White tea: White Flowery Pekoe

White Flowery Pekoe

It’s sunshine, dry white wine or burned depending on the brewing temperature.
White tea (no further subcategories), ★★★★
Also known as: 白毫银针, Silver Needle Tea.

I love white tea’s characteristic “sunshine taste”. This comes from its most simple production process: the leaves are plucked and dried in the sun, after which, the tea is ready to drink (or store). White teas are considered to have been invented first (before green, oolong, yellow, black and dark teas).

Brew White Flowery Pekoe any hotter than 80 °C and the dryness (as in ‘dry white wine’ dryness) will come out far too accentuated, which will stop you from drinking it. Ignore any advice that tells you to brew this tea hotter than 80 °C. Instead, brew it slowly in a teapot at 70 to 80 °C and enjoy its lightness without getting it ‘burned’.

Even better, use more leaf (7 grams) and quick brews (gongfu style) to delay the dryness and enjoy the sunshine taste completely uninhibited. The lightness matures into dryness with each successive brew, allowing you to enjoy the lighter flavours and still choose to stop drinking when it becomes too dry for your liking. (If you particularly like the dryness, try Bai Mudan white tea instead.)

Brew White Flowery Pekoe right and you’ll have a refreshing drink that changes with each successive brew. It’s best at the second brew, when its floral notes (of lilies and white chocolate) come out to play. Savour he sunshine taste, remember to treat it nicely and don’t burn it. ★★★★

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