Ye Sheng Yue Guang Bai
Purple Moonlight White
i just received a small load of white teas because 2020 teas were good all around. the most complex of whites i’ve tasted thus far is Ye Sheng Yue Guang Bai or Purple Moonlight White. this only grows wild and while white teas are known for being from Fujian province, this one is from Yunnan, the same place as famous pu-erhs. the processing is minimal. once upon a time, white teas were a tribute to the emperor and offered by virgins in white gloves, served ground like matcha. a Ming emperor white teas should be served loose leaf style only and the trajectory of white tea changed forever. this purple variety is naturally-occurring and is as rare and elusive as it’s taste.
someone might tell you different, but if you want everything this tea has to offer, go big or go … soft? white varieties show that they are the most natural expression of tea by being able to stand up to boiling water and that’s what this one appreciates. 98-100C using 1-1.5gram per ounce. the almost pungent smell of the wet leaves — wet socks, anyone? — may leave you shaken for a moment but the stream of purple violet flavor cast over viscous manuka honey-like tones will redeem it quickly. 9-10 rounds later, you’ll forget that funky was the first thing that came to mind.