White Mischief (Organic)
Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province
Grade: Grade #1
Altitude: 600m – 1200m above sea level
Manufacture Type: Naturally withered and sundried
Cup Characteristics: Clear slightly pale cup with a fresh aroma and a smooth velvety flavor. Delicate jammy notes reminiscent of Keemun or a mild Bordeaux
Infusion: Pale yellow
Ingredients: China white tea
Description: Oh….. the 1890’s! A positively smashing time to be alive. The decade was known for frivolity, lightheartedness and good times galore as the economies of the West grew at an unprecedented rate.
It was a time of many firsts. Basketball was first played. The color mauve was invented, Sherlock Holmes was first published and the first Boxer dog show was held in Munich. But the best part of the decade? For the first time in roughly a thousand years, China began exporting White teas! The reason for this change in the industry came after 1885 when varietals of tea were isolated to make Silver Needle and other specialty white teas like this Pai Mu Tan.
Prior to this development, there simply wasn’t enough white tea to go around. In fact for much of the time since it was developed during the T’ang Dynasty, (618-907 AD) White teas were reserved for members of the Imperial Courts. The reason was simple. White tea was, and still is, considered a true tea owing to the fact that it undergoes so little processing. This fact, coupled with its delicate flavour meant that it was pure enough for the elite of society.
Since the early days of white tea export, the process by which the tea is made has largely remained unchanged – the fresh leaf is delivered to the factory on foot, withered, lightly rolled and then dried naturally – no further processing required. This organic Pai Mu Tan is an excellent example of this simplicity of production. The leaf is full and ranges in color from pale green to silvery with lots of nice tips.
The contrast between the leaves gives the tea a very natural look that in turn gives way to a very pure, natural cup. Rounder and more full-bodied than Silver Tip grade, Pai Mu Tan produces a cup that dazzles with subtle layers of peach and floral notes. Brew a pot and raise a cup to the decade that started it all!
Hot Tea Brewing Method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly – about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 90ºC. Place 1-2 teaspoons of leaves in your cup and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.
Then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment – do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low – add more water and so on – until the tea flavour is exhausted. Milk or sugar will mask the delicate characters of this tea and are not recommended. Look at the pattern of the leaves – they foretell life.
Iced Tea Brewing Method: It is not customary to make iced tea from white tea, nevertheless if you wish to do so we would recommend the following method: Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1¼ cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes.
Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water].
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