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KMPickard

Yellow & White Teas

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We're just getting into the world of fine teas and enjoying our explorations tremendously.

So far favourites (mine) are Koslanda Organic from the Uva area of Sri Lanka and Keemun Hao Ya "A". L leans towards Chinese Kwai Flower Oolong.

We have some Darjeeling Whyte (sic) tea and I'm somewhat at a loss as to how to brew it. I've looked up several tea sites on the web and come up with brewing times of anywhere from 2-3 minutes to 7 minutes. chd also mentions in a post on another thread that the ideal way to brew white tea is to steep it overnight at room temp. So... I'm totally confused. Any suggestions for me?

Thanks,

Kathy

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Heat the water to no more than 160 degrees. Steep for 3-5 minutes, depending on the tea?

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Low water temp is very important in brewing teas like whites... all sorts of delicate flavors would get killed by water too warm. So, get yourself a stopwatch, a mug, some warm (but not above 160) water, toss your tea in, pour your water over it, start the stopwatch, and begin sipping at 2 minutes and keep going until you find a flavor profile that you like. You'll note that the mouthfeel will change with time too...


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Fast read digital thermometers are extremely helpful for these things - I think mine was about $10 or $15 and has proven invaluable for water temp sensitive projects. I also like to preheat the vessel in which brewing, steeping or beverage storage will occur to minimize temperature drops during the process or before serving.

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I just ran across this offering at Generation Tea: http://www.generationtea.com/store/product...products_id=400

Here's the description from the white tea page:

These small disks are made from yellow tea from Hunan Province. Yellow tea is a variety in the white tea family that is left to oxidize a bit to give it a pungent smell and flavor. In time, yellow tea will be known next to white tea as one high in antioxidants. Get your's in this convenient single serving compressed coin.

Does anyone know anything about this? The tiny description sounds like someone's processing a white tea like a pu-erh. As a fan of both, I'm somewhat curious.

Thoughts?

-- Mike

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I just ran across this offering at Generation Tea: http://www.generationtea.com/store/product...products_id=400

--snip--

Does anyone know anything about this? The tiny description sounds like someone's processing a white tea like a pu-erh. As a fan of both, I'm somewhat curious.

Yellow tea is a style of tea unto itself, to call it a white tea is rather misleading, but then GenerationTea is not the most knowledgable of sources.:wink: It is a non-fermented tea that is oxidized more than a white tea but less than a green tea. It has long been "lightly" compressed into sticks and other shapes, this is really more a "forming" than a tight compression like puerh, although it is also processed as a loose tea as well. This is an ethnic minority style tea, however it is NOT puerh. It comes from a different type of tea leaf and is also processed differently than puerh. Yellow tea actually undergoes an extra step called "Men Huang" that green tea and white tea are not subjected to.

This is accomplished by quickly frying the tea in small quantities under 500 grams at a high temperature, and then wrapping the tea in Niu Pi Zhi (Cow Skin Paper), a old style of paper that looks yellow, and allowing it to dry naturally for a few hours, and then repeating the process until the tea master is pleased. This process varies a little bit between teas. and can take days to finish.

You can generally get more steeps out of yellow tea than you can out of green or white varieties.

See another style of compressed yellow tea from my collection HERE


__________

Mike Petro

My hobby website:

Pu-erh, A Westerner's Quest

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I have barely started exploring whites and yellows and would appreciate any information and experience you all have with brewing them. Let's use this topic for discussing everything having to do with white and yellow teas...the various teas, sources, brewing...

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I'll kick it off with this current experience with a white tea.

I have been drinking an inexpensive white tea from The Cultured Cup, a Pai Mu Tan. On the package they recommend 2 gr (per 6 - 8 ounces, I assume) at 175 F for 6 minutes. I brewed it first at 155 F for 6 minutes and liked it. I am going to play around a great deal with the brewing parameters since I understand others brew whites with a wide range of leaf:water ratios and brewing times.

What have you found that works well for brewing white teas? Do you vary the parameters much from white tea to white tea?

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Hello-I tend to brew whites like I brew greens. My favorite white is Dragon Well White, but a lot of people I know recommend the An Ji.And, the owner of Goldfish Tea likes the Peony.


"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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A new-to-me white tea today: Supreme Silver Dragon White Tea

from Wing Hop Fung

Not too expensive ($48/lb), this tea is curled and delicate, leaves smell vegetal but not strong.

