Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Yunnan Sourcing
This is a special tea made from Jinggu Yang Ta Village Large Leaf varietal tea (Camellia Taliensis). The tea is picked in the late autumn, wilted slightly and then dried with warm wind tunneled through the tea until it is dry.
Learn more about this tea here.
Jinggu Imperial Yue Guang Bai White Tea from Yunnan Sourcing is one of those teas shrouded in mystery. Moonlight white teas are not well understood in the west. Sometimes mistaken for puerh in the way that it is processed, often air dried the same way as maocha. The name frequently describing Yue Guang Bai, Moonlight White tea alludes to the air dry process. The common lore goes that this tea is only air dried at night, under a full moon. Knowing all this, my only question is: “Am I drinking werewolf tea?”
Regardless of what mythical creature this tea really is trying to be, I am really enjoying it thoroughly. The leaves look like a mix of Bai Mu Dan and Bai Hao Yin Zhen. There are smooth, fuzzy silver noodles of buds, as well as larger, flat leaves with a black backside and a silvery down covering a light golden top leaf. The smell of this dry leaf is like roaming through a wild prairie field; I smell stronger notes of hay, as well as light wildflower hints. I typically use 5 grams when I go gongfu, but 5 grams of this leaf filled up almost all of my 150ml glass gaiwan. This is some big fluffy leaf!
You can extract different flavor profiles from the leaf just by changing the temperature. I started with cool water, about 65C, the result was a sweet and floral brew. The light colored liquor had notes of melon, lilies and wildflowers. Which was nice, but I wanted to punch up the flavor a bit, so I began steeping at 90C, which produced wildly different results. What I got was a much darker brew, a rich amber. Tasting the brew I discovered a strong bread malt note as well as hay. The floral was still there, but much more subdued. It was much different than the cool water method I had used. It was like I was drinking a different tea!
I can highly recommend this white tea for anyone who loves white already, or someone who wants to start treading water of the white tea train. It’s a solid tea worth trying!