Yan Ming Shan White Tea 2018. The White Tea from Yan Ming Shan is always very popular among our white tea line-ups.
Naturally farmed tea is different from organic tea
Yan Ming Shan White Tea is made from the tea collected from the tea garden located at 2000-2200m in Lincang county, Yunnan Province of China. The age of tea trees are pretty old and the size of tea trees is huge, and most importantly, these tea trees are grown with natural farming style. No pesticide and no fertilizer is used.
Many people are familiar with so-called organic tea, yet might not aware of the difference between naturally farmed tea and organic tea. In organic garden, the organic fertilizer is often used in order to boost the production of tea. Although the organic fertilizer is safe, it is not suitable to produce quality tea. Regardless of organic or chemical (inorganic), any fertilizer increases the growing speed of tea. As a result, tea contains less minerals and polyphenols. Tea taste becomes lighter and flatter. When no fertilizer is given, like in the natural farming garden, tea tree grows slowly and it accumulates high content of mineral and polyphenol. Thus, the naturally-farmed tea has more complex taste and long-lasting finishing.
Using no heating process
In making Yan Ming Shan White Tea 2018, we withered the tealeaf lightly so as to bring up the floral scent. With first sip, you might associate its flavour to Darjeeling 1st Flush tea. Nevertheless, this tea gives extraordinarily strong aftertaste as compare to any Darjeeling tea. It gives multi-layer of flavour with a complexity in taste.
This white tea has not undergone any additional heating process, while any type of Darjeeling tea undergone heating process above 100 degree Celsius in order to inactivate the enzyme, and this is the reason why Darjeeling tea often gives clear and sharp taste. As for Yan Ming Shan white tea, because of no heating process, its taste is very mellow and silky-soft with multi-layer of floral note and a hint of sweet grassy flavour.
The withering process of white tea. The proper withering process will develops the floral flavour in white tea.
Have you tried the white tea that gives a floral flavour?
I am aware that some people do not have a good experience with white tea. They often said “I am not a big fan of white tea…” The reason given is “it smells like powder or dust”, “less characteristics” or "smell like grass”. In fact, a number of common white tea does give me the similar impression as mentioned above. The process of white tea is very straight forward, thus, the quality of fresh tealeaf has a great impact to the product quality. In addition, many white tea manufacturers emphasize the appearance of tealeaf. Therefore, during the withering process, they will supply strong air at higher temperature. It speeds up the drying process so that tealeaf remains very green and it looks nice. Because of fast drying speed, tealeaf is not withered sufficiently. As a result, tea remains very green with grassy flavour and less clear in taste. For us, we always like the white tea that gives either floral or fruity flavour. The taste must be soft and sweet. This is the reason we use naturally-farmed tea and monitor the withering process by ourselves so as to ensure that withering is neither too short nor too long.
Plucking standard of white tea and the effect to the taste
This tea is made from the tea plucked with 1 bud 3 leaves. Generally, the higher proportion of tea bud such as single bud or 1 bud 1 leaf makes the taste of tea creamy and the texture is very mellow. On the other hand, 1 bud and 3-4 leaves make the taste stronger and the flavour is more appealing. In fact, it is a matter of personal taste. However, for further maturation or aging of tea, or if one prefers clear taste, tea with 1 bud and 3-4 leaves is suitable.
The appearance of Yan Ming Shan White Tea. It gives intense sweet floral flavour.
The aging method of white tea
White tea is suitable for maturation / aging, just like pu-erh tea. For aging, please keep the bag unopened and leave it anywhere inside the building but avoid direct sunshine. In fact, white tea ages faster than pu-erh tea thanks to its process that white tea is made with light fermentation. In one to two years’ time, the floral flavour changed to fruity flavour. It will also develop sweet flavour like raw honey. With further aging, the flavour becomes thicker and the drinking sensation is becoming more silky and mellower. In fact, even with just one year of aging, you may experience the difference in flavour and taste too.
One important tip is that after keeping tea for more than one year, the tea has to be aerated in order to enhance the flavor and taste. As tea has not been in contact with oxygen for a long time, it is necessary to moderately oxidize the tea constituents. This process develop more flavour and making taste richer. It is just like decanting of wine. Just a simple step: please open the bag once and casually seal it back (like our packaging, the bag can be zip-locked), and leave it for 1-2 weeks. You will then enjoy a mellower drinking sensation with more intense flavour.
Cold Water Brewing
White tea is also suitable for cold water brewing. If you are interested, please refer to the following article: