Tea: How Is White Persian Melon Tea Graded?
White tea is quickly gaining popularity in the Western world. Though it has long been praised in Asia, the rest of us are just beginning to get to know this delicate treat. And no other white tea is more delicious than white Persian melon tea. This rare blend of white tea is one that is pleasing to even the most discriminating palate.
The best white Persian melon tea should be made from the finest blend of loose white tea combined with high quality sweet melon nectar. To ensure that you buy only the best quality white Persian melon tea, it’s important that you understand the most popular cultivars for white tea and the grades of white tea.
There is no international standard for grading tea, so beyond understanding these basic grades, it’s difficult to tell which tea is best. Unlike with black and green teas, white tea should have just one plucking each year, because the best tea is plucked during the spring. This is one of the reasons that white tea is so rare.
The most popular cultivars for white tea include Da Bai, Xiao Bai, Narcissus and Chaicha bushes. Within these cultivars the teas are classified into different grades, primarily based on whether the plucking consists of only the bud and top two leaves of the tea plant or whether more tea leaves are included.
In addition, the stringency with which the tea pluckers ensure that the leaves and buds are not damaged during harvest affects the quality and grade of the tea. Harvesting white tea properly is a difficult task. The best teas require the most skilled tea pluckers in order to keep the tea buds intact and undamaged.
Bai Hao Yinzhen Tea – This tea is considered the highest grade of white tea and is usually referred to as Silver Needle tea. It is produced only in China.
The best Yinzhen white tea is picked between March 15 and April 10, and only under perfect weather conditions. Plucking can only occur on dry days when there has been no frost and no dew the night before.
Only the unopened and undamaged buds are used for this tea. It is very low in caffeine and is very pale and mild. Wild Persian melon tea made with Silver Needles tea will be the mildest you can buy.
Bai Mu Dan Tea – The second highest grade of white tea, this variety is usually called White Peony tea. It is also grown only in China. It contains fewer buds and more leaves than Silver Needles tea. It uses the unopened and undamaged buds along with the top two leaves of the tea plant. It is picked only between March 15 and April 10 and only on days where there is no rain, no frost and no dew on the ground.
This tea has a more floral fragrance and a bit bolder flavor than Silver Needles tea. It brews to a pale green or golden color.
White Persian melon teas should be made from one of these two highest grades of white tea. Your best chance of choosing really good white Persian melon tea is to buy from a reputable tea purveyor. As white tea gains popularity, it is likely that we’ll find more and more lesser quality white teas on the market to meet the growing demand.
Harvesters may use more tea leaves and may plant larger harvests designed to have some plants bud later in the year to make a bigger crop.
All of these changes to the tradition way that white tea has been grown, harvested and processed, will compromise the tea that we find available for purchase. This is why it’s so important to have a relationship with a tea purveyor who works with only the best and most reputable tea gardens and who uses only the finest tea for the white Persian melon blend.
If you’re unsure as to where to purchase the finest loose teas, take a look at the many purveyors you can find on the internet and visit the tea store in your local area. Most tea websites will have customer reviews of their various blends of tea. These reviews will give you an idea of how much other customers like particular teas and tea blends.
You should also look for tea companies that offer money back guarantees. Particularly when you’re purchasing tea that you haven’t had the opportunity to taste, you need to feel assured that the tea can be returned if you aren’t satisfied. In fact, this money back guarantee should be an absolute must from any company you do business with online.
All fine white teas are higher priced than their black and green counterparts. However, the best white teas are well worth the expense because of their rarity and exquisite flavor. However, the additional cost of these teas makes it even more important that you choose a reputable company to buy from.
Choose your white Persian melon tea with care and buy only from a reputable company. It’s likely that this fine and fruity tea will become your absolute favorite of all white teas.