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What is white tea?

Posted by Sarah on 5th March 2019

What is white tea?

Let's talk about white tea! Not to be confused with 'normal tea with milk', white tea is actually an incredibly special tea from China, that's barely processed and only picked two weeks a year. We've put together a few FAQ's regarding this super special tea... 

Tea or not tea??

Tea! White tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant making it a fully-fledged member of the tea family.

Where is it grown?

The Fujian province...specifically: Fuding, China – lots of people in the tea biz feel that to be ‘genuine’ white tea, it has to come from the Fujian province, but lots of other regions are starting to produce some really top notch white tea.

What makes it one of our most special teas?

It’s hardly processed at all - the tips of the tea bush are delicately plucked and simply left out in the sun to dry. That’s it. No rolling, no oxidation, no pan-firing. Just hairy little leaves chilling out in the sun - we like to think of white tea as the sloth of the tea world. 

What makes it EVEN MORE special?

It can only be picked for a couple of weeks a year! The bushes lie dormant throughout the winter months, and when spring finally hits, everyone ’springs’ into action, picking the tips of the tea bush as soon as they appear. 

Why are they hairy?

We’ve had a number of concerned customers over the years, worried about their ‘hairy looking tea’ – but fear not, the shoots are naturally coated in tiny downy hairs – this is what gives white tea its name and is a sign of great white tea.  

Are there different types of white tea!?

Yep! The two most popular types being Silver needle tea and White Peony Tea. The top grade white tea; Bai Hao Yin is known as ‘silver needle’ or ‘silver tips’ due to the shoots looking like silver needles.

 It’s one of the most expensive on the market, gives the lightest and clearest flavour and would you believe is the only one we stock online (we like the good stuff.)

Why is there a shark on our pack?

The tea bushes grown in the Fujian province are a particular cultivar of Camellia Sinensis called Dai Bai – also known as the Great White cultivar! 

Intrigued? Shop our silver tips white tea here