made in four counties in Fujian province (Fuding, Zhen He, Jian Yang, and Song Xi), though Silver Needle is only made in Fuding and Zhen He. These counties grow unique cultivars of the tea bush, Fuding Da Bai and Zhen He Da Bai, which are capable of producing the large and stylish tea buds that Silver Needle is known for. Additionally, Fuding’s Silver Needle tea touts the claim of being the original, invented in 1796, much earlier than Zhen He’s. Even at its beginning, white tea was a popular export to Europe. Its conspicuously large buds were some times blended with simple black tea to enhance its visual appeal. The First World War halted the export of white tea in 1918. Exports resumed briefly in 1926 but only to be stopped again by the escalation to the Second World War. White tea finally returned to the Western market in the late 20th century where it has been viewed with renewed curiosity.

Making Silver Needle

The sweetest of the white teas, Silver needle is made up of only buds from the tea bush. Meticulously separated from the stem, the buds are fanned on to a single layer on a bamboo tray and dried in the sun until 70% of their moisture is removed. The withering process is completed indoors as the tea is roasted over charcoal. During the roast, the tea is separated from the charcoal by bamboo trays lined with paper. The very low temperature drying of this tea is designed to preserve the white color of its buds. Too high of a temperature will make the buds yellow. Unlike green tea, white tea is never fired or steamed to kill the enzymatic action that causes oxidation. Instead, oxidation of the leaves is prevented by their lack of moisture. The withering process is very long and gradual, thus slight oxidation of the leaves (or buds) will naturally occur. With this slight amount of oxidation, white tea’s color is typically not as bright or green as you would expect from a green tea. Judging the quality of Silver Needle High quality Silver Needle should be made up of large, healthy tea buds with most of their white down intact. When infused, the buds will turn to a light green color right away. The color of the infusion is like a light honey. When compared to infused green tea, it will appear slightly yellow. The fragrance is light, akin to freshly bloomed flowers. The flavor is more juicy than dry, filling the mouth with a smooth and lingering sweetness. For first time tea drinkers and seasoned aficionados alike, Silver Needle is a very approachable tea. It is easier on the stomach than a green tea and even a long infusion in high temperature water will not bitter the flavor. You will find it very easy to drink and very easy to brew.

What's White Tea?

White tea is characterised by heavy withering and slight oxidation in processing. When making green tea, high heat is applied to kill the enzymes and stop the oxidation process. In contrast, when making white tea, fresh tea leaves are left to wither for up to 3 days. It is "white" because of its downy hairs. These tiny hairs give the young tender shoots a silvery-gray appearance, which is often regarded as a sign of quality. Tea enzymes cause the leaves to mature, but factory conditions have to be precisely controlled to minimise oxidation. The tea is then sun or oven dried to reduce moisture to 5% or lower. It uses a special process in which relatively low heat and no rolling is applied. White tea is often regarded in Asia as a "cooling" tea, as it contains the least "fire" of all Chinese teas.

Legend and History of White Tea: According to legend, white tea tree was discovered by a girl named Lan Gu from Fuding county of Fujian Province in China, where the beautiful Taimu Mountain is located. While taking refuge in a cave in the mountain, Lan Gu found a special tea tree whose young buds were covered with silvery hair during spring. When a widespread epidemic broke out in the village, Lan Gu healed them using the leaves from this special tree. In honor of her kindness and important role, people called her after the name of Goddess Taimu and named the mountain as Taimu Mountain. This legend coincided with historical records that the tea was first produced in Fuding County in 1796 and later spread to two other counties (Zhenhe and Jianyang) in Fujian province.

White Tea Production Area: White tea was first made in China and is commonly seen as a specialty of the Chinese Fujian province. The main white tea producing area includes Fuding, Zhenghe, Songxi and Jianyang Counties. Now white tea was also produced in some other countries such as India and Sri Lanka. Varieties of White Tea White tea comes in many varieties and types and sometimes it is hard to tell them apart. Their old poetic names with an air of mystery and exclusivity are interesting but fail to tell us much about the tea itself. 

Learn more about tea on our site here and on our blog.
Our guide to translating Chinese tea labels to English.

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