For our 1-year aniversary tea cakes, Farmer Yang brought out his 2020 Moonlight White collection for us – limited edition 12 pressed cakes. After two years of aging and transformation, our Forest Spirit Moonlight White Tea has star anise speice, orchid and honey fragrance, mellow and smooth, and has the soothing feeling of a well-aged Pu’er tea. We love its energy that really feels like taking an evening stroll under the moonlight, the neighbor yard’s orchid flowers blooming gently and its beautiful scent brushes over our shoulders in the night breeze.
This special White Tea shows our Farmer Yang’s craftsmanship. It’s made from the very same Ancient Tree leaves that is made of his Shu/Riped Puér but using white tea processing method – After picking fresh leaves in the night, leaves are naturally dried indoors. Not only there is no kill-green nor kneading steps in this process, but also each batch of raw tea (mao cha) must be finished within one day without being exposed to the sunlight. After processing, the top of the tea leaf is white while the back is dark. The leaf buds look white and bright like a crooked moon, and one bud and two leaves as a whole also look like the moon in a dark night. When you look closer, the leaves have little short white and smooth fuzzy hairs, which is an indicator of a good quality Moonlight White tea.
Historically, the original Moonlight White tea refers to the white tea that is made of “Jinggu Big White Tea” cultivar and dried in the shades. Nowadays, farmers from other towns other than Jinggu town have adapted the technique and mastered the skills to make Moonlight White Tea from Yunnan Large Leaf Species (aka Puér cultivar).
Farmer Yang’s Moonlight White Tea is one of them – using Yunnan Large Leave Species ancient tree leaves that are over 200 years old. Similar to wineyards and olive gardens, the age of the garden has a large impact on the micronutrients in the soil, leading to a stronger and more complex chemical cocktail. There are records of tea gardens in Jingmai going back 1200 years, which is one theory as to why this region produces such coveted teas. The roots of these ancient trees go deep into the soil, absorbing more underground minerals and nutrients. It leads to higher and richer content of tea polyphenols than that of tea trees in other region or younger trees, resulting in tea liquors with higher content of substance, crisp clear mountain and multilayered flavors, as well as longer length. Therefore this kind of White Tea has more medicinal properties, and more aging potentials.
(It’s very good to enjoy now already in 2022 but also can be continue aged if you wish! 😛 )