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This tea comes from the Mangshi Township, Dehong prefecture of Yunnan, a province in Southwest China, and as we have discussed, the birthplace of all tea. Dehong is one of eight autonomous prefectures in Yunnan, bordering Myanmar to the west. The Dai and Jingpo tribes abound throughout the area. Moonlight is made from the “wild purple” varietal, also known as Camellia Assamica var. dehongensis. Its potency and incredible Qi arise from its unadulterated nature. It is naturally bug-repellent, and grows wild in the forests of Yunnan at an altitude of 1600-2200 meters. The trees are old-growth, ranging in the hundreds of years old. This tea comes from natural, seed-propagated “eco-arboreal” gardens. “Moonlight White (Yue Guang Bai)” is a unique white tea that lies somewhere between a white and red tea, depending on how long it is withered by the farmers and then how long it is aged after drying. They say that this tea was once withered under the moon, which is why it is named thus, though these days that is more of a colorful tale.
This white tea is richer than most any other white tea we have experienced. This is because it comes from old-growth, large leaf trees and is withered longer. The trees have natural, purple buds, but the tea is composed of leaves and buds both, lending it a greater depth and more complex body. Moonlight White is gorgeously sweet, like dew. It tastes to us the way flowers must taste to hummingbirds. Some sips are fruity and the next are flowery and musky. It is a very deep and complex tea, especially for a white tea.