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China’s Luxurious White Pu-erh Tea

“… wonderfully rich in fragrance, the delicate flavors of white Pu-erh possesses a charming light fruitiness that caress the mouth and gently awaken the senses”

White Pu-erh tea is made entirely from the uppermost tender buds of the tea plant. The highest quality buds are gathered exclusively by hand in the spring. These large, succulent buds are highly valued and only a limited production can be made each year. The best white Pu-erh plantations are located high in remote mountains. The cold weather and harsh winter gives the buds a shiny downy coat. These high quality buds offer small to no bitternes, presenting a delicate sweet flavor that is rich in aroma.

White Pu-erh tea (aka “bud” and “silver tips” Pu-erh) reflects a lifestyle. It is a brew to be sipped and savored. What makes premium white Pu-erh such a luxury is the painstaking process required to produce it. Every step of the process is done by hand and is incredibly labor intensive. While white Pu-erh’s recent introduction to the mass market started in approx. the early 2000s, its light and refreshing character in addition to its novel appeal has attracted considerable interest. Although much speculation surrounds it’s ageing potential, this hasn’t prevented many collectors from adding white Pu-erh tea to their collection in the hope of seeing it one day develop into an antique treasure in the Pu-erh world.

The ageing potential of white Pu-erh tea is a topic that is often discussed amongst Pu-erh collectors. The discussions revolve around 2 well loved theories. Some believe that the delicate and light character of white Pu-erh is not suited for long term ageing. As the years roll by there is a concern that its character will quickly fade away, leaving behind a bland and tasteless husk of tea. Others who are more optimistic carry the belief that a profound transformation will take place, much in the way of green Pu-erh tea – thus resulting in the emergence of more complex and powerful characters that would positively galvanize the tea to a higher plateau. But it is best to keep in mind that these are simply assumptions and the fact remains that no one really knows how this young tea will age and develop over a long period of time. It is only with time that the answer to this mystery will eventually be revealed.

*For full illustrations accompanying this article click on the link

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