What is a White Tea?
You have probably heard a lot of talk about colors that are associated with certain types of tea. These color designations often include green, black, and white. Unless you are already a tea expert, you might not know what they mean and how they can impact the tea you are drinking.
Silver needle white tea is just as the name implies, a white tea. Teatulia explains that the designation ‘white’ means that the tea leaves are quite young so the tea leaves have been harvested before the plant’s leaves are completely open, and the tea was also minimally processed when it was being created. White tea gets its name from the color because these young tea leaves are often pale or white in appearance when they are selected to make tea. Basically, silver needle white tea gets part of its name from when the leaves that make the tea were harvested, which was very early on in their growth cycle.
The Origins of Silver Needle White Tea
This type of tea originates in a very specific region of China, called Fuding and Zhenghe city in the Fujian province. While it is commonly called silver needle white tea, it was originally called Bai Hao Yin Shen. As with many types of tea, it is often considered the best to get silver needle white tea straight from the original source. While there are many growers of silver needle white tea, the original Chinese version of the tea can be the most expensive as they started the trend.
Some people might wonder about the term “needle” when applied to tea. It might seem odd or unappealing, but it really just describes the way the tea looks when in loose form. As previously discussed, the tea leaves are harvested when they are young giving them a pale and in this case silvery appearance. In addition to that, the leaves are long and thin, leaving them to slightly resembled needles. Often times, tea is crushed to place in bags so you never see its original appearance. However, silver needle white tea is typically served in its full form, giving a purpose to its descriptive name.
The Taste of Silver Needle White Tea
Since the tea leaves are young and harvested early, the taste of the tea is very different from other types of tea. While you might be used to a bolder and richer tea, this is not the case with silver needle white tea. The tea is quite light and subtle in flavor and can be steeped several times without becoming too harsh or bitter to drink. That is not to say that the tea is flavorless. Quite the opposite actually, the delicious and nuanced flavor is one of the reasons this tea is so popular and highly sought after by tea drinkers. It is an excellent tea to try if you are looking for a bit of a change from your typical bold tea, and can be a great tea to sip after a meal or during a relaxing break.