I am asked about white tea more often than any other tea variety. While it has become popular in the United States its popularity is still small compared to black and green tea. The first export of White Peony to Europe wasn't until 1922. While white tea is a relatively new product to us it has a long history in China- it is traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It is so revered in China that during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD)they developed the "9 Forbidden Rules" for harvesting white tea (the rules are still used today).
No plucking is permitted when:
- Early morning when the dew is too wet
- Buds too thin (premature)
- Purple buds (post-mature)
- Buds damaged by wind, insects or human-mishandling
- Opened mature buds
- Hollow buds
- De-shaped buds
- Buds with more than two leaves
An interesting fact for all of the Silver Needles lovers is that it takes more than 3,000 buds to make up 1 pound of tea.