It is said by the people who live high in the Yunnan mountains, that behind every great tea, is an equally great story. Silver Moonlight white tea, a stunning white tea comprised of delicate silver needles and white tea leaves is no exception. As our Master Taster heard it, while on a tea buying trip to the province, Silver Moonlight tea was discovered many, many centuries ago. Legend has it that a young maiden from a small village near the base of a mountain, the only child of a local farmer and his wife, fell ill one winter. Summoning a doctor was impossible as the family’s village was unreachable by road during the wintertime. In desperation, the family decided to venture up the mountain to the home of an old shaman that was rumored to live near its peak.
The climb to the top took almost a full week, the farmer having to carry his ailing daughter to the summit. By the time they reached the top, the girl was dead. Distraught, the farmer spoke to the shaman anyway. While there was nothing she could do to bring the girl back to life, she made the farmer a promise. If he buried his daughter at the top of the mountain, as an offering to the gods, he would be rewarded for his loyalty to his only child. The shaman said that with her body resting so close to the heavens, the girl’s spirit would rise into the clouds to become moonlight and from its rays, wherever they touched the earth in the spring, tea would blossom. The man did as he was told and ventured back down to his home.
Weeks later, the snows of winter melted and the days and nights became warmer. One morning, after a particularly warm night, the farmer and his wife awoke to find their yard filled with shoots of new tea. They harvested a bowl full of the leaves, brought some water to a boil and to their delight found it to be delicious. They christened the tea Silver Moonlight and from that day forward felt their daughter was always with them. Brew a pot today and discover one of the world’s finest Chinese white teas for yourself. Plucked and processed entirely by hand – a tea as delicate as the light of the moon.
Hot tea brewing method:
Traditional method (see note below): When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly – about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F/82°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment – do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not recommended. Once the water level is low – add more water, and so on and so on – until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Adding milk or sugar is not recommended.
Note: Traditionally, the recommendation has been that green tea be brewed at 180°F/82°C. Regretfully, modern society makes it necessary to consider that water may not be free of harmful bacteria and other impurities. Therefore you need to boil water to kill bacteria. If you wish to use traditional brewing temperatures bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired brewing temperature – it’s the food safe thing to do!
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 single serve packets into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 single serve packet into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the leaves or removing the tea bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 85ºC/185ºF. For Food Safety reasons bring water to 100ºC/212ºF and let it cool down to 85ºC/185ºF.