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Silver Needle White Tea
Mt. Tiangong (天宫山), Juexi Town, Yibin City, Sichuan Province, China
March 30, 2019
Single bud or few one bud with one unopened leaf
Straight and evenly shaped buds, covered with abundant white hair, silvery-white appearance and glossy in color
Rich pekoe fragrance and a faint aroma of flower
Bright apricot yellow color
Mellow texture accompanied with slight soymilk taste, it has a sweet and smooth mouthfeel that can endure multiple infusions.
Mt. Tiangong Tea Garden (about 900m to 1350m above sea level)
Low caffeine (less than 10% of a cup of coffee)
Store in cool, dry place away from sunlight; keep ventilated
The aged the better
It’s an high mountain tea that features with rich pekoe fragrance and delicate floral scent.
This version of Bai Hao Yin Zhen is grown in Sichuan Province, with each fresh leaf handpicked from the mountainous areas 900-1350m above sea level before the Qing Ming season. When brewed the leaves begin to stretch slowly and give off their rich pekoe fragrance, and yield a soft, smooth liquor with a slight soymilk-sweet taste. After drinking, the fragrance of the pekoe lingers in your mouth.
In addition, the pekoe fragrance blends with the natural floral aroma of the leaves, and establishes enduring flavor. Watching the leaves flutter gracefully in a glass tea cup as it brews is a delight as well.
Chinese Gongfu Method
|Teacup: 12oz / 355ml
|Gaiwan: 3.8oz / 110ml
|185℉ / 85℃
|185℉ / 85℃
|Brewing time: 5 - 8 mins
|5 steeps: 40s, 60s, 80s, 120s, 150s
Mt. Tiangong Tea Garden is located in the town of Juexi in Yibin City, at an average elevation of 900-1350 meters and about 100km from the nearest city. The forest cover here is over 80%, and the soil is rich in abundant matter. Clouds and mist drift through these mountains throughout the whole year, and suitable temperature and humidity provide excellent natural conditions for the growth of tea plants and formation of natural nutritional inclusions in the leaves.
Busy picking season of Mt. Tiangong Tea Garden
Photograph by TeaVivre Member Chris
Yibin City sits at the intersection between the Jinsha, Minjian, and Yangtze Rivers. Since ancient times this location has served as a transportation hub between the mainland and the southwest, and is also an important port to move Sichuan tea to the Jiagnan region. The climate here is humid with abundant rainfall and fertile soil, suitable for healthy tea tree growth.
In the 1950s thousands of wild tea plants were discovered in the Tiangong Mountain Tea Garden and other nearby areas; the Sichuan Tea Institute identified these trees to be as old as the wild trees found in Yunnan, confirming the fact that Yibin is one of the hometowns of tea.
This silver needle tea is made from the leaves of the Fuding Dabaihao plant, also called Dahao for short. It propagates asexually and takes the form of a small tree. In 1985 it was certified as a national tea plant variety, and can grow up to 2.8m high with a thick trunk. The spring tea from this bush contains 1.8% amino acids and 28.2% tea polyphenols, marking it as a high-quality base for making white tea.
Yibin City, located in the middle south of Sichuan Province, bears the title “The First City on the Great Yangtze River”. The history of tea production here can be traced back over 3000 years, and this place is not only an important tea production for Sichuan, but also one of the first places where tea was cultivated in all of China.
According to historical records, during the prosperous Tang and Song dynasties, for Sichuan’s special geographical location the “Tea-Horse Trade” was particularly prosperous. The tea industries in Yibin were developed and expanded so that tea could be traded for horses, salt, and other daily necessities, establishing this so-called “Tea Horse Trade”.
The varieties of teas offered gradually increased, and rarer varieties such as Junlian’s yellow buds as well as other Yibin teas enjoyed a notable reputation in the market. As an important station along the Tea-Horse Road, Yibin tea spread far and wide and quickly earned its reputation.