“Carpet of frost on green reeds and white dew.” White Dew is a key solar term that marks the seasonal change of temperature in nature. It normally falls between September 7-9 when muggy nights begin to turn cool. As moisture in the air condenses in the morning, it leaves tiny water droplets on the grass, giving the season its name — White Dew.
In Chinese culture, morning dew is precious and should not be wasted. Therefore, there is a tradition of “collecting the dew” during this solar term. In ancient China, making tea using leaves with dew was very popular. It is said that Emperor Qianlong invented the "lotus dew tea". He ordered people to get up early in the morning to collect the dew on lotus leaves for him to make tea.
The tea culture in China is very strong. There is a saying among people that “spring tea is bitter, summer tea is astringent, but the best tea should be around White Dew in autumn”. Tea lovers are very fond of “White Dew tea” which offers the best of the plant after it has experienced a rapid spurt of growth during the summer. White Dew tea is not as fresh and tender as spring tea, nor as dry and bitter as summer tea, but has a unique mellow fragrance.
The tea picked before the White Dew solar term is called early autumn tea; the tea picked between White Dew to early October is called late autumn tea. Compared with early autumn tea, late autumn tea tastes better. While spring tea introduces fresh aroma, light grassy flavor, taste-buds can enjoy the strong, lingering taste of the late autumn tea.
White Dew also means the entry to autumn, the most suitable period for drinking oolong tea. At this time, the climate is dry, causing dry mouth and cracked lips, which is called "autumn dryness" in traditional Chinese medicine. Drinking oolong tea in autumn can moisten the skin and remove dryness, produce fluid and moisten the lung, which is very beneficial for healthcare during autumn. Therefore, in the dry autumn season, after a meal of rich and greasy food, a cup of tea is nice companion to help dissolve the body fat.
White Dew tea can be had for both taste and health. Although drinking tea has many advantages, one should not overdo it. Just as good wine is enjoyed sip by sip — it is useless to pour it endlessly — one shouldn’t be too greedy when it comes to White Dew tea.
監 制：戴 凡
編 導：劉璟 吳婧 白玥 孫磊 高志偉 佟明月