Tea Processing: White Tea

The oldest and simplest way to process tea is used to make white tea. The best white teas are from Fujian in China.

Plucking or picking will generally occur in early spring. The buds and top leaves will be plucked in March or early April by hand. Some types of white tea will use buds and leaves, other will use only leaves or only buds

Withering is generally done in the shade on bamboo mats or indoors with fans to increase air circulation. Mechanical dryers are also commonly used. The tea will dry for 12-24 hours and must be handled gently in order to avoid any bruising which would accelerate oxidation.

Some white teas will be dried entirely through withering. Others that withered in deeper beds will be transferred and spread out to complete the drying process. It must be done carefully to avoid damaging the leaves and causing oxidation.