White tea is "unprocessed" tea, as after plucking, it is simply dried naturally under the sun or air-dried, depending on the weather or the producer’s preference. The making of white tea involves just three steps: picking, withering, and drying; the least processed of all teas. Since no firing or steaming process is involved (as with green tea), it is only slightly oxidized, about 5-10%. The name is derived from the fine white hairs on the tea buds.
Our white teas are from their true origin of Fuding, Fujian province. Fuding is the original area for cultivation and production of white tea, dating back to the early eighteenth century. The legend says that there was an elder grandma living in the high mountain who was very kind and used the leaves from a green snow buds tree to cure measles and saved a lot of children’s lives. Later locals named the mountain as the Elder Grandma Mountain. In early eighteens century, a villager migrated the old ancient tea tree into his farms and cultivated the tea, known today as white tea.
Fuding has a unique terroir with 88% hilly land with average attitude of 800-1000 meters. The climate and soil is ideal to grow the Fuding Big White varietal, it became know as the "Village of Chinese White Tea". Due to the discovery of its tremendous health benefits, white tea has increasingly become popular in recent decades and has been grown in other parts of China and in India and Nepal. However, the quality and flavor vary significantly. Still, white tea produced in Fuding remain the most sought after white tea. To find out how many types of white tea please read our next blog How Many Types of White Tea.