Bai Hao Yin Zhen (白毫银针, Bái Háo Yín Zhēn) also knowns as White Hair Silver Needle is a famous Chinese white tea. It is native to Zhenghe County and Fuding City, Fujian Province. Fuding City is known as the “Hometown of White Tea”.
The dried Bai Hao Yin Zhen looks like a needle, covered with a layer of white or silvery hairs, so it is called “Bai Hao Yin Zhen”. Bai means “white”, Hao means “hair”, Yin means “silver”, and Zhen means “needle”.
Bai Hao Yin Zhen has the best quality and is the most expensive tea among all the Chinese white teas.
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History of Bai Hao Yin Zhen
In 1796 the Fujian people first created Bai Hao Yin Zhen. In 1891, Bai Hao Yin Zhen started to be exported abroad.
In 1912-1916, affected by World War I, the sales of white tea declined sharply. It was not until 1934 that the production and sales of Bai Hao Yin Zhen began to recover gradually.
In 1982, Bai Hao Yin Zhen was awarded “National Famous Tea” by the Ministry of Commerce of China, ranking second among 30 famous teas.
After 1990, some new kinds of Bai Hao Yin Zhen were invented. Bai Hao Yin Zhen was born earlier than Bai Mu Dan and Shou Mei tea.
Characteristics of Bai Hao Yin Zhen
Bai Hao Yin Zhen is expensive because of its low yield and high demand for raw materials. It is made from 100% of tea buds.
The amount of tea buds is much less than that of the leaves in the tree, so the yield of Bai Hao Yin Zhen is less than that of other white tea. The annual yield of Bai Hao Yin Zhen is only one-tenth of that of Shou Mei tea.
With the temperature increasing in spring, the germination speed of the tea buds is accelerating. As the first batch of white tea, picking tea buds needs to race against time. Otherwise, tea buds will grow into leaves and grow old.
The picking time of Baihao Yinzhen is very short, from the Vernal Equinox (March 19-22) to the Qingming Festival (April 4-6). The picking time is only 10 days. If it rains, the picking time will be shortened, which will also affect its yield.
Processing Bai Hao Yin Zhen only requires two processes, withering and drying. The process sounds simple, but it is not easy to master it correctly, especially to make high-quality tea. The processing environment, moisture, and temperature should be controlled accurately.
The appearance of the finished Bai Hao Yin Zhen is thin, fat, and white, like a white needle. The length of it is usually 1-3cm. The color of the tea liquid is bright, clear, and apricot-yellow.
Bai Hao Yin Zhen is covered with a layer of white hairs. The more the hairs, the higher the quality of the tea.
According to the production area, Bai Hao Yin Zhen can be classified into two types:
- North Bai Hao Yin Zhen: it is produced in Fuding City. The tea tree is Fuding Dabai tea.
- South Bai Hao Yin Zhen: it is produced in Zhenghe County. The tea tree is Zhenghe Dabai tea
Both of them are high-quality Bai Hao Yin Zhen.
Benefits of Bai Hao Yin Zhen
The active enzymes in Bai Hao Yin Zhen are generally twice as high as those in other teas. Bai Hao Yin Zhen also contains polyphenols, folic acid, 25 kinds of amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements, which are more abundant than other teas.
Benefits of Bai Hao Yin Zhen:
- Clear heat
- Weight loss
- Protect the liver
- Improve eyesight
- Lower blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure