In our previous blog The True Origin of White Tea, we know that white tea has gained its popularity in recent decades and has been grown in other parts of China and India and Nepal, However, the quality and tasting profile vary significantly. Still, white tea produced in Fuding remains the most sought after white teas.
There are three types of Fuding white tea: Silver Needles, White Peony, and Shou Mei (Longevity Eyebrow).
- Silver Needles is one of the most famous teas from China, the king of white tea. Silver Needles has a very distinctive appearance, its silvery down-covered tea buds are usually plucked in the early spring, and sun-dried without any firing process. It has mild flavor, produce pale yellow liquor. High quality Silver Needles from Fuding, China usually have fresh citrus and pear notes, and a hint of sweet dates lingers into a naturally smooth and light finish.
- White Peony gained its beautiful name as the white downy bud and the dry leaves resembles the peony flowers.The standard plucking is one bud and two leaves, from the Fu Ding Da Bai varietal, the same varietal as Silver Needles. White Peony has a fuller and bolder flavor than Silver Needles, and the liquor is slightly more yellow than Silver Needles. As it ages, the taste becomes smoother and sweeter. It is truly a great everyday tea with a well-balanced taste as well as excellent health benefits.
- Shou Mei (Longevity Eyebrow) is usually harvested after Silver Needles and White Peony in late Spring, thus the dry leaves are darker. The standard picking is one bud, two to three large leaves. Shou Mei usually is compressed into cakes for easy storage and transit. It has a richer and bolder flavor than its sibling white teas. Chinese like to call Shou Mei as Lao Bai Cha, means old white tea. Shou Mei from the origin Fuding has a taste of dates and hint of cantaloupe, smooth, full bodied, very soothing. It can be paired with a variety of food. Shou Mei is very tasty when cooked in a teapot rather than steeped in hot water for a just a couple of minutes.
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