Ancient legend about A legendary sort Yin Zhen (Silver Niddles)

 

A legendary sort Yin Zhen (Silver Niddles) is produced only in China and only in the North of Fujian province. Tea plantations are mainly located in the territory of Fuding and Chenghe counties. Due to the exquisite uniqueness annual production volume of this tea sort is dramatically small and is under special control of Chinese government. White teas appeared several centuries ago, there are records about them in writings of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

 

One ancient legend tells a story about the origin of Yin Zhen tea. Long time ago in Zhenghe county an awful drought took place, it caused awful diseases and death. People knew that in the East on the Dongunshang Mountain (Cave Palace) near a well among the clouds and foggy mist marvelous plants grow, which have healing characteristics – only they were the last hope for the racked by diseases people. Many brave men went to search the healing potion, but none on them came back. In these times in one village there lived two brothers and a sister. The elder brother was called – Zhi Gan, the middle one – Zhi Chen and their younger sister – Zhi Jui. They decided to try their luck. Zhi Gan was the first to start his trip, but before he took his sword and said: “If this sword becomes rusty, it means I am dead”. He went for thirty-six days and finally reached the Dongunshang Mountain. Suddenly a grey haired man appeared on the road, he warned Zhi Gan: “If you want to reach the top of the mountain, look only straight and in no case turn back”. In a moment Zhi Gan climbed till the middle of the slope, but there he saw only a pile of stones and deep brushwood of trees. Suddenly behind him he heard a voice and turned back – immediately the young boy turned into a stone. Zhi Chen saw a rusty sword, he left an arrowhead to his sister and started his trip. But the same story happened to him. When she discovered rust on the arrow, Zhi Jui understood that both her brothers were dead. When she got to the mountain, she met the grey haired man and got warnings and continued her way. On the middle of the rock out of a sudden she heard strange noises, not to pay attention to them she inserted pieces of sticky rice flour in her ears and successfully reached the well on the top of the mountain. The girl collected young tips and soft leaves from the magic trees and then watered the plants with water from the spring – at the same moment flowers blossomed on the trees and seed-buds appeared. Zhi Jui collected the seeds and started her trip down. When she reached the pile of stones the gray haired man appeared. He asked the girl to sprinkle these speechless stones with the juice of the magic leaves. To her surprise the stones started to turn into humans, among them were her brothers. All of them returned to the village and planted the seeds on the mountains slopes. Soon the vast territories were covered with rich brushwood of tea trees. Flushes collected in early spring were dried under the sun. This tea became widely famous and was called Yin Zhen - Silver Niddles.