Da Bai

The varieties grouped under the name Da Bai (large white) are part of the Xiao Ye Zhong. They find their origin in old, local varieties in the northern part of the province Fujian, where silver needle teas have been produced since the end of the 18th century; probably the oldest known white teas. At the end of the 19th century the Dabai varieties have been described as growing in the villages Fuding, Fu’an and Zhenghe, having been grown from selected local varieties. The common characteristics are large buds with a dense hair-growth on the outside of the leaf. In more recent times the Dabai varieties from Fujian (particularly Fu Ding Da Bai) have been brought to other parts of china and on the other hand new varieties have been bred from Dabai and other local plants of various regions. Interestingly, the China hybrids in India and other regions trace their ancestry back to Dabai tea plants, which have been brought to Darjeeling in the first half of the 19th century, because the large leaf varieties from Assam did not grow so well under the prevailing circumstances.
  • Fu Ding Da Bai: from the city of Fuding in Fujian, used for the local white teas (Bai Hao Yin Zhen, Bai Mu Dan, Xin Gong Yi Bai Cha), and in part for black tea (Bai Lin Gong Fu) and for green tea (e.g. Lü Xue Ya) as well as for green tea with jasmine (like Silver Needle). It is cultivated now Sichuan, too, and used to produce yellow tea (e.g. Meng Ding Yellow Bud, Huang Mao Jian) as well as black teas (e.g. Si Chuan Gong Fu).
  • Zheng He Da Bai: is used in the district of Zheng He for the local white teas (Bai Hao Yin Zheng, Bai Mu Dan), for black tea (Zheng He Gong Fu) and for green tea with jasmine (Jasmine Silver Needle e.g.).
  • Guang Nan Da Bai Cha and Guang Xi Da Bai Cha (Large White Tea from Guangnan resp. Guangxi) are more recent varieties that have been selected and reproduced from individual Fu Ding Da Bai plants.
  • Fu Xuan 9 Hao and Fu Xuan 12 Hao (from Fu Ding Da Bai selected no. 9, respectively no. 12) are varietals which were bred in the province of Fujian. They are also used in the province of Sichuan among other for yellow tea (e.g. Huang Mao Feng) and green tea (e.g. Zhu Ye Qing).
  • Fu Ding Xiao Bai (Fuding small white) is a variety originating from Fuding, maybe bred further and used in Mingshan in Sichuan province for green tea (e.g. Meng Ding Gan Lu).
  • Fu Ding Xiao Ye (Fuding small leaf): selected seeds or cuttings of the original seed-grown tea plants from the mountains of Fuding, which were cultivated in another region. This newly created variety is called Fu Ding Xiao Ye and is possibly the same variety as Fu Ding Xiao Bai.
  • Ming Shan Bai Hao: a new varietal bred from Fu Ding Da Bai and local tea plants from Sichuan. It is cultivated above all in Ming Shan in the province of Sichuan, among others for black tea (e.g. Meng Ding Hong Ya).
  • Zhong Hua 302 Hao (China no. 302): cross-breeding between the varietals Ge Lu Ji Ya 6 Hao (Georgia no. 6) from Georgia and Fu Ding Da Bai from the province of Fujian. Cross-bred in 2010 and first planted in Mingshan (province of Sichuan) in 2011.
  • Bi Xiang Cao (Early Jade Perfume): this is a variety resulting from the crossing of Yun Nan Da Ye Zhong and Fu Ding Bai Cha, developed between 1978 and 1992. It is grown in the provinces of Hunan and Shadong and used to make local teas.
  • E Cha 1 Hao (Hubei no. 1) : a cross of Fu Ding Da Bai and Mei Zhan developed in Hubei from 1974 to 1992, used for green and black teas.