How to Hunt the Moon: My Three Year Journey Sourcing China’s Best Moonlight White Tea

June 30, 2017

How to Hunt the Moon: My Three Year Journey Sourcing China’s Best Moonlight White Tea

It took me 3 consecutive years of hunting for China’s Best Moonlight White Tea until I finally found what I was looking for. This is why I can confidently say our Moonlight White Tea is one of the best, purest teas you’ll ever drink. (Because I already did the hard work!)

You see, not all Moonlight White Tea is created equally, and – of course – I had super strict criteria.

For example, the tea:

Had to be from ancient tea trees at least 200+ years old
Had to be artisanal, i.e., hand-picked and processed
Had to be from a Biodiverse plantation or wild growing
I was 100% inflexible on these points. And while I tasted over two-hundred Moonlight Whites during this time (and even found some incredible ones), I ultimately had to refuse them because I found out they were farmed on mass produced plantations or not processed by hand.

That said, I was richly rewarded for my patience and effort when I finally happened to meet Tea Master Zhang Tian.

Tea Master Zhang Tian
From Simao, which is deep in the heart of Moonlight White Tea Country, of the hundreds of tea artisans I’d met his family was the only one I’d met that actually specialized in this noble tea.

First and foremost, his family’s trees are typically between 300-400 years old, with some even as ancient as 500 years old. Next, he offered a variety of grades, pure buds, different cakes, etc.. This guy knew literally everything there was to know about Moonlight White. His company was even called Moonlight White Bud Company (direct translation from the Chinese).

As a result, I ended up spending a lot of time with him and his family, eventually becoming close friends. Even now, he often comes to speak at our tea school on tea production, and we remain in close touch.

Hence, because of him, my journey sourcing China’s best Moonlight White Tea finally ended!

About Our Moonlight White Tea
The buds and leaves are a pure white on the outside and jet black on the other side (although sometimes green), some say resembling the moon. Zhang Tian and other Moonlight White producers that Wild Tea Qi works with consider this type of tea a true art form. The buds are picked only in the spring between March and April, early in the morning around 4-5 am. At that time the mountains have strong fog, spurring the tea buds to grow a lot. Drawing lots of dew from the moisture, the tea is fresher and thus higher quality than during any other season for this reason. Then, immediately after being picked, the tea is put in the sun during the sunrise.

What makes this even more fascinating is that they try to time it so that they process the tea on the full moon as they believe this tea will imbibe a special energy from the moon at that time.

Without a doubt, not all Moonlight White that you find on the market is processed this way. This processing method has been kept a secret for a long-time, and – as my experience of 3 years shows – tea of this sort is incredibly rare and difficult to find.

Collectible, Rare Moonlight White Tea
Pressed Yunnan Moonlight White tea has become a collectible. Although there is a debate about whether or not Moonlight White Tea is actually a white tea or simply a Pu’er by another name, what is undebatable is that – just like aged Pu’er Tea – you will find that different years of Moonlight White have different flavors and that when you age it you will also get different flavors.

When Moonlight White is young it has a more grassy, fresh taste. This tea can be aged and as it ages, it becomes more nutty and rich. Furthermore, ti “Qi energy” of this tea grows the longer it is aged.

Moonlight Bud Bars – A Wild Tea Qi Exclusive
Additionally, we at Wild Tea Qi have created our own rare “pressing” of Wild Moonlight White.

This tea is from 2011, and we only pressed 30kg of it and have been aging it ever since.

Indeed, given our unique pressing of it, we even won the 2012 World Tea Expo Gold Medal for Best New Product for this innovative design.

Each bar is a pressed 50g piece, making it convenient and easy to store or travel with. The bar is sectioned off into 12 sections, so you can easily break off about 4g which is a good serving to brew in a Gaiwan or Gongfu tea ceremony.

We have not pressed anymore of this, so it is truly a rare, special limited vintage.

With each year this tea goes up in value, making it a wise investment for the tea lover.

Or entire collection of white teas is located below.

Happy Hunting,


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