Silver Needle White Tea, also known as Bai Hao Yin Zhen, is a famous Chinese white tea. It is produced in Fujian province. There are two places in Fujian where this tea is produced, Fuding and Zhenghe. Fuding is in the Northeast Fujian at the seaside, and Zhenghe is in the Northwest Fujian Mountain area. The tea cultivar to make it in Fuding is Fuding Dabai. (Dabai means big white), and the tea cultivar to make this tea in Zhenghe is Zhenghe Dabai. The difference between the two Dabai cultivars is that the Fuding leaf is a bit bigger and broader than the Zhenghe one. And Zhenghe Dabai has a bit longer tea stalk. In taste, the Fuding Silver Needle is mild mellow and gives kind of fresh rice flavour. The Zhenghe Silver Needle tea tastes clean brisk, and it gives kind of high mountain floral flavour.
The Silver Needle is made by the single bud plucked in early Spring. It takes vast amount of single bud to make one kilo of silver needle. Thus the plucking cost of fresh leaf plays a big part in the total price of this tea.
The tea buds are put on the bamboo flat for withering either outside or indoor due to the different weather condition. And the withering process lasts long, till around 10-15% water left. During the withering, there will be slight natural fermentation, because the tea cell membrane is damaged by lack of water, so the inner tea content go out of the cell membrane and get oxidized by oxygen. The last processing is drying. The traditional drying is conducted by charcoal heat, which is very important to make a good quality tea. Finally the water content that is left after drying is below 6%.
This white tea is one of the least processed teas. It contains the most natural ingredients of tea. It is especially rich in anti-oxidants. Drinking Silver Needle White Tea has a lot of health benefits. It has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, can lower fat and cholesterol, protects teeth, and it can eliminate dots on skin, and make your skin shiny and white.
How Does It Taste? Mild mellow sweet aftertaste and slightly fermented floral flavour. It does not require milk or sugar as it may diffuse its light, fresh and delicate aroma.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of This Tea: Check out this step by step process:
According to Gaiwan Gongfu Style, to make the best cup of the tea, it is advisable to keep the steeping time of 10-12 seconds.
Silver Needle White Tea and a range of other premium loose Chinese teas are available for bulk purchase at Wufeng Tea.