Wild White 2018 Single Tree 单株野生白茶
A true gift from nature, this is an extremely precious wild white tea, from the alpine forests of Zhenghe, Fujian. It comes to us from one of our well-respected tea foragers, Mr. Fan or Hunter who coincidentally discovered a mountain region with wild tea plants in his hometown of Zhenghe, Fujian when he was working in the Forestry Department for the local government, managing the population of wild boars that were wreaking havoc for local farmers. Zhenghe, Fujian is one of only two origins for an authentic white tea.
This tea was foraged from one single centuries-old wild tea tree, standing at more than 12 feet high.
To Hunter, wild tea trees must meet the following three conditions:
1. Natural reproduction from seeds
2. Grown in pristine and natural ecological environment
3. Grown in an environment with no pollution, and have zero pesticide/chemical residues.
The centuries-old tea tree is wild and of the traditional Zhenghe Dabai (Big White) 政和大白 varietal, situated within thousands of acres of ecological ancient old growth forest more than 3600 feet above sea level. In these vast old growth forests, the wild tea trees compete with a diverse variety of trees seeking precious diffused sunlight; the roots extend deep, drawing nutrients from the ground and, thus, the tree grows slowly and the tea leaves accumulate rich nutrients and compounds.
The craftsmanship is authentic and traditional. Zhenghe white tea is processed by way of 阴干 shade drying, as opposed to the more common sun-dried or oven-baked white teas. The foraged tea leaves are spread on bamboo mats and naturally dried in the shade, without any exposure to sun or fans or mechanical roasting.
This is significant—the tea leaves are allowed to dry slowly and naturally, without any application of external heat. This translates into tea leaves that are still “alive” and still retain the maximum amount of live enzymes and nutrients. This centuries-old white tea craftsmanship is extremely laborious, time-consuming and requires a substantial amount of space.
Adding to the particulars of this tea production is the impermanent alpine microclimate in Zhenghe, Fujian. The weather shifts between thunderstorms during the night, drizzles and fog in the morning, and blue sky by mid-day. Surprisingly, this ever-changing weather is the ideal condition for crafting traditional white tea. Craftsman of Zhenghe white tea, with decades of experience, can instinctively predict the changes in weather, and optimally time each stage of the tea processing to the weather. Slowly and continuously over time, the fluctuations in temperature and humidity act to “wring out” the moisture in the fresh tea leaves. Having respect for nature, learning how to work with nature, and achieving harmony between heaven, earth and human, is the philosophy for ancient crafters of tea.
Our Zhenghe Wild White tea is one of the most intriguing we have tasted. The leaves are strikingly beautiful - enormously full and rustic. From such leaves and stems, I imagined the taste would mirror the form—rustic and earthy. Yet, it turned out to be the sweetest tea we have experienced. The sweetness is wonderfully pure, like tasting sugar cane, and, a surprising sweetness borne simply from leaves and stems. It also boasts a beautiful wood taste, like a fine, sweet wood incense.
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This tea should be enjoyed two ways: first by infusions in a gaiwan (for more than 10 infusions), and then boiled/simmer on the stove top for 5-10 minutes.
|Steep time||10 - 120 sec|
|No. of infusions||10+
Boiling/Simmering: (using the same leaves as the infusions)
Simmer on stove top with approximately 200ml water for 5- 10 minutes. This tea can be boiled for 3 times!