Notes of tarragon, rice candy, and rose.
White tea from Fujian, China・April 2016・喬木銀針・Organic, semi-wild
This special Silver Needle white tea was handpicked from a grove of semi-wild trees in Fuding. Limited human intervention in the tree's development results in smaller leaf buds that produce tea with bright sweetness and florality.
Yinzhen, or Silver Needle from Fuding County, Fujian is considered the highest grade white tea. It is made from young leaf buds of the Da Bai plant hand-picked in early Spring. But not all Yinzhen from Fuding are the same. Almost all Yinzhen come from cultivated bushes that range from 10 to 15 years old. These bushes are watered and pruned to ease picking. Often, both fertilizers and pesticides are used to ensure higher crop yields.
Arbor Yinzhen comes from a grove of semi-wild tea trees that were originally planted on an organic tea garden, but subsequently left to develop without human intervention. The plants have not been pruned or watered, and neither pesticides nor fertilizers were used. In the last decade, the grove has become effectively biodynamic.
Sans intervention, the 20 to 25 year old tea trees now stand 6 feet tall, with a deep and complex root structure. The resulting tea buds are smaller, because they took longer to mature. But the character of tea made from these buds are markedly different than tea made from conventional, cultivated tea bushes. The resulting tea has a clear, and bright sweetness, exhibiting notes of tarragon, rice candy, and rose.
Brew: 5 grams・150 ml・195° F・2 min
Arbor Yinzhen is a very forgiving tea to brew. It allows for a wider temperature range (from 195F–205F) and longer steep times. While cupping this tea, we found its clarity and sweetness is best captured with slightly lower temperature brewing.