This is an excellent starting point for people who are new to puerh in general because of its mildness, but it is also an excellent change of pace for people who are lovers of the many different forms that puerh can take. Although white pu-erh tea is very new and has not been studied extensively, it stands to reason that it shares the same, if not more, antioxidants and health benefits of both white tea and pu-erh tea.
Puerh tea is the fine wine of the tea world because the longer it is stored the more pronounced its taste and range of complex flavours becomes.
One thing to keep in mind about this tea is that it is not a conventional white tea. White teas are simply picked and dried, while this was processed just like other Sheng Puerh teas. It was picked, withered, pan fired, and sun dried, creating a flavor profile that is different and more assertive than conventional white tea. It has a bit of a sweet malty flavor without the bitterness common to other young Sheng Puerh.
The White Bud Puerh Tea is composed entirely of pure white buds that were hand harvested from tea plants grown in Yong De county of Lincang Prefecture near China’s border with Myanmar. It was harvested in the Spring of 2012 and was processed at a small facility in this rather remote area of Yunnan.
1. The water quality
It is essential to choose fresh water with a low mineral content. The ideal is to use spring water or perhaps filtered water. It is also best to boil it in a kettle, because water heated in a pan can easily be tainted by the taste of the food previously cooked in this receptacle.
2. The water temperature
The golden rule about water temperature is never use boiling water on the tea, whatever kind of tea you are making.
Green Teas require water at 70°C and black teas require water at 85-90°C.
These days you can get kettles which enable you to choose your water temperature.
3. The teapot
If you are making your tea in a teapot, it is advisable to scald it first, i.e. pour boiling water into the pot, rinse it and throw the water away.
There are two kinds of teapots:
1. Terracotta teapots which are said to have a "memory" because they retain the flavour of the tea already made in them. It's best to have a different teapot for each kind of tea, so that you don't mix up the flavours. After use, the teapot should merely be rinsed out, without scrubbing it or using any detergent, and then left to dry with the lid off. This kind of teapot is very suitable for black teas and Oolong teas.
2. Ceramic, metal, porcelain teapots, which can be washed in hot water (without detergent). These are more versatile because they don't absorb the flavours of the teas.
4. The amount of tea
Custom dictates that 4 grams are sufficient for one cup. But the amount is partly a matter of preference. In the case of Assam tea, which is naturally very robust, you might want to reduce the strength and brew 3 grams instead of 4.
5. The brewing time
This is a very important step in the art of tea-making. In fact, the brewing time varies depending on the type of tea. An over-brewed black tea will develop a bitter taste whilst an under-brewed white tea will be flat and insipid.
Black teas are normally brewed for 2-3 minutes, green teas for 3 - 4 minutes. It is a good idea to check the brewing time before making the tea, because some teas need to be infused for very specific times: for example, Jade Pearl is left to infuse for 7 - 20 minutes, whilst Oolong tea will need 5 - 7 minutes for its bouquet to develop fully.
Brewing is normally done with a lid on, so that the tea retains all its aromas.