Yue Guang Bai (White Moonlight)

Loose Leaf White Puer 2018

Unique ‘dark’ withering process by slow natural air-drying develops an unusually smooth flavor similar to white tea. Very popular for its complex wildflower aromatics and deep sweet fruity flavors. Particularly light and smooth, excellent for new puer drinkers and white tea drinkers.

The 2018 White Moonlight is noticeably darker than the 2019 in both color and flavor. This is due to the natural further oxidation of the leaf after a few years’ aging, during which time it has developed an even smoother character and moderated its already mild astringency.

Clear selection

Tea Origin
Jinggu County, Pu'er City, Yunnan Province, China

Tea Bush
Yunnan Daye Quntizhong (Yunnan Large Leaf Heirloom Tea Tree)

Tea Maker
Chen Keke and Li Dong

Harvest Time

Plucking Standard
One bud, one leaf

White Moonlight’s unique ‘dark’ withering process by slow natural air-drying develops an unusually smooth flavor similar to white tea. The clean and crisp olive-oil colored brew possesses a rich aroma similar to wulong with complex wildflower aromatics. Its sweet and woodsy flavors are especially deep and lingering. This loose leaf puer is particularly light and smooth compared to a sheng puer, and is an excellent choice for new puer drinkers as well as white tea enthusiasts. White Moonlight’s leaves are known for their motley dark-and-light coloring, and this is the easiest way to pick the tea out.

Though normally harvested in late February or early March, in recent years Yue Guang Bai has been harvested almost a month later in late March and early April. Persistent drought in Yunnan has made the tea buds grow more slowly and take longer to mature in the spring. However, these drought conditions have created a tea with a deeper and more intense flavor. The longer growing period means the leaves were exposed to more sunlight, and in response they produced more antioxidants.

Unique Slow Drying Process

White Moonlight (Yue Guang Bai) tea leaves withering on a long tray.
White Moonlight (Yue Guang Bai) tea leaves withering on a long tray indoors.

Yue Guang Bai leaves are not withered in the typical hot noon sunlight like most teas. Rather, they are withered indoors or can even be withered outside at night (poetically speaking) “under the moonlight,” if there’s a nice dry night-time wind picking up over the cooling land. This unusual method of manufacture necessitates careful attention from the tea maker as it withers over approximately 24 hours. The leaves need to have air flow maintained over them to avoid molding. However, the careful process is well worth the effort. This “dark wither” is thought to give the tea a softer character without losing its depth.

As a result, White Moonlight is milder than most young sheng puer tea cakes and lacks their typical astringency. This makes it a great tea for new sheng puer drinkers.

You can learn more about White Moonlight’s processing and its similarity to white teas on our tea blog. Because of the similarity in processing to white teas, it’s sometimes called ‘white puer.’

Origins and tea cultivation in Jinggu

One of the old gnarled Yangta DaBaicha tea trees in Jinggu that White Moonlight is made from.
One of the old gnarled tea trees in Jinggu that White Moonlight is made from.

The tea leaves that are used to make Yue Guang Bai (White Moonlight) come from an altitude of approximately 1500 meters high in the mountains of Xiao Jinggu in Yunnan Province. Jinggu County is the largest forested county in Yunnan and it grows some of the richest mao cha available. It is also known for producing sweet Chinese dates. The local tea trees have new growth that is covered in very fuzzy white hairs on the undersides of the leaves. This is easily seen in the young one-bud-one-leaf pluckings used in Yue Guang Bai. Made from tea trees rather than tea bushes, traditional White Moonlight can be infused more times while still providing good flavor and aroma.

The tea gardens where White Moonlight grows are surrounded by popular local crops, commonly mango, which have an impact on the aroma and flavor of the tea leaves. The plucking standard for this cake is one bud to one leaf.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

Yue Guang Bai (White Moonlight) 2018 brewing guidelines

5 grams (2 Tb) tea

12 oz 100°C (212ºF) water

3 min. first infusion

At least 5 infusions: 3, 3, 5, 8, 10 minutes