Adam’s Peak is one the most sacred mountains in the world. Buddhists believe the footprint on the summit is that of Buddha; Hindus hold it to be the mark of Shiva; Muslims are convinced it is that of Adam, who wept after the loss of Eden (whereby the mountain got its name); and some Christians believe the indentations were caused when St.Thomas, Christ’s Apostle who came East, prayed at the peak.
White tea as we know it today was first produced in China's Fuding Province in 1857 and shortly thereafter in Zhenghe Province using a large leaf Dai Bai cultivar. There are two types of white tea: White Peony and Silver Needle. White Peony uses the top two leaves and a bud whereas Silver Needle uses only the bud. Over the years there have been several variations of white tea using similar production methods with different varieties and from different locations within China, but it is only recently that other countries have ventured into the production of white tea with varied success. Our Adam's Peak is of the Silver Needle variety and its success speaks for itself.
White teas are very rare and good quality specimens such as this are seldom found outside of China. The little buds that form on the plant are covered with silver hairs that give the young leaves a white appearance. They are carefully picked by hand, sun dried (some white teas are gently steamed in a pan to evaporate the water content) and then packed in air-tight containers. When brewed, white teas give hardly any color and infuse a very delicate flavor into the water.
In testing by a cancer institute in Massachusetts (Women and Cancer Fund), this particular tea has been found to be very high in polyphenols – the antioxidants found in tea. Antioxidants have been shown to act as inhibitors in the growth of cancer cells.