Yunnan white tea

The recent presence of Yunnan white tea

Yunnan Silver Needle white teaThe Yunnan Province is mostly known for its history of Pu-erh tea production when it comes to teas. The product of white tea in Yunnan is relatively recent, speculated as a result of the following:

  1. The overlap of the processing technique between the traditional Fu-Ding white tea and certain Pu-erh teas, for example both are sun dried. 
  2. The premium Fu-Ding white teas' prices have sky rocketed during the recent years (the sky rocketed white tea prices). Although the prices of the Pu-erh teas produced from the 'famous hills' have also gone through the roof, the crops from the not so famous areas are still abundant and their market prices are not even close to the Fu-Ding white teas
  3. A premium Pu-erh tea is often made of a optimal mixture of premium bud leaves, mature leaves and even some twigs. The Fu-Ding white teas on the other hand are graded like their green tea cousins, the bud leaves (Silver Needle) are the most valuable ones while the teas made of mature leaves (eg Shou Mei) are much cheaper. 
  4. The combination of the above two have resulted in the Yunnan 'bud leaves', believed to be of similar quality to the Fu-Ding bud leaves although there are surely some differences, are in much higher supply with lower prices. 

The evidence of the path crossing between Fu-Ding white tea and Yunnan white tea:

  1. White tea cakes being compressed in the Fu-Ding area of the Fu-Jian Province with Fu-Ding white teas during the recent years using Pu-erh cake compressing techniques. 
  2. Yunnan white teas are being produced in Yunnan, in both loose and cakes

What is Yunnan white tea

Yunnan white tea is defined as the following in a nutshell:

  • Yunnan arbor tea tree leaves as material source
  • processed with the methods very similar to that of the Fu-Ding white tea

The differences between the Fu-Ding and Yunnan white teas

Some differences listed belwo (using silver needle as an example):

  Fu-Ding Silver Needle Yunnan Silver Needle
Dry leaves  Shorter, fuller with longer and fluffy white fur  Longer, stronger, curved with shorter and smooth white fur
Aroma  Grassy, sun dried floral aroma  Woody, almost a hint of Pu-erh
 Brew   Light yellow  Light brown
 Taste  Fruity grassy with a faint honey sweet, refreshing and smooth  Potent at first contact, a complex of woody, forest flower, mint, citrus etc
 Hui-Gan (aftertaste)   Gentle, silky and refreshing  Lingering with strength
Infusions  4-5 6 or more