Also known as Bai Mudan, White Peony is a very popular white tea in China and now abroad. White teas are made only from the newly sprouted buds of the tea plant plucked within 48 hours that provide a honey texture to the brew. The buds are heat braised in covered pans or dried in direct sun with minimal or no oxidation. There are several grades of White Peony, which are distinguished by the age of the plants, season, and quality of leaves.
White Peony teas originated in China’s Fujian province. The new bud and one leaf are plucked from the Da Bai tea plant varietals of Zhenghe and Fuding counties to make this tea. Nowadays White Peony-style teas are also made in other areas of China, but the flavors are quite unique due to the differences in varietals, climate, and soil.
The buds are covered by silvery down and provide a light yellow tea that is sweet and full bodied. White tea is the least processed of all teas. Recent research suggests that it contains a high level of anti-oxidants for a healthier lifestyle. Very low in caffeine.
Recently, the methods of white tea processing have become more cross-pollinated among tea cultures. Cultivation is now done in various parts of China, India and Sri Lanka. In 2000, The Tao of Tea became one of the first tea companies to successfully develop a white tea in Darjeeling, India, and in 2003 to develop a certified organic white tea from the famous ‘Blue Mountains’ (Nilgiris) in south India.