• HOME >
  • Tea Processing

The secret of making quality white tea

[2013.03.30] Posted By

outdoor withering

I have spent two days in the white tea factory located in Fuding city of Fujian province in China.

The difference between white tea and green tea

The main difference of white tea from green tea is that green tea will undergo either pan-frying process or steam-heating process in order to inactivate the enzyme. As for white tea, there is no heating process to inactive the enzyme. If fresh tealeaf is heated, we do not call it white tea, but green tea. There are many kinds of green tea in the market that appearance is very white thanks to the white pekoe. But they are still called green tea as long as heating process is involved.

white tea : bay mu dan

Bai Mu Dan

The withering is the simplest and the most difficult process

The most important process for making white tea is the withering process. It involves outdoor withering under the sun and indoor withering at controlled room temperature. After the fresh tealeaves are plucked and gathered, it will be sent to the factory. The fresh tealeaves are then carefully spread on the bamboo plate and left under the sun for a few hours, and subsequently it will be kept in a room for more than 12 hours. The room is equipped with fans to circulate the air. Besides, the room is kept warm using hot air. Usually, the room temperature is controlled at about 36 degree C. Many people tend to think that making white tea is very easy since it just has to be naturally dried. If one never care about the tea quality, it is indeed very easy to produce. You just need to keep tea in a room with good ventilation so that tea will lose moisture and becomes white tea. However, the simply dehydrated tea will develop stale or oxidized flavour. The leaf sometimes turns brown if excess fermentation occurs. Besides, without much attention during the handling of teas, it becomes red once tealeaf is damaged, or if it’s stack, it turns black.

withering for white tea

The poorly managed withering. There are many brown leaves.

white tea withering process

 

Managing moisture is the key

We followed master Zhen who has more than 40 years of experience in making white tea. According to him, the key to process good white tea is the speed, management of right temperature and duration of withering process. If tealeaf is half-way dried, the moisture distribution between the surface of leaf and inside the leaf is not the same. If one just continues the same temperature, the moisture will be trapped inside the leaf and it will develop stale flavour. When the moisture on the surface starts disappearing, they have to raise the room temperature in order to reduce the internal moisture.
fresh tea leaves

Fresh tea leaves meant to be processed into Bai Mu Dan

bai mu dan

The freshly processed Bai Mu Dan

萎凋
The withering process of silver needle

 

withering

Indoor withering of Bai Mu Dan

Withering process of white tea

 

White tea is supposed to give floral flavor

With the good management in process, the white tea will develop sweet and floral flavour. It is very refreshing and you can hardly feel any stale flavour. After spending two days in Fuding, I managed to find the right manufacturer and successfully purchase two types of white tea. For the details about the white teas, I will continue later.

inspection on white tea

Related Articles

How to get the latest update on HOJO Tea?

1. Follow Twitter, 2. Click "Like" on Facebook, and 3. Subscribe in newsletter. You can have the latest tea news from HOJO Tea.

Subscribe the Newsletter to enjoy the privileges
You may receive a free sample upon purchase, or you may have the priority to purchase special products. So please remember to subscribe our newsletter as well as the social network.
  •                 

HOJO TEA Online Shop NEWSlist

High Mountain Pu-erh Tea is Now Available in Our Store
High mountain purple raw pu-erh tea is now available in our store. This is one of the very interesting raw pu-erh teas we made in 2019. High mountain tea called Zi-Cha High mountain purple tea is made from the specific varietry called Zi-cha by the locals. In Chinese, Zi-cha means purple tea. This variety is …
Taiping Houkui 2019 is now available in our store
2019 Taiping Houkui is available in our store. Taiping Houkui was listed as the Top Ten Famous Teas in China. It has been the well-known green tea of Anhui province since Qin dynasty. We have both standard and special tribute grade. The special tribute grade was grown at higher altitude and it gives longer lasting …

NEW ARTICLES

Do you know that organic tea does not mean healthy?
Have you ever heard about sustainable tea garden? It means tea garden is independent from human and being able to continue to propagate as part of ecology. Every year we spend nearly two months in Yunnan for sourcing tea. We make sure that all of our Yunnan teas are from the sustainable tea garden. The …
High Mountain Pu-erh Tea is Now Available in Our Store
High mountain purple raw pu-erh tea is now available in our store. This is one of the very interesting raw pu-erh teas we made in 2019. High mountain tea called Zi-Cha High mountain purple tea is made from the specific varietry called Zi-cha by the locals. In Chinese, Zi-cha means purple tea. This variety is …
Taiping Houkui 2019 is now available in our store
2019 Taiping Houkui is available in our store. Taiping Houkui was listed as the Top Ten Famous Teas in China. It has been the well-known green tea of Anhui province since Qin dynasty. We have both standard and special tribute grade. The special tribute grade was grown at higher altitude and it gives longer lasting …
2019 Chinese Green Teas are available in our store
We have now received three types of 2019 Chinese green tea and one yellow tea. Thanks to less rain in this spring, the quality of these teas is excellent. Shi Feng Long Jing 獅峰龍井茶 Long Jing is the well-known Chinese green tea. It is produced in Zhejiang Province. In particular, Shi Feng Long Jing produced …
Pre-Booking of Da Xue Shan Wild Tea and White Tea Mao-Cha 2019
We open the pre-booking of Da Xue Shan Wild Raw Pu-erh Tea and Wild White tea in loose form (mao cha). This year we have very limited stock of loose tea. We will close the booking once the quantity of order reaches our quota. Tea is arriving soon in Japan. So, we should be able …
The Field Report of Yunnan Tea in 2019
We have been staying in Yunnan since 9th of April for sourcing spring tea. In previous years, we usually came here before the end of March. This year, we shifted our schedule about 10 days later since we wanted to stay here until the end of spring tea season. This past week, we were engaged …
Limited Release of Rare Single Tree Pu-erh, White and Black Tea
We have opened the sales of Single Tree Tea (Dan Zhu Tea) produced in 2018 spring. Single Tree Tea refers to the selected tea produced only from one particular tea tree. It is considered as the most exclusive quality of all. For oversea customer, please visit the following page. https://hojotea.com/en/posts-213/ So far in Yunnan, only …
New Release of Vintage Guo Gan Ripe Pu-erh Tea
We released very rare and limited ripe pu-erh tea. It is 9 years vintage ripe pu-erh tea from Guo Gan in Myanmar. It gives distinctive vintage tea flavour with a hint of dry-fruity flavour and herbal-like aroma. Tea grown in Myanmar-China border town Guo Gan is the place in Myanmar facing to Yunnan, China. This …
New Release of High Mountain Purple Black Tea 2018
We have released High Mountain Purple Black Tea 2018. This tea is one of the very popular Yunnan black tea in our line-ups. Since it is a very cold season now in Japan, this tea suite very well. I often enjoy this tea recently. Purple Tea variety gives very special flavour The high mountain purple …
Tsukigase Sencha Processed with Long Withering
We made an interesting green tea with Tsukigase’s spring tea. It is sencha, and we conducted long withering process to enhance its flavour. As a result, it gives a gentle floral scent that reminds me of Taiwan’s lightly fermented oolong tea. After producing tea in spring, in order to further enhance its flavour, we kept …

PAGETOP