Ying Zhen is so-called because of the silvery white hairs that cover the young buds. They are produced by the tea plant to help stop the young bud from drying out and possibly also to protect it from insects.
The high levels of polyphenols in Ying Zhen act as powerful antioxidants and this makes it a popular choice with health conscious tea drinkers.
Legend has it that this tea is only harvested during a full moon, by young women with golden scissors, but it is true that there are only a few days each year when the pure silver tips used for this tea can be picked. Considered amongst the most beautiful and rare teas in the world, Silver Needles should be carefully prepared using water just off the boil.