- Tea Knowledge
If one chooses to drink a refined, bud-only tea such as Bai Hao Yin Zhen, one might as well choose one offering it all: a jovial cantata of flavours, with fruity high notes of green apple, sour plum, and orange, a vegetal middle, and a subtle spiciness like cinnamon shortbread. Harvested in 2017, the tightly-furled buds remain crisp and fresh, while their warmer aromas put one in mind of a stroll through summery woods. Its character develops in preparation, from the scent of the leaves when dry, then just moistened, giving off a gently-fruity perfume all the way through its several infusions, and one can expect its profile to mature under storage as well. Plucked from a tea garden deep in the mountains of Fuding, it promises to release the sun gathered during its simple sun-drying for years to come.
Among the six tea classes, white tea is the easiest to described, but not the least difficult to produce. The fresh leaves are withered outdoor in the shadow and indoor in rooms with good air circulation. The leaves usually air-dry naturally, although sometimes baking is required to completely remove the moisture. Especially in the Yunnan province, some white teas are sun-dried instead.
Green tea is different than white tea. Green tea is scalded right after the harvest to prevent oxidation. White tea oxidizes during withering and is not heat-treated to stop oxidation. The different processing of white tea results in a delicate liquor, with none of the astringency and grassy undertones typical of green tea.