Harvested the third week of March 2012, each down-covered leaf bud was picked by hand from a high elevation grove of Da Bai tea trees in Fuding County, Fujian.
Once gathered, the buds were scattered on bamboo trays and slowly wilted with constant airflow for 30 hours. This step, called “fading”, is unique to white tea crafting, as it allows mild enzymatic oxidation to occur in the leaf buds. The result is a tea that is more floral, rounder and creamier than green teas, with fruit rather than vegetal notes. After fading, processing is kept to a minimum, with a final six minute bake to finish the tea.
Our Silver Needle’s provenance and quality sets it apart from most white teas on the market. Fuding County produces white teas that are sweet and floral, with leaf buds that are usually not longer than 1.5 centimeters in length (any larger and they likely come from Yunnan, which produces a lower grade of white tea.) We’re also especially careful in our selection, looking only for consistently sized closed leaf buds to ensure that the tea has a rounder mouth-feel.
The result is a tea that is irresistibly light and sweet, while at the same time remarkably viscous and round. Traditional craftsmanship further accentuates the natural floral notes of the tea, enhancing the innate rose and apricot aromatics of the leaf buds, while adding a richer base of sweet cream.