Thursday, June 11, 2020

Bai Hao Yin Zhen white tea review -

I’ve been reviewing some tea samples I got from and this is the only white tea I got from them.

Today I’m reviewing Bai Hao Yin Zhen white tea.

From the website:

Made up of the youngest, fuzzy, plump buds, our 2020 Bai Hao Yin Zhen, otherwise known as Silver Needle, hails from the Fuding area of China. Its dry aroma is quite floral, and the leaves are a lovely silvery green. Once brewed the light honey-colored liquor offers flavor notes of honeydew, fresh sweet cucumber and a slight hint of mineral.

About the leaves:

Grown at an elevation of around 450 meters above sea level, our 2020 Bai Hao Yin Zhen was hand-plucked in April from 5-10 year old trees. Consisting of only 6 cm long buds, it is a Fuding big tea leaf cultivar. After harvesting the buds go through a special withering process until about 90% of the moisture is gone. It is then roasted at around 60 degrees Celsius for two hours.

This tea contains a low level of caffeine
Steep at 170° for 2-3 minutes.

I first brewed this according to the website, Western style. I brewed 0.6 grams of tea in 100 mL of 170°F/76°C water for 3 minutes for the first steep, 4 minutes for the second steep.

I don’t often taste what’s written on the website description, but this time I totally did.

The tea was very light in color, almost like water. When I first tasted it, the mineral taste was the strongest flavor, but then I could taste something like salted cucumber with a light melon flavor, I don’t know if it’s really honeydew but it’s definitely not a cantaloupe flavor. The second steep was almost as strong as the first steep.

Then I tried it gongfu style. I brewed 4 grams of tea in 100 mL of 170°F/76°C water for 20 seconds, and each successive steep increased in 10 second increments.

The first steep had a strong mineral flavor, with hardly any cucumber and no melon flavor.

The second steep had less of a mineral flavor and more cucumber. The taste was also just faintly grassy.

The third steep had even strong cucumber flavor, and a little bit of melon—definitely honeydew melon, not cantaloupe or some other melon flavor. The melon flavor wasn’t sweet, and it had a faintly floral scent like honeydew does.

The fourth steep had a slightly lighter flavor, but definitely more honeydew flavor coming out.

Final thoughts: This tea had great complexity and nuances of flavor that I’ve never tasted in the few white teas I’ve tried using gongfu method. This was an amazing white tea and I can highly recommend it.


  1. I love white tea but most of the ones I've seen have a lot of caffeine. Do you know if these come in decaf?

    1. Hi Anne,
      White teas have the least amount of caffeine of all teas, except for those that have been decaffeinated. But in general, mostly black teas (sometimes green teas) are decaffeinated. I've never actually heard of a decaffeinated white tea since many people drink white tea specifically because it has less caffeine. However white tea doesn't have zero caffeine, and even decaffeinated teas have a little bit of caffeine. So if you're looking for something without any caffeine, you're probably better off trying rooibos tea and other herbal teas.