White Tea

White Tea 白茶 Bai Cha

In order to produce white tea, the plucked leaves are exposed to the sun for a very long time, and thereafter often laid out in a kind of aerated greenhouse, so that the process can take place in any weather. Other teas are being withered in the shade for even longer periods of time. What happens during this whole process of withering is a kind of spontaneous oxidation, during which the chlorophyll oxidises. The leaves’ cell structure remains intact, though. The leaf material is dried by hot air or on charcoal after the withering process is finished. White teas are usually plucked during spring (March/April). This type of tea processing first appeared around 1780 in Jianyang in the province of Fujian. The traditional white teas come from Zhenghe and above all Fuding, which both lie somewhat east of Jianyang, but nowadays they are produced in many places. White teas are usually quite subtle in taste and without bitter constituents, yet still very aromatic.