How tea fluff hairs (chahao) to effect tea quality?

silver needle

Tea lovers may often have such doubts when buying and brewing tea: what are fluff attached to dry tea with white or golden yellow color? And what are small fluff floating on tea soup when brewing?

How tea fluff hairs (chahao)  to effect tea quality?

In fact, these fluff (chahao) are kind of trichomes, derived from the top of tea tree young shoots, also known as tea fluff hairs (chahao). Tender fluff hairs are not only characteristics of  tea tree plant, but also play an important role in shape of tea. At the same time, it can enhance tea quality . Tea buds with many fluff hairs are the symbol of tenderness and high quality.Therefore, tea tree fluff has always been popular among tea lovers.

You take a closer look at your tea, can you have a layer of fine fluff  hair  (chahao)?

Congratulations, if any, your tea is good.

In fact, the small fluff hair on tea has a professional name - "chahao" ,tea fluff,pekoe.

What is tea fluff (chahao), pekoe?

Chahao (pekoe) refers to small fluff hairs on the tip of tea bud.

Reference:Tea leaf grading from wikipedia


tea leaf

There are also rich nutrients such as theanine and tea polyphenols in  tea, which have a great influence on quality and flavor of tea.

The fluff hairs (chahao) of tea is generally distributed on the top of the tea tree, on younger leaves.

Tea taste effects:

Tea with more tea fluff hairs (chahao) will taste more refreshing, why?

It turned out that tea polyphenols, caffeine and other ingredients in tea fluff hairs (chahao) are lower, and amino acid content is higher. Caffeine shows a bitter taste, while amino acid shows a sweet taste.

There are few bitter ingredients, and there are more sweet ingredients. Overall characteristics of the taste are naturally more refreshing!


Tea aroma effects:

Studies have shown that the base of tea fluff hair (chahao) has a glandular cell that secretes aromatic substances. Some teas are mainly based on picking bud leaf, and there are many teas small fluff hairs (chahao) on the surface of bud leaf . Therefore, the tea leaves produced will have a unique fragrance.So in some types of tea making process , there are special procedures to maintain tea fluff (chahao).

The more tea fluff hairs (chahao), the higher tenderness of tea, the richer amino acids, and the more refreshing tastes of the tea.

Amino acids (1% to 4% of total amount of dry tea)

Amino acids are basic substances that make up proteins, and their content accounts for 1% to 4% of total amount of dry tea. There are 26 kinds of amino acids in tea, such as theanine, glutamic acid and aspartic acid, and seasonal changes of various amino acids are obvious. Total amount of amino acids is high in spring, low in autumn and moderate in summer. The reason why spring tea is more refreshing.

But tea fluff hairs (chahao) is certainly not the only criterion for judging tea quality, and it depends on specific tea variety.

What types of tea has fluff hairs (chahao)?

Not all teas have tea fluff hairs (chahao), tea fluff hairs (chahao) is generally divided according to color, there are golden, white, silver.

silver needle

For example, Keemum black tea and yunnan black tea are golden fluff hairs (chahao).

china black tea 

Huangshan Maofeng and Biluochun are white fluff hairs (chahao);

 Huangshan Maofeng

Silver needles, and white peony are silver fluff.

silver needle

Color of tea fluff hairs (chahao) has a great relationship with contents changes in tea.

Since tea polyphenols in tea leaves will change with different processes and produce different colors tea,and different tea fluff.

For example, tea polyphenols of black tea will be oxidized into yellow-red substances in production, so black tea  fluff presents a golden yellow, so black tea fluff hairs (chahao) is called golden fluff hairs (chahao).

Most of tea polyphenols in green tea are not oxidized, and unoxidized tea polyphenols are colorless. Therefore, the color of the tea fluff hairs on young bud leaves is usually white, it is white fluff hairs (chahao) such as Biluochun.

Why are some teas without tea fluff ?

rock tea

There is no tea fluff like oolong tea.Because tea leaf picking reason, it will not choose tender tea leaf, but instead choose some older tea leaf, in order to adapt to baking production process.

 In addition, there are Dahongpao, cinnamon and other Wuyi rock teas, which fluff are almost invisible.

What are benefits of tea fluff?

Tea fluff is rich in amino acids, and amino acid shows a sweet taste.  During brewing tea, it can also enhance aroma and taste of tea.

For tea, amino acid is a treasure, and it is the main contributor to the fresh and refreshing taste of tea. It not only neutralizes the bitter taste of polyphenols and caffeine, but also evolves the fascinating aroma of thousands of times. Is an integral part of high-grade tea.

Therefore, if tea contains tea fluff, aroma of tea will add a lot of points.

In general, the more tender of fresh leaves, the more tea fluff there are. Usually, tenderness and tea quality can be judged according to condition of tea fluff hair (chahao).

But tea fluff is not the only criterion for judging tea quality.


Tea quality is determined by a variety of factors, but when brewing tea, observe tea leaves slowly release in water, which is one of brewing tea fun .

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