Fuding Silver Needle White Tea
Imperial Fuding Silver Needle (also: White Hair Silver Needle, Baihao Yinzhen 白 毫 银 针) White Tea from Fuding County, Fujian province, China, the original – often imitated, never reached: the first spring picking (“first flush”) of only the young buds from the Fuding native “Da Bai” tea plant variety.
For more information please refer to the detailed product description below.
Fuding Silver Needle White Tea
Silver Needle Tea (also: White Hair Silver Needle, Baihao Yinzhen is one of two main types of white tea. Just like its sibling, Bai Mu Dan (White Peony), it originates from the north-eastern parts of the Chinese province of Fujian. There, the production of Silver Needle Tea focuses on the regions of Fuding and Zhenghe. In both places, white tea processing dates back to the second half of the 19th century only. This makes white tea the youngest among the six classic Chinese tea categories.
What is White Tea?
Genuine white tea is made from the Fujian-native “Da Bai” (= great white) tea plant. For this variety, the tight cover of silver-white hair on its young buds is a main characteristic. While the White Silver Needle tea consists only of these young buds, Pai Mu Tan represents a picking standard of 1+2 or lower. Accordingly, white silver needle tea derives its name from the buds’ shape and appearance. At this, the difference in picking standard makes both the difference in taste and the difference in price…
While the higher leaf ratio gives the Pai Mu Tan a more full-bodied taste, the aroma and taste of the Silver Needle stick out through their noble elegance and delicate subtleness. However, it takes a lot of tea garden to produce a small amount of silver needle tea. As a result, silver needle tea, especially that of proper Fuding origin, is one of China’s most expensive teas.
There are significant differences between the Zhenghe (northern Fujian ) and the Fuding (northeast Fujian) type of silver needle tea. On the one hand, this is due to differences between the characteristics of the „Da Bai Fuding“ and „Da Bai Zhenghe“ subvarieties. On the other hand, there are differences in both regions’ s local processing standards. For example, “Zhenghe style” silver needle tea typically shows a higher degree of oxidation than its “Fuding style” sibling. This also becomes visible from the darker color of the processed Zhenghe silver needle compared to Fuding silver needle.
Today, the specific processing method for white tea today finds imitation in other parts of China, too. Also, we find white tea from other tea growing regions of the world, such as India and Taiwan. However, such imitations rarely ever make it up to the Fujian originals.
Traditionally, the freshly harvested buds are spread on large bamboo trays outdoor in the sun. Like this, they are left to wither in the sun for an extended period of 24+ hours. Today, however, shifting this process to indoors facilities with artificial warm air ventilation has become quite common. This serves the prevention of damages and losses due to sudden rainfalls. Upon withering follows the piling of the now sleek tea buds for slight oxidation. Eventually, a final processing step marks the final drying of the tea buds. This traditionally takes place in a wok over charcoal fire. Today, however, modern dryer machines often replace the charcoal fire.
Our Fuding Silver Needle White Tea
Our Fuding Silver Needle White Tea is a top grade from where the worldwide finest and most popular white teas come from. At this, “top grade” means that only the young buds of each year’s first spring harvest (end of March to beginning of April) qualify for picking. At this, picking must take place shortly after sunrise, when the moistness on the tea plants has fully evaporated in the warmth of the sunlight.
Aroma, Taste, Appearance
Due to their tight white hair cover the freshly processed dry tea buds initially show a shiny white color with a very light touch of green. With time, however, these will take on the silvery-grey appearance that has contributed to the tea’s name, “silver” needle. The white hair reflect the light, giving the slightly crescent-shaped “needles” a radiant appearance that visually underlines this tea’s noble character. Their aroma, unfolding in the infusion in a way that truly indulges the senses, is that of fresh, soft spring flowers and is reflected in the highly translucent bright yellow infusion’s taste, with fresh and mellow, subtly honey-sweet notes, once again highlighting this tea’s unique elegance.
White tea in general and silver needle tea in particular allegedly possess a downright legendary range of health benefits. There are claims that white tea is even superior to green tea when it comes to medical properties and effects. That is, white tea is particularly rich in polyphenols and catechins. Accordingly, it supposedly possesses strong antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Beyond that, it assumably strengthens cardiovascular functions, lowers cholesterol levels and supports good tooth health. Not to mention general anti-aging effects…
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, white tea finds use for lowering body temperature as well as for detoxifying applications. However, in view of its exquisite noble-sweet taste, we believe that this tea well deserves to be enjoyed for its gourmet properties in the first place.
We suggest preparing Fuding Silver Needle White Tea in a small range of 2-3 infusions. To do this, first poor 100-200ml of boiling hot water over over 3-5 grams of white tea buds. Then let infuse for 2-3 minutes to receive a first infusion that is perfectly harmonious, noble and elegant in both taste and aroma. After that, infuse the tea with boiling hot water for a similar period again for a not lesser tasty second infusion. Then, a third infusion with slightly exented steeping (5 minutes ok) will still be worth it.
For friends of Chinese white teas we also recommend trying our biodiverse and health-and- environment-friendly cultivated
25g, 50g, 100g