Traditionally, white teas are a speciality of the province of Fujian in eastern China. This colour of tea requires the least complex processing method, yet it is the most delicate of all teas. 2 main types of white teas: the Silver Needles (made up only of long silver buds) and the Bai Mu Dan (consisting of a twig of a bud and 2 to 3 leaves).
The harvest occurs just as the bud begins to open.
Stages of white tea manufacturing
▪ Withering is traditionally made in the open air
▪ The skill of the tea planter lies in accurately predicting weather conditions and organizing the timing of the plucking accordingly.
▪ To obtain a level of moisture loss comparable to that of other teas, the leaves are left to wither for a longer period of time, from 52 - 60 hours.
▪ They are then immediately dried in large pans for approximately 1/2 hour.
▪ Although the process may appear simple, white tea production is one of the most delicate.
▪ Finest white teas are essentially made of silver buds.