Formosa White Jade is a mingqian (明前) white tea from Taiwan’s Nantou county. Given its mid-January plucking time, it is not yet a true spring tea, however, since it already contains the new year’s fresh buds, which started to sprout surprisingly early this year, it is not a winter tea either. Due to the short duration of daylight, the new leaves grew slower than usual, which made them extremely tender, and the tea stronger.
Thanks to its cultivar and production method, it is an exceptionally fragrant tea—eucalyptus, orchid, jasmine and a hint of chilly camphor. Its dense taste profile is characterised by a lightsome sweetness and an ever so slight spiciness, which later turns into vivid flowery notes.
What is particularly interesting about this tea is that it was made of a cultivar predominantly used for the legendary Red Jade Black tea, the Taiwanese Hong Yu (红玉), or T-18. This variety is unusually fragrant and can also endure relatively high temperature infusions with superb results. The hand-picked leaves and buds were regularly aired during the withering process so as to stimulate the oxidising process. Subsequently, unlike other white teas, the leaves were carefully rolled to further promote its exquisite fragrance.
Quantity: 5-6 gramm per 150ml
Water temperature: 85ºC. From fresh spring, mineral water or filtered water
Brewing time: 10-15… seconds