Your cart

Your cart is empty

Fuding White Tea: A Delicate Symphony of Flavor and Wellness

"White tea is a fascinating beverage, the least processed among the six major Chinese tea categories. Unlike other teas that undergo extensive manipulation, white tea is simply plucked from the tea bush and allowed to wither and dry naturally, with minimal human intervention. This unique process preserves the tea's inherent characteristics, producing a remarkably pure and unadulterated flavor."

Cary Woo

1. What is Fuding White Tea?

Fuding White Tea Brewing In Gaiwan-orientaleaf

White tea is mainly produced in Fuding福鼎, Zhenghe政和, Jianyang建阳, and Songxi松溪 in Fujian福建 Province, China. Fuding is known for producing the best white tea.

Due to its unique environmental conditions, tea tree varieties, and the slightly fermented processing method without frying or rolling, white tea has a characteristic appearance of being covered with white hair on the surface of the dry tea leaves. Its color is silver-white with a hint of grayish-green, which is why this type of tea is also called white tea.

Fuding white tea is a type of lightly fermented tea. It is made from fresh leaves of high-quality tea tree varieties such as Fuding Dabai福鼎大白茶 and Fuding Dahao tea福鼎大毫茶. 

The processing involves two steps: withering萎凋 and drying干燥. The entire production process does not include rolling揉 or frying炒, which helps to preserve the tea's intrinsic components to the fullest. 

Fuding white tea is renowned for its reputation as "the world's white tea is in China, and China's white tea is in Fuding" and its aging characteristic of being "tea for one year, medicine for three years, and treasure for seven years."

2. Benefits of white tea

Fuding White Tea Brewing In Gaiwan-orientaleaf

Enhances Immunity

Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University found in animal experiments using carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice that white tea can significantly reduce the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in mice, with reductions of 21.8% and 38.5%, respectively.

Liver Protection

The flavonoids-rich White Tea can protect the liver by accelerating the metabolism of ethanol metabolites into non-toxic substances, reducing the damage to liver cells. Moreover, flavonoids can improve the increase in serum lactate dehydrogenase activity caused by liver cell damage and inhibit the formation of collagen fibers in liver cells, thus protecting the liver, significantly reducing ethanol-induced liver damage, and quickly restoring the liver to normal. Additionally, flavonoids act quickly and have a long-lasting effect, making them a good choice for liver protection and alcohol detoxification.

Lowers Blood Lipids

White tea has anticoagulant and fibrinolytic effects, can alter the hypercoagulable state, and has no side effects of general anticoagulants, which has a significant effect on lowering blood lipids and preventing cerebrovascular diseases.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Due to its simple processing, white tea retains more tea polyphenols in fresh leaves, as well as rich in vitamin C and vitamin P. Tea polyphenols can promote the absorption of vitamin C. Vitamin C can move cholesterol from the artery wall to the liver, reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood, and also enhance the elasticity and permeability of blood vessels. The alkaloids in tea can dilate blood vessels, promote blood circulation, and help reduce blood pressure.

Lowers Blood Sugar

In addition to containing other nutrients inherent in tea, white tea also contains essential active enzymes for the human body. Long-term consumption of white tea can significantly increase the activity of lipoprotein lipase in the body, promote fat decomposition and metabolism, effectively control insulin secretion, delay the intestinal absorption of glucose, decompose excess sugar in the blood, and promote blood sugar balance. White tea is rich in various amino acids, which are cool in nature and have the functions of reducing fever, relieving summer heat, and detoxifying.

3. Four White Tea Types

The initial processing method of white tea is basically the same. It is mainly divided based on the different tea tree varieties and the standards for picking the raw materials (fresh leaves). The main types include White Hair Silver Needle白毫银针, White Peony白牡丹, Gong Mei贡眉, and Shou Mei寿眉

4 Types of White tea-orientaleaf

3.1 White Hair Silver Needle

White Hair Silver Needle is the highest grade of white tea, known for its exquisite selection. It must be made from the complete buds picked from the new shoots of tea trees in early spring. The finished tea is plump, heavy, and straight like needles, with a fresh white color and a shiny, silver-like appearance.

Identification of White Hair Silver Needle: Visually, White Hair Silver Needle consists only of needle-shaped buds without any leaves.

Drinking White Hair Silver Needle白毫银针, you taste its freshness鲜

Drinking White Hair Silver Needle is all about savoring its freshness and hair aroma. A good Silver Needle tea has a pure aroma, without any impurities, with a clear and bright soup color, and a refreshing and tender taste. The term "hair aroma" is quite abstract and requires a gradual appreciation.

The taste of White Hair Silver Needle is light but not insipid. When drinking white tea, you will find that the tea soup has thickness, similar to the rice soup on top of congee, which feels thick and smooth when drinking, with a sense of swallowing, completely different from the thinness of plain water.

3.2 White Peony

White Peony tea is made from one bud and one or two leaves, with the two leaves embracing the heart of the tea resembling a flower bud about to bloom. The buds and the back of the leaves are covered with white hairs, and the color of the leaf surface is grey-green.

Identification of White Peony tea: It has needle-shaped buds, but each needle can only carry one or two tea leaves, and the tea leaves cannot exceed three leaves.

Drinking White Peony白牡丹, you taste its sweetness甜

When drinking White Peony tea, you taste its sweetness and richness. It has a pure and authentic fragrance, with a hint of hair aroma and a mellow and sweet taste. The tea soup also feels thick. Its taste is fuller with both buds and leaves, and the variations are more diverse. Different processing methods produce rich flavors, such as floral, fruity, and more.

3.3 Gong Mei and Shou Mei

Gong Mei is made from one bud and three or four leaves, with strong and stout tea, buds and leaves connected, and leaves yellow-brown with a hint of green.

Identification of Gong Mei: It has buds, and the tea leaves carried by one bud are three or four leaves, and the buds and leaves are connected.

Shou Mei is made from mature leaves, with a slightly lower bud content, thick and stout tea stems, and yellow-brown leaves.

Identification of Bai Cha Shou Mei: There are basically no buds, all are mature tea leaves.

When drinking Shou Mei/Gong Mei, the emphasis is on tasting its sweetness. The older leaves and stems of the tea plant make the tea soup sweeter.

However, compared to the delicate and smooth taste of Silver Needle and White Peony, the tea soup of Shou Mei/Gong Mei is slightly milder. But if the raw materials are too old, it may feel rough on the tongue.


Author: Cary Woo

Cary Woo has been working in the tea industry for over 10 years and has run a tea house for over 6 years, serving thousands of tea enthusiasts each year. He has a deep passion for various types of Chinese tea and is also the operator of Orientaleaf. He advocates for Orientaleaf's business philosophy, stating, "We only sell tea that we have personally enjoyed and believe to be of high quality." He hopes to make the beauty of Chinese tea accessible to tea enthusiasts worldwide through simple means.

Previous post
Next post
Back to Tea 101

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published