4553002371_b8dfc3bc58.jpg

5 grams tea, 5 oz/150mL water 165 degrees, infused about 30 seconds in a glass teapot,

4553642388_ea2e3868be.jpg

then mixed the first two infusions together as I am drinking them. The liquor is pale golden, sweet, very delicate floral flavor, with a nice thick body, hints of sweet peas, no hint of astringency or bitterness.

4553643220_29e1c7a132.jpg

A 3rd and 4th infusion are losing body and sweetness, some astringency coming through.

The damp leaves smelled like asparagus after the 2nd infusion, but can’t distinguish much after the 4th.

4553644060_dea764fc57.jpg

Overall, this is a nice, mellow, sweet white tea, and not too pricey as white teas go.

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Iced tea experiment with Bai Mu Dan from Wing Hop Fung: used 10g tea per 12 oz infuser mug, one started with 160 degree water, the other with chilled water, both refrigerated for about 12 hours. The cold brewed tea was a bit lighter in color than the other, but both were a rich amber, and both tasted....rather vile. Astringent, a little bitter, just not good.

I'll be sticking to cold water & hot tea again after the annual failure of the cold tea experiment!

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2005 Ye Sheng Wild Tea Log

aged, compressed, dried wild tea from norbutea.com,

July 2010

Apparently made from the same wild varietal as the Ya Bao tea buds that I've enjoyed so much, but compressed and aged. Greg describes a 'lemony' flavor and there certainly is a lemony aroma to the dried compressed leaf material, which looks rather coarse and quite clearly includes the fuzzy pale buds along with darker leaves.

Used 3.6 grams of tea in a 2.5 oz/75mL gaiwan (the proportions Greg recommends on the Norbu site) with water just off the boil. Flash rinsed, waited 2 minutes, another flash rinse (wanted to see the leaves open up for the rinsing, but it is still quite compressed, so I'm giving up), and then short steeps--first 15 seconds, up to a minute by the 4th or 5th.

It's mellow, sweet, floral, and yes, lemony. Quite interesting. It reminds me a lot of the silver needle tea I was drinking earlier today, and like the silver needle, it is delicious with chocolate. It really does not in any way resemble puerh, despite being aged and compressed, except that it does shine here in these short steeps.

The liquor is a rich amber, and the leaves at the end vary from green to tan.

All in all quite interesting and tasty.

4825434627_dff633e48f.jpg

4825437101_53e7c0c4c5.jpg

4826044900_8e56b3239a.jpg

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Early Spring Yunnan Silver Needles by Norbu Tea

First try with this tea.

As anticipated, it is a less refined and more camphorous tea than the versions I’ve had before from Fujian. It is sweet, mellow, but not bitter.

First infusions about 1 gram of tea in a 2 oz gaiwan, water 160 degrees, 30 second infusion. It is a little more floral and less vegetal than the Tai Ping Hou Kui I was just drinking, and nothing like as fruity as the Yin Zhen silver needle from the Cultured Cup that I recently tasted. It is a little milder than the Yunnan Mao Feng I’ve been getting from Norbu, as expected for a white tea made from the same general source material. The floral taste is decreasing after the 3rd infusion, but some mellow sweetness remains. Very nice, not spectacular, but refreshing on a warm afternoon.

The leaves are so pretty

4874142518_03e7d36349.jpg


Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)

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Zhao Lu Bai Cha - 2011 Spring Taiwan White Tea by Norbu Tea

(Another free sample with the current order from Norbu)

90mL shiboridashi, preheated, with 3.1 grams of tea, delicate intact leaves, with sweet delicate scent

160°F/71°C, 90 seconds

Peaches and honey, flowers and fruit, delicious.

160°F/71°C, 2 minutes

Peaches receding, still honey, fruity, flowers, and delicious

180°F/82°C, 2 minutes

Vegetal grassiness to the fore now, still some floral overtones, fruit/peach essence gone now

186°F/86°C, 3 minutes

Floral, sweet, vegetal, pleasant, but I think the leaves are mostly done now.

This is a lovely tea, very reminiscent of Bai Mu Dan, and should be delicious iced. I’m going to prepare a cup of that to drink tonight—will update when I do.

(later)

As anticipated, this one also makes terrific iced tea. I used about 3 grams in a 10 ounce up, cool tap water, and refrigerated it. 12 hours later, rich and floral and fruity with a bit of something not bitter, but a bit of a counterpoint to the sweet fruitiness. Mmmm.

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