White tea (白茶, baycha) belongs to the class of weakly fermented teas (degree of fermentation is 5-7%). Its manufacturing technology is similar to medicinal herbs: after plucking, tea buds and leaves are laid out in a thin layer on wickers and dried either in the diffused sunlight, or in the shade, under a canopy. If the sun is not enough to evaporate moisture from the leaf, it is dried with hot air at the final stage. Due to the lack of frying and twisting, in white tea the maximum amount of useful substances inherent by nature is preserved. Baicha is a champion in the content of antioxidants.
White tea production is concentrated in the northeast of Fujian province in Jianyang, Songxi and Zhenghe areas of Nanping County and in Fuding, Fuan and Jiaocheng areas of Ninde County. Outside of Fujian, white tea production exists in Yunnan. In other places, white tea is also made, but in very small quantities.
In a historical perspective, mentions of baicha are found in literature dating back to the Tang era. The unique combination of climate and mineral composition of the soil, superimposed over thousands of years of natural selection, gave rise to tea plants in the mountains of Northern Fujian, waking up very early from winter sleep, whose buds are abundantly covered with silver-white fluff that protects the delicate shoot from the cold. These wild plants are of two types: Da Bai Cha (大白茶) or Big White, and Xiao Bai Cha (小白茶), Small White. In addition, Shuixian wild tea is grown in Fujian North. Their cultivated varieties Fudin Da Bai, Da Bai Hao, Zhenghe Da Bai, Fuan Da Bai, Jiu Long Da Bai, Xiao Bai and others today are used as raw materials for the production of five classic varieties of white tea: Bai Hao Yin Zhen, Bai Mudan, Gong Mei ( Shou Mei) and Xin Gong Yi Bai Cha.
The best white tea is considered Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver needles with white pile). Large (3-3.5 cm long), fluffy leaf buds before opening are plucked for its production. They are plucking in March, in the morning when the sun is high enough to have dried any remaining moisture on the buds. The plucks are laid in shallow baskets to wilt under the sun for an extended period, and the best quality produced today are still made this way. This most valuable tea is produced very little. To avoid loss due to sudden rain, gusts, or other accidents, some producers are taking the plucks indoor to wilt in a chamber with artificial warm air flow. Bai Mudan (White Peony) is made from plucks each with one leaf shoot and two immediate young leaves. For this, it is sometimes called "tea of two petals." Leaflets and buds should be strong and beautiful. Buds with a purple hue, hollow, too long or too short, and also damaged, are rejected. In addition, the picking does not begin until the leaves are covered with dew, as well as in rainy weather. Bai Mudan is sometimes preferred by white tea drinkers for its fuller flavor and greater potency than the other major type of white tea, Bai Hao Yinzhen. The latter is made purely with leaf shoots, and so it is comparatively softer and more subtle. The leaves and buds grown after the first two pluckings are used for Shou Mei (Eyebrows of Longevity), Gong Mei (Palace Eyebrows) and Xin Gong Yi Bai Cha (White tea of new technology). The plucking is conducted from late April to early June manually or by means of fine mechanization.
Chinese white tea has a lot of health benefits according to the medical research made in different countries in recent years. It boosts immunity, strengthens the walls of blood vessels and makes them more elastic, normalizes blood sugar level, reduces the level of "bad" cholesterol and slows the aging process.
You can buy high quality white tea in our shop. This tea is made manually in small farms located in a nature reserves.