Yin Zhen is one of the most prized of the white teas. A good quality Yin Zhen will have “fur” on the leaves as in the picture below. Apologies for my hand I have ordered a cha he (presentation vessel for tea) from the Chinese tea seller Yunnan sourcing but as they are based in China and I am based in the UK and in the rural North of England as well I expect it will take a while to arrive. Though as I placed the order last night and woke up to an email saying it has been dispatched this morning I am so far impressed with their speed.
This particular Yin Zhen is from Yunnan province while most Yin Zhen is from Fujian province. Almost all white tea is produced in China and most of that in Fujian.
Yin Zhen from Fujian has a sweet floral profile whereas this one is more woody and tastes more like other woody white teas such as Ya Bao silver buds (review on that one coming soon) but slightly sweeter. I wish I had some Fujian Yin Zhen left to do a comparative post but I drunk all my Yin Zhen before I had the idea to do a blog and I have so much tea at the moment and a couple of small deliveries (one from China one from Japan) on the way and I need to drink through all (or at least most) of that before buying more.
The packaging (side note: I love curious tea’s packaging because there is always so much information on it, most packaging has the name of the tea and brewing instructions but theirs also has interesting details about the tea) states that this white tea is processed similar to young pu-erh. My experience of pu-erh is very limited as I have only ever tried one and though I didn’t dislike it I wouldn’t buy it again. I do have a couple of samples of different pu-erhs somewhere which I will eventually get round to reviewing.
Brewing method: 3-4 minutes at 80 degrees
My brewing method: 5 minutes at 80 degrees (I prefer my white teas overbrewed).
Taste: Woody profile with a slight sweet aftertaste.
Subsequent infusions: From the second infusion onwards the sweet aftertaste is completely gone leaving a subtle woody profile. Pleasant enough but no where near as complex a flavour as the first infusion.
Conclusion: Not a bad white tea, I can tell it is good quality by the texture of the leaves but I personally prefer the Fujian Yin Zhen with its sweeter profile. If you enjoy pu-erh or woody white teas I would recommend this tea if you prefer sweeter white teas (like I do), look for Yin Zhen from Fujian instead.