debunix wrote:I think "counterfeit" is a poor word choice here. White tea simply refers to how the tea was processed--wikipedia has an excellent chart showing the various steps for different classes of tea http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Teaprocessing.svg. White tea is tea leaf that has undergone minimal processing, mostly just being dried. Silver needle describes a tea that is plucked when the leaves are tiny, young and thin.
So a lot of tea can be described as a type of silver needle white tea, but it could be made from C. sinensis or C. sinensis v. assamica, made well or made badly from well-tended or abused or feral plants, and the flavor can very dramatically--but none of those would be something I would consider 'counterfeit'. I've had some teas made in the style of one famous location made with tea from a very different or distant area, some fantastic and some not so nice, but again, as long as I was informed clearly that this was not the famous version from place x, I have no problem with the practice.
Chip wrote:I had a white tea similar to silver needle that reminded me of hotdogs once. One of few teas I could not drink. It was from Yunnan.
It should be noted, it could be the varietal grown in Yunnan.
Yunnan silver needle does definitely taste different than Fujian.
JonnyTwo wrote:You claim it's the process that defines what white tea is, and you list an image that doesn't support your claim. Because it is in fact the Process AND the specific plant, camellia sinensis, that defines what White Tea is.
"Like black and green tea, white tea is also derived from Camellia sinensis"
"Because white tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, it contains polyphenols"
I've consumed literally pounds of Silver Needle White Tea before - So my suspicion is legitimate, and conterfeit is in fact an appropriate word because I suspect it is counterfeit, as in, does not possess both traits of being derived from camellia sinensis and undergoing the limited processing, which is what defines white tea
The only evidence that I have towards it being real camellia sinensis is based on what the seller claims. What I purchased said Bai Hao Yinzhen - Silver Needle White Tea, if you're telling me there's other teas that are not from camellina sinensis, yet they are also called that, link me please, I must see this for myself.
I purchased this on ebay from a seller in China, the packagaing is also quite unprofessional, in ziplock bags that are stuffed into little cardboard cylinders, which are also placed in cheap ziplock bags.
Though the possibility remains that it really could be camellia sinensis, yet tastes nothing like it simply because it was grown elsewhere, the possibility of counterfeit seems equally likely.
JonnyTwo wrote:You claim it's the process that defines what white tea is