White Tea is surrounded by folklore and mystique heralded from ancient China. I am talking really ancient here, as in Tang dynasty 618-907 AD. The Emperor proclaimed this delicate tea as “the culmination of all that is elegant” and reserved for members of the Imperial Court. The leaves were picked in early spring when young tea shoots abound, and legend has it that the picking was done by virgins wearing white gloves. Well, it is a pure story at any rate!
White tea is thankfully no longer solely the property of Emperors and Kings! Although originally grown only in the Fujian Province in China, it is now grown in other regions such as Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and India due to its increasing popularity. What has remained the same is the process of making this tea!
White teas are the least processed of all the teas. Leaves are delivered to the factory by hand, where they are naturally withered and sun-dried; no oxidation occurs.
The new buds are picked before they open when they have a white, silvery appearance (hence the name!). This white appearance is the ‘hao” or hair on the bud or baby leaf.
White teas are subtle, delicate, and flavorful and are considered by some to have the most health benefits. The appearance of white teas can vary in color, depending on the style of tea. Still, all have a very natural fresh look, which is also very pure and natural in the cup, devoid of any astringency or grassiness.
With more antioxidants than black tea or green tea, research shows that white tea has anticancer properties, is strengthening the immune and cardiovascular systems, reduces high blood pressure, and calms and detoxifies the skin(anti-sagging!).
So, what about our White Mischief from Local Tea Company? I thought this a very appropriate name on first tasting this tea with a mischievous play on the taste buds. Please take a moment to smell this tea when it also plays mischief with your senses!
White Mischief is a type of tea known as Pai Mu Tan, which means “white peony” and is produced in Fujian Province from a variety of tea bush called Narcissus or chaicha where only the “two leaves and a bud” are used. The tea is mostly green with silver tips and is quite light and fluffy. The mischievousness is created by blending with a healthy dose of tart pomegranate and juicy guava!
When brewing White Mischief uses one heaped teaspoon per cup with water heated to 180-190 degrees (or just under boiling), I find this produces a mellow flavor without scalding the leaves, which may cause astringency. The tea can be infused for 2 minutes with plenty of flavor. The second infusion of 4 minutes and a third of 6 minutes will yield great cooling and refreshing character. See our earlier post on multi-steeping tea.
I have infused this tea as many as 6 times, but leave you to experiment with this stimulating and actually quite mischievous tea. Sorry I couldn’t resist it one more time!
Tags: Best teas, cahicha, camellia sinensis, downtown sarasota farmers market, Duranko, guava, hao, local coffee + tea, Local Tea, loose leaf tea, multi-steeping, multifusion, multisteeping, narcissus, pai mu Tan, pomegranate, sarasota, Selby Gardens, Siesta Key, sip locally, tang dynasty, tea, tea blog, Tea Journey, Tea Lady, tealady, think out of the bag, white mischief, white tea