Bai Hao Yin Zhen-Silver Needle-Nonpareil-All Buds
Silver Needle is one of the rarest and most spectacular teas.The production of this tea merely makes up not even 0.1% of the tea produced in China.
This needle shaped white tea is mainly produced in Fujian, China, which is famous for the outstanding quality of their white tea.
The reason for the name, “Silver Needles”, is quite apparent as with one glance at the buds; the prominence of the delicate white hairs on the buds is quite striking.
During early Spring, each bud is carefully plucked from the Da-bai cultivar (Da-bai cha-shu).
White teas differed from green teas in that their processing does not incorporate any steaming or pan-firing.To produce Silver Needle, the tea has to undergo the long-hour withering which causes the non-enzymatic oxidation that gives the unique characteristics of white tea.The withered buds are then dried on smoldering fire (Wen-huo).One of the unique processing steps is this tea is packed right after drying while the tea is still warm.This is vital to preserve its needle shape; if it is cooled down, the tea is susceptible to breakage while packing.
When brewed in hot water, the buds point upwards, and while remaining in the upright position,the water-absorbed buds gradually sink downward to the bottom of glass, which looks like stalactite.
Other names: White Pekoe Silver Needle, Silver Needle, Yin Zhen, Bai Hao Yinzhen,Silvery Tip Pekoe
Grade: Nonpareil, All Buds, Pre-Qingming
While Chinese tea drinkers have been hip to white tea’s benefits since the Ming Dynasty, until recently it was virtually unknown outside of Asia. Not anymore.
Today, everyone from chefs to medical researchers is praising white tea’s delicate flavor and purported health benefits. Market researchers predict consumers will soon share their enthusiasm, turning white tea into one of the hottest new food trends.
White teas are unfermented teas made from very young tea leaves or buds that are steamed immediately after harvest to inactivate polyphenol oxidase and then dried.
Consequently, white teas usually contain higher concentrations of catechins than other teas.