Good morning and Happy New Year, dear tea friends! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I’m feeling full of hope, with a generous dollop of joy thrown in, as we start this brand new year. How about you?
A China white tea, called Pai Mu Tan Special Grade Organic, graces my cup this morning. Its plucking is of the new leaf shoot, or bud, plus the top two leaves. Pai Mu Tan, or Bai Mudan, translates to “white peony,” some say because of the shape of the leaves, others because of its fragrance.
Many folks ask, “what is the difference between a green tea and a white tea?” After all, look at the leaf in the photo above. It’s green, right? Well, it’s all in the processing of the leaf. Whereas green tea leaves are heated up pretty much right away, whether steamed or pan fried, for example, to halt the oxidation of the leaf, white tea leaves are allowed to wither naturally in the sun, sometimes for several days. So, the leaves aren’t heated to halt oxidation. In fact, after withering, the leaves are piled and allowed to oxidize a little bit before they are baked to dry the leaves out for packing and transport.
I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180F water. A gentle, sweet fragrance wafted up from my glass teapot as the leaves released their flavor into the water.
The tea liquor is the light golden color of the morning sky right before the sun breaks the horizon.
A ripe melon note is present in both the aroma and the silky smooth flavor. A lovely tea that’s sweet, fruity and light.
Bits of down from the white hair on the tea leaf float in my tea bowl.
Outside my window, thick, winter white clouds sprinkle down a fine, damp mist, foretelling of the wind and rain storm expected here tomorrow. It’s a good weekend to stay inside, wrapped in a cozy blanket with a hot cup of tea in hand. I just started a new knitting project I’ll work on, a jasper green cardigan sweater with cables for myself. I love new projects!
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. And on a quiet day, if you really listen, you can hear her breathing.” ~Arundhati Roy