I like to drink the less caffeinated teas in the evening to minimize sleep interference. I selected this one from the cupboard. It’s a light “fluffy” tea (as I refer to them since they are feather light for their volume.) The leaf has a fine fuzzy feel to it and olive green in color. The curl of the leaf tips is lengthwise from the out edges (right and left) inwards resulting in a folded look. It’s a beautiful shape. The brew comes out a pale yellow. I didn’t add any sweetener so as to not drown out the already subtle taste. The flavor is smooth and slightly nutty, sweet and very pleasant. There is no vegetal or “grassy” flavoring to this tea. It’s just a really great tea to mellow out on.
One of the original sources of tea in Yunnan is between Jingmai (Dai) village and Mangjing (Bulang) village of Lancang county, covering several hundred acres along a tea mountain. The area is well suited for tea as the climate is warm and humid and has a history of at least 800 years.
Unlike small tea bushes that exist in most tea growing regions, tea plants (mostly those growing wild) in Jingmai Manjing have matured into trees of six to ten feet in height and pickers have to climb these trees to harvest the leaves. The branches of these old tea trees are at least 30 cm or bigger and the newly sprouted leaves almost twice as large than those from other regions. Each tree provides only 40 to 50 pounds of tea per year.
The Dai ethnic people of this area are rich in their indigenous knowledge of plants, herbs and the importance of bio-diverse agriculture. Many tea trees have other species of useful plants and flowers growing on their branches.
Known as ‘Bai Cha’, white teas are made from newly sprouted buds with silvery white hair ‘down’ that provide a honey texture to the brew. In making white tea, the buds are ‘heat braised’ in covered pans or dried in direct sun. As a result there is little or no oxidization of the buds which results in very low caffeine content.
Flavor Profile: The flavor is very distinct for teas from Jing Mai. Slightly fruity, mildly sweet, honey texture and smooth flavor.