My mom and stepfather went to Vietnam and brought back this Shan Tuyet Tea among other stuff. A tea I had never heard of, so I googled it and found a facinating story.
First of all, the tea trees are not short bushes like we are used to seeing, but actual trees. So big that people climb on them to collect the leaves. The trees are some 300 years old and grow 1400 metres above sea level. So there’s no need for pesticides since no insect really wants to live there.
Not only trees but also tea leaves are large and athough they are perfectly green when growing, they will look silvery/grey after being processed, like covered in snow. Hence the name — “Sham Tuyet” means “snow”.
The taste of the brew is a bit bitter and if you dose too much of the tea for too little water, it will be rather bitter indeed. But let it brew less time and use less tea and it will taste bittersweet with a nice sweet aftertaste.
Read more and see pics of the amazing trees at http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/vietnam-in-photos/148554/vietnam-s-unique-ancient-shan-tuyet-tea-forest-in-pictures.html