White tea cakes

What is white tea

white tea cakeThe traditional classification of white tea is as such: produced in the Fu-Ding/Zheng-He area of the Fu-Jian Province, south-east of China; using the tea leaves harvested from a special specie of tea plant called Fu-Ding Da Bai Hao (福鼎大白毫-Fu Ding big white fur); gone through minimum processing which is Wei-Diao (萎凋- withering) before sun dried or machine tried.

White tea cakes are technically not white teas

The white tea cakes first surfaced on the market in about 2004, mainly made of Shou-Mei (寿眉) as the Silver Needle and White Peony have been in short supply as loose. There has been a debate however since that the steaming and compressing process necessary for making the cakes has fundamentally changed the internal nature of the white teas: producing tea glue (necessary for the tea leaves to from cakes); triggering off the release of certain inner-cell compounds that would have not normally been released in the loose teas. The 'white tea cakes' are thus technically no longer white teas. A term 'compressed style white tea' has been nominated by the Chinese officials to differenciate these from the traditional white teas.