Once again about the white tea
Something recently many questions about the white tea. Let’s face it.
About white tea has a lot of diverse information and drown in it easily, and even easier to get confused.
What is white tea — is tea tree, technology, or white hairs on the tea?
About the white hairs to begin with. They many were misled. The phrase «Bai Hao» — 白毫 , translated from the Chinese — «white pile» or «wool», if you will, (in my opinion,
the pile is nicer than) — is found in the title of many varieties of tea, not all of which — white. This is the most Bai Hao gave rise to two common misconceptions:
1. Tea with the same name — white. A typical example — tea Anji Bai Cha, so beloved distinguished tea master and not too successful Emperor Guazzone, gave us his excellent book 大观茶论 («Judgments about tea during the reign of daguang»). Basically, in the Song dynasty era, it was attributed to white teas. Because of the dense white pile on the kidneys. Classification of tea at a time does not correspond to modern. However, the word 風 — «Buy», or simply — white — in the title did the trick.
2. Before the revolution the phrase Bai Hao spawned our favorite childhood name «Bulk» that was synonymous with the definition of «quality» quite a long time and is still used Russian tea-testers. It’s pretty funny now, remembering «the one with the elephant» try to combine «biowaste» generously with broken tea baby red leaf tea. Before the revolution, merchants transported tea to Russia — dear, why «tips» unlike penny «for vodka» — meant a decent amount. Not because ordinary people lived poorly, but because tea was sold good and, consequently, expensive.
However, it’s time to slow down with historical studies and return to white tea.
White tea is grown and produced in one of the tea provinces — Fujian, the tea countries of the world — China. Fujian, except white, famous for its red tea — Zhen Shan Xiao Jun (also a great story, next time will return to it), but most of all Oolongs. in features two favorites of the Russian tea market — Da Hong PAO and Those Guanyin.
for giving card thanks Basil Savenkova
It is in these parts, near Fuding, in the district of Jeong-Hye, growing the same variety of tea tree, from the buds and leaves used to make white tea. This variety of tea tree only grows in this region. As is typical of tea at all, on the climatic conditions and on the composition of the soil is tied unique bouquet of taste and flavor, which is characteristic of white tea and so it is easily recognized by fans.
And then all over the County-Jeong Hae-do all those of a few varieties of white tea, which we know. The most exquisite and expensive — Bai Hao Yin Zhen (白毫银针), consisting exclusively of the kidneys. And if it has leaves, then it is wrong. It — my favorite white tea. Its taste — so gentle, delicate and exquisite as it can be found in the tea. Truly a precious variety.
Besides him, there is beloved by the people behind the funny name of Bai Mu Dan 白牡丹 (White Peony). For him collect larger kidney with a few leaves, usually one or two. Also doing it in a slightly different technology that allows to achieve different flavors, from soft white to bright, in fact red.
Still also make several varieties «eyebrows» — Show Mei, Gong Mei. But this tea, which is harvested later than Bai Hao Yin Zhen and Bai Mu Dan. Accordingly, the sheet has grown, tea often takes a whole branch with 4-5 leaves. Tea affordable, and therefore popular. Although connoisseurs don’t like it. It is rather the restaurant level tea.
Another important difference between white tea from green — it’s technology. Green tea anyway is heat treated to stop the fermentation and eliminate greens — it could be a cooking or steaming. White tea first podsalivaetsya in the sun, then — in the shade. These processes take from 3 to 5 days. The tea is do not touch, do not squeeze, do not wring. In fact, it is the least processed hands tea. The fermentation process in tea go tea juice is oxidized — after all, they did not stop the heat. So he’s usually a little more fermented than green, 5-7%. For all the apparent simplicity, the technology is really challenging, requires patience, understanding, subtlety.
Summary. White tea is —
1) region growing — China, Fujian, Fuding,
2) grade tea tree TA Bai (large white), currently we are working on the breeding of new varieties,
3) terms of gathering and production — April,
4) unique technology of alternation of drying in the sun and in the shade, the almost complete lack of manual processing.
And another little note. The Chinese and white tea can too a few years to store. They are generally Thrifty and frugal. But you better drink it fresh. It is collected and make once a year — in the spring. Tea markets it usually arrives in early may. And its useful properties is very extensive and deserve a separate article. Any more questions? Write in the comments.
Daguang Chalong. Chapter 7. White tea
白茶自 为 一 种 ， 与常茶不同。其条敷 阐 ， 其叶 莹 薄。崖林之 间 ， 偶然生出 ， 虽非人力所可致。正焙之有者不 过 四五家 ， 生者不 过 一二株 ， 所造止于二三胯而已。芽英不多 ， 尤 难 蒸焙 ， 乃湯 火一失 ， 则 己 变 而 为 常品。 须 制造精微 ， 运 度得宜 ， 则 表里昭 彻 ， 如玉之在璞 ， 它无与 伦 也。浅焙亦有之 ， 但品不及。
Remember that white tea. mentioned in the treatise — this Anji Bai cha, which is green in fact, in the current classificatie?